The Kentucky Wildcats are poised to have a great season, and not just as a team. Multiple players have been put on watch lists for individual achievements.
One of the chosen few up for the 2018 Wuerffel Trophy, known as “College Football’s Premier Award for Community Service,” is senior tight end C.J. Conrad. He is one of 106 candidates that were nominated for this award due to his community service along with his great athletic and academic achievements.
Conrad has been a one of the most active college athletes in the community service field. In 2017, he went on a service trip to the Dominican Republic where he visited an orphanage, constructed park benches in a sugar cane village, distributed food to the hungry, visited a nursing home and spent time with special needs children at a local daycare.
Conrad kept busy last year continuing his service visiting local hospitals, he was a guest speaker at multiple public schools, and was part of the Amachi Central Kentucky mentoring program.
During this time, he also grew a personal bond with a young boy named Ryan Cremeens. Ryan is a 9-year-old cancer patient living in Richmond, Kentucky. C.J. invited him to be his special guest at the 2017 Blue/White Spring Game and run out of the tunnel with the team after Ryan was able to finish his chemotherapy. You can read more about C.J and Ryan here.
C.J. also has excellent academic achievements to go along with his community service. He is a member of the 2017 SEC Academic Honor Roll and Dean’s List, and is on track to graduate in December with a degree in communications. With the 2017 winner also being a Kentucky Wildcat, Courtney Love, all eyes are on C.J. to see if the Wildcats can repeat on this outstanding award.
Another member of the football team, Lynn Bowden Jr., has been named to the Paul Hornung Award presented by Texas Roadhouse Preseason Watch List. The Hornung Award honors College and Pro Football Hall of Famer Paul Hornung, who is considered one of the most versatile players in football history. Now in his memory, the award is given out to the most versatile player in all of college football each year.
Bowden is a 6-foot-1 195 lbs wide receiver that also returns kickoffs. He is expected to break out in his 2018 season even though his freshman numbers last year were respectable as well. He caught 17 passes for 210 yards, rushed 12 times for 37 yards and returned 37 kicks for 869 yards, an average of 23.5 yards per return. He was also thrown in at quarterback, a position he played in high school, completing 3-of-4 passes for 92 yards.
These traits show exactly why he’s in consideration for this award. He fits so well into whatever spot you need him to. He’s the true renaissance man of Kentucky football. In his first season last year he set school records across the board. He set UK freshman records for most returns in a season, most returns in a game, and the most kickoff yards in a season.
Bowden was named SEC Freshman of the Week on Oct. 9 after piling up 128 all-purpose yards in a 40-34 win over Missouri. Late in the season, he had UK’s longest kick return since 2009, a 93-yarder in a win at Vanderbilt that was part of his career-high 192 all-purpose yards that day. This man does it all, and you can expect to see Bowden make an even bigger team impact this season.
Best of luck to both of these young men and to the rest of the Wildcats up for more awards this season.