After losing so much talent to graduation and the NFL, many believed the Kentucky Wildcats were going to take a huge step back this season.
But despite a slew of injuries, you would be hard pressed to find anyone who did not think of this season as a success. Some of the hard work put in by this gritty team is already being recognized with post season awards as eight Wildcats have been named All-SEC.
Four of those Cats were voted on by the Associated Press as first team All-SEC. Drake Jackson, Logan Stenberg, Lynn Bowden, and Maxy Duffy were named to this prestigious list. Only one school had more than Kentucky’s four players on the first team All-SEC squad, and that was Alabama.
Oh yeah! Eight Wildcats on the 2019 @PFF_College All-@SEC Team #BringIt @Darian_70 @THE_DRAKE_52 @LBStenberg @calv_huncho @JamarW31 @CedrickDjr @matayo_echols @LynnBowden_1 pic.twitter.com/aXnYvpgsld— Kentucky Football (@UKFootball) December 9, 2019
Even more players were recognized to the PFF College All-SEC team. PFF College is a company that specializes in statistics used by teams and the media to analyze performance in college football. In addition to Jackson, Stenberg, and Bowden, PFF College selected Brandin Echols, Cedrick Dort, Boogie Watson, Darian Kinnard, and Calvin Taylor, Jr. to their All-Conference squad.
For the second year in a row, Kentucky nearly had the SEC leader in sacks, as Calvin Taylor (8) finished one shy of the lead held by Florida’s Jonathan Greenard (9). And after losing the entire secondary, the Wildcats have one of the top pass defenses in the country.
So much is being said about Eddie Gran and Lynn Bowden (rightfully so), but at some point Brad White needs a huge bonus for what he has done with these defensive guys.
One last honor is on the academics side, as Kentucky long-snapper Blake Best has been named to the College Sports Information Directors of America Academic All-America first team. This is Best’s second Academic All-America award as he was named to the second team last season. He graduated summa cum laude in December of 2018 with a double major in economics and finance with a perfect 4.0 grade point average. He is currently working on a master’s degree in finance.
This is a huge honor for all of these players at the end of a bumpy, but successful season. Were there any names that you feel are missing from these lists?