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Multiple Kentucky Wildcats ranked among ESPN’s top 100 college football players

Can you guess which two?

Ray Davis. Jeremy Flax. Eli Cox. Devin Leary. Drew Brown - A Sea Of Blue

ESPN has released its top 100 college football players if the 2023 season. Ranking many quarterbacks high on the list of the best athletes, the national media site included two Kentucky Wildcats.

Running back Ray Davis, who transferred from Vanderbilt, came in at No. 75, and defensive back Maxwell Hairston was spotted at No. 97. No Wildcats football player broke the top 50.

Davis ended the season with a career-high 1,1,29 rushing yards. He spent his first two seasons in college at Temple, playing the next two at Vanderbilt and finally at Kentucky, where he set a career-high for rushing yards, rushing carries, receptions, receiving yards, and touchdowns (both rushing and receiving).

It was an impactful year, and Kentucky may have only managed a spot in a bowl game due to the impact of Davis this season. He ended the bowl game versus Clemson with 63 yards on 13 carries and a touchdown.

“The Vanderbilt transfer made one of the season’s biggest early statements, rushing for 280 yards and three touchdowns in a 33-14 blowout of Florida in September, and he finished his year in Lexington with 1,452 total yards (1,129 receiving) and 21 touchdowns (14 receiving),” ESPN’s staff wrote.

As for Hairston, Kentucky has been his only college, joining the program in 2021. He didn’t get much action last season either, but the star really broke onto the scene as a sophomore. He ended the season with 68 tackles and 1.5 tackles for a loss. He also had five interceptions and a forced fumble.

“A sure tackler and a ball hawk, Hairston picked off five passes, broke up six more, and nearly scored as many touchdowns (two from pick-sixes) as he allowed (3). His 89% tackle success rate is about as good as you’ll see from a cornerback in space, too,” ESPN noted.