Mike Edwards’ decision to return to Kentucky for his senior season was a surprise. After much thought, Edwards said he simply had too much unfinished business to take care of in Lexington.
“Since the time I’ve been here, we haven’t been to an SEC Championship. That’s one thing I want to go to,” said Edwards. “All of us returning except for one starter (on defense); that’s definitely a big boost for us. That’s what I really thought about when I came back.”
An SEC Championship appearance is considered by many fans as an unobtainable goal. Edwards believes you can do incredible things if you have incredibly big dreams.
“The biggest stage,” is where Edwards dreams of playing. “The National Championship, SEC Championship. You shoot low and you’re not going to achieve greatness. We’re shooting for championships.”
To get to the coveted championship stage, Edwards knows there are some things he needs to improve. Projected in the third or fourth round, “all over the place really,” in this year’s draft, if he can become a stronger tackler, he can help take UK to new heights and improve his draft stock.
“I need to improve my tackling. Even though I have a lot of tackles (236 in three seasons), I miss a lot of tackles in open space. I also need to get my body in shape, get more physical, more lean and more muscular.”
Josh Allen received similar feedback from the NFL. His frame is still lighter than scouts and general managers would like to see.
“The main thing is to get a little bigger. Not everybody can be 250, 260, but I feel like I can gain a little bit more weight and get stronger in the weight room. That’s what I plan on doing this offseason,” Allen said.
“I think I still have a lot to prove. At the beginning of the season, I came off with a hot start. Towards the end, I kinda slowed down a little bit. I feel like next year, once I improve on my stamina, my strength and my speed, I feel like I can last longer, I can play more, be healthier and come back stronger.”
Allen was the first to break the news to Mark Stoops. When Edwards let Stoops know his entire defense would be returning, “He was really excited. When I told him he was jumping for joy.”