A trio of Kentucky Wildcats have been named to the 2022 SEC All-Freshman Team:
- Barion Brown made it as a wide receiver, all-purpose player and return specialist.
- Jager Burton was picked as an offensive linemen.
- Deone Walker checked in as a defensive lineman.
A 6-foot-1, 166-pounder from Nashville (TN), Brown led the Wildcats with 45 catches for 604 yards and four touchdowns while averaging 13.4 yards per catch. His four receiving scores are the second-most by a freshman in school history, behind only teammate Dane Key’s record of six. Brown also led the team in kick return yardage with 15 returns for 424 yards and one score, averaging 28.3 yards per return. He ranked fifth in the SEC in receiving yards per game (50.33) and was eighth in receptions per game (3.75).
Brown earned SEC Player of the Week honors three times, once as SEC Special Teams Player of the Week and twice as SEC Co-Freshman of the Week, becoming the first Wildcat to win an SEC weekly award three times in a single season since Lynn Bowden Jr. in 2019. He also was named to the 2022 PFF College All-True Freshman Team and was a College Football News Third-Team All-American.
Burton, a 6-foot-4, 301-pound Lexington (KY) native, started all 12 games at left guard and helped running back Chris Rodriguez Jr. average 113 rushing yards per game. Burton became the first UK freshman offensive lineman to start all 12 games since Zach West in 2012. He’s also the first Wildcat offensive linemen to earn Freshman All-SEC honors since Logan Stenberg in 2016.
In 12 games, Burton played 803 snaps and had 25 knockdowns.
Walker, a 6-foot-6, 330-pounder from Detroit (MI), finished the regular season with 39 tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss, one sack, five quarterback hurries, two pass breakups and one forced fumble. He has been named to the Pro Football Focus True Freshman All-America Team, the College Football News All-America First Team and was recently named the SEC Co-Defensive Lineman of the Week on Nov. 28 for his role in UK’s 26-13 win over intrastate rival Louisville.
Additionally, Walker was a Shaun Alexander Freshman of the Year Award semifinalist and a Midseason True Freshman All-American by several outlets, including The Athletic, 247 Sports, On3.com and College Football News.