ESPN recently came out with a list of their top 10 SEC defensive ends for the 2014 season, and Kentucky’s ends–Bud Dupree and Za’Darius Smith–were among those chosen (which is quite a statement given the SEC’s reputation for talented defensive linemen).
“4. Bud Dupree, Sr., Kentucky: Having successfully made the transition from outside linebacker to end last season when Mark Stoops and his staff arrived, the 6-4, 267-pound Dupree has finished in the top 10 in the SEC in sacks each of the past two seasons. He’s the essence of consistency and has made at least three tackles in each of the 26 games he’s started in his college career.
10. Za’Darius Smith, Sr., Kentucky: The other half of Kentucky’s talented end tandem, the 6-6, 264-pound Smith made a big impact a year ago after coming over from junior college. He finished with six sacks and had a sack or tackle for loss in six games. Junior college players typically make a big jump in their second year in the program, which means Smith could easily take off in 2014.”
Here’s how the rest of the list looks:
1. Dante Fowler, Jr., Florida
2. Trey Flowers, Sr., Arkansas
3. Markus Golden, Sr., Missouri
4. Bud Dupree, Sr., Kentucky
5. Carl Lawson, So., Auburn
6. Shane Ray, Jr., Missouri
7. Danielle Hunter, Jr., LSU
8. C.J Johnson, Jr., Ole Miss
9. Jonathan Allen, So., Alabama
10. Za’Darius Smith, Sr., Kentucky