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JJ Weaver returning to Kentucky for final season

HUGE news for the Cats!

JJ Weaver Dylan Ballard - A Sea Of Blue

JJ Weaver is back!

With the Kentucky Wildcats in desperate need of pass-rushers, they just got a big one by keeping Weaver for one final season of college football, as the senior just announced he was returning for the 2024 season.

Weaver made the announcement on Twitter.

Weaver began his collegiate career as a class of 2019 recruit out of Moore Traditional School in Louisville, Kentucky. After redshirting his first year, Weaver showed promise as a rotational player in 2020 before suffering an ACL tear in November.

That was just one setback in a story of tremendous adversity Weaver has faced throughout his life. He was born with six fingers on his right hand — a condition known as polydactyly. Despite this, Weaver went on to become a standout football player and 4-star recruit who seemingly had everything going his way.

During the summer prior to the 2020 season, Weaver’s father was murdered. Then just five months later, he suffered a devastating knee injury that could have derailed a promising career.

However, Weaver would battle back to become a full-time player in the 2021 season, helping the Cats score just their fourth 10-win season in program history while recording six sacks, 10.5 tackles for loss, and two interceptions.

Unfortunately, Weaver battled injuries throughout the 2022 campaign, finishing with just three sacks and six tackles for loss.

This year, Weaver appeared in all 12 games while recording five sacks, 6.5 tackles for loss, two fumble recoveries, and one forced fumble.

While it wasn’t quite the season Weaver hoped for, but he saved his best for the regular-season finale at No. 10 Louisville. That day saw Weaver have one of his best games ever, he racked up eight total tackles, one sack, one tackle for loss, two fumble recoveries, and a forced fumble in the 38-31 victory.

It really can’t be overstated how big this is for Kentucky, as Weaver was widely expected to depart for the NFL Draft following the 2023 season. That would have left Kentucky dangerously thin in the pass-rushing department, and while they still need more firepower there, Weaver’s return solves a big part of that area.

Go Cats!

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