Several Football Wildcats to Play in National All-Star Games
LEXINGTON, Ky. – Five University of Kentucky football seniors, including defensive end/linebacker Bud Dupree, tight end Steven Borden, wide receiver Demarco Robinson, offensive lineman Darrian Miller and defensive end Za’Darius Smith, have been invited to play in national all-star games after completing strong careers on the field for the Wildcats.
Borden, a native of Waxahachie, Texas, will play in the Medal of Honor Bowl on Jan. 10 in Charleston, S.C. The game, which will be televised nationally on the NBC Sports Network, features an American Team and National Team. Borden will play on the American Team.
Last year, Borden played in 10 games for Kentucky with five starts making four catches for 33 yards. In his two-year career with Kentucky, Borden played in 21 games with seven catches for 96 yards and one touchdown. His career-long reception was 38 yards in 2013.
Robinson has accepted an invitation to play in the 2014 NFL Players Association Collegiate Bowl. The NFLPA Collegiate Bowl will be on Jan. 17 in Carson, Calif., with kickoff set for 4 p.m. ET live on ESPN2. ESPNU will air live practices on Jan. 14 and Jan. 15.
Robinson played in all 12 games in his senior campaign for the Wildcats. During the season, he hauled in 33 receptions for 501 yards, including a long of 79. He returned 24 punts for a total of 178 yards, including a long of 22 and 10 kickoff returns for a total of 195 yards, including a long of 41. In his final game with the Wildcats, Robinson caught two passes for 59 yards to end his career with 1,028 receiving yards and become just the 24th player in UK history to reach 1,000 receiving yards in a career.
Miller and Smith will play in the East-West Shrine Game on Jan. 17 in St. Petersburg, Fla. The game will be broadcast live on the NFL Network with kickoff set for 4 p.m. ET. According to the game’s website, the game was created in 1925 drive to help children and families in need. This year’s game will be the 90th all-time and give players a chance to display their talents to a national audience and over 300 NFL scouts.
Miller capped off his outstanding career with Kentucky with a good senior season, playing in all 12 games and grading out at 86.9 percent. The native of Lexington, Ky., graded over 90 percent against four opponents and totaled 35 knockdown blocks. Due to Miller’s great blocking, five players rushed for at least 300 yards for UK in 2014, the first time UK has accomplished that feat in 37 years. Miller missed only one assignment all season and was named the Southeastern Conference Offensive Lineman of the Week after UK’s win over Vanderbilt.
Smith had a great final season on the defensive line for Kentucky, playing all 12 games with 61 tackles, 4.5 sacks, 7.5 tackles for loss and two pass breakups. The native of Greenville, Ala., ranked top 20 in the SEC in sacks in 2014, while his 7.5 tackles for loss were third best on the team. Smith had a career game against Florida with 11 tackles.
Dupree will be playing in the Reese’s Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala., on Jan. 24. According to the game’s website, the Senior Bowl is the nation’s most unique football game and football’s premier senior showcase event. Kickoff for the game is set for 4 p.m. ET and will be televised nationally by the NFL Network.
Dupree, who was third-team All-America by Phil Steele’s College Football and first-team All-SEC by The Associated Press, league coaches and Phil Steele, led all SEC defensive linemen with 74 total tackles. He paced the Wildcats with 12.5 tackles for loss, including 7.5 quarterback sacks, ranking among the SEC leaders in both categories. Dupree was named SEC Defensive Lineman of the Week after intercepting a pass and returning it for the game-winning touchdown vs. South Carolina and was chosen National Defensive Lineman of the Week and SEC Defensive Lineman of the Week following the season finale at Louisville.
A native of Irwinton, Ga., Dupree completed a decorated career in 2014. A projected first-round pick in the 2015 NFL Draft by ESPN, CBSsports.com, Scout.com and Yahoo.com, Dupree charted the second-most sacks in UK career history (23.5), the most among current SEC players. He finished his career with 247 tackles, 38 tackles for loss, four forced fumbles and five passes defended.