After a strong performance against a top-25 team in Kentucky’s season finale, including seven tackles, one sack, three tackles for loss and two fumbles forced, senior defensive end/linebacker Bud Dupree has been named the Southeastern Conference Co-Defensive Lineman of the Week, it was announced Monday evening.
A native of Irwinton, Ga., Dupree was a force in Kentucky’s game against Louisville last Saturday becoming the first UK player to force two fumbles in a game since current Denver Broncos linebacker Danny Trevathan accomplished the task in 2011. Both fumbles led to Kentucky points as the first was turned into a field goal and the second was scooped up and returned for a touchdown.
The strong game for Dupree completed a successful season and even more impressive career. Dupree ends the 2014 season second on the team in tackles with 74, while leading the team in sacks and tackles for loss with 7.5 and 12.5, respectively. Dupree also had five quarterback hurries and one interception, which he returned for a game-winning score vs. South Carolina. For his career, Dupree had 248 tackles, 23.5 sacks and 38 tackle for loss, forcing four fumbles. The 23.5 sacks rank second most in UK history.
A member of the Ted Hendricks Award Watch List, given to the NCAA’s top defensive end, and the Chuck Bednarik and Bronko Nagurski Trophy Watch Lists, annually given to the best defensive player in college football, Dupree currently ranks high on several 2015 NFL Draft projections. In late October’s NFL Draft “Big Board” projections from ESPN’s Mel Kiper, Dupree was tabbed as the No. 23 player available and as the fourth-best outside linebacker prospect. Rob Rang from CBSsports.com on Dec. 1 projected Dupree as the No. 20 overall selection and fourth-best outside linebacker selection.
The conference honor is the second of the season for Dupree, who was also named SEC Defensive Lineman of the Week following UK’s win over South Carolina. Dupree is one of four Wildcats to earn SEC weekly accolades in 2014. Senior Darrian Miller was tabbed SEC Offensive Lineman of the Week after UK’s win over Vanderbilt, while sophomore center Jon Toth earned SEC Offensive Lineman of the Week after UK’s season-opening win and wide receiver Garrett Johnson – who set a freshman record with 154 receiving yards at Florida – was tabbed SEC Freshman of the Week.
Dupree split the honor Monday with Ole Miss defensive end C.J. Johnson.