Cats Afari primed to breakout on defense

Published 3:00 pm Friday, May 26, 2023

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Alex Afari played in all 13 games for Kentucky last season with three starts. He had 21 tackles, three for loss, one sack and one quarterback hurry. However, there’s not been a lot of hype about the defensive back from Cincinnati going into his sophomore season.

Afari, a four-star recruit and top 225 player nationally in his recruiting class, is “just not being talked about enough,” according to former UK all-SEC running back Anthony White, who now has a podcast and a Sunday morning radio show in Lexington.

“Afari does a lot of things very well, but there might be some things about playing in space and schematic things holding him back,” White said. “It’s very hard to find a guy who can play in the box and take on blocks and also cover in space. Those guys are rare.

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“He’s a very athletic guy but he has some work to do. However, he could be that hybrid player that does not have to cover a lot in space because he is kind of a tweeter right now.”

White credits Kentucky defensive coordinator Brad White with being versatile enough to adapt to what players do best.

“Brad White does not get nearly enough credit. If a player has a weakness, he schemes around to get the best out of his guy,” Anthony White said. “That’s why he never really gets caught with his pants down because he schemes for what he has and puts guys in the best position to make plays.”