Best news today for UK football: Donte Rumph


HOOVER, Ala. — The best news for UK here at the SEC Football Media Days came early this morning when Mark Stoops and three of his players met with the Kentucky media.

One of those players was Donte Rumph, the 6-foot-3, 323-pound senior defensive tackle who suffered a shoulder injury during spring drills.

Rumph was asked how he would list his recovery by percentage?

“I’m 95 percent,” said the South Carolina native.

And did he expect to be ready for contact at the start of fall drills?

“Yes,” he said. “I’m ready.”

That boosts a position that figures to be the strength of Stoops’ first team. With holdover tackle Mister Cobb Cobble plus heralded juco defensive end Za’Darius Smith, plus the move of the talented Bud Dupree from outside linebacker to defensive end, the defensive line is probably in the best shape of any position for 2013.

A lot of that, however, hinged on the return of Rumph, who underwent labrum surgery in the spring. A two-year starter, Rumph is coming off his best season. He made 11 starts in 2012 with six tackles for loss and four sacks. He was named SEC Defensive Lineman of the Week after UK’s win over Samford.

Remember that after signing with UK, Rumph had to work two years before gaining eligibility. He has 18 career starts at Kentucky.

ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper listed Rumph as one of the defensive tackles to keep an eye on this season.

“Donte should be fine. Donte is here and he can talk to you a little bit,” Stoops said. “I was told he put up some good weight the other day, was lifting and is coming around well. Donte is good, you might just have to mess with him a little bit. His tie is a little bit short.”

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