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Darian Kinnard earns SEC’s Jacobs Blocking Trophy

Senior offensive right tackle becomes just second Kentucky player to win the honor since 1935
Kentucky offensive tackle Darian Kinnard (70) blocks Mississippi State defensive end Aaron Odom...
Kentucky offensive tackle Darian Kinnard (70) blocks Mississippi State defensive end Aaron Odom (17) during the second half of an NCAA college football game in Starkville, Miss., Saturday, Oct. 29, 2021. Mississippi State won 31-17. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)(Rogelio V. Solis | AP)
Published: Dec. 8, 2021 at 3:55 PM EST
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LEXINGTON, Ky. – Kentucky senior offensive tackle Darian Kinnard has been awarded the Southeastern Conference’s prestigious Jacobs Blocking Trophy, it was announced Wednesday.

Kinnard, 6-foot-5, 338-pound mountain from Knoxville, Tennessee, is just the second Kentucky player to win the award, which annually has been given to the SEC’s top blocker since 1935. Offensive tackle Warren Bryant earned the distinction in 1976.

Kinnard led the team this season at the right tackle position with 30 knockdown blocks. He also allowed only one quarterback sack in more than 350 pass plays. He was two-time SEC Offensive Lineman of the Week following wins over Vanderbilt and Louisville. He was 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. In addition, he earned first-team All-SEC honors by the league’s coaches and Pro Football Focus, which has him evaluated as one of only three Power Five tackles to grade at 85 or better as both a run and pass blocker.

Under Kinnard’s leadership on the offensive 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. According to PFF, UK leads the SEC in rushing yards before contact, averaging 2.6 yards per attempt.

The award was originated in 1935 by Dr. William P. Jacobs, the founder and president (1935-45) of Presbyterian College. Each season’s winner is elected in a poll of league coaches.

Kentucky (9-3, 5-3 SEC) is headed to Orlando, Fla., for a school-record sixth straight bowl appearance. The No. 22 Wildcats have accepted a bid to play in the Vrbo Citrus Bowl and will face No. 15 Iowa Jan. 1 in Camping World Stadium. Kickoff is slated for 1 p.m. ET on ABC, ESPN Radio and the UK Sports Radio Network.

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