Karl-Anthony Towns just realizing his potential

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Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Bud Dupree will more than likely hear his name called in the first round of the NFL Draft in April and Z’Darius Smith should follow in the third. That leaves a couple of holes on the Kentucky Wildcats defensive line and freshman to be Daniel Kengera is ready to become the next great Mark Stoops DE.

"“First of all, he’s a high character guy,” Stoops said. “He’s got great size, great length. He’s an unbelievable student. So he’s the type of guy you’re looking for in your program.” At jack linebacker, Daniel will compete with junior Jason Hatcher and redshirt freshman Denzil Ware for playing time. Hatcher appeared in 11 games with six starts as a sophomore, totaling 28 tackles, 5.5 tackles for loss and 1.5 sacks, but he will need help to replace Dupree’s production. Dupree ranked second on the team with 74 tackles in 2014. He led the team with 12.5 tackles for loss and 7.5 sacks and also forced two fumbles, blocked a kick and returned an interception for a touchdown. At the other defensive end spot, Smith totaled 61 tackles, 7.5 tackles for loss and 4.5 sacks. He recovered one fumble. Dupree is expected to be picked in the first round of April’s NFL draft, and Smith go could in the first four rounds as well. As both players prepare for the draft, they have already helped tutor Daniel during his first months on campus. “I see them just about every day, actually,” Daniel said. “They come in here and work out…I hang out with them, talk to them about what they did, of course how they worked to get there, what it took. So I want to follow that same path.” Daniel pointed to the chance for early playing time as a key factor in his decision to attend Kentucky. The on-field results have not been what Stoops or fans would like in his first two seasons in Lexington, but Daniel has hope he and the rest of the 2015 class can help turn things around. “They’re just now getting their recruits in that they want to play,” Daniel said. “They had freshmen playing, doing pretty big things, so I know that I can come in early and do the same and it will progress.”"

It’s not exactly breaking news but being the head football coach for the Kentucky Wildcats is one of the toughest jobs in the SEC.  Some ESPN pundits wrote about this recently and Kentucky was named by one of the four pundits as the toughest job.

"Sam Khan: Kentucky When you have a reputation as a basketball school in a conference that is so well-known for its football dominance, it’s never easy. But that’s reality for Kentucky. The Wildcats are similar to Vanderbilt in terms of historical win total (Vanderbilt actually has more all-time wins, while Kentucky has more SEC wins than Vandy), so expectations aren’t always high. In recruiting, Kentucky has to battle not only other SEC teams but also Big Ten teams given Lexington’s proximity to Ohio, which is Big Ten country. That said, Mark Stoops and his staff are to be commended for the success they’ve had recruiting Ohio since his arrival. Fortunately for Cats fans, Stoops currently has the program moving in the right direction, and the school has shown financial commitment not only to Stoops but also to improving facilities with renovations to Commonwealth Stadium and plans for a new practice and training facility."