Scout.com/Jeff Drummond

Kentucky Wildcats sophomore safety Darius West to miss season after knee injury

An already injury-plagued football career for Darius West experienced another setback on Friday.

Kentucky head coach Mark Stoops announced Saturday that the Wildcats' sophomore safety suffered a season-ending knee injury during the previous day's workout.

West missed most of his senior season at Lima (Ohio) Central Catholic with a broken tibia in his right leg after committing to the Cats in 2013. He re-injured the leg during off-season workouts prior to arriving at UK, leading to a redshirt season in 2014.

The latest injury was a patellar tendon tear in the left knee. 

"That's a tough blow for him," Stoops said. "He's been through injuries before. It is not the same leg, it is not the same injury that he had before, but he's worked extremely hard to put himself in a position (to play). We had really good battles going inside there at safety, and he was certainly competing and running with the ones ever since the spring."

West (6-0, 200) played in 10 games as a backup safety and special teams standout last season, recording 17 tackles. He is the second defensive starter to be lost in camp so far. The other was junior defensive tackle Regie Meant, who left the team for unspecified personal reasons last week.

Stoops said the Cats are fortunate to have quality depth at safety with Marcus McWilson, Blake McClain and Mike Edwards all carrying a wealth of experience. McClain can play both nickel or safety depending on the situation and package the defense is using.

The UK boss labeled West as "an explosive guy" on special teams, where his loss may be magnified.


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