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Kentucky senior DL Josaih Hayes expected to miss entire 2024 season with torn Achilles

Alex Weberby:Alex Weber06/13/24

Kentucky football just suffered a significant setback on their defensive line for the 2024 season as Kentucky Sports Radio reports that one DL is out for the year with an injury.

On Thursday morning, KSR’s Nick Roush wrote an article confirming that senior defensive lineman Josaih Hayes will miss the season with a torn Achilles, among the worst injuries in football. Here was Roush’s report of that news:

“Kentucky will be without a veteran in the trenches this fall. KSR has learned that defensive tackle Josaih Hayes is expected to miss the 2024 season after suffering a torn Achilles in spring practice.”

Some very tough news for Mark Stoops, Brad White and the Wildcat defense with the 2024 season just months away.

Hayes has appeared in 42 total games throughout his Kentucky career to date, and started in four of them. Ahead of the 2023 campaign, Brad White challenged the former four-star recruit to take his game to the next level. He would answer the call with his best season as a Wildcat, tallying career-highs in tackles (24), tackles for loss (4.5), and sacks (1.5) alongside fellow DT Deone Walker.

Walker and Hayes projected to make one of the SEC’s best interior DL duos, and Walker and pencil-in-the-name will certainly still be a fearsome pair, if only for Walker’s immense impact alone, but there will surely be less experience at the position now that a senior leader is out of the picture.

Now, Hayes was preparing for his fifth season on campus when he suffered what’s expected to be a season-ending injury. However, we could see him in a Kentucky uniform again once he fully recovers from the Achilles tear, since he will have one more season of eligibility to use in 2025 if he’d like to.

Kentucky needs some new guys to step up, one way or another. North Carolina import Keeshawn Silver is a former five-star recruit who performed well in a rotational role last season and he will certainly be called on for more snaps in 2024.

But you need depth on the DL and the Wildcats were lacking it to a degree even before this Hayes injury, but such is life in the transfer portal era. Brad White now has just a couple of months to figure out a plan at the DL or add to the room. With Walker in place, though, you still like the ceiling that this group can have.