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Kentucky Football

Kentucky to Honor LB Chris Oats Throughout the Season

September 25, 2020

Chris Oats and Deandre Square came into the Kentucky program together as two of the highest-rated signees in the 2018 Kentucky class. By year two, both of them had established themselves as the future of the inside linebacker position for the Wildcats. However, due to a medical emergency in May, Square will be without his running mate this season as Oats recovers. Square might have someone else running beside him on the field, but he will have his best friend there in spirit on Saturday as he wears Oats' No. 22 when the Cats take on Auburn.

"I'm honored to be the first player to wear No. 22," Square said in a release put out by UK. "Chris is my best friend on the team and wearing No. 22 will hopefully let him and everyone else know that he's always with us and he's going to be with us this whole season."

The plan is to have a different Wildcat wear No. 22 every week, with Oats' roommate Keaton Upshaw wearing it week 2 when Ole Miss travels to Lexington for the home opener.

Kentucky made #22OATSSTRONG wristbands that the team is wearing to show support for Oats and are ending practices with "22!" Details on his medical condition haven't been released, but UK has said that Oats is rehabbing at a facility in Ohio.

If you would like to help support Oats and his family, several team members created a GoFundMe page to help the family with medical bills. Go to or for more info on how you can help. 

Interesting Fact: This will be the fourth number DeAndre Square will wear in three seasons at Kentucky. He wore No. 43 his freshman year in which he played all 13 games as a true freshman. In year two, he wore the No. 17 as he transitioned into a starting role as a sophomore. He has chosen No. 5 for his Junior season, which he will debut against Ole Miss.

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Kentucky to Honor LB Chris Oats Throughout the Season

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