The Kentucky Wildcats are starting to get more love from the national media as they’ve appeared on a handful of top 25 lists since the Big Ten and Pac-12 announced they would not play college football this fall.
That praise continued Thursday as three Wildcats earned preseason All-American honors from CBS Sports while head coach Mark Stoops received national coach of the year votes.
Punter Max Duffy was the lone Wildcat to learn First-Team All-American honors. The former Rugby star was named the Ray Guy Award winner in 2019 after averaging 48.1 yards per punt that included a 70-yard boot. He also successfully converted on a fake picking up a 26-yard gain for the Cats against Missouri and recorded two tackles.
Meanwhile, offensive lineman Drake Jackson and Darian Kinnard earned second-team honors.
Jackson is entering his third full season as the Wildcats starting center and earned AP First-Team All-SEC honors last season. Kinnard will enter his second season as UK’s starting right tackle after earning second-team All-American honors from Pro Football Focus last season.
CBS Sports selected Oklahoma’s Creed Humphrey and Tennessee’s Trey Smith as the first-team starters ahead of the UK duo.
Finally, Stoops made an appearance on the preseason national coach of the year ballot. Clemson’s Dabo Swinney won the award while others to get votes included Mack Brown of North Carolina, Dan Mullen of Florida, Gary Patterson of TCU and Brian Kelly of Notre Dame.
While the Cats haven’t gotten much respect in terms of win-loss predictions, it’s good to see them getting more and more respect when it comes to the preseason honors.