On Friday morning, head coach Mark Stoops announced that Josh Paschal was “highly questionable” to play Saturday vs. Iowa, but it sounds more than likely that Paschal won’t play.
“He (Paschal) really wants to play, but I don’t feel like I can play him with a clear conscience,” said Stoops. “He’s given us everything. You talk about these guys laying it on the line for you every day for years...Josh is a guy that just absolutely empties his tank each and every practice, each and every game. He re-aggravated an injury and made it worse actually in the Louisville game. Then he had some other health issues he couldn’t travel with us. He just got down here a couple of days ago.
“To be honest with you, I think it’s highly questionable for him to play.”
During Wednesday’s practice, Josh Paschal was present and accounted for.
Here’s to hoping he’s a full-go Saturday in his final game as a Wildcat and gets to end his inspiring college career on a high note.
One of the biggest storylines heading into this week has been the availability of defensive end Josh Paschal. According to Nick Roush of KSR, Paschal was out of Tuesday’s practice in the Sunshine state.
No sign of Josh Paschal at today’s Citrus Bowl practice.— Nick Roush (@RoushKSR) December 28, 2021
As many fans likely remember, Paschal exited the season finale against Louisville after being “dinged up” against the Cardinals.
The senior defensive end has become a fan-favorite, as well as the heart and soul of this Kentucky defensive unit. His production back up those numbers as well, as he proved to one of the best defensive lineman in the SEC.
Paschal appeared in all 12 games this season for the Cats, in which he totaled 52 tackles (15.5 TFL), forced a fumble against Georgia, and blocked a field goal that was returned for a touchdown in the win over Florida.
If Paschal is out for this Saturday’s game, it would be a big loss for this Kentucky team. Not only will it be hard to replace the pressure and athleticism that he brings to the line, but as mentioned before having a veteran presence who brings the juice each and every snap may be more difficult to replace.
Even if he isn't able to go this weekend, Josh Paschal will go down as the only three-time team captain in school history, as well as likely hearing his name called in the early rounds of the NFL Draft this coming April.
Stay tuned to A Sea of Blue as we get more info on Paschal’s availability as more info comes out throughout the week.