The TaxSlayer Gator Bowl’s Most Valuable Player honors went to Kentucky’s A.J. Rose.
Rose carried the ball a dozen times for 148 yards, an average of over 12 yards per touch in arguably his best game as a Wildcat.
Rose began his UK career competing for a spot in the rotation with his then roommate and fellow Class of ’16 signee, Benny Snell. He ends his career with the bowl victory and MVP trophy in the same place the program’s current bowl streak began five years ago, Rose’s redshirt freshman campaign.
Asked to describe his emotions following the storybook ending, Rose said, “I can’t even describe it. I’m just filled with joy. I’ve been here before and unfortunately we didn’t win that game but the outcome is great this year, and what better way to win than with an MVP and with a dub?”
“We didn’t have the season we wanted,” Rose added. “It was a tough season due to Covid issues. But we wanted to end on a win with the seniors and with this group, and with the circumstances we played through, I’m just glad we could do that.”
Rose’s big game also moved him into tenth on UK’s all-time leading rusher list.