Jen Smith on UK Football

Freshman working his way into the brotherhood: ‘They call me blitz baby’

Josh Paschal wants to build off debut

Kentucky defensive end Josh Paschal, a true freshman, talks about his play last Saturday in the Cats' season-opening win.
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Kentucky defensive end Josh Paschal, a true freshman, talks about his play last Saturday in the Cats' season-opening win.

Kentucky’s self-proclaimed “blitz brothers” might be in the process of adopting.

Josh Paschal, who had a key stop at the end of the Southern Miss game and has drawn praise from coaches for his play as a freshman, said he’s working his way into the blitz brothers family of fellow outside linebackers Denzil Ware and Josh Allen.

“They call me blitz baby,” smiled Paschal, who hardly looks the part of baby at 6-foot-3, 270 pounds.

“They always say that because of my baby face, because I’m a freshman and I’ve got a baby face.”

Lots of players want to get into the blitz brothers group, Ware joked, but there’s still work to be done for Paschal, whom the two have been mentoring.

“You gotta work your ranks up,” Ware said of Paschal. “So right now, he’s blitz baby and if he keep on going up, he’ll be on (the next) level, blitz cousin. He’s just gotta work for it.”

Ware may have elevated himself a little bit, too, after his fumble recovery for a touchdown against the Golden Eagles on Saturday.

“Oh, I’m blitz daddy now,” Ware joked.

For Paschal to truly elevate himself to blitz brother status, he’s got to start acquiring quarterback sacks, though.

“He’s just gonna have to ball out, gonna have to stand out,” Ware continued of the freshman. “Blitz bros stand out. It’s all a team, though. … He gotta get his name in that sack race. Until then he’s going to be blitz baby. I got faith he’ll come along.”

In the sack race, Allen and Ware are tied at one apiece after one game. Allen had three tackles for loss and a forced fumble in the opener. Ware added a forced fumble and two fumble recoveries.

Both players have helped Paschal grow his game since he arrived on campus, the freshman said.

“Both of them are great with sacks and third-down pass rushers. They’ve really helped me a lot,” he said. “There’s really a brotherhood here.”

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