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By LARRY VAUGHT
Kentucky coach Joker Phillips shared these thoughts with me recently about his defensive line and what he hopes will be a more effective return game next season.
Question: What did you feel the best about coming out of spring practice?
Phillips: â€œI would say defensive line. I think our front four with (Alvin) Dupree in four-down looks and guys like two anchors inside in Mister Cobble and Donte Rumph and Collins Ukwu and Taylor Wyndham at big gives us as good a front four as we have had. That would be the strength of the program
Question: Should Cobble and Rumph be ready to emerge as big-time players?
Phillips: â€œBoth of them are in their third year of playing. Cobble is going intoÂ his fourth year with us but only has one year of true playing time. This is the correct time for both of them to be dominant players. They are both third-year players and should be dominant players.â€
Question: Will the return game be better and more effective than last season?
Phillips: â€œWe have got a lot more bigger athletes who can run, block and cover and do things needed up front. We saw a little glimpse of Demarco Robinson and Daryl Collins in the spring and the ability they have with the ball in their hands. I do feel more comfortable about fielding the ball.
â€œWe have better athletes like Kory Brown, Malcolm McDuffen, â€ˆJosh Forrest who can run and block people and cover also. We have more thicker bodies who can do what we want in the block game. Before we had smaller bodies and teams would just run through us. The development of our linebackers and defensive backs will really help our special teams.â€