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Kentucky: Who replaces Bud Dupree at LB?

Every year, programs must replace key players.

The next three weeks I’ll take a look at 13 SEC programs (Chip Towers and Seth Emerson have UGA covered) and a key player who must be replaced this season.

Jabari Johnson had 20 tackles and four tackles for loss for Kentucky in 2014. (AP photo)

Jabari Johnson had 20 tackles and four tackles for loss for Kentucky in 2014. (AP photo)

Who replaces Bud Dupree? Some folks might consider it impossible to replace a player so versatile and talented as Dupree, who Pittsburgh selected with the 22nd pick of the NFL Draft.

Jabari Johnson (6-1, 276), who went to Stephenson High, might be able to provide the pass rush of Dupree, who had a combined 20 sacks and tackles for loss last fall, and Jason Hatcher (6-3, 242) was a protégé of Dupree the past two years.

Hatcher had 5½ tackles for loss last season and is moving around a lot in Kentucky’s 3-4 scheme, much like Dupree did.

“Jason’s a guy that I’m really excited about. … ” Kentucky coach Mark Stoops said this spring. “He’s very explosive. He’s always been a great pass rusher. He’s getting more and more comfortable on his feet and more and more versatile.”


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