Kentucky Football has five All-SEC Team selections but needs more respect

Kentucky Wildcats running back Chris Rodriguez Jr. (Credit: Mike Watters-USA TODAY Sports)
Kentucky Wildcats running back Chris Rodriguez Jr. (Credit: Mike Watters-USA TODAY Sports) /

Southeastern Conference Media Days are officially in the rearview mirror and Kentucky football is focused a month from now.

With all eyes shifting towards Kentucky football’s season opener versus the ULM Warhawks on Sept. 4th, here are five players you should be stoked about from moment one, according to fellow conference members.

The highest honor on the team went to tackle Darian Kinnard as he earned a first-team all-conference selection.

Defensive end Josh Paschal, who is three years removed from being diagnosed with malignant melanoma, earned second-team all-conference honors on the defensive side of the ball.

Then, Kentucky had three players finish on the conference’s third team: Chris Rodriguez Jr., offensive lineman Luke Fortner, and safety Yusuf Corker.

While the accolades are lovely (as often we’re used to Kentucky football getting no recognition), there should still be some displeasure.

Credit is Nice, but Respect is Due for Kentucky football

The McDonough, Georgia product Rodriguez is considered by many in the nation as one of the best returning running backs in college football. Yet, he finished as only a third-team selection.

Five running backs were listed ahead of him, and none of them featured a higher yard per carry than Rodriguez, who averaged 6.6. Only one of the other five players reached six yards per carry threshold.

Rodriguez also tied or passed the other five running backs in rushing touchdowns last year with 11.

Comparing the stats leaves me wondering why the other five players were selected above him in the H E double hockey sticks.

Sure, he may not have as many receiving numbers as the others, but he is by far the best runner of the five.

Regardless, that’s where Rodriguez currently stands, and it should have all of us up in arms.


Our players and coaches are finally receiving the accolades they’ve deserved for years. However, it’s still not equivalent to what they deserve.

Rodriguez is just another instance of many. He has been placed on watch lists for several national awards. Here are just a few:

  • 2021 National Performer of the Year Trophy, which honors the top player in the nation.
  • Maxwell Award Watch List for the most outstanding player in the nation.
  • Doak Walker Award Watch List for the best running back in the nation.

A player of his caliber and merits deserves at least second-team honors, but he didn’t even get that, unfortunately.

Don’t Settle

While some may bask in the glory of the accolades we’re receiving because they never thought the program would reach these heights, I’m not.

We deserve more respect, more credit, more everything.

I’m proud of our football program and head coach Mark Stoops.

I’ll see you, the Big Blue Nation, in Atlanta this year as we ride the back of our star-studded running back.

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