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UK linebacker Denzel Ware plans to transfer following early graduation

Denzil Ware announced on social media that he will be transferring following early graduation this weekend. Ware will complete his eligibility as a grad transfer. (UK Athletics Photo)

By Keith Taylor
Kentucky Today

Kentucky will be without one of its top defensive players next season.

Senior linebacker Denzel 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.

Graduation ceremonies set

Kentucky will graduate 61 current and former student-athletes during graduation ceremonies set for Friday and Sunday at Rupp Arena.

Oliver White, a former tight end (1981-84) and former women’s basketball player Mia Daniel 91990-93) also will receive their diplomas.

The list of graduates are:

Baseball: Luke Becker, Marshall Gei, Justin Lewis, Alec Maley

Men’s basketball: Dillon Pulliam

Women’s basketball: Makenzie Cann, Mia Daniel, Jessica Hardin, Alyssa Rice

Football: Jordan Bonner, David Bouvier, Dylan Greenberg, Jacob Hyde, Austin MacGinnis, Adrian Middleton, Kayaune Ross, Kendall Randolph, Charles Walker, Denzil Ware, Oliver White

Men’s golf: Evan Cox, Chip McDaniel, Cooper Musselman

Women’s golf: Ale Walker

Gymnastics: Katie Carlisle, Amy Roemmele

Rifle: Billy Azzinaro

Men’s soccer: Stuart Ford, Noah Hutchins

Women’s soccer: Sophie Babo, Katy Keen, Kelly Novak

Softball: Brooklin Hinz, Hannah Huffman, Shannon Smith

Men’s swimming and diving: Colin Faris, Jack Gunning, Stephen Jou

Women’s swimming and diving: Michelle Brown-Alleyne, Annie Davies

Men’s tennis: Gus Benson, William Bushamuka, Jake Stefanik, Trey Yates

Women’s tennis: Emily Fanning

Men’s track and field/cross country: Logan Bryer, David Cline, Fred Dorsey, Nik Huffman, Ian Jones, Ethan Shalaway, Daniel Southard, Jacob Thomson

Women’s track and field/cross country: Jacklyn Howell, Katy Kunc, Michelle McKinney, Whitney O’Bryan, Javianne Oliver

Volleyball: Ashley Dusek, Emily Franklin, Harper Hempel, Kaz Brown

Keith Taylor is sports editor for Kentucky Today. Reach him at keith.taylor@kentuckytoday.com or twitter @keithtaylor21.

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