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.
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.”