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DeAndre Square primed for bigger role in UK defense

After making the All-SEC Freshman team last year. DeAndre Square aims to build on his success in 2019.

Jason Marcum - Sea of Blue

DeAndre Square will enter his sophomore season having played in all 13 games and earning Freshman All-SEC honors last year.

His experience and explosive play-making ability will be heavily relied on after the departures of several important players on defense, including Josh Allen, Jordan Jones and the entire secondary.

First-year defensive coordinator Brad White will have high expectations for the linebacker, who showed tremendous potential as a freshman.

DeAndre Square

  • Position: Linebacker
  • Measurements: 6-1, 204 pounds
  • Hometown: Detroit, Michigan
  • School: Cass Tech
  • Recruit Ranking: 544th Nationally - 10th in Michigan (247 Sports)

Square got his first collegiate start in the final game — the Citrus Bowl. He tied a career-high with six tackles, to go along with a quarterback sack in Kentucky’s defeat of the Penn State Nittany Lions.

There will now be lofty expectations for Square, considering how he burst onto the scene and surprised many people with his ability to make impact plays.

Last year, Square, who lists his nickname as “D Square” on the Kentucky Athletics page, recorded 15 solo tackles, 20 assisted, and forced a fumble. An even more impressive stat is that he tallied a tackle in every single game last season.

On a team with Josh Allen, Lonnie Johnson, Mike Edwards, and Darius West, Square somehow still managed to make his presence felt in a major way.

Brad White and the Kentucky coaching staff have a track record for recruiting and developing talent, especially on the defensive side of the ball, so the ceiling for Square is about as high as anyone on the entire UK roster.

Square arrived at Kentucky as a high three-star prospect from the top tier high school program of Cass Tech in Detroit. He is definitely no stranger to winning as he lead his team to a Division-1 state title as a junior, as well as the semifinals as a senior, and he played a big role in Kentucky having an all-time season.

Clearly, Square has brought some of his winning ways with him to Lexington. He recently posted on his Twitter account that he’s gained 22 pounds since arriving on campus last year. Adding this extra muscle is a necessary component for a player to compete in the SEC, especially an underclassman like Square.

There are several different ways that you can evaluate a football player — size, speed, and strength are usually the most common points of reference. Not to say that DeAndre Square doesn’t possess all of these things, but he also has an intangible quality of having a nose for the football. He proved this by being the only Wildcat to receive Freshman All-SEC honors in 2018.

I think it’s fair to say that Square arrived at Kentucky as an underdog candidate for major minutes early in his career. He will now enter his sophomore season with legitimate SEC and postseason experience along with high expectations.

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