Two of Kentucky’s defensive stars preview the offense


Kentucky defensive lineman Marquan McCall high fives teammates as they run onto the field for the game against Missouri on Saturday, Oct. 26, 2019, at Kroger Field in Lexington, Kentucky. Photo by Jordan Prather | Staff

Barkley Truax

If anyone knows what it’s like to go up against Liam Coens’ offense, it’s the stars of Kentucky’s defense.

Everyday they go up against the high-powered, fast-paced offense led by Will Levis, Chris Rodriguez Jr. and Wan’Dale Robinson.

Fifth year defensive back Davonte Robinson knows better than anyone who BBN should be keeping an eye on from the receiver room. Of course, he included Wan’Dale Robinson and Josh Ali, but he added a few more names after that, including: Isaiah Epps, Chauncey Magwood, Rahsaan Lewis and others.

“Really the whole wide receiver room,” Robinson said. This should be music to Kentucky fan’s ears as the receiver room suffered tremendously in 2020 when it came to depth; it was truly a one-man show with Ali, who caught a UK-leading 54 balls for 473 yards (8.8 yards per) and one score.

Someone in particular, however, who has caught Robinson’s eye during camp is that of former wide receiver turned tight end, Izayah Cummings. “His ability to go up and get the ball and the way he runs after he catches the ball,” Robinson said about what has impressed him about Cummings’ transition. “Getting into space, he moves like a receiver, but (now) he plays tight end.”

“With the new offense we have, it’s brought more excitement to the team,” Robinson said. He said that when he’s on the sideline and sees some of the plays that the offense makes, he sits back and says to himself, “dang, that was crazy.”

But what does Kentucky’s offense have to offer?

“So many different things,” Marquan “Bully” McCall said. “They’ve just got so much stuff that they do … I like it.”McCall emphasized the many different sets the offense can throw at a defense and how difficult it is to defend; if it’s tough on Kentucky’s defense, it’ll be tough on any defense. “Literally,” he said. “It’s like, a lot, a lot.”

McCall, a 340-pound nose guard, knows all too well about the tradition of the Big Blue Wall, which is led by one of the highest-ranked offensive linemen in the nation in Darian Kinnard at right tackle. McCall’s experience going against one of the top offensive lines has kept him ready, especially against Kentucky’s new starting center, Luke Fortner.

“Luke gives me good work everyday,” McCall said. “… He just keeps pushing me. To me, he’s one of the best centers out there right now because like I said, he keeps working and never gives up.”

With an O-Line that’s expected to be one of the toughest in the SEC, a superstar transfer at wide receiver in (Wan’Dale) Robinson, returning one of the top running backs in the country in Rodriguez Jr. and the cherry on top, a quarterback with an arm like Levis; this offense has the potential to create some nightmare scenarios for their SEC opponents.

“We’re just excited to see (the offense) on Saturdays,” Robinson said; something BBN can agree with.