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Projecting Kentucky’s 2020 Spring Practice Depth Chart

UK Athletics

UK Athletics

Spring has spring for the Kentucky football team. Beginning next week the Wildcats will return to the gridiron for 15 practices over five weeks, providing an opportunity for newcomers to get their feet wet and for veterans to focus on the details.

Before the position battles get underway, KSR takes a closer look at the Wildcats’ depth chart. With 17 returning starters, not much will change ahead of the 2020 season. There are still some uncertainties surrounding injuries that will make the next 15 practices more vital to some than others.

OFFENSE

QUARTERBACK

1. Terry Wilson (6-3, 203, Sr.)
2. Sawyer Smith (6-3, 219, Sr.)
3. Joey Gatewood (6-5, 230, So.)

This is what the position will look like if Terry Wilson is healthy and Joey Gatewood does not become immediately eligible to play this fall. A LOT can change, for better or worse, between this spring season and Sept. 5. All three could see action in 2020 which makes this the most intriguing group to watch all spring.

RUNNING BACK

1. AJ Rose (6-1, 218, Sr.)
2. Kavosiey Smoke (5-9, 220, So.) OR
3. Chris Rodriguez (5-11, 224, So.)

Who gets the most touches in this rotation will be a point of contention for fans throughout the 2020 season. Keep you torches and pitchforks put away, for now.

WIDE RECEIVER (X)

1. Allen Dailey (6-3, 204, Jr.)
2. DeMarcus Harris (6-1, 176, Fr.)

Dailey received early reps by playing inside but he’ll be most valuable this year as a big target on the outside.

WIDE RECEIVER (Z)

1. Bryce Oliver (6-1, 208, So.)
2. Isaiah Epps (6-2, 187, Jr.)

Epps has always been a “prove it” player. He has even more to prove after a foot injury sidelined him for the entire 2019 season

WIDE RECEIVER(F)

1. Josh Ali (6-0, 193, Sr.)
2. Clevan Thomas (5-11, 213, Jr.)

Kentucky’s best route runner will move inside to become the most-targeted wide receiver in 2020. If he can build off the final drive from his last game…

WIDE RECEIVER (Y)

1. Clevan Thomas (5-11, 213, Jr.)
2. Tae Tae Crumes  (6-2, 171, Fr.)

TIGHT END

1. Justin Rigg (6-6, 263, Jr.)
2. Keaton Upshaw (6-6, 255, So.)

LEFT TACKLE

1. Landon Young (6-7, 321, Sr.)
2. Naasir Watkins (6-5, 302, Jr.)

LEFT GUARD

1. Kenneth Horsey (6-3, 321, So.)
2. Luke Fortner (6-6, 305, Sr.)

CENTER

1. Drake Jackson (6-2, 312, Sr.)
2. Quintin Wilson (6-1, 302, So.)

RIGHT GUARD

1. Luke Fortner (6-6, 305, Sr.)
2. Austin Dotson (6-6, 331, Jr.)

The most-pressing matter for UK’s offense this spring is finding Logan Stenberg’s replacement at left guard. That could mean that Fortner is bumped over from right to left. That could mean a promotion is in order for Kenneth Horsey. The talented newcomers — Jeremy Flax, John Young and R.J. Adams — will certainly make a play for the position. John Schlarman may not find the right fit for his fifth offensive lineman until we are two-three games into the season.

RIGHT TACKLE

1. Darian Kinnard (6-5, 324, Jr.)
2. Naasir Watkins (6-5, 302, Jr.)

Darian Kinnard is the best player on UK’s roster that we aren’t talking enough about. Others from the outside world are beginning to catch on. Exhibit A:

SPECIALISTS

KICKER

1. Matt Ruffalo (5-11, 213, Sr.)
2. Chance Poore (6-2, 223, So.)

All of my confidence in the kicking game lies with the Spicy Italian Meatball.

PUNTER

1. Max Duffy (6-1, 194, Sr.)
2. Grant McKinniss (6-1, 192, Sr.)

PUNT RETURN

1. Travis Tisdale (5-9, 172, Fr.) OR
2. MJ Devonshire (5-11, 175, Fr.) OR
3. Josh Ali (6-0, 193, Sr.)

KICK RETURN

1. Travis Tisdale (5-9, 172, Fr.)
2. Zach Johnson (5-10, 187, Sr.)

I think Kentucky will find a way to get Tisdale involved in the return game. If he, or any of the other speedy young guys, are too unreliable, Johnson will serve as the trustworthy return man that will secure the ball and make good decisions.

DEFENSE

NOSE GUARD

1. Quinton Bohanna (6-4, 361, Sr.)
2. Marquan McCall (6-3, 371, Jo.)

DEFENSIVE TACKLE

1. Phil Hoskins (6-5, 310, Sr.)
2. Abule Abadi-Fitzgerald (6-6, 292, Jr.)

DEFENSIVE END

1. Josh Paschal (6-3, 284, Jr.)
2. Kordell Looney (6-3, 292, Sr.)

Paschal was set to be Kentucky’s starting defensive end in 2018 until a cancer diagnosis forced him to the sideline. Once he recuperated, his services were needed at Jack. He was stout in the run game all last season, but left some quick twitch to be desired on the outside.  Jordan Wright and J.J. Weaver improved throughout the year, making Pachal’s move back a to three-point stance a no-brainer.

