LEXINGTON, Ky. — Tymere Dubose looks every bit of the 6-foot-5 and 320 pounds that he is, but the Kentucky defensive tackle knows who has the power when it comes to his future: tutors.
“I got about 1,000 of them every week,” Dubose said with a laugh.
The junior from Youngstown, Ohio, was suspended from the team throughout spring football because of academic issues. He couldn’t practice, and he could only come by the football training facility after his school work was finished. Even then, all he could do was watch.
“It was kind of a horrible experience, just being away from football all this time,” Dubose said Wednesday. “Just getting out of shape. I missed it.”
Dubose’s absence highlighted Kentucky’s depth issues on the defensive line. Though not a starter, Dubose played 15 games over his first two seasons in Lexington. And while Dubose said he was never into school growing up, he said he never doubted that he would work his way back on the team.
Coach Mark Stoops confirmed his reinstatement at the beginning of preseason camp.
“Hopefully he’ll mature in all areas of his life and come out here and have a good camp and get back out there on the field,” Stoops said at the time.
Dubose said he’s been working at every position on the defensive line: tackle, end and nose guard. Kentucky will likely rely on a starting defensive front of Adrian Middleton, Naquez Pringle and T.J. Carter, but players like Dubose, Matt Elam, Calvin Taylor, Phil Hoskins and Kordell Looney are expected to contend for spots in the rotation.
“We need everybody,” Pringle said. “It doesn’t matter who it is.”
Defensive coordinator Matt House said Dubose was rusty early in camp, and defensive line coach Derrick LeBlanc said getting back in shape is the top priority for Dubose.
“Surprisingly, he had a lot of recall, so now it’s just getting back into football shape,” LeBlanc said. “You know how it goes. You do all the running in summer. Football’s a little different. So now he’s gotta get to another phase of being in football shape, but Tymere’s gonna be fine.”
Dubose said he brought the suspension on himself, and that he doesn’t want to fall back.
His army of tutors isn’t giving him that option.
“If they ain’t on me they’re telling the coaches to get on me,” Dubose said.
As for the punishment?
“I haven’t gotten one yet.”