Kentucky defensive end Bud Dupree, one of the few bright spots in an otherwise forgettable season for the Wildcats, announced via Twitter he will return to UK for his senior season rather than entering the NFL draft.
Soon after Dupree's tweet, UK issued a release in which coach Mark Stoops lauded the potential of the 6-foot-4, 252-pound pass rusher.
"We are very excited that Bud has decided to return," Stoops said. "Obviously this is big for our team as we are counting on his leadership in the 2014 season. In regard to his future, I believe that Bud will benefit greatly with another year of development on the field, in the weight room and in his academics."
Dupree indicated that improved NFL draft stock was among his motivations.
"I wanted to help coach Stoops with the program," he said. "Coming back another year can help me be a higher draft pick and I have a goal of graduating in December (2014)."
Dupree led Kentucky in sacks (seven) and in tackles for loss with 9.5 in 2013. His 61 tackles were second-most on the team and the highest total of any defensive lineman in the SEC. His return will give the Wildcats what should be one of the better pass-rushing tandems in the SEC next year, along with junior college transfer Za'Darius Smith. Smith (6-6, 255) made six sacks last year with a team-high five quarterback hurries.