Six University of Kentucky football players earned a spot on Phil Steele’s All-Southeastern Conference teams it was announced today. Junior safety Mike Edwards was a first-team defense selection, while sophomore running back Benny Snell Jr. earned second-team offense honors. Junior linebacker Josh Allen, junior tight end C.J. Conrad, senior kicker Austin MacGinnis and junior linebacker Denzil Ware were named to the third team.
Edwards, of Cincinnati, Ohio, leads the team and ranks tied for ninth in the SEC in tackles per game with 7.5. He also has a team-high four interceptions to go along with a team-high six pass breakups. Edwards is on pace to be just the fourth player in school history to lead the team in both interceptions and tackles in the same season, joining Darryl Bishop in 1972, Quentus Cumby in 2002 and Danny Trevathan in 2011. After charting a season-high 11 tackles vs. Ole Miss, the junior has five double-figure tackle games this season and nine in his career.
Snell, from Westerville, Ohio, led the SEC in rushing touchdowns (18) and total rushing yardage (1,318) and ranked second in rushing yards per game (109.8) during the regular season. The 1,318 rushing yards set a school record for most rushing yards by a sophomore. He also became the first player in school history to record 1,000 yards in consecutive seasons.
Snell, who already ranks eighth on the UK career rushing list (2,409 yards), is only the fifth player in SEC history to reach 2,400 career yards prior to his junior season. He also holds the school records for total rushing touchdowns (31), most rushing touchdowns in a season (18) and most points in a season (110). He has climbed up to No. 8 on UK’s career scoring list.
Allen, a native of Montclair, New Jersey, totaled 58 tackles during the regular season, including a team-high 9.5 tackles for loss and 7.0 sacks. He also totaled a team-high four quarterback hurries, three pass breakups, two forced fumbles and one interception. With 14.5 career sacks, Allen currently ranks fourth in the SEC among active players in that category behind Ole Miss’ Marquis Haynes (32), LSU’s Arden Key (21.0), Missouri’s Marcell Frazier (16.5).
Conrad suffered a season-ending foot injury in the Georgia game on Nov. 18 but earned third-team honors for his stellar play in 11 games. The LaGrange, Ohio native was second on the team in receiving yards with 286 yards on 16 catches, averaging 17.9 yards per catch (also second on the team). In the first two games of the season he had a receiving TD, becoming the first UK tight end with a receiving touchdown in consecutive games since Jacob Tamme on Nov. 24 and Dec. 31, 2007.
MacGinnis, of Wedowee, Alabama, added to his list of school records this season by becoming Kentucky’s all-time leading scorer with 354 points. He also tied his own school record with 21 field goals this season and hit a school-record-tying 11 consecutive field goals this season.
He currently ranks seventh nationally and leads the SEC in field goals made with Auburn’s Daniel Carlson (1.75 per game). He also leads the SEC in FG percentage with Carlson (77.8).
Ware ranks second on the team in tackles for loss (9.0) and sacks (7.0). His 7.0 sacks are rank in the top 10 in the SEC ranks. He has recorded a sack in six games this season, including three of the last five, and has two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries this season.
Earlier this season, Ware was named the SEC Defensive Lineman of the Week after finishing with two tackles, a tackle for loss, a sack, a forced fumble and two fumble recoveries in the Wildcats’ 24-17 victory at Southern Miss. The 6-foot-2, 245-pounder from Opp, Alabama turned in a critical play with under a minute remaining in the third quarter, scooping up a fumble caused by junior safety Darius West (Lima, Ohio) and rumbling 20 yards for a touchdown that pushed the Cats’ lead to 24-10.
He also was named SEC Co-Defensive Lineman of the Week for his play against Vanderbilt after charting two sacks and catching a pass batted by junior DT Adrian Middleton for the first interception of his career.
‑ GO CATS –
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