LB Flannigan will be ahead of game before he arrives

One of the Kentucky defense’s biggest concerns going into fall camp will be how the Cats can replace tackles leader and vocal leader Avery Williamson at middle linebacker.

“We have a big hole to fill there,” defensive coordinator D.J. Eliot said before a luncheon with the Greater Louisville Alumni Association. “And so I don’t know exactly who or how we’re gonna fill that spot yet, but we’re gonna have a plan before the first game.”

A name that is often floated as the likely replacement for Williamson is junior college linebacker Ryan Flannigan, who is expected to be on campus at the start of fall camp on Aug. 4.

As the center of the UK defense, Flannigan will have to get up to speed quickly.

But Eliot said coaches — including UK’s strength and conditioning coaches — have been in constant contact with Flannigan to make the transition easier.

He’s doing the workout that he needs to do,” Eliot said. “I’ve been on the phone with him on a regular basis explaining the defense to him, so he’s gonna be ahead of the game before he gets here.”

About Jennifer Smith

Jen Smith has been a sports writer at the Herald-Leader since 2000, covering everything from high school sports to auto racing to various University of Kentucky sports. A native of Louisville and a graduate of the University of Kentucky (much to the dismay of her Louisville graduate mother and Indiana graduate father), Jen now resides in downtown Lexington with her husband and two young sons. You can follow her on Twitter @jenheraldleader or send her an email at
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