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Zach Johnson and Justin Rigg announce they will return to Kentucky

The Cats are getting several key players back for 2021.

Vanderbilt vs Kentucky Photo by Mark Cornelison/Collegiate Images/Getty Images

The Kentucky Wildcats won the Gator Bowl on Saturday with a 23-21 win over the NC State Wolfpack.

Due to the coronavirus, this was basically a free season for fall and winter sports, meaning that seniors could return next season if they wanted to.

After the game, the Cats started getting the news of some key players that are coming back for another season.

The first to do so was Josh Ali, who was the Cats’ leading receiver this season and will be a huge boost to the brand-new offense under Liam Coen in 2021.

The second announcement was from special teams star Zach Johnson.

“Big Blue Nation, after much thought and consideration with my family and coaches, I’ve decided that my time here at the University of Kentucky isn’t over,” Johnson announced. “I’m coming back to pursue my Master’s degree and represent this great university on the field I’m blessed to have this opportunity and look forward to bettering myself and going to war with my team for another year.”

Johnson has been one of Kentucky’s top players on special teams, as he’s handled kickoff returns while also being one of the top tacklers on coverage units.

Soon after Johnson announced his return, the Cats got another key player back for 2021, as tight end Justin Rigg announced he would be back as well.

“After many discussions with my family and coaches, I have decided to return to the Kentucky football team for the 2021 season,” Rigg announced. “I look forward to having another year with this great team. I am very honored to have been welcomed back and am excited for the future to come.”

Over the last two seasons, Rigg has caught 22 passes for 265 yards and one score, which came in the 38-35 win over Vanderbilt. He’s mainly a blocker who’s helped Kentucky’s rushing attack be one of the best in the SEC over the last two years, so getting him back is great news for the ground game.

The football future is very bright in Lexington and I know the BBN is ready for what is next as we look towards the 2021 season.