By LARRY VAUGHT
Kentucky junior tackle Darian Kinnard could be one of the best players in the Southeastern Conference this season, a potential all-American and possibly an early entry for the 2021 NFL draft.
Since I am spending a few days in the Smoky Mountains, one other thing about Kinnard jumps out to me — he’s related to Dolly Parton, the queen of Pigeon Forge/Sevierville.
Kinnard includes that tidbit in his UK media bio, but sometimes players can exaggerate or embellish. So I asked him if he really was related to the superstar.
“My aunt Giner is her second cousin,” Kinnard explained. “I have not really met her but I have seen pictures of her, my aunt, my mom and grandma together with her. I have not seen her or met her but hope to.”
If Kinnard has the type of year many expect, Parton might want to meet him because he has a chance to be that good.
“I am not basing my claim to fame based on being related to her,” Kinnard said. “A lot of my family members take great pride on being successful and making sure we succeed with things we do. So I want to make a name for myself.”