Kentucky Wildcats running back Chris Rodriguez Jr. has been named to the 2021 Maxwell Award Watch List. This award is presented annually to the outstanding player in college football.
Rodriguez, a 5-foot-11, 224-pounder from McDonough (GA), led the Cats in rushing in 2020 with 785 yards and 11 touchdowns, despite missing two games due to COVID-19 protocols. He still finished with four 100-yard rushing games, including three of the final four games for which he was available.
More impressively, Rodriguez had 105-straight carries without being tackled behind the line of scrimmage and gained positive yardage on 116 of his 119 total attempts. He delivered a career-best 149 yards vs. Vanderbilt on Nov. 14 and led the SEC in yards per attempt at 6.6.
Overall, Rodriguez ranked fifth in the SEC in rushing yards per game (87.2). He currently has 1,361 career rushing yards, good for the 27th-most in school history.
Rodriguez also has been named preseason Second-Team All-SEC by Athlon Sports, Third-Team All-SEC by Phil Steele, and a preseason honorable mention All-American by Pro Football Focus.
The Maxwell Award has been presented to the College Player of the Year since 1937 and is named in honor of Robert “Tiny” Maxwell, a former standout at the Swarthmore College, as well as a renowned sports writer and football official. Semifinalists for the award will be announced on November 1 and the three finalists on November 22.