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Jacksonville State gets even stronger on defense with Denzil Ware

Denzil Ware Transfers to Jacksonville State

The Jacksonville State Gamecocks landed a huge addition to their defense when former Kentucky Wildcats defensive end Denzil Ware announced he was transferring down south. Ware had said he was going to take advantage of the graduate transfer rule earlier this year. The led many to believe that he was on his way to another Power Five school. While teams like Florida State, West Virginia, and Clemson topped the suggested list for the highly touted pass rusher, he chose to play FCS Football at JSU. The graduate transfer rule does not matter since NCAA rules allow players to play immediately if they go to a lower level.

While the decision has many college football experts scratching their heads, there is some sense to the decision. It puts the Opp, Alabama native closer to home. We often think about the best place for a player to go is a bigger, better school, but sometimes playing closer to home trumps everything. That seems to be the case here with Ware.

With Kentucky, Ware was an instant contributor on the defensive front for the Wildcats. As a freshman, he recorded a sack and 22 solo tackles with 5.5 of them being for a loss. In his three years as a starter in Lexington, Ware racked up 157 tackles (27 for a loss), three forced fumbles, and 13 sacks. He also had a fumble recovery for a touchdown and another for a two-point conversion. It’s those numbers that will bring a sigh of relief to every SEC football coach except for Mark Stoops.

Denzil Ware transfers to JSU Gamecocks

Denzil Ware is great from the edge, but he also has the speed to play at linebacker. JSU has several ways they can use him.

The JSU Gamecocks had the second-best defense last year in FCS Football and this year looks even more promising. This team returns a lot of starters from last year’s team that gave up just 239 yards of total offense. The Gamecocks allowed just 164 yards through the air and an even more impressive feat of just 75.6 yards per game on the ground. Opponents only converted 30 percent of the time on third-down against JSU last season.

Adding Denzil Ware to the defensive unit makes JSU an even more dominant defense for the 2018 college football season. He’s a dynamic edge rusher that has good strength and speed. Connor Christian, Randy Robinson, and Montrez Lang will join Ware on the defensive line. The trio combined for 8 sacks, 15 tackles for a loss, and 13 QB hurries. Joel McCandless and Quan Stoudemire are two very solid linebackers that will aid in stopping the rushing attack. This will be a front seven that will cause offenses a lot of trouble all season long. With the addition of Denzil Ware, JSU has a defense that can take this team deep into the playoffs.