A pillar of the Kentucky defense has announced he’ll be coming back for one more year in Lexington.
After going through Senior Day festivities back in November, it looked like J.J. Weaver was about to leave for the 2023 NFL Draft. But after taking time to decide and evaluate his options, Weaver has decided to return for next season.
The Kentucky native announced the news Sunday on Twitter. He’ll be a redshirt senior next fall.
Thank you #BBN— JJ Weaver (@jjtimeee) January 8, 2023
This what’s best for me!! @UKFootball @UKCoachStoops @vincemarrow pic.twitter.com/xnZIVqbORd
Originally a class of 2019 recruit out of Moore Traditional in Louisville (KY), Weaver has developed into a fixture for Brad White’s defensive unit while playing on the edge.
After battling adversity on and off the field during his tenure in Lexington, Weaver has easily been one of the program’s biggest feel-good stories.
Playing alongside Jordan Wright, Weaver developed a reputation as a ball-hawking rusher with great size. At 6-foot-5 and 242 pounds with good speed, he’s able to shed off blockers and has shown that he isn’t afraid to lay the lumber when the time calls for it.
This past season, Weaver racked up six sacks, 47 total tackles, two forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries. He suffered an arm injury suffered in Week 3 vs. Youngstown State led to him missing two games.
The high point of Weaver’s season came in the Week 2 win at then-No. 12 Florida when he recorded a career-high nine tackles in the 26-16 win over the Gators.
For his career, Weaver currently has 117 tackles, 70 of those being solo, 10 sacks, three forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries, and two interceptions. He nearly had a scoop-and-score against Louisville in Kentucky’s 26-13 victory in the final regular season game of the year.
If Weaver can stay healthy and continues his development next season, he should easily be Kentucky’s best pass rusher and a potential All-SEC selection.
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