Kentucky Football: National Signing Day 2014 - Previewing the Defensive Line Signees

Joe Robbins

Kentucky is signing a huge crop of defensive players to the historic 2014 signing class. Let's take a look to see what kind of an impact these new Wildcats are going to make at defensive line.

With the exit of Donte Rumph and Mister Cobble, DJ Eliot has some big holes to fill on the defensive line. Last season's unit was a bit disappointing as they were unable to put the kind of pressure on the offensive line in order to free up the defensive ends and the linebackers.

While defense may be young, defensive tackle will bring immediate experience with new JUCO transfer Cory "CJ" Johnson. Johnson is 6' 4" and 300 lb. and was one of the most coveted JUCO players in the country.

Denzeil Ware will add more depth to an already stellar group of defensive ends. The highly sought after freshman defensive end will join Bud Dupree, Za'Darius Smith and Jason Hatcher in one of the deepest units on the team. Ware is a 6' 3" 220lb. athletic freak. He flipped he commitment from Florida State and was one of Stoops' first recruits.

Adrian Middleton is another big body to go along with Johnson. The incoming freshman is 6' 3" and 265 lbs. While the height is there, he needs to add some weight and muscle. He is a home grown Kentucky kid and adding one of those is always important.

And of course, how can one leave out Matt Elam? Elam was on Stoops' radar from the start and is one of the biggest recruits in the country. The 'Cats beat out the Crimson Tide for the big guy from John Hardin high school. Elam will provide a 6' 5", 372 lb. body to plug up the defensive middle. He has some work to do as far as conditioning is concerned, but expect Eric Korem to get his high performance training rolling with Elam.

Lloyd Tubman is a late addition for the Wildcats, but an important one. The Louisville, Kentucky native just decommitted from Penn State and speculation was rampant that he would indeed choose his home school and become a Wildcat. Tubman is a specimen at 6' 5" and 235 lbs. But his speed is even more impressive than his size. He runs a 4.5 40 yard dash, which is extremely fast for a defensive end.

Rounding out the defensive lineman class is Ty Dubose, another player out of the state of Ohio. Dubose is a giant at 6' 6", 260 lbs. He needs to add some weight, but that shouldn't be an issue.

Right now it is about building depth on defense and the Wildcats are indeed starting to do that. The SEC is home to some of the biggest, most physical offensive lines in the country. A key to victory is to keep the big hogs on their toes, and in order to do that, a revolving door of defensive linemen and ends is vital. Kentucky has a young, deep line that will improve as the seasons progress.

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