Football season is drawing nearer, but that doesn’t mean it’s too late for a nice summer list for you to sink your teeth into. Athlon Sports ranked the top 40 players in the Southeastern Conference and Kentucky was represented by players from both sides of the ball. Danny Trevathan and Larry Warford both made the list, with Trevathan ranking as the 13th best player in the conference and Warford coming in at #21.
Trevathan is the #2 linebacker on the list behind Alabama’s eighth-ranked Dont’a Hightower, and the seventh-best defensive player overall. Of the 12 players ranked ahead of him, five are from Alabama and four are from South Carolina, which boasts the top two SEC players in WR Alshon Jeffery and RB Marcus Lattimore. Here’s what Athlon had to say about the Cats’ linebacker:
13. Danny Trevathan, LB, Kentucky (SR)
2010 stats: 144 tackles, 16 TFL, 3 sacks
Trevathan finished 2010 as one of the SEC’s best linebackers, but did so without much national fanfare. Considering Kentucky’s defense ranked near the bottom of the SEC against the run and in points allowed, Trevathan didn’t get the credit he deserved. Trevathan led the SEC with 144 tackles and finished second with four forced fumbles. He earned first-team All-SEC honors and was named conference player of the week with his performance in the season opener against Louisville.
Why he’s ranked 13th: Kentucky’s defense is under the direction of new coordinator Rick Minter, but Trevathan’s role shouldn’t change. The senior is one of the SEC’s top linebackers and is a preseason All-American by Athlon Sports. Trevathan is the leader of Kentucky’s defense and should be one of the team’s building blocks for improving that side of the ball this year.
Much like Trevathan is expected to be the rock of the defense, Larry Warford is expected to be the rock of the offense. He landed at #21 on this list, one spot behind Auburn’s star running back Michael Dyer. He’s the fifth-best offensive lineman in the league, but finishing one spot out of the top 20 means he was one spot short of getting a fancy long writeup like his teammate:
21. Larry Warford, OL, Kentucky (JR)
The 6-foot-3 340-pound hog molly returns to what should be the strength of Kentucky’s offense. The preseason first-team All-SEC guard led the team in knockdown blocks with 43 in 2010.
And in case you’re interested, the breakdown of players by school goes something like this:
8 – Alabama
7 – Arkansas
5 – Georgia, South Carolina
4 – Ole Miss
2 – Kentucky, LSU, Vanderbilt, Mississippi State
1 – Florida, Tennessee, Auburn
You can check out the full list here.