Coming into the 2021 season, the Kentucky Wildcats were expected to once again have one of the SEC’s best offensive lines, but a big question mark was at center, where Drake Jackson departed after being a full-time stater since 2017.
Luke Fortner, who was a solid starting right guard for the last two years, ended up moving to center this spring, and I think it’s safe to say he’s been exactly what Kentucky needed.
On Monday, Fortner was named the SEC Offensive Lineman of the Week, the second time he’a earned it in his career after getting it in Week 1 following Kentucky’s win over Louisiana Monroe.
This time, Fortner anchored an offensive line that helped Kentucky run for 230 rushing yards in a 16-10 win over the South Carolina Gamecocks. He graded out at 84% with 26 blocks at the point of attack and did not miss an assignment or allow any QB pressures.
The real story was the impact he helped the Wildcats’ ground game make when they needed it most. Leading 13-7 with 9:43 remaining the Cats ran the ball seven-straight times to get into field-goal range and push the lead to 16-7.
After the Gamecocks got within 16-10, Kentucky ran out the final 2:31 minutes with five runs that gained 31 yards and two 1st downs.
Fortner may not generate the attention of guys like Wan’Dale Robinson, Chris Rodriguez and Wan’Dale Robinson, but he’s a big reason why they’re able to produce and help this team contend in the SEC.
Because Fortner is a sixth-year super senior who’s been here since 2016 with his team likely to make another bowl game, he should be part of all six Kentucky bowls under Mark Stoops.
Tweet of the Day:
Mark Stoops is giving Kentucky exactly what he promised nine years ago
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Ford to build electric battery park in KY, employ 5,000
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