JUST JOSHIN’: Countdown to kickoff - Love at first tackle - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

JUST JOSHIN’: Countdown to kickoff - Love at first tackle

(Source: WAVE 3 News) (Source: WAVE 3 News)
(Source: WAVE 3 News) (Source: WAVE 3 News)

Twenty days to kickoff: This is the 21st installment of a 40-day countdown to the kickoff of the college football season for WAVE Country's four Division I teams (the universities of Louisville and Kentucky as well as Indiana and Western Kentucky universities).

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Courtney Love will get plenty of love from BBN this season if he can help shore up the University of Kentucky’s defense this season.

The 6-foot-2, 242-pound junior middle linebacker steps right into the Wildcats’ starting lineup this year after sitting out last season following his transfer from Nebraska. He will be counted on to lead a defense that was one of the worst in the Southeastern Conference last year.

UK coach Mark Stoops, for one, thinks that Love will be up to the challenge.

“Courtney, he is a special leader,” said Stoops, whose team was second-to-last in the league in scoring defense and rushing D last season. “He is a guy that it does come naturally to because he lives it every day. He's not afraid to be unpopular. He challenges guys the right way, he lives the right way; he's special. I have seen him for a long time and known him for a long time, that's documented. You've heard me touch on it, but he's a great kid and a great leader. He's what you want in the middle of your defense. Let's hope he plays at a high level and we'll see, he's got to prove himself and he knows that. (But) he's not shying away from that.”

The Youngstown, Ohio native will need to do so if the Wildcats’ defense is going to make up for the loss of five starters, including LB Josh Forrest, the team’s leading tackler the last two seasons who is now with the St. Louis Rams.

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Love, who appears to be the polar opposite of the punk/grunge singer of the same name, had six total tackles in 12 games in 2014 as a redshirt freshman at Nebraska.

“I am the middle linebacker. I lead the defense, I have to make the calls and make the necessary adjustments that the coaches don’t really see when we are out there on the field,” Love said at SEC media days. “I have to put people in the right position and get guys lined up. I also have to show these guys they are safe all the time and they have someone they can lean on. I really just have to be a leader overall for this team.”

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