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Kentucky Football: Top 4 Offensive Players for 2017

The Cats are looking for another big year. Here are four offensive guys that can help make that happen.

NCAA Football: New Mexico State at Kentucky
Benny Snell Jr. Is going to be a huge part of the Cats offense again this year
Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

The 2017 college football season is back and fans are more excited than ever. In lieu of the new season, we are going to preview Kentucky football's top four offensive players.

There are several players that could be on this list, but these players are in my opinion the most important to Kentucky on the offensive side of the ball. Let us know your top four in the comments section!

1. Jervontius “Bunchy” Stallings

I begin the list with Bunchy Stallings because the offense starts with the snap of the ball. The junior center has big shoes to replace in last year’s veteran center, Jon Toth.

Stallings is going to have to be the anchor for the Cats’ offensive line and all of Kentucky’s production on the offensive side of the ball is going to start there. Stallings did very well at guard last year, so the hope is he makes an easy transition to center and continues to play at a high level.

But, playing center is no easy task, so this may be a work in progress early in the season. Kentucky has a good back-up in freshman center Drake Jackson, but they want to slowly work him into the offensive line rotation. Stallings will be very good, but it will take a couple games to catch his groove.

2. Stephen Johnson

The 6’2”, now 185-lb senior quarterback has to be number 2 on the list. Johnson led the Cats to a huge win over No. 10 Louisville and Heisman Trophy winner Lamar Jackson, and he helped the Vats reach their first bowl game since 2008, playing in the TaxSlayer Bowl against Georgia Tech.

Johnson took over the starting job after the Drew Barker injury. Johnson helped the team to a 7-4 record while passing for 2,037 yards and racking up 13 touchdowns.

The one downfall to Johnson’s play last season was that he had trouble holding onto the football. He was a turnover machine at times, and that’s a big reason why the coaches have made this an open quarterback competition.

If Johnson can step up again this season, I could very well see an eight or nine-win football team. First, he has to secure the job and avoid the turnover bug to keep his spot for all of his senior season.

3. Benny Snell Jr.

Last season, Benny Snell was part of the dynamic duo with Stanley “Boom” Williams, with both players rushing for over 1,000 yards. Both finished in the SEC’s top 10 in rushing.

Snell will be looking to have another 1,000-yard rushing season, but that’s going to be tough. The entire SEC is going to be trying to make a statement against the freshman All-American.

Snell is one of the toughest runners I have seen in my lifetime at the college football level, so I really hope his success can continue. Offensive coordinator Eddie Gran will have to come up with some clever way now to get him the ball.

Snell will be fine and a key player to the Cats’ offense, but Gran will play a huge part of this, depending on how he uses Snell.

4. Austin MacGinnis

Yes…. I know MacGinnis is a kicker... But, he is second in Kentucky history for points scored in a career (257), behind only former kicker, Lones Seiber.

Last season, MacGinnis hit 16-of-19 field goals for 84.2 percent, while hitting two game-winning field goals; one against Mississippi State as time expired and one against Louisville as 10 seconds remained.

MacGinnis may be a special teams player, but the amount of offense he produces with his leg, he had to make the list.

There is several things the Cats will need to do this season on the offensive side of the ball to be effective, but if these five players don’t produce, the Cats may not reach a bowl in the 2017-18 season.

Let us know your top four offensive players in the comments!