The Kentucky Wildcats are fully invested in their basketball season, but they have received some good news from the football program. Defensive end Za’Darius Smith has decided to come back for his senior year. Combined with the decision of Bud Smith to stay, the Wildcats will have a talented pair of defensive ends going into next season.
Head Coach Mark Stoops on the decision of both defensive ends:
“We are very excited that Bud and Za’Darius have decided to return. Obviously this is big for our team as we are counting on their leadership in the 2014 season,” Stoops said. “In regard to their future, I believe that Bud and Za’Darius will benefit greatly with another year of development on the field, in the weight room and in their academics.”
Specfically regarding Smith, this decision is probably the best one for him. Smith only started playing football as a senior in high school, was a JUCO transfer to Kentucky and has only played one season in the SEC. Another year of physical and technical development against that level of competition could be extremely valuable for him and with his physical ability, he could have a breakout year as a senior. The 6’6″ 254lb pass rusher had 24 tackles, 6.5 tackles for loss and 6 sacks in his junior year.