Kentucky senior Alvin “Bud” Dupree has been named to the preseason Ted Hendricks Award Watch List, according to a media release by the UK Athletics Department. The official Watch List was released Tuesday by the Hendricks Foundation.

The Hendricks Award, given to the nation’s top defensive end each year, is one of three watch lists Dupree has been named to this preseason; he was also named to the Chuck Bednarik and Bronko Nagurski Award Watch Lists (both awards are given to the top defensive player in college football).

Since moving from outside linebacker to defensive end with the hiring of UK head coach Mark Stoops prior to the 2013 season, Dupree has been among the best defensive linemen in the nation. His seven sacks in 2013 led Kentucky and were sixth in the SEC. His 61 tackles led all SEC defensive linemen, and his 9.5 tackles for loss and two forced fumbles were both team-highs.

By season’s end, he earned second-team All-SEC honors from both Phil Steele and the Associated Press.

The 6-foot-4, 265-pound senior  has 26 career starts and 16 career sacks for the Wildcats. He and fellow defensive end Za’Darius Smith will be looked upon as the anchors of the defense after UK lost its leading tackler (linebacker Avery Williamson) and top three defensive tackles off last year’s team.

The Hendricks foundation will narrow its list to 4-6 finalists in November, and this year’s winner of the Hendricks Award will be announced on December 10. Dupree was one of 29 players named to the Watch List, and one of six SEC players on the list.

Other SEC players named to the Hendricks Award Watch List include:

  • Trey Flowers – Arkansas
  • Markus Golden – Missouri
  • Dante Fowler Jr. – Florida
  • Carl Lawson – Auburn
  • A’Shawn Robinson – Alabama

Only two SEC defensive ends have won the award since its inception in 2002:

  • David Pollack – Georgia (2003 & 2004)
  • Jadaveon Clowney – South Carolina (2012)