McCord looking for breakout year

Shane McCord hopes this is his year to make a name for himself. He's listed No. 1 on the depth chart at defensive tackle along with senior Ricky Lumpkin and believes he's set for a big finish to his career.

Shane McCord hopes this is his year to make a name for himself. He's listed No. 1 on the depth chart at defensive tackle along with senior Ricky Lumpkin and believes he's set for a big finish to his career.

"Things have been going well. I am getting used to a new scheme (under new line coach David Turner). This could be a big year for the whole team really, not just one person. We are more focused and trying to pull together because we had a lot of seniors to replace, but I am excited," said McCord, who made his biggest play at UK last year when he intercepted a pass in the win at Georgia.

"I have been working for this. I played behind Corey Peters and Myron Pryor, two great players that I learned a lot from. I feel like I can fill those shoes. Working with Corey, I got better leverage. I know more plays and recognize things quicker. I am stronger. I have added about 15 pounds, mostly muscle, in the offseason and I feel like I am stronger, more compact. That makes me a lot better."

He seems much more relaxed than in previous years. He did play in all 13 games last year and other than Lumpkin no one on the defensive front has nearly as much experience as him.

"This is going into my senior year. I have been around. I am in my comfort zone now," he joked. "There were a bunch of ups and downs in my career. I wasn't playing up to the caliber that the coaches wanted me to and the caliber I needed to play, but I feel like now I am giving them what they want."

He admits he did once consider just walking away from football when things were not going well his sophomore season.

"I guess everybody goes through that situation where you think that. I thought in general that football just might not be the thing for me and thought just going to school and not playing would be best," he said." I stuck it out and talked to my mom and God and they kept me on the right path."


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