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Reports: Kentucky hiring Jon Sumrall, a former Wildcat, as linebackers coach

Mark Stoops: ‘Next year will be the smallest class I’ve signed’

University of Kentucky football head coach Mark Stoops spoke to press about the introduction of M.J. Devonshire from Pennsylvania, and how the next football seasons would be the smallest signing class he's had.
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University of Kentucky football head coach Mark Stoops spoke to press about the introduction of M.J. Devonshire from Pennsylvania, and how the next football seasons would be the smallest signing class he's had.

Former Kentucky linebacker Jon Sumrall is joining Mark Stoops’ coach staff, according to Rivals reports.

A three-year letterman at UK from 2002 to 2004 under head coaches Guy Morriss and Rich Brooks, Sumrall was linebackers coach last season at Ole Miss under Rebels’ defensive coordinator and former UK assistant Wesley McGriff.

UK said Tuesday it had no comment on the reports of Sumrall’s hiring.

A native of Huntsville, Ala., Sumrall started every game his senior season, leading the Cats in tackles. He served as a graduate assistant coach on Brooks’ staff in 2005 and 2006 before following former UK assistant Ron Caragher to San Diego.

After five years at San Diego, Sumrall was co-defensive coordinator at Tulane for three seasons. He then spent three seasons at Troy as assistant head coach, linebackers coach and special teams coordinator. In the 2016 season under head coach Neal Brown, Troy finished 10-3 and the Trojans’ defense was second nationally in passes intercepted, fourth in turnovers forced and 17th in rush defense.

Troy won 11 games in 2017 with its defense ranking first in red zone defense, second in tackles for loss per game, seventh in run defense and 11th in scoring defense. Sumrall joined Ole Miss on Jan. 22, 2018.

Sumrall would presumably take the staff spot opened up when former inside linebackers coach and defensive coordinator Matt House left to become linebackers coach with the NFL’s Kansas City Chiefs.

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John Clay is a sports columnist for the Lexington Herald-Leader. A native of Central Kentucky, he covered UK football from 1987 until being named sports columnist in 2000. He has covered 20 Final Fours and 37 consecutive Kentucky Derbys.
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