Kentucky Football: Two Wildcats spotted on preseason award watch lists

LOUISVILLE, KY - NOVEMBER 26: Benny Snell Jr /

Two Kentucky Football players find themselves listed among college football’s best.

The Kentucky Football program has taken a turn for the better since Mark Stoops stepped onto the scene. Recruiting is at an all time high. Additionally, fans have been getting more excited each and every year for the newest product to take the field.

In Stoops’ fifth season, he will have a few stars on his hand. Two of his recruits have been added to watch lists for some of college football’s most prestigious awards.

The Maxwell Award

The Maxwell Award is given to the nation’s top overall football player. Fortunately, Kentucky landed one name on the definitive list. Benny Snell is a player that is in the top crop of players heading into the 2017 season.

Other names that made it to the list include Louisville’s Lamar Jackson, Vanderbilt’s Ralph Webb, Alabama’s Jalen Hurts, Bo Scarborough, Minka Fitzpatrick and Calvin Ridley.

Also, Georgia’s Nick Chub and Auburn’s Kamryn Pettway make the list. In the event that Benny Snell makes an impact in the SEC, he could be considered one of the best players in all of college football.

Must Read: Ranking the top 10 Kentucky players in the NFL

The Badnarik Award

The Badnarik Award is given to the nation’s best linebacker. Jordan Jones is just that. He is one of the best linebackers in the SEC in terms of tacklers. Jones led the SEC in solo tackles last season. He finished seventh in the NCAA in the same category with 74 total solo tackles.

Jones is a ball hawk who always seems to be around every play. An active defender on a struggling defense will get you into a lot of plays. This season, as an improved defensive unit takes the field, look for Jones’ numbers to explode. More players will take care of their assignments. With an improved defensive line, the linebackers will have more opportunities to make plays.

The Kentucky Effect

Kentucky Football is best known for putting linebackers in the NFL. As most of the Kentucky Football fans know, this season is setting up to be one of the best teams in quite some time. The excitement is real for the Wildcats. Also, expectations are high as they should be under the fifth season for Mark Stoops.

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In all reality, this team led by Jordan Jones on defense, and Benny Snell on offense should make a push to finish atop the SEC East. Wins against South Carolina, Vanderbilt, Ole Miss, in addition to Mississippi State are a must. Also, the Cats must pick up a two out of three wins against either Tennessee, Florida or Georgia to even be in consideration for the top spot. With the talent returning on the 2017 team, that is not too far out of the question.