Seven University of Kentucky football players earned a spot on Athlon Sports’ preseason All-Southeastern Conference teams it was announced today.
Junior linebacker Jordan Jones (Youngstown, Ohio) was named to the first-team defense after leading the SEC in solo tackles per game (5.7) last season. Overall, he led UK and ranked third in the league in total tackles per game with 8.4. He finished the season with 109 tackles and led the Wildcats with 15.5 tackles for loss.
Junior safety Mike Edwards (Cincinnati, Ohio) and junior defensive end/linebacker Denzil Ware (Opp, Ala.) are second-team defense. Edwards led all SEC defensive backs in tackles in 2016 with 100 and was one of just six players overall in the SEC with 100 or more tackles on the season. He ranked second on the team and seventh overall in the SEC in tackles per game (7.7) and tied for 10th in the conference in total passes defended (11). Ware returns as one of Kentucky’s leading pass rushers as he ranked second on the team in total sacks (5.5) and tackles for loss (12.0) last year.
On the offensive line, senior offensive guard Nick Haynes (Niceville, Fla.) and senior tackle Cole Mosier (Walton, Ky.) were named third- and fourth-team offense, respectively. Both were an integral part of the offensive line who were named semifinalists for the Joe Moore Award in 2016, which recognizes the nation’s Most Outstanding Offensive Line. Blocking for Stanley “Boom” Williams and Benny Snell Jr., UK was the only team in the SEC with two 1,000-yard rushers.
Snell, a sophomore running back from Westerville, Ohio, earned a spot on Athlon’s third-team offense after a stellar freshman season. He set six UK freshman records, including most rushing touchdowns in a game (4), most rushing yards by a freshman (1,091), most rushing touchdowns by a freshman (13), most total touchdowns by a freshman (13), most 100-yard rushing games (5) and most rushing yards by a freshman in a single game (192). He was named a Freshman All-American by the Football Writers Association of America, ESPN and 247Sports.
Senior kicker Austin MacGinnis (Wedowee, Ala.) was named a fourth-team specialist. He enters the 2017 season with 257 career points for No. 2 on UK’s all-time scoring list. He needs just 48 points to tie Lones Seiber (2006-09) at No. 1. Last season, MacGinnis hit 16-of-19 field goal attempts (84.2 percent) which ranked third in the SEC. He also become just the second player in school history to hit at least 50 career field goals. Two of his field goals were game winners for the Wildcats as his 47-yard field goal with 12 seconds left at No. 11 Louisville gave UK a 41-38 win. He also made a 51-yard field goal as time expired for a 40-38 win over Mississippi State.
To see the entire Athlon Sports All-SEC list, go here: https://athlonsports.com/college-football/sec-football-2017-all-conference-team/
‑ GO CATS –
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