Nine Wildcats tabbed Preseason All-SEC by Phil Steele

Duffy, Jackson, Kinnard named first-team All-SEC


LEXINGTON, KY (UK Athletics) – Nine University of Kentucky football players have been tabbed preseason All-Southeastern Conference by Phil Steele’s College Football.

Senior punter Max Duffy, senior center Drake Jackson, and junior offensive tackle Darian Kinnard were named to the first team, while senior nose guard Quinton Bohanna, senior outside linebacker Jamar “Boogie” Watson, and senior offensive tackle Landon Young received second-team honors. Senior wide receiver Josh Ali, sophomore defensive back Kelvin Joseph, and junior defensive end Joshua Paschal were named to the fourth team.

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Duffy, a native of Perth, Australia, was an absolute weapon for the Wildcats in 2019. Kentucky led the nation in net punting with a 44.55-yard net average and Duffy led the nation in punting at 48.10 yards per punt. He won the Ray Guy Award as the nation’s top punter and was named a first-team All-American by the AP, Sporting News, ESPN, FWAA, Walter Camp, AFCA Coaches’, The Athletic, USA Today, Phil Steele and Athlon Sports. He is UK’s career punt leader with a 46.3-yard average.

He also earned 2020 preseason first-team All-SEC honors by Athlon Sports and preseason first-team All-America accolades by Athlon, Sporting News and Walter Camp.

Jackson, a native of Versailles, Kentucky, started at center in all 13 games last season, giving him a team-high 33 consecutive starts. The Rimington Trophy watch list member was also named first-team All-SEC by Athlon Sports and the Associated Press in 2019 and was recently named preseason first-team All-SEC by Athlon for 2020.

Kinnard, of Knoxville, Tennessee, started in all 13 games at right tackle last season. He finished with 32 knockdowns and just one penalty in 706 snaps. He was also a preseason first-team All-SEC selection by Athlon Sports.

Bohanna is a proud native of Memphis, Tennessee and enters his senior season with 19 consecutive starts at nose guard. The 6-foot-4, 361-pounder totaled 18 tackles, 3.0 tackles for loss, a sack and a pass breakup for the Wildcats’ defense in 2019. He was also recently named to the preseason All-SEC Fourth Team by Athlon.

After missing the entire 2018 season to injury, Young, of Lexington, Kentucky, returned for an excellent 2019, starting in all 13 games at left tackle. He totaled 64 knockdown plays and missed only one assignment in 754 plays. He was also a 2020 preseason All-SEC Second Team choice by Athlon Sports.

Watson, of Brandywine, Maryland, is coming off an impressive junior season that saw him total 36 tackles, a team-high 11.5 tackles for loss and seven quarterback hurries in 2019. The Chuck Bednarik Award nominee is the SEC’s leading sack returner after totaling 6.5 total sacks last season. He also earned preseason All-SEC Second Team honors by Athlon Sports.

Ali, a senior wide receiver from Hollywood, Florida, is UK’s leading returning receiver and punt returner. Last season he started in all 13 games, totaling 23 catches for 233 yards and three scores. As a punt returner, he led the team with 14 returns for 88 yards. In the Belk Bowl, Ali led the Wildcat wide receivers with four catches for 52 yards, including two huge plays on the final drive – a nine-yard contested catch on 4th-and-7 and what proved to be the game-winning 13-yard touchdown grab.

Paschal, a junior defensive lineman from Prince George’s County, Maryland, returned with a vengeance in 2019 after missing the 2018 season to battle melanoma. In his return, he totaled 34 tackles, including 9.5 tackles for loss, 3.5 sacks, one PBU, two forced fumbles, one pass breakup and one blocked kick.

Joseph is a sophomore transfer from LSU who sat out last season due to NCAA transfer rules. In his rookie campaign at LSU, the Baton Rouge, Louisiana native, played in 11 games and recorded 12 tackles and one PBU.

Season tickets for Kentucky football’s seven-game home schedule are on sale now starting at $250 apiece. Season tickets offer savings over all other ticketing options and a variety of exclusive incentives. Fans may work together with a personal ticketing consultant to compare and purchase available seat locations by requesting a call or by contacting the UK Sales Office at (800) 928-2287 (Option 1).

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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