Photo courtesy of UK Athletics
University of Kentucky senior Jacob Hyde has been a member of the UK program since Mark Stoops arrived to campus in December 2012.
Hyde, a 6-2, 320lb defensive tackle from Manchester, KY., was the first verbal commitment for the Class of 2013, the final class for former UK Coach Joker Phillips.
During his time at Kentucky, Hyde has excelled in the classroom and the community. The UK senior was named to the SEC Academic Honor roll on two occasions (2015 and 2016) and as a junior, Hyde was named to UK’s prestigious Frank G. Ham Society of Character, which honors UK athletes who show commitment to academics, athletics, personal development, career preparation, and being a role model in the community.
Hyde came to Kentucky as one of the nation’s top defensive tackles in the 2013 class. After redshirting during the 2013 season, Hyde played sparingly as a freshman and sophomore, seeing action in five games as a defensive tackle and fullback. During his junior season, he played in 12 of 13 games and hopes to earn a more consistent role on the field for his final season in Lexington.
The coaching staff describes Hyde as a hard worker and the senior knows an opportunity will present itself, he just has to continue to work.
“I just got to keep showing that I can play,” said Hyde. “For me to get on the field, I just have to keep grinding it out, be the most durable, and the most in shape.”
Since his arrival to campus in 2013, the program has undergone a total transformation, not only on the field, but off the field as well. The facilities have improved, the team has made strides, and even the meals are better.
“We went from playing on grass to playing on turf — I went from practicing at old Nutter to new Nutter — I went from only being able to serve fruits, nuts, and bagels, to being able to get eggs in the mornings, or to get three meals,” said Hyde. “It’s crazy how this program has changed and it will impact college athletes for the rest of their lives.”
The facility upgrades and better meals are nice improvements made during Hyde’s career, but the improvement on the field has been the main goal. Hyde knows for the program to continue climbing, exceeding last seasons results is required, because anything less is unacceptable.
“We have to be better than we were last year,” said Hyde. “You can’t go down from where you were at — it’s only up from here — I don’t settle for anything less than that.”
Regardless of what this season holds, Hyde will continue to work and give his all for the Big Blue Nation. Labeled a hard worker, Hyde hopes the fans will remember him for his dedication and effort that he has given to the program for five years.