By LARRY VAUGHT
Kentucky’s defense needs a lot of players to become playmakers to replace most of the key players off last year’s defensive unit that helped Kentucky win 10 games.
True freshman Jared Casey of Louisville enrolled at UK in January in hopes that he could be a help during the 2019 season.
“I’m younger than the early enrollees so it is challenging. It’s a lot more physical, a lot, but I’m going to get there. I’ve learned a lot,” Casey said after making six tackles in last week’s Blue-White Game. “I’m really glad I came in early and got a lot of reps. If I would’ve come in later, I don’t know how things would’ve turned out.”
Why is that?
“You got to adjust quick because they throw you in the fire,” Casey said. “You have to adjust real quick. You got to run faster. You can’t think too much. You got to play fast but not think too much. That’s been the biggest issue.”
Sophomore linebacker Chris Oats got limited experience last year but figures to be one of the team’s featured playmakers this season.
“I think I got a lost faster and stronger and communicated better,” Casey said. “I am starting to be a leader out there now, I’m not a freshman any more so it’s time to take another step.”
Oats was part of the winning defense that dominated younger, less experienced players on offense in the Blue-White Game.
“If we didn’t dominate, it was something bad going on our part. We gave up two scores, we shouldn’t have given up any,” Casey said. “They had a lot of young players out there so the thing was just for them to go out there and play fast and play fun and stop thinking as much. So, I think they did good, just got to go to film and correct our mistakes.”