Kentucky has a hole to fill in the middle of its defense. Kash Daniel is gone after totaling 168 tackles in 51 career games, and Chris Oats, Daniel’s backup who was on track to slide into a starting role, is out indefinitely with a very serious medical issue.
So who steps in now?
Kash Daniel addressed that need with Tom Leach on Friday’s Leach Report when he named Jamin Davis his player to watch for a breakout year on defense. Davis will be a redshirt junior this fall, so he came up under Daniel for three seasons in the linebackers room. Daniel predicts big things from his former teammate now that Davis has bulked up and can focus on one position:
“Jamin has every tool in his arsenal to be a great linebacker in this league and for this team. He sat back and observed and studied as a young pup over these past two years, and he saw an increase in playing time last year.
“It’s been really hard for Jamin. He’s had to learn both Mike and Will positions on a weekly basis and sometimes he even had to learn outside linebacker for certain packages because the kid is so athletic. And so he’s got a great frame and got a great build to him — I think he told me he was 230 the other day when we were fishing so, he’s finally got that, filled into that SEC linebacker-type body.
“Man, he’s so athletic and so aware out there on the football field when he’s dialed in. I think if Coach Sumrall and Coach White really give him one position to focus on, and really key in on that playbook, I think Jamin could be one of the biggest impact/breakout stars of this Kentucky team this year.” [Leach Report | 7/24]
Kash Daniel also thinks Boogie Watson is due for a huge year. He said he wouldn’t be surprised if Watson had a Josh Allen year, if not better.
Listen to those comments and more from Kash Daniel on today’s Leach Report.