Dare Rosenthal hit the ground running at the University of Kentucky.
And he has helped Kentucky run off one of its best seasons in recent years, as the Wildcats are currently 8-3 overall and 5-3 in the Southeastern Conference.
“It’s been good, but we can get better,” said Rosenthal, who is starting at left tackle for the Wildcats.
Rosenthal announced his transfer to Kentucky on July 8.
“I really liked the coaches, especially the offensive line coach,” Rosenthal said of Wildcat offensive line coach Eric Wolford. “And I felt like I had a better opportunity at Kentucky. Their offensive linemen received a lot of attention. They are known as the ‘Big Blue Wall.’ It was a bit hectic at first, having to sign up for classes, adapting to the weather and studying the playbook. It wasn’t too much different from LSU, but our quarterback gets under the center more here. I just want to get better.”
Brody Miller, who covers LSU sports for The Athletic, tweeted out before it Rosenthal made it official, “LSU starting left tackle Dare Rosenthal is expected to enter the transfer portal, sources tell the Athletic. This comes after violating school rules again after multiple violations in the past that have cost him games.”
Rosenthal said the move to Kentucky has been beneficial.
“I have improved, but I still feel like I can get better,” he said. “I’m slightly better in the run game, but I did some lose strength over the off-season I am trying to get back. I like being here. I put myself in a better situation. But you can’t be satisfied with where you are or you will lose out.”
Kentucky reached 7-3 this season for the first time since 2018. The Wildcats will finished second in the SEC Eastern Division, which is the first time since the league split into divisions in 1992 that UK will end the season in sole possession of second place of the East.
UK also has finished in a tie for second in the division on two other occasions, 2016 and 2018. All three second-place East finishes have been in the last six seasons under head coach Mark Stoops.
“I like Coach Stoops,” Rosenthal said. “I talk with him quite a bit. He has shown a lot of respect to me, and I respect him.”
UK also has finished in a tie for second in the division on two other occasions,
This is the second time since 1977 that UK has posted a winning record in league play, 5-3 this year and 5-3 in 2018.
“We still aren’t there yet,” said Rosenthal, who is never satisfied with his own personal play.
Rosenthal said he is still very close to current LSU offensive linemen. LSU is 5-6 on the season with a remaining game at home Saturday against Texas A&M.
“I still believe in them,” Rosenthal said. “They’ve had injuries and have had trouble coming together. I believe communication has been a problem.”
Rosenthal lined up against his former teammates on October 9 as the then undefeated Wildcats hosted 3-3 LSU at Kroger Field. Kentucky won the game 42-21. LSU cornerback Jay Ward tweeted out after the game about being able to visit with Rosenthal.
“It was just another game,”Rosenthal said. “I just went out and had fun. I talked to some of the guys after the game. Those, most definitely, are my brothers. I know they have had injuries. The main part is everybody getting on the same page and finishing strong. I feel their frustration. I’ve been through that with them.”
Rosenthal was close to former LSU offensive line coach James Cregg, who recently sued LSU for breach of contract. Cregg’s lawsuit acknowledges that coach Ed Orgeron provided Cregg a letter June 2 stating LSU’s intent to fire him “for cause” because Cregg admitted to an NCAA enforcement official in May to “visiting with and providing gear to a team prospect during the COVID recruiting dead period.”
Cregg had been LSU’s offensive line coach since 2018, and he had previously been on staff with Orgeron in stints at Tennessee (2009) and Southern Cal (2010-2013). A 24-year coaching veteran,
Cregg also was an assistant offensive line coach for the Oakland Raiders (2007-2008), Denver Broncos (2014-2016) and the Los Angeles Chargers (2017) in the NFL. He was on staff when the Broncos won Super Bowl 50.
“Coach Cregg was my right hand man,” Rosenthal said.
After the Florida game this year, LSU announced Orgeron would not be back after this season..
“That really surprised me,” Rosenthal said. “I didn’t see that coming. Coach O was a good coach to me.”
Rosenthal has not been able to take advantage of name, image and likeness policy passed by the NCAA allowing college athletes to make money off their name.
“When I first got to college a lot of people didn’t know about me,” Rosenthal said. “And I wasn’t focused on that. Then when I transferred I was concentrating on helping my new team. And it’s also tough being an offensive lineman to get those types of deals.”
Rosenthal faced a former Trojan last year in LSU’s 55-17 loss to Alabama as junior college transfer Ronald Williams is a cornerback for the Tide.
“It was cool,” Rosenthal said. “It was something the whole town wanted to see. Any time we both get on the field we are going to compete.”
There are some projections that have Kentucky facing Michigan State in a bowl game. Williams transferred from Alabama to Michigan State this year.
“That would be great if we faced each other,” Rosenthal said. “We can do a jersey swap after the game.”
Rosenthal has started every game for Kentucky this season.
Rosenthal played in seven of LSU’s 10 SEC games only with five starting assignments last season.
Playing in the SEC, the Ferriday native has seen his share of top defensive linemen and linebackers.
“I’ve gone against some good ones,”Rosenthal said. “Phil (Phidarian Mathis of Alabama) is really good. He got the better of me a few times. But if I have to say who was the toughest ever it would be Dantrieze (Scott) when we practiced at Ferriday.”
Rosenthal, who is majoring in Communication, will graduate in either May or December of next year.
Right now Rosenthal doesn’t think about the NFL Draft.
“I’m focusing on Kentucky,” he said. “I do watch the NFL on Thursday and Monday nights. It would most definitely be great to be a part of that.”