The Kentucky football program hasn’t had much success compared to their basketball or baseball counterparts, but Mark Stoops has a very special player on his Wildcats team that garners your attention.
Kentucky senior defensive end Alvin “Bud” Dupree is the leading returning sack artist in the SEC after a seven-sack season in 2013 and 6-4, 259-pound versatile defender thinks he will upstage former South Carolina defensive end and the No. 1 pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, Jadeveon Clowney, when he attends the combine next February.
“I definitely think I will blow the combine up,” Dupree said Thursday via NFL.com as SEC Media Days drew to a close. “… In the 40-yard dash, I probably can run a high 4.4 or a low 4.5. In the vertical jump, I can get a 41 or a 42, and in the broad jump, I know I can get 11 feet. I just have to keep working hard to match those numbers.”
Clowney ran a 4.53 with jumps of 37.5 and 10-4. The best jumps from defensive linemen last year were 40.5 and 10-9, so Dupre is already making it known in July that he will be the best in late-February for the next combine.
Dupre is more than just an athletic freak, and has the production on the field to back up his boasting.
He had 61 total tackles last season with 9.5 for loss and two forced fumbles in addition to his career-high seven sacks. The year before, Dupree has 91 total tackles as an outside linebacker, including 12.5 for loss and 6.5 sacks.
His versatility could mean he is better suited to play in a 3-4 defense than Clowney who will be asked to be an OLB in the Houston Texans defense despite never playing without his hand in the dirt as a 4-3 end.
Kentucky won’t have many stars to watch this season as Stoops continues to build the roster and change the culture in Lexington, but Dupree is the main event and reason enough to check in to see him on the field and if he can make the type of impact Clowney did as a Gamecock.
A big season will not be enough for Dupree who is already planning to put on a show for the NFL in seven months.