Skip to main content

First Down Kentucky: Deone Walker Focused on The Process

Nick Roushby:Nick Roush06/18/24


The Kentucky football team is grinding through offseason workouts, including Deone Walker. The Wildcats’ All-American candidate is preparing for what could be a life-changing season in Lexington. We don’t see the process, only the results. To execute his plan, it all starts with a summer of intense preparation.

Walker recently spent time with Max Chadwick on the PFF College Football Show. While we’re talking about where he may fall in mock drafts, he’s talking about workouts. In fact, the moment he knew he could play in the NFL happened during the last offseason. This offseason he’s trying to get down to 330 pounds to play as many snaps at as many positions as possible. He’s taking notes from Aaron Donald and Maxx Crosby to enhance his game and diving deeper into Brad White’s playbook.

“I want to learn our whole defense. I want to learn everything about our defense. Our corners — why we run what we run, what we run stuff against, I want to learn it all,” he said.

Those are Deone Walker’s goals. He’s not thinking about taking home postseason awards. He doesn’t dream about where he will be called in the draft. Walker has put his entire focus into the process and the results will follow.

A few more things from Deone Walker

While he may be keeping his focus on what he must achieve this offseason, he still has a few games circled this fall, particularly two dates in November. Walker is looking forward to facing one of the best teams in the country at Texas. There’s also the Governor’s Cup, where he’s not shy about how he feels about the University of Louisville.

I can’t wait to show them that they’re still Lil’ Bro,” Walker said.

There are a few other eye-opening moments from the interview. He said he can’t wait to tackle Ray Davis at the next level and he revealed the trick play that was in the playbook for last year’s win over Louisville, a wheel route in the red zone. That wasn’t what shocked the host the most: Walker believes he can run a 4.6 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine.

Max Hairston is one of the Best SEC Returners

Kentucky cornerback Max Hairston is on plenty of preseason All-SEC teams after he debuted with five interceptions in 2023, the most in the league. Those aren’t the only impressive numbers. PFF posted a graphic featuring the top 10 highest-graded returning cornerbacks in the league. Hairston is third with an 81.8 rating from 2023.

Kentucky Making Moves for SEC Commits

This week is filled with non-stop official visits. Christian Gass is currently on campus, while Andrew Marsh and Dawayne Galloway are set to receive the blue carpet treatment tomorrow. Once the weekend arrives, the Cats are cranking it up a notch with tons of top-flight talent. On KSR+, we’ve got the scoop on a couple of SEC commits who are expected to make the trek to Lexington. Make sure you’re signed up to get all of the latest Kentucky football recruiting intel.

Kentucky is a Sleeper for Josh Pate

There’s no offseason on Late Kick with Josh Pate. The 247 Sports analyst shared which teams he believes have the best ability to overachieve, Missouri and Kentucky. He’s been high on the Cats before. What’s different about this season? The ceiling is higher thanks to experience in the trenches.

“All of this is contingent on Brock Vandagriff being a B+ or better caliber quarterback. They got him out of Georgia via the transfer portal. They return four offensive linemen with 15-plus starts. Every starter on this offensive line will be an upperclassman they lost zero starts on the defensive line,” said Pate.

“I’m just going to stop there for a second because I got a lot of folks who hop in the comment section. I got a lot of folks who hop in the replies and they say, ‘This is a line-of-scrimmage game. This is a line-of-scrimmage league.’ You’re right and I just quoted both sides of the ball; some very interesting numbers there, some very interesting factoids. And yet that same group will try and dismiss it because it’s Kentucky. You don’t have to do it just because it’s Kentucky.”

Louisville Loses High-Profile Commit

Jake Cook was a significant win on the high school recruiting trail for the Cards. The three-star offensive lineman was a teammate of Brian Robinson‘s last fall and Kentucky was in contention before Cook ultimately picked the Cards back in February.

Cook’s stock has soared after attending camps in the spring and now Ohio State is sniffing around the rising star from Columbus. He decommitted days after taking his official visit to Louisville, likely forecasting an offer from his home state school. Louisville has leaned into the transfer portal to build its roster, a place where it’s a challenge to find offensive linemen. Losing one of their best from the high school ranks, it’s a shame, a real shame.

Discuss This Article

Comments have moved.

Join the conversation and talk about this article and all things Kentucky Sports in the new KSR Message Board.