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De’Niro Laster, Kobie Walker impressing Stoops at linebacker

By LARRY VAUGHT

Kentucky needs to find playmakers at linebacker and Kentucky coach Mark Stoops sounded Tuesday that he likes what he is seeing from transfer De’Niro Laster and redshirt freshman Kobie Walker.

Stoops said Laster, a transfer from Minnesota, has a “high motor” daily and is being used at both inside and outside linebacker.

“He’s versatile. We’ve got to find the right spot for him. He could play outside; he could play inside just as well. I’m anxious to see how we progress here through spring and see how he does. I have high hopes for him and we’ve got to make sure we put him in the right spot,” Stoops said.

The coach had noted previously that offensive players said Laster was almost “unblockable” last year on the scout team.

“He likes the contact. He likes to pass rush. He is real physical. He is coachable. He is probably the most physical outside linebacker we have. He brings it every time. That is what kind of player he is,” sophomore linebacker Denzil Ware said.

Stoops said he likes what Walker is doing at outside linebacker.

“With all the things they have to do, I see a guy who is very comfortable on his feet. He needs to be more physical and he’s getting more physical with blocks at the point of attack, but he’s good in space and he’s very explosive,” Stoops said.

“So he’s a guy that again, it will be fun to watch him for the rest of this spring and see how he progresses because I like him. I just think he’s — for those reasons — he’s good on his feet, he’s explosive, he’s athletic, just not overly big.”

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