It's the most commonly asked question of the offseason. And it's not just coming from people holding microphones and recording devices, it's coming from fans at the mall and people in class next to them.
"We hear it almost every day," Farrington Huguenin said.
"We hear it A LOT," fellow defensive lineman Melvin Lewis agreed.
And it will be a question that remains until maybe halfway through next season: How will Kentucky replace Bud Dupree and Za'Darius Smith?
The bookend defensive ends were two of the Cats' top three tacklers. The duo, both expected to hear their names called in the NFL Draft in a couple of weeks, combined for 135 tackles, including 20 for loss and 12 quarterback sacks last season.
Dupree had five hurries and a game-sealing interception. Smith had four hurries of his own and a recovered fumble.
But the answer to the aforementioned frequently asked question isn't as simple as directions for an IKEA bookshelf. There's no "slot A into tab B" kind of solution.
There certainly are names getting thrown around, like redshirt freshman Denzil Ware and junior Jason Hatcher in the Dupree role. Kengera Daniel, an early enrollee, is a name to remember. Some players who haven't even arrived on campus yet are going to get some significant playing time.
Before his ankle injury, Kobie Walker was a name mentioned frequently as well as Jabari Johnson, who is sitting this spring healing from his own injury.
But replacing Smith and Dupree won't just be about whom.
It will be about "we" and most likely about scheme.
"You're going to have to make up for the plays those guys made, not necessarily with their position but as a defense," defensive coordinator D.J. Eliot said. "So we may have to make more plays at inside linebacker, may have to make more plays in the secondary, might have to make more plays at defensive tackle."
Coach Mark Stoops said the UK defense got a little spoiled having a player like Dupree, who was able to step in and pick up a new role quickly. Players like Hatcher and Ware are still trying to get comfortable playing with their hands off the ground.
"We really have to work with them a bunch because you're asking them to do a lot of things and something that's not real comfortable to them," Stoops said. "It takes some work."
It's meant a head-spinning spring at times for the new players, but the more repetition they get in scrimmages, the more comfortable they look, said Lewis, the only returning starter on Kentucky's defensive line.
"The younger guys will be able to step in and make a huge impact," Lewis assured.
Those newer players also have benefit of a new position coach in outside linebackers coach Andy Buh. His hire signaled that an already multiple defense will try to get a little bit more tricky in an effort to replace talent lost.
Buh's presence and ability to dive into the intricacies of what UK needs from its outside linebackers makes the 3-4 defense an even more potent option for Stoops.
"It's just more balanced," he said. "You just look at it structurally, it's more balanced on where you can bring movement and where you can bring pressures and change-ups ... it gives us again more flexibility in our disguise with our pressures."
There is one player who doesn't wonder how the Cats will get along without the defensive ends: Bud Dupree.
"Coach Stoops has a great plan to replace me and Z," he said. "The sky's the limit for this program."
A blue-tinted NFL Draft
When his name is called probably in the first round of the NFL Draft on April 30, Dupree will have his head coach by his side.
Stoops confirmed this week that the star defensive end/linebacker has asked him to accompany him to the event at Auditorium Theatre in Chicago.
"He asked me to go and I'm honored to go with him," Stoops said. "I certainly enjoyed going in the past with some of my ex players."
UK's head coach said he's been in touch with several NFL teams, including many that have stopped by campus. Dupree's spring break trips interviewing and working out for teams have only helped his stock, Stoops said.
"Quite a few head coaches and general managers, and there's a common theme: Everybody is saying, 'Is he as good a kid as he appears?'" Stoops relayed. "He's done nothing but help himself both on the field and off. He's done everything right. Very proud of him."
Seeing the UK logo and a prominent name on draft day probably can't hurt the Cats' recruiting either. If most mock drafts hold, Dupree will be Kentucky's first opening-round draft pick since defensive tackle Dewayne Robertson in 2003 and just the school's 16th overall.
"I hope it (helps) a little bit," Stoops said of Dupree getting a high pick. "I think it will, just the exposure, the exposure that he's getting right now. People seeing our recruits and our players at the draft and being first-round draft picks, it can only help."
Having 'the talk'
Dupree sought feedback on his NFL potential a season ago and ultimately opted to stick around after Stoops put out some feelers and told the defensive end that he was a likely second- or third-round pick.
