By LARRY VAUGHT
Kentucky senior defensive end Bud Dupree goes into the season not only as one of the SEC’s best defensive linemen, but also as a key to reviving UK’s program and securing a lofty NFL draft position for himself.
“That is the kind of thing everyone grows up hoping for. I just got to keep grinding every day not to get the big head and let people get to me. I am going to keep grinding and kick in and I am going to bring my teammates with me. It doesn’t really matter what people say, I am going to make sure my team is there and in best position it can be,” Dupree said.
“I am thinking about a winning season. The NFL will come. Once my team gets better, I will get better in the NFL draft. So I am just looking at it as a win-win situation because once my team wins, people will see I am not all about myself but about my team as well and other teams will really want me. I am not always really worried about how I improve. I am just trying to bring other people with me as much as I improve.”
His brother, Travis Carswell, said he thinks an offseason mission trip to Africa that Dupree took with UK teammates and other athletics personnel helped his focus on this year.
“I think that mission trip going to Africa and seeing how things were there helped him. He has put everything in perspective. He is on track to graduate in December. That is a big goal. That is something I have always preached to him to focus on school and the NFL will come. He is putting everything in order,” Carswell said.
“I think this year will be his breakout season. He doesn’t like to be compared to anybody and wants to set his own standards at Kentucky. I look forward to this season. The only thing I hate is that I coach and we play on Saturday as well. I hope we have open game so I can watch. But I keep up with him. After every game he will call and tell me how everything went and we hope a lot goes well for him and the team this year.”