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Sophomore D-lineman T.J. Carter ready for bigger role

By LARRY VAUGHT

Sophomore defensive lineman T.J. Carter may have had his breakout moment during Kentucky’s loss to Georgia Tech in the TaxSlayer Bowl.

“The bowl game was huge for me,” Carter said. “I got to play against some of my friends at Georgia Tech. It was cool playing against the school I almost went to (he is a Georgia native). It was fun. We had some guys hurt, so it was just next man up and that was me.”

He says UK’s defensive line philosophy is a little different this spring practice.

“Last year we didn’t do as much coming off blocks. For D-line, we are coming off the ball faster and penetrating in the backfield more. Still doing same things as last year. We did a lot of stuff last year with blitzes,” Carter said. “I am just playing my gap and my technique. We also have a big emphasis this year that once we see the ball, everybody runs to the ball. Nobody stands and loafs.”

Carter isn’t worried about how the coaches might use him next season.

“Whatever the coaches want me to do, I will be there. I am willing to do what they need,” Carter said. “Like the bowl game. We had guys hurt and then I got to play more because we needed somebody.

“I would say I am a physical guy. In pass rush, I like to be a finesse guy. I am trying to get better at stopping the run and being physical off the line. So far it is going pretty good.”

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