Kentucky’s senior day game against Middle Tennessee on Saturday became much more significant when the starting lineups were announced. In pregame warmups, sophomore defensive end Josh Paschal was spotted in uniform.
When the starting lineups were released over the PA system, Paschal’s name was called to start the game. Saturday’s action will be his first appearance of the season after being diagnosed with melanoma skin cancer earlier in the summer.
Back in August, a procedure was done to remove the cancer and his recovery was believed to take just a few weeks.
As a freshman, Paschal played in all 13 games and showed sign of promise at a position of need. He was expected to start opposite of senior standout Josh Allen, but his recovery process ultimately held him out of game-action for 11 weeks.
Though he didn’t see playing time, Paschal had been working out with the team and on the sideline for multiple weeks. Paschal had been actively participating in these activities but his start on Saturday came without any anticipation.
While Paschal’s return is on the emotional side, he also brings an edge of talent to Kentucky’s front seven. The sophomore edge rusher is sure to show some rust in his first game back, but undoubtedly adds depth and experience at the position.
In the team’s final two games, look for Paschal to flash signs of his unique talent.