Veteran defenders anxiously await Senior Day


Kentucky Wildcats linebacker Josh Allen (41) during Cat Walk before UK’s game against UT. University of Kentucky’s football team lost to University of Tennessee, 24-7, at Neyland Stadium on Saturday, Nov. 10, 2018 in Knoxville, Tennessee. Photo by Michael Clubb | Staff

Cody Ryan

After practice Wednesday, the UK football team’s defensive players talked about their emotional Senior Day game against Middle Tennessee this weekend.

With numerous seniors playing in their last home game, the game will be soaked in sadness– and possibly tears.

Senior linebacker Josh Allen has been named a finalist for the Nagurski Trophy, a trophy awarded to the nation’s top defensive player. Out of all college football players, Allen ranks second in forced fumbles, third in sacks and 11th in tackles for loss.

Allen needs a half-sack to become UK’s career sack leader.

“That was one of my goals, to break records,” Allen said. “I came back [for my senior season] to break records.”

Allen said he is proud and sad thinking ahead to senior night. He knows this will be an emotional game.

“The bonds I made with a lot of guys, I feel like I made a lot of family members, a lot of brothers, a lot of friends,” Allen said.

The senior defensive players know their time on the Kentucky football team is nearing the end. Senior safety Mike Edwards doesn’t think he will be brought to tears on Senior Day.

“I won’t cry, but I’ll be sad, though, for sure,” Edwards said.

Senior cornerback Derrick Baity Jr. knows Senior Day will be emotional, but the realization of this being his last home game hasn’t entered his mind completely. He said he’s going to miss playing with all the seniors and hearing the cheers of Big Blue Nation the most.

Baity wasn’t sure if the emotions of Senior Day would pull him to tears.

“I don’t know yet,” Baity said. “I’m a tough dude. I don’t like to show my emotions.”

Edwards joked that Allen is the teammate who is most likely to cry.

“He’s big, but he’s soft in the heart,” Edwards said.

“I don’t know, I probably will, I probably won’t, that‘s a game time decision,” Allen said when asked if he would cry on Senior Day.

No. 20 Kentucky plays Middle Tennessee on Senior Day at noon Saturday at Kroger Field.