UK basketball coach Calipari is not the only one that can place players in the first round of the draft.
With the NFL Combine coming to an end just last week; outside linebacker/defensive end, Alvin (Bud) Dupree is expected to represent the Wildcats in a big way during the 2015 NFL Draft.
Georgia native, Bud Dupree has been projected to go in the first round of the NFL Draft. Dupree has been projected to go as soon as 8th overall to the Atlanta Falcons and as late as 27th overall to the Dallas Cowboys. When asked what he thought about potentially being drafted by the Atlanta Falcons and returning home; Dupree said “I always wanted to be picked in the first round, I would love to be a part of the Falcons, and it would be good for my family”.
Dupree completed his pre-combine workouts and drills at the University of Kentucky. While at the NFL Combine, he put up some pretty impressive numbers, beating out some of the best players in college football this season. His 40-yard dash time was better than Alabama’s Blake Sims and Nebraska’s Ameer Abdullah. Dupree ran the 40 yard dash in 4.56 seconds and recorded a 42 inch vertical jump. He received a grade of 6.1, which means he has a good chance of becoming an instant starter in the NFL.
Dupree played a huge role in Kentucky’s success this year. Many may not remember, but Dupree was a key impact player in the Wildcats big win again the South Carolina Gamecocks during the 2014 football season. With the help of defensive tackle Mike Douglas, Dupree snatched the ball out the air to score the game winning touchdown. When asked what he thought about scoring the game winning touchdown he said, “I was shocked and felt like the ball was in the air forever”. He also said that he remembered thinking “this could be the game winning play”. Football is undoubtedly a team sport, but after Dupree scored the game-winning touchdown, he said head coach Mark Stoops declared “you won the game, what a great play”. Dupree said “I really gave my teammate Mike Douglas all the credit for tipping the ball”.
Dupree talked about what it was like growing up and when he began to take interest in football. He said “I started playing about 16 years ago at the age of six, I always had a passion for playing and started out putting cups in my shirt for shoulder pads”. While in Indianapolis, his combine numbers were comparable to last year’s number one draft pick, Jadeveon Clowney. Dupree said when he heard the news and saw his numbers he said some of the first thoughts he had were “just happy that all the hard work I did paid off and all my preparation paid off”. During the 2014-2015 season, he played some of the best football of his college career, finishing top 10 in the SEC for quarterback sacks. What drives his passion to play football; he said “my will to be great and always be the best”.
The NFL Draft is just around the corner, beginning on Thursday, April 30th. The University of Kentucky Pro Day will take place on March 14th and gives players one last chance to prove themselves to NFL coaches around the league. Although his numbers were outstanding during the NFL Combine, Dupree says he will participate in Pro Day. He mentioned that he wants to work on improving his upper body strength. He also stated that the one thing he looks forward to most in the NFL is “playing against players who are equally as talented, trying to win a Super Bowl and providing for my family”. With the NFL draft approaching quickly, Kentucky football fans will be sad to see such a great talented player go, but excited to see what the future holds. Dupree said one of the things he will remember most about playing football at the University of Kentucky is “the South Carolina game, my pick 6”; which was his first touchdown of his college career. He also talked about the things he will miss most about being at the University of Kentucky and playing for the program. He said “I will miss the friendships and relationships I made here with my teammates”.
When asked what football has taught him most about life, he said; “it has taught me self-discipline, character, and not to take things for granted”. Athletics at Kentucky is taken seriously and so many fans and young people look up to the athletes here. Dupree was asked; although your journey has just begun, as you leave behind Kentucky and your home town Wilkinson County, what do you want your legacy to be? What do you want to be remembered for most; he said “Someone who is not selfish, hard-working and always wanting to see others do well”.
Tune in for the NFL Draft to see what team will select Bud Dupree. The NFL Drafted will take place in Chicago on Thursday, April 30, 2015.