Kentucky’s defensive line entered spring as one of the stronger units of its team, but depth and experience took a hit recently when starting tackle Donte Rumph went down with what Mark Stoops called ‘a fairly significant injury’.
Kentucky needs depth and impact players across the board, and that’s not a knock against the team but rather the reality of the program and league they play in. But if there was one position that Stoops felt remotely confident in, it would be the defensive line.
The senior Rumph was looking to be the interior anchor for the Wildcats, but now it looks like he’ll miss significant time and could need surgery to repair the damage, via the Courier-Journal.
“It’s a big loss,” Stoops said. “He probably is the most consistent player we had going on defense.”
Stoops will update Rumph’s status Friday, but some speculate he could miss a portion of the fall or even the entire 2013 season, depending on how significant the injury turns out to be.
Kentucky defensive line coach Jimmy Brumbaugh now hopes other depth players step in and fill the massive 323-pound void.
“Other guys gotta step up now. … You’re going to have a drop-off, but the thing of it is: can you still function and will ballgames? … (Johnson) is not going to be the same kind of player Donte is, but he’s going to be functional for us to get through a game and do some things.”
Thomas Chapman and Tristian Johnson are two who must emerge in Rumph’s absence.
Rumph has started 18 career games and played in 34 total in his three-year career. He’s registered 79 career tackles, nine tackles for loss and five sacks. In 2012, Rumph notched 36 tackles, six tackles for loss and four sacks.
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