Adrian Middleton will be entering his final year at the University of Kentucky Wildcats when the season kicks off on September 1st. The Bowling Green, Kentucky native will be the veteran among a group of talented sophomores along Kentucky’s defensive line.
Middleton was a three-stat recruit in 2014. He helped lead his high school to the KHSAA quarterfinals in both his junior and senior seasons at South Warren High School. Middleton redhsirted his first year at UK and had limited playing time during his redshirt freshman season where he appeared in just four games.
Middleton started his sophomore season behind junior defensive tackle Regie Meant, but after one game, Meant left the team for personal reasons, and Middleton was thrust into the starting role. He started the remaining 12 games for the Cats that season and was fourth on the team that season in tackles for loss with 5.5.
Middleton came up huge in the Cats season finale that season against Louisville. He helped clog the middle and limit Lamar Jackson’s running lanes. He had a career-high six tackles that game, including one tackle for loss, and helped the Cats shock the Cards 41-38.
Middleton’s junior season was not as productive as his sophomore campaign, though he still started every game at defensive tackle for Mark Stoops’ defense. Middleton will head in to 2018 with 25 consecutive starts at the position.
Middleton will the grizzled veteran on the defensive line this season, as he will be flanked by sophomores Josh Paschal, Quinton Bohanna, with Boogie Watson also coming off the edge. Junior defensive tackle Phil Hoskins may push Middleton for some playing time, but it’s more likely he’ll sub in for different looks along Matt House’s defensive front.
Adrian Middleton has been a solid and steady contributor for the Wildcats over the years, and Kentucky fans should expect nothing less from the senior this season.