DeQuin Evans' senior year hasn't gone anything like he planned. The Kentucky defensive end was a pre-season All-Southeastern Conference second-team selection after a 38-tackle, six-sack season in 2009.
With only two regular-season games and a possible bowl remaining, Evans' 2010 numbers are perplexing: eight tackles, two tackles for loss, and one sack.
Evans has missed only one game, UK's 31-28 win over South Carolina. But he said he's been slowed considerably by ankle and shoulder problems that have forced him to take injections to control inflammation. The injuries caused Evans to miss a good portion of spring practice and nearly all of fall camp.
"I feel like I'm a mechanic going in with some tools that are not mine," Evans said. "I feel like I'm not doing the job the way that I would with my own tools. I don't have my strength that I used to have, and my endurance has gone down because of my ankle. It's just been real frustrating for me, knowing what kind of play I can bring to the table but just can't show it because I'm limited with these injuries."
Evans said he's still not completely healthy but feels better than he did earlier in the season.
"There's still a lot of season left," Evans said. "I feel like there's some opportunities out there — not for myself, but us as a team — and we have to be ready to take advantage of them."
Kentucky offensive lineman Billy Joe Murphy has been elected to the ESPN Academic All-District IV team, voted on by the College Sports Information Directors of America.
Murphy has a 3.63 grade-point average with a major in kinesiology and has been a three-year member of the SEC Academic Honor Roll. Murphy has filled in as a reserve at guard and tackle and started two games at right tackle.
Murphy advances to the national ballot for the ESPN Academic All-America team, announced in December.
Big Blue Crush to begin
The 23rd annual Big Blue Crush, the blood-drive competition between UK and Tennessee, runs from Nov. 15-19. There will be a Big Blue Crush Kickoff on Monday at 9:30 a.m. at the Singletary Center. UK Coach Joker Phillips will participate.
Tennessee leads the competition 12-9-1. UK hasn't won since 2002.