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Friday Headlines: Salute to Chris Rodriguez Edition

Rodriguez finishes his career as one of the best running backs in school history.

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Louisville v Kentucky Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Kentucky running back Chris Rodriguez’s college career has come to a close.

Following his announcement via Instagram, the star RB made it clear he will not play in the team’s Music City Bowl and instead prepare for the NFL Draft that approaches in just a few months.

Rodriguez joins star quarterback Will Levis in announcements this week bowing out of the Music City Bowl vs. the Iowa Hawkeyes. It’s hard to fault either of them, especially considering the team’s underwhelming season and one fluke injury in the bowl game could drastically impact where they’re taken in the upcoming draft.

Instead of being down on Rodriguez, it feels more appropriate to acknowledge all of the career highlights he’s put together at Kentucky.

He quickly developed the nickname “C-Rod” and was instantly a fan favorite when he broke out on to the scene in 2019. Rodriguez has a bulldozer-like running style where he’s able to literally run people over and shed tackles as good as anyone in the country.

He ends his career with a total of 592 carries for 3,643 yards and 33 touchdowns. Rodriguez has never been known for his pass catching skills, but he still caught 20 passes for 116 yards and three more touchdowns. His rushing yards total finishes third in program history just behind Sonny Collins and former teammate Benny Snell. He finishes second in touchdowns behind only Snell, too.

Rodriguez leaves Kentucky as the program’s leader of 100-yard rushing games with 20. Last season he was named to the 2021 Associated Press All-SEC First Team after leading the conference in rushing yards. He was also named to the 2020 PFF All-SEC First Team.

He’s been a part of four bowl wins over Penn State, Virginia Tech, NC State and Iowa. Sadly, he won’t see the field on New Years Eve this season. But he has given Kentucky much to cheer for throughout his career and fans will certainly miss his game-changing ability in the run game.

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