The college football season is right around the corner, and the Kentucky Wildcats are looking for a breakout season from one of their defensive leaders.
Redshirt senior J.J. Weaver is back for his 5th season in Lexington, and the Kentucky native is looking for a breakout senior season.
Weaver’s career has been hindered by the injury bug as he tore his ACL in 2020, which led to him playing at less than 100% in 2021. The 2022 season was off to a strong start for Weaver, but an elbow injury held him out of two games and lingered the rest of the season.
For his career, Weaver has appeared in 35 games with 16 starts. He has totaled 120 tackles (23.5 for loss), 9.5 sacks, 47 pressures, 3 forced fumbles, and 2 interceptions.
Heading into the 2023 season, Weaver has added weight that he hopes will prevent another injury setback and lead to a huge season.
In an interview with Kentucky Sports Radio, Kentucky defensive coordinator Brad White talked about Weaver and the weight he has added this offseason.
“Whenever you add good weight, and you can continue to stay strong and fast and explosive, that added girth allows you to hold point better in the run game,” Brad White said. “Gives you a little more push when you go speed-to-power in the pass rush. So there’s a lot of obvious added benefits to that.”
He continued, “The comparisons to when Josh [Allen] made that jump between his junior and senior year, you could see he was just able to play stouter. It also, in a lot of cases, it allows you to play with less injury.”
The hope is that the less injury part holds true, and Weaver can spend more time on the field for Kentucky’s defense which could be a huge difference maker for the Cats in 2023.
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