Kentucky offensive line named Joe Moore Award semifinalists

The unit has helped the Wildcats rush for over 2,000 yards in four straight seasons

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (UK Athletics) – The Kentucky offensive line is once again being recognized as one of the best in the country as the Joe Moore Award has announced the Wildcats as one of 10 semifinalists for the Most Outstanding Offensive Line Unit.

The offensive line has helped UK put together its fourth consecutive season of 2,000 or more rushing yards. The Wildcats have done this despite missing three departed starting linemen from a year ago, the school’s all-time leading rusher from last season, and this year’s top three quarterbacks are all injured – two are out for the season – and the current starting QB is a converted wide receiver.

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Four players have rushed for more than 300 yards this season in quarterback Lynn Bowden Jr. (822), and running backs A.J. Rose (619), Kavosiey Smoke (484) and Christopher Rodriguez Jr. (341).

The Wildcats’ running game is averaging 231.4 yards per game, good for second in the Southeastern Conference and 16th nationally.

What The Committee Is Saying:
“You can tell this is a coachable bunch. They all do a very good job of working their feet into position to get blocks sealed and hand placement has clearly been drilled into them because they are good at it.”

The UK offensive line boasts three returning starters in junior center Drake Jackson, senior left guard Logan Stenberg and redshirt junior left tackle Landon Young. Also seeing action is senior Mason Wolfe, junior Luke Fortner, sophomores Austin Dotson, Darian Kinnard and Naasir Watkins, along with redshirt freshmen Kenneth Horsey, Nick Lewis and Quintin Wilson.

The O-Line is coached by former Wildcat John Schlarman who is in his seventh season at Kentucky. He was a four-year starter with the Wildcats from 1994-97.

The finalists will be named on Dec. 10. Selection of the 2019 Joe Moore Award winner will be made public after a surprise visit to the winning university’s campus in late December.

After the finalists have been selected, a vote will be held to select the 2019 recipient of the Joe Moore Award by a voting body of 200-plus members. This voting body includes all of the current offensive line coaches at the Division I/FBS level, as well as former players, coaches, colleagues of Coach Moore and select group of qualified media members.

The Joe Moore Award is named after Joe Moore, widely regarded as one of the best offensive line coaches in college football history, most notably for his work at Notre Dame and the University of Pittsburgh. Over 18 seasons, Coach Moore sent 52 players on to the NFL, including Bill Fralic, Mark May, Russ Grimm, Jimbo Covert and others. The Joe Moore Award trophy, crafted by legendary sports sculptor Jerry McKenna, is the largest trophy in college football, standing at a height of 6 feet and weighing in at 800 pounds. The perpetual trophy is made available for display by the winning university until the conclusion of the following college football season.

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Bryan Kennedy hails from the Bluegrass State. He was born and raised in Owensboro, KY where he graduated from Apollo High School in 2006. Bryan graduated from the University of Kentucky with a degree in Broadcast Journalism and a minor in Spanish in 2010. He also received his master's degree in Sports Media and Branding from Western Kentucky University. While at UK, Bryan was the general manager of the on-campus TV station. He also did sports reporting, anchoring, producing and even the weather for UK Student News Network. While working for UKSNN, he also had the pleasure of covering Coach John Calipari's first press conference when he was introduced as the new head coach of the Kentucky Wildcats; easily one of his favorite moments as a young sports reporter. Before coming to ABC 36, Bryan was a morning anchor and reporter at WXXV News 25, our sister station in Gulfport, MS. He anchored more than four hours of news every day, including morning shows on NBC and Fox. While down south, Bryan had the opportunity to cover the Sugar Bowl, New Orleans Saints and the New Orleans Pelicans. After spending a little more than two years at WXXV, Bryan is extremely excited to return home. In his spare time, Bryan enjoys playing sports, especially rugby. He also enjoys crossfitting and watching sports (obviously). He's extremely excited to cover Central Kentucky. Feel free to say hello and send story ideas toBKennedy@wtvq.com