Kentucky’s defensive line experience and depth – already a major concern – took a hit Monday when coach Mark Stoops confirmed that defensive tackle Regie Meant has left the team for what was described as “personal reasons.”
“I ask you to respect that and leave it alone,” Stoops said. “It has nothing to do with football, nothing to do with us or playing or anything like that. It has to do with himself. Again, I ask you to just leave that and respect him.
“But it is a blow to us and our depth on the D-line.”
Stoops was asked if Meant, who is “totally removed” from the team, will return to this season.
“I don’t know,” he said. “I couldn’t tell you at this time. I do not anticipate that.”
Meant, a 6-foot-4, 300-pound junior, has played in 21 games over the last two seasons. Last season as a redshirt sophomore he started four games and had 31 tackles.
Junior nose guard Matt Elam, who has battled being overweight, is the team’s most experienced defensive lineman.
“Matt is going to have to step up and play at a higher level and be a leader,” Stoops said.
Senior Courtney Miggins and sophomore Adrian Middleton, who was listed as Meant’s backup, combined for 20 tackles last season in limited playing time.