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Mark Stoops expects “big things” out of Jamar “Boogie” Watson

Linebacker Jamar “Boogie” Watson had 11.5 tackles for loss last season. (Wade Upchurch Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

He was not quite the unknown Josh Allen was when he came to Kentucky or totally ignored by Division I football coaches like Calvin Taylor was in high school but senior linebacker Jamar “Boogie” Watson was not expected to be the player he has been — or could become next season.

He was a three-star recruit out of Maryland who did not play football until his junior year of high school when he had 74 tackles and a 75-yard touchdown return for a score. He was also a standout basketball player who earned several Division I scholarship offers.

Watson had a huge junior year for Kentucky. He started 11 games and had 36 tackles, including a team-high 11.5 tackles for loss and a team-high seven quarterback hurries. He also had 6.5 quarterback sacks (tired for sixth in the SEC), forced a fumble and recovered a fumble.

Just how good could Watson be as a senior? Kentucky coach Mark Stoops said it was “definitely a possibility” that Watson could have a Josh Allen type of season. In case you forgot, Allen was the consensus national defensive player of the year in 2018 when UK won the Citrus Bowl. He became a first round pick of Jacksonville.

“I know Boogie is highly motivated. He’s worked really hard,” Stoops said. “Just like any player, you go through some ups and downs, mentally, physically. I know he was highly motivated to put it all together this last year, to be a great leader, to be a great teammate, to do everything necessary to prepare himself for this year.

“There’s a guy I have full confidence in. During this time he’s doing everything he can to make sure he’s ready to play. I do expect big things out of Boogie.”

1 comment

  1. Yeah, all us football fans expect Boogie to bring it hard in 2020 if there is a season. If there is no football in 2020, I hope all these athletes get an extra year of eligibility. I’m not getting my hopes up for either.

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