As many SEC football fans know, Deone Walker is an elite NFL talent and has shown raw skill, even getting TRIPLE-TEAMED during SEC games. As a natural-born leader himself, Brad White spoke about the commitment and value of a young player like Deone Walker. Although the 6-6 348-lb defensive tackle played in all 13 games and started in 11 of them in 2022, White made sure to let media know during media day that there is still room for improvement.
Some may ask, 'what particularly is the next step for Walker?' Becoming more of a vocal leader. After a sit-down with head coach Mark Stoops, defensive line coach Anwar Stewart and defensive coordinator Brad White in the offseason, Walker realized that he needed to be a leader for Kentucky to play their best defense game in and game out. After telling media that he walked out of that meeting knowing that he was the main focus on defense, the true sophomore from Detroit told media that not only is he up for the challenge, but that he loved how much staff and fellow teammates were rallying behind him to be put in a position to lead the defense.
Walker made it apparent on media day that by becoming a vocal leader, he's had to work on holding his teammates accountable, keep them motivated and keep the overall morale up. Yes, this a SOPHOMORE saying this. After last year's remarkable true freshman season, Walker felt that although he was a leader, he failed to do those things and focused more on leading by example than taking the reins for himself.
As we've mentioned several times on Caturday Checkdown, Kentucky will need to establish more of a pass rush to hold their weight on the defensive side of the ball. Could this be the year that Kentucky establishes a healthy dose of a rushing front 7?