Notes on Kentucky’s defense during spring practice


Kentucky Wildcats defensive coordinator Matt House coaches the defense during the blue white spring game at Commonwealth Stadium on Friday, April 14, 2017 in Lexington, KY. Photo by Addison Coffey | Staff.

Roman West

As UK’s third spring practice wrapped up on Thursday, it was the defense’s turn to speak to media on how the early practices are going.

Next year’s defense returns 24 lettermen, including 10 starters. The defensive starter who is not returning is linebacker Courtney Love, a gap that the staff looks to redshirt freshman linebacker Alex King to help fill.

Defensive Coordinator Matt House, outside linebackers coach Brad White. special teams coordinator Dean Hood and King all came out to speak to the media on Thursday morning. Here’s what they had to say:

Matt House

House was focused on developing his defense. While there is a lot of talent on the team, there’s fear about how much depth they have.

“That’s what spring’s for,” House said. “We’re developing depth.”

House hopes to get Kash Daniel, who is in his third spring football, some more reps this season.

Brad White

White is in his first season at UK after spending his past six seasons with the Indianapolis Colts. White comes into a good situation, returning All-SEC players Josh Allen and Denzil Ware.

“It’s a great group,” White said of his new team. “They come to work every day.”

White hopes to get the best 11 players on the field this season, which may include sophomore Josh Paschal.

“You watch [Paschal] on film last year, you knew wherever you put him he was going to be a dominant force,” White said.

Dean Hood

Hood will share his role as defensive backs coach with Steve Clinkscale, with head coach Mark Stoops having the final say-so in decisions.

“There’s one voice in the room,” Hood said when asked if it’s hard to coach with two other guys at the same position. “That’s Coach Stoops.”

The special teams will have a new look after losing both the starting kicker and punter from last season.

For punting, they will look to 24-year-old sophomore Max Duffy, an Australian rated as the No. 1 punting prospect in the class of 2018 by Ray Guy’s

Replacing the school’s all-time leading scorer Austin MacGinnis will be up to Miles Butler, who hit 4-of-4 FGs and 11-12 PATs in 2015.

Alex King

King is one of the guys that the staff is looking to fill the absence in the MIKE position. King said that during his redshirt season he gained the weight the coaching staff asked him to put on.

In the spirit of March Madness, King made a basketball comparison talking about his new position.

“MIKE is the point guard of the defense,” King said. “You have to know the calls, formations, everything.”