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Kentucky Football: Preseason Depth Chart Released

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UK has released its post-spring depth chart in the lead-up to this week's SEC Media Days. Let's discuss.

Frederick Breedon

The University of Kentucky football team has made public its post-spring depth chart. This is all pre-fall camp so could be subject to change. This is 2013's depth chart for comparison's sake.

Offense

Wide receiver Wide receiver Wide receiver Left tackle Left guard Center Right guard Right tackle Tight end
Jeff Badet Ryan Timmons Alexander Montgomery Darrian Miller Zach West Jon Toth Ramsey Meyers Jordan Swindle Steven Borden
Demarco Robinson Joey Herrick Cameron Fogle Teven Eatmon-Nared Nick Haynes Zach Myers John Gruenschlaeger Kyle Meadows Ronnie Shields
Thaddeus Snodgrass TV Williams Max Godby Dylan Greenberg or Cole Mosier Shaquille Love Thaddeus Kazunas
David Baumer
Quarterback
Patrick Towles
or Reese Phillips
or Drew Barker
Maxwell Smith
Running back
Braylon Heard
or Jojo Kemp
Josh Clemons
Mikel Horton
William Mahone

Initial impressions:

  • Unsurprisingly, the team is not yet ready to name a starting quarterback indicative of the "or". Maxwell Smith doesn't seem to be a factor at this point.
  • Stoops' signees account for the starter at every skill position. If Drew Barker starts then seven of the eleven starters would have signed after December 2012 going off this depth chart.
  • There is not much depth and a heavy reliance on youth. Injuries must be avoided, especially at the offensive tackle position.
  • Looks like Blue, Badet, and Montgomery have all bounced back from their various injuries and will be ready to go. That's great news.
  • The incoming freshmen will have a chance to provide depth and contribute.
  • Several walk-ons are listed on the second and third teams.

Defense

Cornerback End Tackle Tackle End Cornerback
Cody Quinn Bud Dupree Melvin Lewis Mike Douglas Za'Darius Smith Fred Tiller
Nate Willis Jason Hatcher Christian Coleman Regie Meant Farrington Huguenin J.D. Harmon
Jaleel Hytchye Jacob Hyde C.J. Johnson Jabari Johnson Keron Wakefield
Rodney Cox Zane Williams
MLB WLB Nickelback
Josh Forrest Khalid Henderson Blake McClain
TraVaughnPaschal Daron Blaylock Eric Dixon
Tyler Brause Miles Simpson
Dorian Hendrix Tre' Dunn
Grant Aumiller
Safety Safety
Ashely Lowery A.J. Stamps
Marcus McWilson Glenn Faulkner
Zack Blaylock Jerry McCray
Patrick Sermersheim

Initial impressions:

  • Given the thinness of the position, combined with the familiarity UK has playing a 4-2-5 look from last season, a starting depth chart with only two linebackers isn't very surprising. Moving a defensive back into "the box" for run support out of the nickel package is being done elsewhere, especially against spread offenses. Having said that, UK will no doubt remain "multiple" and adjust as the down, distance, and scheme dictate.
  • Only four of Stoops' signees are listed as first string on the defense currently.
  • Coming off his year away from football cornerback JD Harmon is back to an important back-up role. Last season starter Nate Willis is now backing up Cody Quinn.
  • Defensive tackle is looking like a deeper position. The fact heralded JUCO transfer CJ Johnson isn't a projected starter is a healthy sign.
  • No surprise Khalid Henderson is starting at one linebacker. Notably Daron Blaylock has made the move from safety to linebacker. Blaylock had outgrown his safety position is now built more like a weak-side LB.
  • JUCO transfer AJ Stamps' arrival has forced last season's starting safety Eric Dixon to nickelback. I like Dixon and Blake McClain's run support skills, so I think this is a net positive for the defense and himself.
  • Cornerback Keron Wakefield is the older brother to 2016 in-state four star Keion Wakefield.