A Kentucky Wildcats legend has been named the best college football player from his home state.
Former UK return man and wide receiver Derek Abney was named the top college football player from the state of North Dakota by Fox Sports in a list of the top college football players from all 50 states.
Abney played for the Wildcats from 2000-03. He totaled 3,357 return yards and eight return touchdowns during his college career. He also made 197 career catches for 2,339 yards and 18 touchdowns.
The North Dakota-born wideout became the first player in NCAA history to accumulate 2,000 receiving yards, 2,000 kickoff return yards and 1,000 punt return yards in his career. He also became just the fourth player in SEC history to be named a First-Team All-American as a junior, Second-Team All-American as a senior, and a three-year First-Team All-SEC honoree.
Abney left Lexington with the second-most all-purpose yards in SEC history. He was selected in the seventh round of the 2004 NFL Draft by the Baltimore Ravens and also had a short stint with the Chicago Bears in 2005, but injuries never allowed him to play a regular season game in the NFL.
He was inducted into the UK Athletics Hall of Fame in 2012.
Shaun Alexander earned the honor as the best college football player from Kentucky. He finished his four-year collegiate career with 3,443 rushing yards and 40 rushing touchdowns.
When he left Alabama in 1999, Alexander held 15 school records, including total rushing yards and yards per carry.
A Boone County High School grad and Kentucky Mr. Football award winner, Alexander was drafted in the first round of the 2000 NFL Draft by the Seattle Seahawks. In Seattle, he won the 2005 NFL MVP Award and led the Seahawks to their first-ever Super Bowl appearance.
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