By LARRY VAUGHT
Never did I imagine seeing a day when the Kentucky offensive line would be getting so much national recognition and respect.
Pro Football Focus picked Kentucky as having the op returning offensive line in Power 5 Football. That means the Cats beat traditional powers Clemson, Ohio State and Oregon for the top spot thanks to returning starters Landon Young, Drake Jackson, Luke Fortner and Darrian Kinnard.
SEC Network analyst Cole Cubelic is someone I really respect when it comes to breaking down offensive linemen because he’s a former Auburn offensive lineman. He had already named Drake Jackson his No. 1 returning center in the Southeastern Conference before he came out with his list of the top five returning offensive tackles in the SEC.
He rated Alabama’s Alex Leatherwood No. 1 which was no surprise since many thought he would be a high NFL Draft pick if he had not opted to return to Alabama for another season.
But next on his list were Kentucky junior Darian Kinnard and senior Landon Young. Behind them in the top five were Carson Green of Texas A&M and Wanya Morris of Tennessee.
Throw in Kentucky having All-American punter Max Duffy to go with a solid defense and coach Mark Stoops has another team built for success in the rugged SEC, especially since I think UK has a group of talented running backs and the expected return of the SEC’s most underrated quarterback, Terry Wilson.