VAUGHT: Abren wants to stop negative talk

Ricky Abren has a warning for Kentucky opponents who think they are going to run over the UK defensive line the way teams have way too often the last three years.

"We have some speed that I have not seen since I have been here. We have depth. We have young guys that can play. We have veterans that can play. To me, this is the best overall team since I have been here," Abren, a defensive tackle, said. "It bothers me a lot to keep reading and hearing that we can't stop the run. It bothers the whole tam.

"None of us want to hear that. We all come from good teams. We are not used to losing. We are not a bunch of losers. People don't understand that we put as much into our training and preparation as Auburn and Florida do. We are tired of hearing all that stuff. We are ready to win and stop hearing that stuff. But until we stop the run, we are just going to keep hearing it. We know that, but it motivates us.

"I know why people say it. The only way to stop them from saying it is to give them something else to talk about and that's what we are going to do by winning a whole lot more games this year."

Strong words, but sincere words from a player who believes he can back up his talk on the field. One reason is because he's healthy. Another reason is because UK's depth will keep fresh players on the defensive line and make players push daily to earn playing time.

And who is Kentucky's best defensive linemen going to be this year? "Ricky Abren," he said. No doubt? "Without a doubt," he said.

Abren started practice at tackle, but has been told he could also play end. Either spot is fine with him, but he prefers tackles for reasons you have to love. "I like being in the middle and battling in the trenches. I like getting hit and delivering hits. I am not as fast as some of the guys we have outside. I'm built more for the inside where you just battle every play and the best man wins," he said.

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