UK Football

With just one tackle on Senior Day, this Kentucky player will enter an exclusive club.

Mike Edwards’ pants problem

Kentucky safety Mike Edwards split his pants on the way to SEC Football Media Days. Luckily, he found an alterations shop in Alabama.
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Kentucky safety Mike Edwards split his pants on the way to SEC Football Media Days. Luckily, he found an alterations shop in Alabama.

In one breath, Mike Edwards sounds like an old man discussing his long, five years spent at Kentucky.

In his next breath, he talks about how fast it has flown by, these seasons of playing next to a veteran UK secondary that features a lot of outgoing seniors like Edwards and fellow safety Darius West as well as cornerbacks Derrick Baity, Chris Westry and Lonnie Johnson.

“I’ve got 2-3 more games with you all,” Edwards recalled looking around and thinking this week.

“I’ve grown a bond with these guys and it’s really going to hurt not playing with them anymore.”

But before the sappy “End of the Road” music starts playing on their Kentucky careers, Edwards has some work to do, including getting one more, all-important tackle.

There’s been a lot of talk in recent weeks about Josh Allen being on the verge of becoming UK’s all-time sacks leader, but another senior is about to etch his name in UK football history as well.

With his first tackle on Senior Day at Kroger Field on Saturday, Edwards will move into exclusive company.

The senior safety from Cincinnati needs just one more tackle to become the 19th player in school history to enter the 300-tackles club at Kentucky.

It’s an exclusive group, and most names ares recognizable to fans immediately, including players such as Jim Kovach, Marty Moore, Art Still, Wesley Woodyard and Danny Trevathan.

The group gets even more exclusive when you consider that Edwards is only the second defensive back in Kentucky history to do it.

Mike Edwards
Senior safety Mike Edwards (7) needs one more tackle to enter an exclusive club at Kentucky. It’s especially hard for defensive backs to get into. Alex Slitz aslitz@herald-leader.com

The only other player from the secondary to record 300-plus tackles in his UK career is Darryl Bishop, who managed the feat in three seasons. He finished his time at UK with 348 total tackles, including eye-popping numbers in his first two seasons with 146 in 1972 and 136 in 1973.

Bishop was drafted in the 16th round by the Cincinnati Bengals in 1974.

Edwards has a few more games to try and catch the club’s only defensive back. For his career, the UK senior has 299 career tackles, including 18.5 tackles for loss and 1.5 sacks.

The safety, who opted to come back for his final season after testing the NFL Draft waters, also has nine career interceptions and 23 pass breakups along with a forced fumble and a recovered one.

“There’s a lot of reasons I came back, but that’s one of the reasons, I wanted to share even more greater bond with my teammates, get some wins (against teams) we haven’t beaten,” Edwards said Wednesday. “Just more wins, more opportunities.”

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This season, he’s third on the team in tackles with 63 and second in tackles for loss with seven.

And while the 300-tackles club will be a nice list to join, Edwards seemed most proud of being a part of a large group that has helped change the culture around Kentucky football during his five years on campus.

“Just put in the work,” he said of the departing players. “We didn’t have that many five-star, four-star people on this team. Came from the bottom. Stars don’t matter. We’ve got two stars, three stars and now they’re getting drafted high. We’ve all put in the work.”

Saturday

Middle Tennessee at Kentucky

When: Noon

TV: SEC Network alternate

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