All eyes will be on the Kentucky quarterbacks during Friday night’s Blue/White Game, but there are a few other rising stars you may not have heard of that will make impact plays during the exhibition.
4 — You remember Josh Paschal’s big plays from a year ago, but now he’s doing it from a different position. Instead of standing up as an outside linebacker, he’s a defensive end with his hand in the dirt. The move has made the defensive line the most improved position group.
23 — Tyrell Ajian has not received a ton of press because class interferes with media sessions, but his teammates and coaches have pointed him out as one of the best playmakers in the secondary.
29 — Yusuf Corker is probably the most impressive-looking player in the defensive backs room. A physical corner, he does not back away from making big hits near the line of scrimmage.
31 — Boogie Watson turned heads when he made a goal line stop at South Carolina. He’s moved around a bit, but coaches have found him a home at outside linebacker as a disruptive pass rusher.
33 — David Bouvier is just a walk-on wide receiver, but he’s been maybe the most consistent playmaker in his position group. UK lost Chuck Walker, but Bouvier is doing everything the Cats need to fill that void.
43 — DeAndre Square enrolled early and started making plays right away. The surprise of the spring, injuries forced the inside linebacker into action with the first team and he has not disappointed. When you see No. 43, you won’t believe he’s just a 17-year old who should still be in high school.
66 — Naasir Watkins almost had his redshirt pulled last year. A lengthy, athletic left tackle, they’ve even tried him out some at guard.
81 — Isaiah Epps will not be UK’s No. 1 wide receiver this fall, but he might be the most important. Kentucky’s offense struggled without a deep threat in 2017. Epps could be that deep threat in 2018. You’ll probably see Eddie Gran call a few shots to No. 81 during the spring game.
91 — Calvin Taylor is a GIANT. When you look at the field, the 6’9″ defensive tackle will be the first person you notice. He used some late-season momentum to become one of UK’s most consistent defensive linemen.
92 — Phil Hoskins had shoulder problems in his first year on campus. Now the defensive tackle is raising hell in the backfield, described as a “rolling ball of butcher knives.”