We are 100 days away from kicking off the 2021 college football season which means the off-season talk train continues to roll on.
Athlon Sports kept that train going by naming eight Wildcats to their Preseason All-SEC Teams in 2021, tied for the fifth-most in the conference behind LSU and Texas A&M, who have nine selections, and Alabama and Georgia who sit atop the league tied with 15 selections.
2021 All-SEC selections from @AthlonSports; selections per team:
Texas A&M 9
Ole Miss 8
Mississippi State 8
South Carolina 5
— SEC Mike (@MichaelWBratton) May 20, 2021
Here’s a look at where each Wildcat lands on the list:
-Darian Kinnard OL First-Team Offense
-Josh Paschal DL Second-Team Defense
-Yusuf Corker S Third-Team Defense
-DeAndre Square LB Fourth-Team Defense
-Josh Ali PR Fourth-Team Specialist
Darian Kinnard is the only Wildcat named to the All-SEC first team while Josh Paschal is named Second-Team All-SEC for defensive linemen. Yusuf Corker makes an appearance on the Third-Team All-SEC Defense at safety while DeAndre Square falls on the Fourth-Team All-SEC list for linebackers. Josh Ali makes an appearance as a Fourth-Team specialist for punt returner- even though he will likely not be returning punts for the Wildcats in 2021.
For some reason or another, Athlon Sports didn’t have their Third-Team Offense listed in this article–after adding up all the names three ‘Cats were omitted from the article. One would assume two of those players would be Chris Rodriguez and Wan’Dale Robinson.
But, who’s the third? Does Josh Ali make Third-Team All-SEC as a receiver? Does Athlon Sports have intel on who Kentucky’s quarterback will be and dub whoever it is to the Third-Team? Do they think the tight ends get involved and it’s Keaton Upshaw? Or does another Big Blue Wall member stake another claim in Kentucky’s trench dominance?
This list is certainly fine and dandy and all, but I would be SHOCKED if Wan’Dale Robinson and Chris Rodriguez are relegated to Third-Team All-SEC (or lower). Grading in at 92.4 last season, Chris Rodriguez is the nation’s top returning running back according to Pro Football Focus. Rodriguez also led the league in yards per carry last season (6.6) and didn’t get tackled for a loss until the Taxslayer Gator Bowl.
Top RBs returning in College Football?? pic.twitter.com/bbStDZECxw
— PFF College (@PFF_College) January 15, 2021
Meanwhile, Wan’Dale Robinson is one of college football’s most electrifying players entering 2021. He was already dubbed one of the best transfers in the country according to 247sports, and some talking heads have dubbed him a Heisman contender in 2021.
Of course, this all just speculation and fun conversations to carry us to September, but once the pads get poppin’ I expect more Wildcats to make their names known on the national stage.
We now know which Wildcats on the offensive side of the ball earned All-SEC selections. Chris Rodriguez was the third team running back, Wan’Dale Robinson was a third team selection as an all-purpose player, Luke Fortner is a third team offensive lineman and Josh Ali is a fourth team punt returner (even though Wa’Dale will likely fill that role this fall).