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AJ Rose showing he can run the show in 2019

AJ Rose appears ready to take over the starting role in the backfield when Benny Snell undoubtedly heads to the NFL after this season.

Jason Marcum - Sea of Blue

When the Kentucky Wildcats football season comes to an end, which is the furthest thing from Big Blue Nation’s mind right now, the reality of players that the program will lose will become very evident.

Obviously, seniors Mike Edwards, Josh Allen, and Jordan Jones are destined to play on Sundays. With the season he’s putting together, there’s little doubt that junior running back Benny Snell Jr. will enter the 2019 NFL Draft.

But don’t worry Cats’ fans, as AJ Rose (Snell’s current backup), appears very capable of filling Benny’s shoes.

Rose had 7 rushes for 38 yards in Saturday’s game against South Carolina, including a 24-yard romp for a touchdown.

Rose has been getting into most games after the second or third offensive series in order to give Snell a blow. On UK’s fourth offensive series, Rose entered the game with 12:23 left in the first half.

Playing almost exclusively as Terry Wilson’s personal protector during the first four plays of the Wildcats’ possession, Rose got his first carry on 1st and 10 from the Gamecocks 39 yard line.

Rose ripped off gains on the ground of 9 and 6 yards respectively before rumbling 24 yards and ducking inside the pylon for six points. Rose’s touchdown gave the Cats a 17-3 lead that they never relinquished.

Saturday’s performance against the Gamecocks was a follow up to Rose’s 9 carry, 47 yard performance last weekend against Mississippi State, a game in which he showed both power and speed against a physical Bulldogs front seven.

For the season, AJ Rose has 193 yards on 26 carries with 3 rushing touchdowns.

Benny Snell played the role of thunder, pounding the ball between the tackles, to Stanley “Boom” Williams lightning, sprinting toward the boundaries and up the sideline, during his freshman year in 2016.

Rose has been a nice change of pace in the backfield for the Wildcats this season, and will likely take over the starting role from Snell next season.

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