Good morning, BBN!
The College Football regular season is officially over, and that means there are awards and recognitions that need to be sent out.
Four University of Kentucky football players have been recognized for their outstanding performances this season. Running back Ray Davis and defensive tackle Deone Walker were named to the All-Southeastern Conference first team by The Associated Press, while all-purpose player Barion Brown and defensive back Maxwell Hairston earned second-team honors.
Brown and Walker were also named third-team All-American by College Football Network, while Hairston and Davis were honorable mentions.
Davis made a significant impact with 1,066 rushing yards and 13 touchdowns, alongside 317 receiving yards and seven touchdowns. He holds the program’s single-season record for touchdowns and scoring.
Deone Walker in 2023:— Clay Fink (@clay_fink) December 4, 2023
(Rank among 256 qualified Power 5 IDL)
81.5 Defensive Grade (11th/256)
40 Pressures (T-3rd)
6 Sacks (T-6th)
14.1% Pass Rush Win Rate (11th)
81.3 Pass Rush Grade (T-10th)
81.8 Run Defense Grade (15th)
18 Run Stops (T-19th)
Walker, with his impressive size and physicality, has been a key player on the defensive line, leading the team in tackles for loss, sacks, and quarterback hurries.
Brown and Hairston have also made remarkable contributions to the team. Brown, a sophomore, leads the SEC and ranks second nationally with an average of 31.7 yards per kickoff return.
He’s the only player in the SEC with two kickoff return touchdowns this season, also leading UK in pass receptions.
Hairston, another sophomore, has made a name for himself with five interceptions, ranking fifth in the nation and tying for fifth-most in a single season in Kentucky’s history. His performance includes two interceptions returned for touchdowns in a single game, tying an SEC record.
The Kentucky Wildcats, with a 7-5 record, are set to face No. 22-ranked Clemson in the 79th TaxSlayer Gator Bowl. This appearance marks Kentucky’s eighth consecutive bowl appearance under Coach Stoops, a school record and a notable achievement in the SEC.
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Walker finished the regular season with 51 tackles, most for a UK interior lineman since Cory Johnson in 2015.
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