DEFENSIVE END/JACK LINEBACKER

1. Jordan Wright (6-5, 238, Jr.)
2. J.J. Weaver (6-5, 237, Fr.)

WEAKSIDE LINEBACKER

1. DeAndre Square (6-1, 217, Jr.)
2. Marquez Bembry (6-3, 217, Jr.)

MIDDLE LINEBACKER

1. Chris Oats (6-3, 231, Jr.)
2. Jamin Davis (6-4, 228, Jr.)

This might be the best one-two punch of any position on the team in 2020.

STRONGSIDE LINEBACKER

1. Boogie Watson (6-3, 224, Sr.)
2. Jared Casey (6-3, 224, Fr.) OR
3. Xavier Peters (6-4, 235, So.)

NICKEL

1. Davonte Robinson (6-2, 297, Sr.)
2. Tyrell Ajian (6-0, 195, Jr.) OR
3. MJ Devonshire (5-11, 175, Fr.)

Even without D-Rob, Kentucky’s pass defense was excellent in 2019. Even so, they really needed him at nickel. It was the only position where UK never found any consistency. Robinson will fill that role admirably this fall. In the spring they’ll try a few different prospects, maybe even Bossman Fat.

CORNERBACK

1. Brandin Echols (5-11, 178, Sr.)
2. Cedrick Dort (5-11, 182, Jr.)

CORNERBACK

1. Kelvin “Bossman Fat” Joseph (6-1, 195, So.)
2. Jamari Brown (6-1, 196, So.)

Bossman Fat brings plenty of hype to the Bluegrass. I wanted to pump the brakes on the Kelvin Joseph Hype Train. I’ve been told that is stupid idea. ALL ABOARD! BOSSMAN FAT HYPE TRAIN COMING THROUGH!

FREE SAFETY

1. Yusuf Corker (6-0,195, Jr.)
2. Taj Dodson (6-1, 192, Fr.)

STRONG SAFETY

1. Quandre Mosely (6-2, 180, Sr.)
2. Moses Douglass (6-2, 204, Fr.)

Kentucky returns everyone but Jordan Griffin and adds a couple of four-star talents from Louisiana to the secondary. Mark Stoops will get to throw everything against the wall this spring to see what sticks.

Article written by Nick Roush

"Look upon the doughnut, and not upon the hole." @RoushKSR

18 Comments for Projecting Kentucky’s 2020 Spring Practice Depth Chart



  1. BlueByYou
    7:06 pm February 28, 2020 Permalink

    When did a UK football depth chart ever look this loaded? NEVER!



  2. christopherharrison26
    7:35 pm February 28, 2020 Permalink

    Noticed one outstandingly large secondary person – what a difference a year can make. D Rob is now gi-normous. 🙂

    Davonte Robinson (6-2, 297, Sr.



  3. ghost of whackamo
    7:36 pm February 28, 2020 Permalink

    Davonte Robinson is easily the biggest nickel of all time. Lol. Seriously excellent breakdown and some position battles will be absolutely ridiculous this year.



  4. zoupman
    9:21 pm February 28, 2020 Permalink

    Interesting read. I predict someone not even listed will be a starter by year end. Snell didn’t hardly even play first two games of 17. I hope the coaches find a way to get TE’s involved.
    Would love to see Josh P ball out this year.



  5. UoKFB PHAN
    9:32 pm February 28, 2020 Permalink

    Good info Nick, thanks for the breakdown.

    I’m hoping Q will have a big year. It will be interesting to see if Xavier Peters can get things going an live up to the hype.



  6. Righteous1
    12:25 am February 29, 2020 Permalink

    Getting Gatewood eligible would be huge! I like TW but a Patellar Tendon takes a couple of years to rehab and recover from fully. I believe Darius West had that same issue early in his career and it was 2 yrs for him. This coming year is it for TW. A Patellar Tendon is a tough injury.



    • MattTheCat
      11:37 pm February 29, 2020 Permalink

      Darius just took 1 year. He had 4 major knee/leg injuries, but the patellar was in fall camp of ‘16 & he was back the ‘17 season & never missed a game. He had a big year. 85 tackles, 3.5 TFL, 2FF.



  7. bigblue98
    2:55 am February 29, 2020 Permalink

    I have never been more excited about a season than the upcoming. Have the utmost confidence in both of our lines. Really feel like this could be a special, special season.



    • MattTheCat
      11:34 pm February 29, 2020 Permalink

      Darius just took 1 year. He had 4 major knee/leg injuries, but the patellar was in fall camp of ‘16 & he was back the ‘17 season & never missed a game. He had a big year. 85 tackles, 3.5 TFL, 2 FF.



    • MattTheCat
      11:35 pm February 29, 2020 Permalink

      Sorry that was meant for Righteous1.



  8. dave1964
    7:53 am February 29, 2020 Permalink

    This should be the best season Stoops has had at Kentucky, really looking forward to this season more than any in the past I can think of.



  9. Wade
    10:14 am February 29, 2020 Permalink

    Like to see tisdale all over the field. Kid has speed.



  10. BBN4LIFE03
    12:54 pm February 29, 2020 Permalink

    Justin Rogers?



    • bbn606
      9:08 am March 2, 2020 Permalink

      This is listing only those enrolled and participating in spring practice.



  11. ScoggDog
    9:31 am March 1, 2020 Permalink

    Going to be a good year against a stout SEC schedule. I think they’re up for it.



  12. kjd
    6:03 pm March 1, 2020 Permalink

    If Gatewood isn’t eligible he’s not even on the depth chart.



  13. bbn606
    9:09 am March 2, 2020 Permalink

    Biggest disappointment on the chart has to be Xavier Peters. What’s the story on this guy?