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D’Eryk Jackson, a sophomore linebacker at the University of Kentucky who was likely to compete for a starting job this fall, suffered an injury during spring practice on April 10 that’s likely to sideline him for the entire 2021 season.
Jackson suffered a lower-body, non-contact injury while warming up during practice, head coach Mark Stoops told reporters following Kentucky’s final practice of the spring session.
“He was doing a really good job,” Stoops said.
Jackson, a three-star recruit in the class of 2020, enrolled last January and played in nine games. He recorded four tackles and an interception against Mississippi State, the last of six the Wildcats had against the Bulldogs.
Senior DeAndre Square has started 22 of 36 games and is back for the Wildcats, but he was the only returning inside linebacker with extensive playing time under his belt.
Kentucky lost one of last year’s starters, Jamin Davis, as an early entrant to the NFL Draft; he’s projected to be a first-round pick. Davis was not projected as a 2020 starter prior to the loss of Chris Oats, who suffered a stroke during that summer and continues to rehab from that incident.
Jared Casey, a sophomore from Louisville who has played in 14 games, and junior Marquez Bembry, who played in 11 games last season with two starts, are Kentucky’s most-experienced returnees at linebackers. It also added Luke Fulton, a transfer from Michigan State, to the roster in January.
One of the Wildcats’ marquee members of the 2021 recruiting class, Trevin Wallace, is an inside linebacker who was expected to compete for immediate playing time prior to Jackson’s injury.