Benny Snell has shattered record after record in his first two seasons at Kentucky, and it won’t be a major surprise to people if there aren’t any left to break by the time his career comes to a close. He already holds the UK record for most career touchdowns, most scores in a season, first back in UK football history with consecutive 1,000-yard seasons, and plenty more.
He was considered one of the best backs in the SEC last year, and for good reason. Only Auburn’s Kerryon Johnson finished with more rushing yards (1,391) and touchdowns (20) to end the year than Snell’s 1,333 yards and 19 scores, and he likely would’ve toppled those numbers had he not been (wrongly) ejected early in the Music City Bowl.
Needless to say, the hype surrounding Snell’s upcoming junior campaign is building at a rapid pace.
Athlon Sports listed Snell, along with CJ Conrad, Lynn Bowden, Bunchy Stallings, Josh Allen, and Mike Edwards, on their preseason All-SEC team. The Wildcat running back is listed as a First-Team nominee, joining only Edwards as Kentucky’s representatives as the top player in the conference at their respective positions.
Nationally, though, Snell has some ground to make up on other elite running backs. If you ask Athlon, at least.
Athlon Sports ranked the top 50 backs in all of college football, and the Kentucky junior surprisingly failed to crack the top-10, coming in at No. 12.
12. Benny Snell, Kentucky
With Kentucky’s offense breaking in a new quarterback, Snell should expect another heavy workload in 2018. After rushing for 1,091 yards and 13 touchdowns as a freshman in 2016, Snell improved on those totals last fall. Over 13 games, Snell rushed for 1,333 yards and 19 touchdowns. Snell leads the way among returning backs in the SEC.
Kentucky having a top-15 running back in the nation is obviously a major accomplishment and should be celebrated accordingly. When you look at the top of the list and see who they list as the backs “better” than Snell, however, you can’t help but feel he got robbed.
Four backs ahead of Snell finished with fewer yards, and only three of the top-11 had more touchdowns than the Kentucky back. Three of them played in the play-as-little-defense-as-possible Big 12, and another isn’t even from a Power Five school. Put Snell against those defenses and he’s destroying the competition.
Former Kentucky recruit and Richmond native Damien Harris is also above Snell on the list, coming in at No. 8.
You cannot tell me there are 11 other running backs better than Benny Snell. Sorry.
Either way, just more bulletin board material for a guy who thrives off doubters.
You can find the entire list here.