Kentucky’s defensive line has received plenty of praise throughout the preseason. One might even describe them as magical. Vince Marrow believe they could be one of the best in the nation before the season finishes. T.J. Carter agrees.
“I feel like we can be one of the best D-Lines in the country, if not the best,” said Taylor. “We got a lot of guys. We’re very deep. We’ve been working really hard this summer, not just me, a lot of other guys have been coming up and getting extra work in. The sky’s the limit. We’ll just have to see when the season comes.”
The depth of the defensive line makes this one different than any we’ve seen Kentucky put in the field in recent years.
“There’s no first team and there’s no second team,” said defensive line coach Derrick LeBlanc. “When you’re on the field, you’re a one, you’re a first teamer. I think we have that luxury.”
The luxury has made way for something special: the Magic package.
This package isn’t a hat where you can find a rabbit. Kentucky’s Magic package is a unique personnel group they use in obvious passing situations.
“It’s pretty dope,” said 6-9 defensive tackle Calvin Taylor, who plays a much different role in this package. “I’m the nose so it sucks for me. I’m drawing everyone in and the ends get to rush but it’s fun to see those guys get some sacks and me just pushing the pocket. It’s pretty fun.”
It isn’t anything new. Josh Paschal first burst onto the scene as a true freshman pass rusher in the Magic package. Hattiesburg police were forced to press charges after he completely demolished a running back near the end zone.
Boogie Watson is a big fan of the Magic package, especially now that he gets to take Josh Allen’s spot as rusher, instead of dropping back into coverage.
“It’s good,” said Watson. “Sometimes we’ll rush three out of Magic. We can rush six out of Magic. It kind of just depends on what we dial up.”
Kentucky can do a lot of different things with different personnel to mess with opposing quarterbacks on third down. All they need is a little Magic.