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Who Takes Over For Jason Hatcher?

With yesterday’s announcement that Jason Hatcher would miss the first two games of the season due to suspension and Kobie Walker still recovering from ankle surgery Kentucky’s strongside linebacker position was cleared out completely. Luckily thanks to some new depth Kentucky has plenty of guys that can step up for the first two weeks of the season. Take it from the head man himself:

“We have a lot of options that we can move some guys around, depending on the scheme, depending on how big we want to get, what we’re getting from the offense. We have some big DBs … that we can put a little closer to the line of scrimmage in the personnel groups and how big the offense is.” Just who could Stoops be referring to? Let’s break down some options

Candidate 1: Jabari Johnson

Kentucky’s current starting DE played linebacker for his first two seasons in Lexington before making the switch to backup Bud and Z. Jabari’s move to LB would also free up the starting end position for redshirt freshman Denzil Ware who could be occupying the spot by year end anyway. Johnson’s size makes him a great option for week 1 and the run heavy offense of Louisiana-Lafayette.

Candidate 2: Dorian Hendrix

Hendrix has been on campus for a year and a half adapting to the college game and building his body up to play linebacker in the SEC. Coming out of high school, Hendix was ranked the 26th inside linebacker in the country and is currently listed with Nico as 2nd on the middle LB depth-chart. He’s a guy that the staff has always been high on and he’s a guy that could most benefit from early playing time, even if it is out of position.

In weeks two South Carolina will bring a more balanced attack. Hendrix’s balance of strength and speed could be a nice counter for whatever the Gamecocks are throwing at us.

Candidate 3: Alvonte Bell

Bell has only been on campus for a few days but he was a guy Stoops specifically mentioned when talking about potential replacements for Hatcher. Alvonte was once the crown jewel of Joker Phillip’s final class of but academic issues made him take the JuCo route. Now he’s arrived on campus and flying a bit under the radar. If his fundamentals are in place and he can quickly pick up the defensive schemes of DJ Elliot then he could be the guy for the first couple of weeks and a solid option for beyond.

Article written by Andrew Cassady

Follow me @ACassady_KSR

15 Comments for Who Takes Over For Jason Hatcher?

  1. Vince
    2:48 pm August 9, 2015 Permalink

    Where are you Kash Daniel !

  2. I still say Dorian Baker after the hit he delivered at LSU last year.

  3. scorpiocard
    5:08 pm August 9, 2015 Permalink

    He should have gone to U of L where Petrino passes out hookers and blow after practice to anybody who wants them. But come to think of it, isn’t this like his 87th second chance since getting on campus there? What a pious program Stoops runs there.

    • CardFan502
      5:21 pm August 9, 2015 Permalink

      I think its only his second issue, the first being getting caught with the, uh, Louisville player and weed. But ask any Louisville fan, and getting caught with weed is no big deal.

    • scorpiocard
      5:37 pm August 9, 2015 Permalink

      If you look back I’m pretty sure its his 3rd.

    • Josh Harvey-Clemons
      6:00 pm August 9, 2015 Permalink

      Tru dat.

    • Troll Slayer
      6:07 pm August 9, 2015 Permalink

      “Athletic director Tom Jurich told one reporter in 2008 that the Cardinals dismissed 21 players after Petrino left for the Atlanta Falcons because of disciplinary issues.” – ESPN 6/4/2014

    • CardFan502
      8:01 pm August 9, 2015 Permalink

      I’m no math genius, but 87 is way more than 3. I’m like 77% sure about that.

    • scorpiocard
      9:40 pm August 9, 2015 Permalink

      Okay so I exaggerated a little bit. Its a rivalry thing.

  4. dshwildcats
    5:27 pm August 9, 2015 Permalink

    It’s about time the UK coaching staff started looking the other way and take advantage of these highly ranked recruits. We need to do whatever is necessary to win now.

  5. Believer2015
    6:29 pm August 9, 2015 Permalink

    In the article linked below Larry Blustein of the Miami Hearld said about Alvonte Bell: “It’s going to just be a matter of time before every major program knows who Alvonte Bell is…He is going to be the next Jason Pierre-Paul.”

    I just watched his highlights from Junior College and don’t see anything exciting about him other than his size. Stands up. Slow first step. Not very aggressive. Etc. Although he does always seem to finish the play which is a habit every great football player should have. Anyway, I’m just an observer and sure as heck hope I am wrong, but was wondering if anyone else believes that this young man can actually live up to his potential. If so, why?

    I can’t wait for football season.

  6. GlennFohr
    10:57 pm August 9, 2015 Permalink

    I wish the author would understand that Ware is not a defensive end in this defense!! He, Hatcher, Johnson, are all outside linebackers in this 3-4 defense!!! none of them are defensive ends!!! I wish whomever is putting the depth chart out in this defense would label it as this:
    Front three are defensive end, nose tackle, defensive end.
    Hugenin Lewis Johnson
    Next four are: outside linebacker, inside backer, inside backer, outside linebacker
    Hatcher(Johnson) Forrest Flanigan Ware

    Next four: corner safety safety corner
    Quinn McWilson Stamps Tiller (freshman may step up)

    I know the technical football genius’s will correct this but Ware and Hatcher will only put their hand on the ground in a passing situation and Johnson won’t be on the field at that time.

    • GlennFohr
      10:58 pm August 9, 2015 Permalink

      and Johnson is not a defensive end either!!!

  7. Will
    9:25 am August 10, 2015 Permalink

    That sweater is incredible. I must have one.