Under the helm of head coach Mark Stoops, Kentucky’s football program has transformed into a proven factory for player development.
The 2019 NFL draft made a monumental statement when Josh Allen was selected seventh overall. His legacy left a mark that will be remembered for generations to come.
That being said, the Cats have some serious talent on their roster, enough talent that you could start seeing some other defensive players chasing historic accomplishments.
When discussing high-level potential one of the first names that should come to mind is outside linebacker Boogie Watson. The 6-3 245 pound senior was only rated as a three-star prospect coming out of high school, similar to Allen, who was only rated as a two star himself. But both have found success on the field playing against some of the best competition in the country.
Watson now finds himself in position to lead a Kentucky defense in 2020 that should be stout in all facets of the game. Some even say that he will be one of the top defensive players in the SEC next season, and the numbers back it up.
Justin Rowland of Rivals did some great work and tweeted out a comparison of Boogie Watson’s junior season compared to Josh Allen’s senior season. You can see below that Watson has startling numbers that you can only assume will improve.
Researching offseason football content.— Justin Rowland (@RowlandRIVALS) February 13, 2020
Josh Allen's junior PFF grade: 77.5
Boogie Watson's junior PFF grade: 81.5
Josh Allen SENIOR hurries: 28
Boogie Watson junior hurries: 28
I don't hear people talk about him like this, but Watson is one of the SEC's top returning players.
Watson won’t be the only impact player returning on defense. The Cats are loaded with experience and talent all over the field.
In 2019, Boogie Watson recorded 36 total tackles and a team-leading seven quarterback hurries. If he can continue his consistent play and be a vocal leader on defense then you can expect big things out of this Kentucky defense.
The future is bright for UK football. Is it September yet?