Nine Wildcats earn Pro Football Focus All-SEC Honors
Darian Kinnard and Wan’Dale Robinson named first-team All-SEC
LEXINGTON, Ky. (UK Athletics) – Nine Kentucky football players – Josh Ali, Yusuf Corker, Luke Fortner, Kenneth Horsey, Darian Kinnard, Josh Paschal, Wan’Dale Robinson, Chris Rodriguez Jr. and Dare Rosenthal – have earned All-Southeastern Conference honors by Pro Football Focus, it was announced Monday.
Kinnard and Robinson were named to the first team, while Ali (punt returner), Fortner and Paschal are on the second team. Third-team members are Ali (wide receiver) and Rosenthal. Corker, Horsey and Rodriguez Jr., garnered honorable mention.
Kinnard, 6-foot-5, 338-pound mountain from Knoxville, Tennessee, is one of the nation’s top offensive tackles. The two-time SEC Offensive Lineman of the Week, also was named a semifinalist for both the 2021 Rotary Lombardi Award, given to an offensive or defensive lineman who combines outstanding performance on the field with the character and discipline of NFL Hall of Fame coach Vince Lombardi, and the Outland Trophy, given to the nation’s most outstanding interior lineman.
Robinson, a 5-foot-10, 183-pounder from Frankfort, Kentucky, has been one of the most electric players to ever come through the Kentucky football program. The transfer from Nebraska has caught a team-high 94 passes, a single-season record, and his 1,164 receiving yards are second on UK’s single-season list. In 12 games this season, Robinson has six 100-yard games which ranks second on UK’s single-season list.
Ali, a “super senior” wide receiver/punt returner from Hollywood, Florida, has played in 55 career games for Kentucky with 34 consecutive starts. In 10 games played this season, he has caught 41 passes for 601 yards and three scores and has nine punt returns for 133 yards and one touchdown. His 131 career receptions currently rank tied for 10th on UK’s career receptions list with Rafael Little. His 1,447 career receiving yards rank 12th on UK’s career list.
Fortner is also a “super senior” and a 6-6, 297-pound center from Sylvania, Ohio. The two-time Campbell Trophy semifinalist has played in 54 career games for Kentucky, starting 35 in a row. After switching from right guard to center prior to the season, Fortner found his niche, excelling in his new role on the “Big Blue Wall.” Under Fortner’s leadership on the line, the Wildcats’ offense is averaging 431.1 total yards per game, including 206.1 on the ground, and is averaging 6.57 yards per play, which would set a new school record for a season.
Paschal, a 6-3, 275-pound defensive end from Prince George’s County, Maryland, is the only three-time full-season team captain in Kentucky football history. The All-America candidate is having his best season yet in 2021: leading the team and ranking second in the SEC with 15.5 tackles for loss. He also has 53 tackles, 5.5 sacks, a team-high eight quarterback hurries, a forced fumble and a blocked field goal.
Rosenthal, a 6-7, 327-pound left tackle from Ferriday, Louisiana, quickly found his place on the “Big Blue Wall” after transferring from LSU. He has started in all 12 games and has helped the Wildcats chart nine wins for the 10th time in program history.
Corker, a 6-0, 204-pound safety, is a two-time team captain and native of McDonough, Georgia. He has played in 49 career games with 36 straight starting nods. After 12 games this season, he ranks third on the team in total tackles with 73, including 3.5 tackles for loss. He also has a sack, an interception and a team-high eight pass breakups. Corker is currently a quarterfinalist for the Lott IMPACT Trophy, presented to college football’s defensive IMPACT player of the year.
Horsey is the fourth member of the “Big Blue Wall” receiving honors from PFF. The 6-3, 302-pound left guard from Sanford, Florida, has played in 23 career games with 19 starting assignments. He has started in all 12 games this season.
Rodriguez Jr., a 5-11, 224-pound running back of McDonough, Georgia, ranks 12th nationally and second in the SEC in rushing this season, averaging 106.0 yards per game. In 12 games this season, he has 1,272 rushing yards with ranks seventh on UK’s single-season list. Overall, he has 2,633 career rushing yards for seventh on the school’s all-time rushing list. He has 14 100-yard games in his career (third all-time) and a school-record tying eight this season, including each of the last four contests.