Kentucky Football‘s transformation from SEC laughing stock to division title contender is in large part due to their play in the trenches. 

The Wildcats defensive line has been stingy each of the past two seasons’ helping guide the team to a combined 18-8 record with bowl wins over Penn State and Virginia Tech.

Despite the loss of T.J. Carter in the middle of their defensive line, the Wildcats’ depth at the defensive tackle and nose guard positions are as deep as any in the conference. Here’s a look at Kentucky’s 2020 group of interior defensive lineman

(Quinton Bohanna celebrates recovering a fumble that he caused – photo by Brandon Turner)

Quinton Bohanna #95

Class: Senior

Height/Weight: 6-4, 367 lbs.

Hometown/High School: Cordova, Tenn., Cordova 

247 Recruit Rankings: 3-star, No. 69 DT in 2017

When asked which 2020 Kentucky Wildcat will be the first drafted in the 201 NFL Draft, many answer the question with defensive tackle Quinton Bohanna.

The 367-pound defensive tackle has been the anchor of Kentucky’s defensive line the past two seasons. In 2018 he played in 12 games, starting the final six and recorded seven tackles, a sack, a forced fumble, fumble recovery and made four tackles for a loss. He followed that up by starting all 13 games in 2019 in which he recorded 18 tackles, three tackles for loss and a sack.

Bohanna will look to continue his solid college career in 2020 and surge up NFL draft boards for the following spring.

Phil Hoskins #92

Class: Redshirt Senior

Height/Weight: 6-5, 310 lbs.

Hometown/High School: Toledo, Ohio., Whitmer 

247 Recruit Rankings: 3-star, No. 6 JUCO DT in 2017

Phil Hoskins was awarded a rare sixth-year extension waiver by the NCAA after missing all of 2019 due to injury.

Getting Hoskins back is a huge addition for a Kentucky defensive line in need of a second starting defensive tackle with T.J. Carter gone. Hoskins arrived in Lexington after starting his college career at Highland Community College in Kansas. In 2018 played in all 13 games for UK and recorded 21 tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss and three sacks including one against Florida.

He will look to stay healthy and finish his long college career by making a major impact for the Wildcats in 2020.

Marquan McCall (#50) throws the L’s down as he takes the field before Kentucky’s game vs. Louisville. Photo by Brandon Turner.

Marquan McCall #50

Class: Redshirt Senior

Height/Weight: 6-3, 369 lbs.

Hometown/High School: Detroit Mich., Oak Park 

247 Recruit Rankings: 4-star, No. 6 Offensive Guard in 2018

While Kentucky signed Marquan McCall as a high-rated offensive guard out of high school, the Wildcats moved him to the defensive line where he’s earned the nickname “bully” for his fierce play.

As a true freshman in 2018, McCall played in eight games in which he recorded five total tackles, 1.5 tackles for loss, a sack and a forced fumble. In 2019, he played in all 13 games making 21 total tackles with four total tackles and recovered a fumble.

While he’s earned plenty of playing time, McCall will look to crack Kentucky’s starting lineup for the first time as a Junior in 2020.

Abule Abadi-Fitzgerald’s 2017 recruiting poster. Photo: UK Athletics.

Abule Abadi-Fitzgerald #94

Class: Redshirt Junior

Height/Weight: 6-6, 285 lbs.

Hometown/High School: Lakeland Fla., Victory Christian Academy

247 Recruit Rankings: 3-star, No. 54 Strong-Side Defensive end in 2017

Abule Abadi-Fitzgerald is entering his redshirt junior season coming off his first full season as a key contributor for the Wildcats.

The Florida native redshirted in 2017 and did not appear in any games in 2018. Last season, however, he played in all 13 games for UK and made four tackles.

He will continue to seek more playing time in 2020 as he enters the second half of his college career.

MATT GOINS/Lexington Herald-Leader

Jerquavion Mahone #93

Class: Redshirt Sophomore

Height/Weight: 6-3, 306 lbs.

Hometown/High School: Jordan City, Ga., Manchester

247 Recruit Rankings: 3-star, No. 69 DT in 2018

Jerquavion Mahone will be looking for a larger role as a redshirt sophomore in 2020.

The Georgia native redshirted without appearing in any games in 2018 and last season played in four games recording two total tackles, including one sack.

Octavious Oxendine (#8). Photo: UK Athletics.

Octavious Oxendine #8

Class: Freshman

Height/Weight: 6-1, 313 lbs.

Hometown/High School: Radcliff Ky., North Hardin 

247 Recruit Rankings: 3-star, No. 52 DT in 2020

Kentucky native Octavious Oxendine is entering his true freshman season with his home state Wildcats. The three-star defensive tackle chose to stay home to play for UK over Tennessee and Texas.

Oxendine enrolled early and has been said to already turning the heads of the coaching staff.

Justin Rogers #TBD

Class: Freshman

Height/Weight: 6-3, 315 lbs.

Hometown/High School: Detroit Mich., Oak Park 

247 Recruit Rankings: 4-star, No. 7 DT in 2020

Justin Rogers is one of the highest-rated recruits to choose Kentucky. While rated a four-star prospect by 247, Rogers was rated as a five-star prospect and the No. 10 overall prospect by Rivals for 2020.

He did not enroll early but will look to prove worthy of instant playing time upon arrival on campus this summer.

Josaih Hayes #TBD

Class: Freshman

Height/Weight: 6-3, 285 lbs.

Hometown/High School: Horn Lake, Miss., Horn Lake

247 Recruit Rankings: 4-star, No. 28 DT in 2020

Kentucky landing Mississippi native Josiah Hayes came as a surprise to many as it was long suspected he’d stay home to play for his home-state Ole Miss Rebels.

Instead, he joins the Wildcats and will look to make an immediate impact despite a crowded group of talented defensive tackles in front of him

Photo: Tre’vonn Rybka

Tre’vonn Rybka #TBD

Class: Freshman

Height/Weight: 6-5, 300 lbs.

Hometown/High School: Dickson, Tenn., Dickson

247 Recruit Rankings: 3-star, No. 44 DT in 2020

Kentucky’s impressive 2020 defensive tackle haul also includes Tennessee native Tre’vonn Rybka.

UK was able to hold off the Oklahoma Sooners to land the consensus top 50 defensive tackle and will look for him to be a key contributor in the future.

Photo: Alex Bascom on Twitter.

Alex Bascom #63

Class: Sophomore

Height/Weight: 6-5, 261 lbs.

Hometown/High School: Louisville Ky,, St. Xavier 

247 Recruit Rankings: Unranked

Kentucky native Alex Bascom will enter his second year as a walk-on with the Wildcats in 2020. A graduate of St. Xavier High Schools, Bascom chose to attend UK instead of Butler, Jacksonville, and Louisville.

Photo: Richard Bascom on Twitter.

Richard Bascom #64

Class: Sophomore

Height/Weight: 6-5, 261 lbs.

Hometown/High School: Louisville Ky,, St. Xavier 

247 Recruit Rankings: Unranked

Richard Bascom joins his twin brother, Alex, for a second year as a Wildcat walk-on. He also had opportunities at Butler, Jacksonville and Louisville but chose the Wildcats.

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