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Thursday Headlines: Midseason All-Americans Edition

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Two members of the Big Blue Wall have received national recognition

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Syndication: The Courier-Journal Scott Utterback/Courier Journal; via Imagn Content Services, LLC

Kentucky’s Big Blue Wall has played a key role in the early success for the Wildcats.

The Kentucky offensive line has paved the way for Chris Rodriguez to be the fifth-leading rusher in the country and the Cats rank top 25 nationally in rushing yards per game.

And because of that success, two Wildcat offensive linemen have received national recognition by being named Midseason All-Americans by ESPN or On3 Sports.

Chattanooga v Kentucky Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Darian Kinnard was named to On3’s Midseason All-American team. Kinnard, Kentucky’s right tackle, has been key in paving the way for Kentucky’s running game, grading out as the top run-blocking tackle in the nation, per Pro Football Focus.

Kinnard could have declared for the draft last year, but came back and has proven to be one of the best offensive tackles in the country as also proven him by being named to the Outland Trophy watchlist.

NCAA Football: Missouri at Kentucky Jordan Prather-USA TODAY Sports

Eli Cox made ESPN’s Midseason All-American list. Cox, the Nicholasville native, was a three-star recruit coming out of West Jessamine High School and has made an impact as a redshirt sophomore.

Here’s what ESPN’s Mark Schlabach had to say about Cox:

In his first season as the starting right guard, Cox has helped solidify Kentucky’s “Big Blue Wall,” which has paved the way for the SEC’s leading rusher, Chris Rodriguez Jr. Thanks to its punishing ground game, Kentucky is 6-0 for the first time since 1950 and just the second time in the past 111 years. Described as the strongest pound-for-pound player on the team, Cox had seven knockdown blocks, 15 blocks at the point of attack and didn’t miss an assignment in last week’s 42-21 victory against LSU. Overall, he has graded at 80.8 percent with 15 knockdown blocks this season. He also recovered a fumble in the end zone, which was the winning touchdown against Missouri.

This year marks the first season as a starter on the offensive line for Cox. Just another example of a homegrown talent that has grown and developed in the Kentucky program.

A big congrats to Eli and Darian on their achievements!

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Good stuff.

Headlines

Mark Stoops compares Georgia defense to the ‘85 Bears - KSR

Oof.

Saturday means a little extra to Chris Rodriguez - Cats Pause

It’s a little different for the Georgia native.

Morgan Newton thinks the Cats stand a good shot on Saturday - Herald Leader

That UGA game was the shining moment for Morgan Newton’s career.

James Franklin says his team didn’t fake injuries - ESPN

Kirk Ferentz hinted at it earlier this week.

The Chicago Cubs may have their new GM - Bleacher Report

From Cleveland to Chicago.

Nets not planning to offer Kyrie massive extension - Yahoo

Hard to blame them.