“I’m not going anywhere,” Rodriguez told KSR.
Despite not starting a game for the Cats due to the coaches’ infatuation with AJ Rose, Rodriguez was truly UK’s No. 1 back this year. Next season, he will only get better as he dominates the touches in the backfield.
Rodriguez was Kentucky’s leading rusher this season (701 yards), which was good for 10th in the SEC, even though he only played eight games. He also did this despite ranking just 13th in carries with 102 on the season, which just seems like coaching malpractice at this point.
Rodriguez averaged 6.9 yards per carry, which was good for No. 1 in the SEC by a wide margin, and he ranked fifth with nine rushing touchdowns on the season. Oh, and he scored a touchdown every 11.3 carries, the best TD-to-carry ratio in school history.
However, the most amazing stat of them all is this one:
FACT: @CROD_JR is nearly impossible to bring down behind the line of scrimmage.— Matt May (@MattMayKY) December 7, 2020
He's lost yardage on just three of 175 career rushing attempts and only once in 102 this season (first of year).@UKFootball | #WeAreUK pic.twitter.com/cNLTSSW5zO
Rodriguez ended up being the second-highest-graded running back in the entire country, according to PFF, which earned him PFF First Team All-SEC honors and Second Team All-America honors.
Congrats to all nine of our @PFF_College All-@SEC selections— Kentucky Football (@UKFootball) December 26, 2020
First Team: @jamindavis25 @THE_DRAKE_52 @Darian_70 @CROD_JR
Second Team: @QBohanna @YCorker @Max__Duffy
Third Team: @Landon_Young_67
Honorable Mention: @JPaschalx pic.twitter.com/eRVNSxh9em
If Rodriguez had been able to garner as many carries as some of the other top backs across the country, I’m convinced he would have put up Benny Snell-type numbers and earned more national attention.
But that’s why it’s so big that he’s returning for his junior season, because now, C-Rod has the opportunity to prove he’s one of the best in the business. And that’s music to BBN’s ears.