Kentucky’s football program lost an influential figure this week, as assistant offensive line coach John Schlarman passed away after a two-year bout with cancer.
Before he joined Mark Stoops’ coaching staff, Schlarman was a beloved figure in Lexington due to his contributions as a player. He was an All-SEC offensive lineman for the Wildcats from 1994-1997.
Stoops released a heartfelt statement after the news broke that Schlarman passed away, saying “Kentucky football won’t be the same without him but his legacy will never fade. He was a fighter and we will strive every day to honor his warrior spirit.”
It has to be tough for the Wildcats to play with a heavy heart this afternoon, but they most likely made Schlarman proud with their gesture to kick off today’s game.
The Wildcats went on the field without a left tackle for the first play from scrimmage. It was their way of leaving Schlarman’s former position open just for him.
Kentucky received a delay of game penalty on the first play, but Vanderbilt chose to decline the penalty out of respect for Schlarman.
Goosebumps.@UKFootball leaves the Left Tackle position open for the first play from scrimmage and takes a delay of game penalty in honor of OL Coach John Schlarman who passed away after his battle with cancer.
Vanderbilt declines the penalty.
Emotional day in Lexington. pic.twitter.com/uJrkCTUKn7
— Peter Burns (@PeterBurnsESPN) November 14, 2020
We’d have to imagine that Schlarman would be proud of his players’ performance so far this afternoon.
Kentucky leads 24-14 over Vanderbilt heading into halftime. Terry Wilson Jr. has been really efficient under center, completing 12-of-13 pass attempts for 101 yards and two touchdowns.
The Wildcats will look to hang on in the second half as they try to win this game for Schlarman.
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