Sophomore running back Benny Snell and junior linebacker Jordan Jones are two of the most exciting players on Kentucky’s roster this year, and the rest of the country is taking notice. This morning, both were named to watch lists for two of the most prestigious awards in the sport. Snell made the watch list for the Maxwell Award, given annually to the college player of the year, while Jones made the list for the Chuck Bednarik Award, given annually to the college defensive player of the year.
As I’m sure you remember, Snell had a phenomenal freshman season, setting six UK freshman records, despite not have a rushing attempt until the third game of the season. His records include 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 and recently was named third-team All-SEC by Athlon Sports.
Jones led the SEC and ranked 16th nationally in solo tackles per game last season with 5.7 per game and ranked third in total tackles per game with 8.4. He totaled a team-high 109 tackles and led the Wildcats with 15.5 tackles for loss. He has earned preseason All-America honors by Athlon (third team) and preseason first-team All-SEC honors by Athlon Sports and Southern Pigskin.
Semifinalists for the Maxwell and Bednarik Awards will be announced at the end of October. In the meantime, let’s watch Snell and Jones’ highlights from last year and count down the seconds until football season.