Four Wildcats Earn Associated Press All-SEC Honors

Four Wildcats Earn Associated Press All-SEC Honors

by Susan Lax

Four University of Kentucky football players earned a spot on the Associated Press All-Southeastern Conference teams announced Wednesday in a vote of media members. Junior offensive tackle Darian Kinnard was named to the first team, while senior punter Max Duffy, senior center Drake Jackson and senior offensive tackle Landon Young were named to the second team.
Kinnard, who hails from Knoxville, Tennessee, has played in 32 career games with 25 consecutive starts at tackle. He graded at 88 percent in 10 games this season with 40 knockdown blocks and 138 blocks at the point of attack. He also was a candidate for the Outland Trophy this season.
Duffy, a native of Perth, Australia, had another sensational season and will finish his career as the school’s all-time leading punter. He averaged 45.8 yards per punt this season, including 10 of 50+ yards/ He dropped 13 punts inside the opponent’s 20-yard line and boomed a career-long 75-yarder at Auburn. It is the third-longest in school history behind Paul Calhoun’s 80-yarder vs. Indiana in 1983 and Randy Jenkins’ 78-yarder vs. Tennessee in 1983.
Jackson, a native of Versailles, Kentucky, has played in 46 career games with 43 consecutive starts at center. He graded at 85 percent in 10 games played in 2020, missing just one assignment in 627 snaps. He also had 38 knockdown blocks and led the team with 167 blocks at the point of attack. He was on the watch lists for both the Outland Trophy for the best interior lineman and the Rimington Trophy for the nation’s top center.
Young, of Lexington, Kentucky, has appeared in 47 career games, with 31 starts, including 23 in a row at left tackle. He was named SEC Offensive Lineman of the Week twice this season (Oct. 19 and Nov. 16) and after 10 games, graded at 89 percent, did not miss an assignment, and led the “Big Blue Wall” in knockdown blocks with 56.  He totaled 163 blocks at the point of attack.
Kentucky will face N.C. State in the TaxSlayer Gator Bowl on Jan. 2 in Jacksonville, Florida. Coach Mark Stoops is the first head man to lead UK to five consecutive bowl appearances.  As a program, UK is tying its school record for consecutive bowl games, with four under Coach Rich Brooks from 2006-09, followed by one with Coach Joker Phillips in 2010. Georgia is the only other SEC East program to earn a bowl invitation each of the past five seasons.
The Cats finished the season 4-6 and look to continue their winning ways after defeating South Carolina in the regular-season finale. Kentucky played a 10-game schedule exclusively against SEC opposition and now has won at least four league games in four of the last five years. UK has won 20 SEC games over the last five years, most in any five-year period in school history. 

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