Pair of Wildcats participate in Bengals rookie minicamp

A pair of former Kentucky defenders participated in the Cincinnati Bengals rookie minicamp this weekend. 

Wildcats linebacker Jordan Jones and safety Darius West--both Ohio natives--were among the more than 20 unsigned players that took part in the tryout at Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati. 

Get the latest Kentucky Wildcats news sent directly to your inbox when you sign up for our FREE email newsletter TODAY!

Jones started in all 12 regular season games for Kentucky at linebacker and despite playing the final four games with a broken right hand, finished fifth on the team in total tackles with 68, fourth in pass breakups (4) and tackles for loss (5.5). He forced and recovered a fumble in the first quarter of a win over South Carolina, recorded eight tackles in the win over No. 14 Mississippi State and a season-high 10 tackles in a win at Missouri.

For his career, Jones started in 33 of 42 games, totaling 251 tackles, 28.5 tackles for loss and 7.5 sacks as a Wildcat to go with 14 quarterback hurries, nine pass breakups, three forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries. He posted six games with 10 or more tackles, including a career-best 19 tackles vs. Southern Miss as a sophomore, the most by a UK player since Cory Johnson had 19 tackles in 2015 against EKU.

Jones was a Second Team All-SEC selection as a sophomore in 2016. 

As a senior in 2018, West started in 12 of 13 games, finishing second on the team in total tackles with 86. His three interceptions were a team-high and tied him for seventh in the SEC. His six pass breakups were also tied for the team lead. 

West recorded a team-high 10 total tackles in Kentucky's 27-24 win over Penn State in the Citrus Bowl, blocked a field goal in the win at Missouri and in a loss at Texas A&M, returned a fumble 40 yards for a touchdown to late in the fourth quarter to send the game to overtime. His interception at Florida also helped seal the Wildcats' first win over the Gators since 1986 as he was named a Midseason Second Team All-American by The Athletic, a Third Team All-SEC by Phil Steele and was also named to the Reese's Senior Bowl. 

During his UK career, West overcame two devastating leg injuries to start 24 of 36 career games, totaling 189 career tackles, five tackles for loss, four interceptions, two forced fumbles, one fumble recorder and one blocked kick in helping the 2018 senior class win 29 games over the last four seasons, the second-most of any senior class at Kentucky since freshmen became eligible in 1972.

Jones and West helped lead a Kentucky defense that finished the 2018 season ranked 7th nationally in scoring defense, 19th in pass defense and 23rd in total defense. The Wildcats were the only Power 5 school to allow more than 24 points in a game just once this season. In 13 games, the UK defense allowed just three 100-yard rushers, its fewest in a season since 1996. 

Kentucky finished the 2018 season 10-3, its third 10-win season in school history and first in 41 years. The Wildcats had five players selected in the 2019 NFL Draft, the most since 1979. 

Our Latest Stories