|Timothy D. Easley/Associated Press|
|Kentucky's Bud Dupree was credited with a half sack in a loss to Louisville last season.|
HOOVER, Ala. -- Before anyone etches in granite Jadeveon Clowney's 4.53 40-yard dash as one of the greatest feats for a defensive end in NFL Scouting Combine history, keep a spot on the slab open for Bud Dupree.
The Kentucky defensive end, who is the SEC's leading returning pass rusher with seven sacks last season, wouldn't be surprised if he ran even faster.
"I definitely think I will blow the combine up," Dupree said Thursday as SEC Media Days drew to a close. "... In the 40-yard dash, I probably can run a high 4.4 or a low 4.5. In the vertical jump, I can get a 41 or a 42, and in the broad jump, I know I can get 11 feet. I just have to keep working hard to match those numbers."
About 10 weeks after being clocked at 4.53 seconds at the combine, Clowney was chosen No. 1 overall by the Houston Texans. At 270 pounds, Clowney's performance at the combine was hailed as something of a standard-setter for his position. His 40-yard dash was the best among all defensive linemen. Dupree's predictions on the vertical and broad jumps would have raised eyebrows at the 2014 combine, as well.
Howard Jones of Shepherd University posted a 40.5-inch vertical jump to lead all defensive linemen, and North Carolina's Kareem Martin led the field in the broad jump at 10-9. Clowney finished second among defensive linemen in both events (37.5 and 10-4). Dupree, in essence, is saying he could have topped last year's combine in all three categories.
But forgive the rising senior, who passed on the opportunity to enter the draft as an underclassman, if his opinion of himself is a bit inflated. After all, the 6-4, 259-pound pass rusher was named the nation's fifth-most freakish athlete by College Football 24/7 earlier this summer.
With another standout defensive end on the opposite side of the UK defensive line -- senior Za'Darius Smith -- opposing offenses will have a difficult time double-teaming Dupree. As such, he could turn in a big season for the Wildcats.
And the way he's talking, he'd have to back it up with a big combine, as well.
Follow Chase Goodbread on Twitter @ChaseGoodbread.