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Kentucky Position Breakdown: Offensive Line

Breaking down Kentucky’s key offensive linemen.

NCAA Football: Mississippi at Kentucky Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

A football team can only be really good if they have a good offensive line. Luckily, Kentucky has one of the top offensive lines in the SEC this season.

I have been a UK fan all my life and I have now wrote about Kentucky football for two seasons. In my lifetime (24 years) I have seen three really good offensive lines at UK.

The best seasons Kentucky has had from an offensive line stance was in 1999, 2006 and 2016 when UK was a semi-finalist for the Joe Moore Award, which recognizes the nation’s Most Outstanding Offensive Line.

With the being said, UK has only finished top-3 in their division three times since I was born in 1994. Oh yeah, the best they have finished? Tied for second.

Now, lets go ahead and break down the standout players for the offensive line:

Drake Jackson (redshirt sophomore C): The 6-foot-2 303-pound Versailles Kentucky native is going to be the anchor of the offensive line this year at Center for the Cats. Jackson played in 10 games last season and earned the starting job for the final 7 games of the season after Stallings and Haynes struggled with bad snaps at the beginning of the year.

After two games, many people were asking the question, “Where is Drake Jackson?”

Heck, I was even one of those people calling for Jackson to become a pivotal role in the offense.

After Jackson became the starter during the middle of the 2017 season, you instantly saw a change in the way the offense played. Benny Snell’s numbers instantly went up, helping him get to another 1,000-yard season and UK was now in games that people thought they didn’t have a chance in.

Jackson was an Army All-American, as well as he was named a captain for the West squad in the game. Jackson was ranked the nation’s no. 2 center by 247sports and 3rd best center in the nation by ESPN.

Jackson picked Kentucky over several schools including, Alabama, Florida, Ohio State, LSU and Tennessee. As you can see, Jackson is a very talented Center and he is very athletic. If the coaching staff and the offense lean on Jackson and let him be the anchor of that offense, I don’t know how UK doesn’t get to another bowl game.

George Asafo-Adjei (Senior RT): the 6-foot-5 315-pound tackle is a player most people probably never really thought about until his season in 2017. The Lakota West product saw action in all 13 games last season, while starting seven of those games. He was a big part in helping Benny Snell become the first back in school history to rush for back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons.

Asafo-Adjei was an All-State player in Ohio and rated the no. 27 guard in the class of 2015 by Scout. He was a two-year offensive and defensive line starter for Lakota West High School and earned a three-star rating by Rivals, ESPN and Scout.

Asafo-Adjei has developed into a very strong and athletic player for the Cats and I expect him to have a great year and be one of the three offensive lineman that will be able to play in the NFL.

Landon Young (Junior LT): The 6-foot-7 305-pound Lexington, KY native is poised to have a big 2018 junior season for Kentucky. Young played in all 13 games as a sophomore, while snagging a starting spot in six of those games.

Landon Young has the body of an NFL player and the talent to go with it. Young was rated the no. 12 overall prospect in the nation by 247sports and No. 1 overall in the state of Kentucky. He was also an Army All-American, when he was named the top offensive lineman of the game.

As a freshman, young was able to block on 27 touchdowns for UK and I expect a lot of that this season. Landon Young is one of the guys I can see going to the NFL, if not this year, then the next season. He is very big, and he is probably one of the most athletic tackles in the SEC, if not the nation.

If Young can manage to keep getting better and play with a chip on his shoulder, I expect nothing less than a 7-8-win season for Kentucky.

Logan Stenberg (LG Redshirt Junior): The 6-foot06 320-pound Madison, AL product is back for his fourth season at UK and his expected second year as a starter for the Kentucky offensive line. Stenberg is a very strong and athletic guy for UK and many people think he’s an NFL type lineman.

Stenberg is expected to be the starting left guard this season for Kentucky and after the season he had in 2017, why not? He has 37 knockdown blocks his redshirt freshman year and over 40 his sophomore year. He has helped Benny Snell become the first back in school history with consecutive 1,000-yard rushing seasons.

Stenberg is a HUGE lineman, and not only that, but he is very athletic as well. When Stenberg pulls, he is quick finding a hole and clearing it out for the backs and making holes. He needs to improve his speed just a bit, but overall, I look for him to have a big season and have a chance to play in the NFL next season, if not this season.

Jervontius “Bunchy” Stallings (RG Redshirt Senior): the 6-foot-3 315-pound utility lineman is primed and ready for a bigger and better 2018 season with Kentucky. Bunchy has 18 starts as a Wildcat and four pf those starts came as the team’s starting center, before finishing the season as the teams starting right guard.

Bunchy is a big and athletic lineman. Some say he may be a bit undersized in height, but so far it hasn’t stopped him. Stallings came out of high school in 2014 as a top-20 center in the nation before redshirting his first year at UK. He was a very important part of helping Kentucky’s offensive line to becoming a semi-finalist for the Joe Moore Award and helping Benny Snell and Boom Williams become the SEC’s only two 1,000-yard rushers in 2016.

The only downfall I can see with Stallings is his speed. He is a little slow getting off the ball, but if he can get a bit quicker and lose about 10 pounds I could see him as a big part of the UK offensive line.

This Kentucky offensive line has me more excited than I have ever been for a Kentucky Football season. I believe UK will have a top-3 ranked offensive line in the SEC this season. Put your seatbelt on and enjoy the ride.