The Big Blue Wall might be the best it has ever been in 2020.
Since John Schlarman became the Wildcats’ offensive line coach, they’ve transformed into one of the best units in the SEC, paving the way for 1,000-yard rushers in each of the last four seasons. The Big Blue Wall has produced NFL Draft picks in consecutive years, George Asafo-Adjei and Logan Stenberg, and that trend will surely continue next year.
Stenberg is the only player Schlarman must replace this fall. Filling a hole left by a three-year starter is no small task, but there are plenty of talented people around him to mitigate that loss.
Pro Football Focus ranked the top 30 blockers returning to college football this fall and three are Wildcats. Offensive guard Luke Fortner ranked 26th and Drake Jackson, considered by many to be a favorite for the Rimington Award, came in at No. 18. Near the top of the board at No. 12 is Darian Kinnard. The high school All-American was one of the best run blockers in the country as a true sophomore.
Kinnard’s run-blocking at right tackle was on another level this year — his 89.1 run-blocking grade was the fifth best at his position. When the Wildcats ran inside zone, Kinnard was making plays left and right and raised his run-blocking grade to an FBS high 93.4. All-in-all, Kinnard finished the year with the fifth-highest WAA (wins above average) among right tackles and was the highest among sophomores/freshman.
Enjoy Kinnard while you can. If all goes well this fall, people around the program are preparing for him to enter the NFL Draft after just three years at UK.
The best part of this blog post? Landon Young wasn’t even mentioned. Last I checked, that guy’s pretty good at putting people on their ass too.