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Two Kentucky Players Ranked in the Top 8 of Their Skill Set in the SEC


Now that basketball recruiting for 2013 is over, it’s time around KSR to turn our attention primarily to football.  Mark Stoops has given us a lot to write about, and look forward to, on the recruiting trail, picking up three- and four-star commitments left and right.  But a recent couple of posts on SEC football blog Saturday Down South shows us that it’s not just the new guys in the Kentucky uniform that fans have to look forward to.

In a series of posts for “Best Returning Position Players,” Kentucky has a couple guys in the defensive spots that crack the SEC’s top 8.  Predict how you will whether the Wildcats will be better on offense or defense; there are arguments either way.  Mark Stoops is naturally a defense-minded coach, but the offense did well last season until injuries took their toll.  Plus, Neal Brown has the potential to bring out the best in Max Smith, Jalen Whitlow, or whoever they start at QB.

But in the “returning players” category, it looks like SDS would give a slight edge to the defense.  Of the five “positions” discussed on the blog, two Kentucky players made the lists.  Both of them play defensive positions.  The Quarterback, Running Back, and Wide Receiver lists were all sadly bereft of any Kentucky players.  However, “Top Returning Tacklers” and “Top Returning Sackers” each had Kentucky players; in fact, one player made both lists.

The “Tacklers” list featured LB Avery Williamson all the way up at the #2 spot, after picking up 135 tackles last season, good for 7th nationally.  That’s second in the SEC only to the 138 tackles of Tennessee’s AJ Johnson.  Third place’s CJ Mosley had only 107 tackles.  Also on the list at #6 is DE/LB Alvin “Bud” Dupree with 91 tackles.

And speaking of Dupree, he also made the “Top Returning Sackers” list at #4 with 6.5 sacks, and 12.5 tackles for loss last season.  Jadeveon Clowney still has a lock on the top spot there, though, after netting 14.5 sacks and 23.5 tackles for loss for South Carolina.  Which is just ridiculous.

So while keeping up with all the new recruits is exciting (Thanks, Stoops), let’s not forget that he and the rest of the coaching staff have some guys returning that they could put to good use, particularly on the defensive end.  If Williamson and Dupree are mentioned as “Top 8” tacklers or sackers in the SEC by a team-neutral site, you know they have some skills.  I think it’s a safe bet that Stoops, who had Florida State’s defense absolutely rocking, will bring out the best in those guys, and make them even better.

There’s a lot to look forward to at Commonwealth.

Article written by Corey Nichols

9 Comments for Two Kentucky Players Ranked in the Top 8 of Their Skill Set in the SEC

  1. Rockfield, KY
    9:07 am May 15, 2013 Permalink

    Clowney is the best player in America. Guy is a freak. I hope that Z’Darius is in Clowney’s mold.

  2. INCatFan
    9:15 am May 15, 2013 Permalink

    I actually thought we had several young players that showed some ability on the field last year. Usually, under Joker, it seemed like 2 or 3 people had to get hurt before the best players actually got to see the field. Seriously, how was there ever a quarterback competition between Morgan Newton and Max Smith. I think this team will be better than people are expecting this year, now that they actually have a coaching staff with a plan, and attention to detail. I know our schedule is brutal, but we might surprise a few teams along the way. I’m excited and ready to get it started!!! GO CATS!!!!

  3. gobgblu37
    9:25 am May 15, 2013 Permalink

    We do have a couple talented players but depth is the key. When they have to take a break we are hurting to replace them. It’s been that way at UK for a long time. Hopefully with the way Stoops is recruiting those days are in the past soon. GBB!!!

  4. Silent Motion
    9:28 am May 15, 2013 Permalink

    For the name of any other Andrew besides Mr. Harrison, to not be mentioned on this site without the implication of such a poster being a troll. THIS WILL NOT BE REPEATED, best of luck to all players next season but highest esteem go to those who reach ultimate victory, Go Wildcats fight and get the best of EVERYONE in every game you play, make it look bad, build a name for this team, and dominate the opposition until your shaking hands with the president.

  5. Honky Kong
    9:35 am May 15, 2013 Permalink

    “the offense did well last season…” What team were you watching ??

  6. WKU
    9:49 am May 15, 2013 Permalink

    UK is the DOORMAT of The Sun Belt.

  7. tom
    10:17 am May 15, 2013 Permalink

    5. Agree 100%. These KSR writers are told what to write by Jones who gets his orders from the UK Athletic Department. That’s what happens when you get into bed with the people you are covering. Jones is part of the UK broadcast team (doing a pre-game show) so everything he touches has that bias built in. Not saying that is bad on a blog site like this…glad to see a place that is so supportive of UK but at times the non-reality of some of the writers is laughable and frustrates me.

  8. football school
    11:48 am May 15, 2013 Permalink

    Excited about the upcoming season and cautiously optimistic for a winning record. We indeed have some talent out there right now, but the defeating attitude of the old staff trickled all the way down to the water boys and every fan who ever watched them. Football is a very physical game but also a very mental game. It is a hive mind type of game. The attitude of the whole is much more important than the attitude of the individual in this game and the new staff… here it comes… “gets it”. Go Big Blue

  9. football school
    11:52 am May 15, 2013 Permalink

    Hey WKU! Suck it! We’re gonna stomp the big red blood clot right outta Nashville! 45-10 Cats. Write it down. Go Big Blue