Freshman safety Vito Tisdale is “growing” into the Kentucky system

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Freshman safety Vito Tisdale is “growing” into the Kentucky system

(UK Athletics photo)

By Larry Vaught
Safety Vito Tisdale of Bowling Green was one of the top players in Kentucky’s 2020 signing class and drew consistent praise during preseason drills. He’s played only a limited role this season and had his best game when he made three solo tackles against Tennessee.

“I think he has obviously started to grow into our system and his job responsibility,” Kentucky defensive coordinator Brad White.  “He can bring a twitch and dynamic playmaking.”

White said Tisdale’s lack of playing time has not diminished anything about his future and not to read too much into the number of snaps he’s had this season.

“It is more looking at what he can be as a player as he develops in our systems and gets comfortable and gets his feet under him,” White said.

The defensive coordinator compared him to redshirt freshman linebacker JJ Weaver who played sparingly in 2019 and has blossomed into a consistent playmaker this season.

“Vito has sort of that same trajectory,” White said. “It is not a simple defense that we run. There are some complexities and moving parts. Offenses do not make it easy. They do not live in a stagnant world

“It is a lot for a true freshman, especially at the position Vito plays. It is starting to slow down a little bit for him but we never want to take that ball player out of him.”

Safety Yusuf Corker, one of UK’s best defensive players this year, likes what he has seen from Tisdale.

“Our defense is not easy to learn. As the season went on he is learning and getting comfortable with it,” Corker said. “When you get comfortable you can make more plays and I am pretty sure you are going to see him more this season.”

Tisdale’s former Bowling Green High School teammate, tight end Jordan Dingle, will be joining him at UK next season. The 6-4, 235-pound Dingle picked UK over Purdue, Vanderbilt, Georgia Tech (where his brother plays) and Virginia Tech last week. Kentucky began recruiting Dingle while it was recruiting Tisdale, one of the nation’s top safeties in the 2020 recruiting class.

Dingle is ranked among the nation’s top 20 tight ends in the 2021 recruiting class and is the first tight end to commit to UK in two years. He also gives UK commitments from six of the state’s eight top-ranked recruits.

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