Kentucky appeared to be set in the middle of its defensive line, but there’s some bad news coming out of spring practice.
Senior defensive tackle Donte Rumph suffered what coach Mark Stoops described as a significant injury during practice Monday, and Rumph likely will need surgery.
Stoops declined to be specific about the nature of the injury, but it sure doesn’t sound good. Rumph is expected to miss the rest of the spring, and at this point, his availability for the season could be in question.
“He may be out for a while,” said Stoops, adding that the 6-foot-3, 323-pound Rumph had been the Wildcats’ most consistent player on defense this spring.
“It’s a big loss.”
With Rumph and fellow senior Mister Cobble in the middle of that defensive line, the Wildcats felt pretty good about their interior.
Senior Tristian Johnson is the next man up at tackle, and junior Christian Coleman and redshirt freshman Patrick Graffree could also factor prominently in the rotation, especially if Rumph is out long term.
Stoops expects to know more on Rumph’s prognosis later this week.
Some better news for the Wildcats defensively is that they like what they've seen from junior Alvin "Bud" Dupree and junior college newcomer Za'Darius Smith at the ends. Dupree looks like a natural at end after playing a couple of different linebacker spots and hybrid roles in the old defensive scheme last season. Dupree had 12.5 tackles for loss, including 6.5 sacks, a year ago to lead the Wildcats.