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Kentucky Football: Who is the Wildcats’ most important defensive player?

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Who’s the defense’s most crucial player this year?

NCAA Football: Southern Mississippi at Kentucky Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

The defense was one of Kentucky’s biggest liabilities this past season, but Mark Stoops solidified its strengths and the unit made vast improvements over the second half of the season.

Stoops did so behind players like Kash Daniel, Denzil Ware, Courtney Love, Jordan Jones, Chris Westry and Derrick Baity. The secondary was outstanding at times (remember this?)

They showed great athleticism to pair with their collective height and length. The front seven struggled mightily early in the year, but came together to produce 21 sacks and 69 tackles for loss. Not great, but not bad, considering how the year started.

The linebackers are going to be a major x-factor this year; specifically Love, Daniel, Jones and Ware. Jones played at an All-SEC level, and some think he could earn All-American status in 2017. He’s easily one of the league’s best linebackers and should be playing on Sundays soon enough.

But of course, when discussing Kentucky’s most important defender, you have to consider the d-lineman who was supposed to be one of Kentucky’s greats when he got to campus: Matt Elam.

Elam has been continuously underwhelming since joining the team, but has been working hard to silence his critics this offseason. If this is the year he finally lives up to his potential, he could be Kentucky’s most crucial player on the defensive end.

So who’s your most important player for Kentucky on the defensive end this year?

Poll

Who is Kentucky’s most important defensive player?

This poll is closed

  • 12%
    Kash Daniel
    (23 votes)
  • 6%
    Courtney Love
    (13 votes)
  • 1%
    Derrick Baity
    (2 votes)
  • 3%
    Chris Westry
    (6 votes)
  • 24%
    Matt Elam
    (46 votes)
  • 39%
    Jordan Jones
    (75 votes)
  • 13%
    Denzil Ware
    (25 votes)
190 votes total Vote Now