"He told me I've got the same potential, could even go higher (next draft)," Dupree said last spring, so the junior decided to come back for his final season.
At Kentucky's Pro Day last month, Stoops said he was glad he didn't have to do much convincing to get Dupree to stay.
"We sat and had a conversation and to be honest with you, I was pleasantly surprised at how that went," Stoops said. "He really had in his mind that he wanted to come back."
Stoops said he was prepared to present Dupree with the pros and cons, much like John Calipari does on a yearly basis with NBA Draft prospects at Kentucky.
"That's a tough position to be in sometimes as a head coach," Stoops said. "I would certainly give him my honest assessment. I've seen that work against somebody before, too, where they've come back and gotten injured and things like that. It's a tough call.
"Certainly there's times when players it's in his best interest to take off. ... I've had them before in football. I remember being at Miami and having Sean Taylor and he was a true junior. He had only been in college five semesters and I said, 'It's time for you to go,' and he did. He left and was a top-10 pick."
Offensive line movement
Spring is the season for shuffling, at least as it pertains to the Kentucky offensive line.
"It's a great time to find out what guys can do at different spots," John Schlarman said Monday after the Cats scrimmaged a few days before and had several players shifting sides of the line as well as positions.
For instance, sophomore Cole Mosier played almost exclusively at guard last season, but because he played tackle in high school, Schlarman has been testing him at that spot some in the spring.
"By the end of spring, we'll have a good feel for where he's at and whether he's a guy I can move out there or if he earns the starting spot out there," Schlarman said of the former walk-on who played in 12 games last season and started in two. "You never know, but at least we'll know."
It's a similar pattern with true freshman George Asafo-Adjei, who came early to see if he could work into the UK rotation. Right now, UK is playing the 6-foot-5, 315-pound freshman from Ohio at right tackle, but he could shift to guard.
"If we can find out that he can play tackle and do that for our team, it would really help us," Schlarman said. "You don't have as many tackles typically as you do guards."
Redshirt freshman Bunchy Stallings is getting reps between both left guard and center, a position he played in an Air Raid offense in high school. That doesn't mean that Stallings is going to overtake second-string center Zach Myers, whom Schlarman said has had "a great spring."
"Bunchy's fastest path to the field might end up being left guard," the offensive line coach said. "So I'm trying him out there, too. He's done some good things."
The Cats are still dealing with some injuries and precautionary holds this spring, but in last Saturday's scrimmage, the first-team offensive line had Kyle Meadows, Ramsey Meyers, Jon Toth (center), Jordan Swindle and Nick Haynes.
The second string included three redshirt freshmen in Jarrett LaRubbio, Stallings and Nick Richardson as well as Asafo-Adjei and Myers at center.
'He knocked me on my butt'
Jacob Hyde is getting more attention working at a position he's never played in a game than he ever did in a couple of years as a backup defensive tackle.
Quiet and unassuming, Hyde isn't one to eat up the attention, but his coaches and teammates have been plenty excited to discuss the prospect of a 333-pound defensive lineman playing part-time fullback.
"Can you imagine a 330-pound fullback with a full head of steam coming at you and you're a 230-pound linebacker, it's not going to be good," tight ends coach Vince Marrow joked last week. It was Marrow and wide receivers coach Tommy Mainord who first discussed putting Hyde on offense after last season's departure of full-time fullback D.J. Warren (6-foot, 251 pounds).
Marrow wondered aloud what it must be like for Hyde to go back into his defensive meetings and face the guys he helped plow down in practice "because he brings the boom on them guys."
Defensive end Denzil Ware gulped the first time he spied Hyde on the opposite side of the line, calling it "scary, scary."
"I tried to juke Big Hyde," the 6-foot-2, 249-pounder said. "I didn't really want to meet him in the hole. But then, after a while, I was like, 'Man, I gotta hit him either way it goes.' So when I first hit him, he knocked me on my butt."
Since that first time, Ware said he's tried to "take it like a man."
Hyde, one of the two or three strongest players in the UK weight room, will open some holes for the offense, the defensive player said. "Don't nobody wanna hit that all the time. Teams don't want to hit Hyde all the time. So that's going to be real good for us in the season."
Inquiring minds wanted to know if the change of position (at least part time) would mean a change of jersey number for Hyde, who now wears No. 66. UK spokesman Tony Neely said it was possible. "TBA until it is decided if playing fullback is a long-term plan."