LEXINGTON — Kentucky will be without one of its top defensive players next season.
Senior linebacker Denzil Ware announced on social media he plans to leave following graduation and transfer to another school to complete his college eligibility. Ware will graduate with a degree in community and development.
“Today is bittersweet,” Ware said. “I am announcing that I am transferring to another university as a grad transfer for my final season. It was a very tough decision to make. I want to thank coach (Mark) Stoops and all the other coaches for everything they’ve done for me. Thank you, #BBN for all the support over these past three years. To my teammates, ya’ll are my brothers. I’ll always bleed blue.”
Ware missed the Music City Bowl in December for violation of team rules and planned on returning next season. Ware started seven of 12 games last year and had 47 tackles. Ware collected nine tackles for a loss and added 6.5 quarterback sacks. He added one interception, recovered a pair of fumbles and forced two more to spark the Kentucky defense.
Ware appeared in 37 games during his three-year career at Kentucky and made 30 starts. He leaves with 156 tackles, including 26.5 for a loss and 13 sacks.
Going into next season, UK had 10 starters back, but that number dips to nine with Ware’s departure. Josh Paschal or Boogie Wilson are the top two candidates to replace Ware on the defensive side of the ball.