Thursday night was a huge night for Bud Dupree, but it was also a huge night for the Kentucky football program. On today’s teleconference with Pittsburgh and UK media, Mark Stoops said Bud’s first round selection is proof UK can develop NFL-caliber players.
“I think it’s important for our program. It does nothing but help in exposure. Seeing him selected on TV, draft night, was big for us and our program. If anything, it’s helping prove the developmental phase of our program and what we’re trying to do, so we’re very proud of that.”
In fact, Stoops said Bud and Za’Darius Smith are just the latest in a long line of defensive linemen he and his staff have developed over the years, something they’re using on the recruiting trail.
“I don’t think it’s the first thing that comes out of your mouth, but of course it comes up with the success that we’ve had prior to coming to Kentucky in the great string of linemen we had at Florida State and we’re proud to continue that at Kentucky in Bud and Za’Darius getting drafted.”
From here, Stoops said “the sky’s the limit for Bud,” especially since he can now just focus on one position in Pittsburgh.
“He has been extremely unselfish and really did whatever we asked for the team,” Stoops said. “If we just left him in a 4-3 and let him rush the passer and be a 4-3 defensive end, you’d see his numbers go through the roof with sacks, but he did a lot of things with us and he was very versatile.”
Tony Neely added that Bud will receive his bachelors degree in community and leadership development on Saturday. What an awesome time for him.