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Seven UK football players voted preseason All-SEC; Duffy, Jackson, Kinnard named to first team


Seven University of Kentucky football players have been voted to the All-Southeastern Conference preseason team by league coaches. SEC coaches were not permitted to vote for their own players.

Three UK standouts — center Drake Jackson, punter Max Duffy and offensive tackle Darian Kinnard — earned first-team honors, while offensive tackle Landon Young was named to the second team. In addition, three defensive players, defensive back Yusuf Corker, defensive lineman Josh Paschal, and linebacker Jamar “Boogie” Watson, were on the third team.

Jackson, a Woodford County High School graduate, started at center in all 13 games last season and was a candidate for the Rimington Trophy, given to the nation’s top center. He now has a team-high 33 consecutive starts as the anchor of Kentucky’s offensive line, the “Big Blue Wall.” He was named to the preseason All-America second team by Athlon Sports. Jackson is also a preseason first-team All-SEC selection by both Athlon Sports and Phil Steele.

UK center Drake Jackson (52) was named to the preseason All-SEC first team. (UK photo)

Duffy, a native of Perth, Australia, will play his final season of collegiate football after an impressive showing 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. Along with winning the Ray Guy Award as the nation’s top punter, he also was named a first-team All-American by Walter Camp, the AP, Sporting News, ESPN, FWAA, AFCA Coaches’, The Athletic, USA Today, Phil Steele and Athlon Sports. He is UK’s career punt leader with a 46.3-yard average.

Duffy has been named to seven preseason All-America teams so far this season, and was a 2020 preseason first-team All-SEC choice by Athlon Sports and Phil Steele’s College Football.

Kinnard started in all 13 games at right tackle last season and finished with 32 knockdowns and just one penalty in 706 snaps. He was named a preseason All-American by Athlon Sports, Phil Steele, and Athlon Sports, Phil Steele, and Pick Six Previews listed him on its preseason All-SEC first team.

Lexington native Landon Young has appeared in 36 career games on the “Big Blue Wall,” starting in all 13 games in 2019. He totaled 64 knockdown blocks and missed only one assignment in 754 plays last season, earning a spot on the 2019 All-SEC third team by Athlon. This preseason, Young was on the All-SEC first team by Pick Six Previews and was a second-team All-SEC choice by Athlon and Phil Steele.

UK linebacker Jamar “Boogie” Watson has been selected to the preseason All-SEC third team.

Corker, a safety from McDonough, Georgia, is UK’s leading returning tackler with 74 tackles in 13 starts from last season. He also had four pass breakups, a quarterback hurry and a team-high tying two fumble recoveries. This offseason, he was named to Athlon’s preseason All-SEC fourth team.

Paschal started in all 13 games in 2019 after missing the 2018 season with malignant melanoma on the bottom of his right foot. In his comeback, he totaled 34 tackles, including 9.5 tackles for loss, 3.5 sacks, one PBU, two forced fumbles, one PBU and one blocked kick.

Watson 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, starting in 11 of 13 games, including nine in a row. He is the SEC’s leading sack returner after also totaling 6.5 total sacks last season.

Watson is currently on the Bednarik Award Watch List, given to the nation’s top defensive player, and he also has been tabbed a preseason All-SEC second-team performer by Athlon Sports, and Phil Steele.

Kentucky opens its 10-game SEC schedule Sept. 26 at Auburn at noon.

From University of Kentucky

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