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Kentucky Wildcats Quickies: Running Back State Edition

Benny Snell and Damien Harris top running backs, is Wenyen Gabriel undervalued, Terry Wilson in Arizona, and more!

NCAA Football: Music Bowl-Kentucky vs Northwestern Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning Big Blue Nation!

The state of Kentucky isn’t known for football. Basketball is King ‘round these parts. But two of the nation’s premier college running backs both have ties to the Bluegrass state.

According to Athlon Sports, Benny Snell and Damien Harris are two of the top 50 running backs in college football. Snell will be the Kentucky Wildcats’ premiere player on offense and Harris is a native of Kentucky.

Snell checks in at 12:

12. Benny Snell, Kentucky

With Kentucky’s offense breaking in a new quarterback, Snell should expect another heavy workload in 2018. After rushing for 1,091 yards and 13 touchdowns as a freshman in 2016, Snell improved on those totals last fall. Over 13 games, Snell rushed for 1,333 yards and 19 touchdowns. Snell leads the way among returning backs in the SEC.

And Harris checks in at 8:

8. Damien Harris, Alabama

Alabama’s backfield is loaded with talent and options for new play-caller Mike Locksley, but Harris passed on the NFL for another year in Tuscaloosa and a chance to anchor the ground game once again. Harris has posted back-to-back 1,000-yard campaigns and averaged 7.4 yards per rush on 135 carries last fall. The Kentucky native has yet to eclipse more than 20 carries in a contest but that could change in 2018 with Bo Scarbrough leaving for the NFL.

Well deserved for both players.

Tweets of the Day

The common thought was that Wenyen Gabriel chose to stay in the draft in large part to help support the family. This is not the case and he wanted to make it clear.

I concur.

Calipari showing off his Italian pride.


Brad Calipari finding success in Europe | Lexington Herald Leader- Brad toured Europe with The Global Sports Academy team and had a good run of games. They moved him from shooting guard to point guard and the fit was natural.

Kentucky tied for fourth best odds for national title | Courier-Journal- Kentucky and Gonzaga are both 10-1. I think the addition of Reid Travis, if it happens, will make Kentucky the favorite.

Kentucky may miss Gabriel more than we realize | Cats Pause- Gabriel’s ability to stretch the floor set him apart from other bigs and his hustle plays will be difficult to replace.

UK track and field earn awards | UK Athletics- Coach Floreal swept the Men’s and Women’s Coach of the Year Award for the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association. Jasmine Camacho-Quinn picked up the award for the ladies and Tim Duckworth was the Athlete of the Year.

Terry Wilson working out in Arizona | Courier-Journal- Prospective Kentucky QB Terry Wilson is getting some extra work this offseason in Arizona. Wilson’s athleticism is his greatest attribute but he is working to fine-tune his throwing mechanics heading into summer camp.

John Beilein interviews with Pistons | CBS- The Michigan head coach has built quite the program for the Wolverines but he may not be there for much longer. After dismissing Stan Van Gundy, Beilein is in their crosshairs.

Tristan Thompson’s fine for a flagrant foul reduced | ESPN- Thompson was hit with an extremely bogus flagrant foul near the end of regulation in Game One of the NBA Finals. The foul was also reduced from a flagrant 2 to a flagrant 1.