Jen Smith on UK Football

Wednesday’s practice report: A deep dive into defensive line

Wednesday’s practice report

On the defense’s day with the media, there was lots of talk about defensive linemen — newcomers and veterans alike — who could become impact players for a position group that needs to have loads more punch this season.

Here’s a rundown: Defensive tackle Tymere Dubose, whom Coach Mark Stoops held out of spring practices to get him more focused on academics, is working his way back to football shape. That included some extra work on the field after practice with a trainer. “He’s done some good things,” defensive coordinator Matt House said of Dubose, who played in 15 career games and has seven tackles. “He’s a big guy in the run game. He’s flashed, but then there’s sometimes where you can tell he’s rusty, too.”

•  Of the younger players, for whom Stoops is trying to get more reps early in camp, Quinton Bohanna, a 6-foot-4, 320-pound lineman from Cordova, Tenn., has stood out so far. Defensive line coach Derrick LeBlanc called the three-star prospect a “surprising young guy.” Bohanna saw some reps with the second string on Wednesday. “We're gonna throw him in the fire and see what he can do,” LeBlanc said. “But great surprise from Quinton so far.” The newcomer has had a good first few days, his coordinator said. “He’s a guy that’s kinda flashed a little bit, and I hope we can continue to see him grow.”

•  Coaches seem pleased with the progress of sophomore defensive end T.J. Carter, who moved to the top spot on the depth chart after the dismissal of Alvonte Bell in the summer. “He’s very athletic,” House said. “He’s got good size. He’s a guy that can help us stop the run because he is so big and athletic. He’s good when you put him in the move, when you stunt him.” It’s just two days with helmets and two days with shoulder pads, but two other players who have caught LeBlanc’s eye are Kordell Looney and Calvin Taylor. Of Taylor, LeBlanc said he “is showing some really good stuff right now. He’s a big kid. He’s 6-5-plus, 295, and he’s got really long arms. So he’s showing up right now.”

•  Junior college transfer Phil Hoskins, who is coming back from two shoulder surgeries, has been able to do some individual work and is on pace for a return a few games into the season, coaches said. He could be back to contact drills as early as next week, LeBlanc said.

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