Kentucky running back Chris Rodriguez Jr. (24) runs for a touchdown

Kentucky running back Chris Rodriguez Jr. (24) runs for a touchdown during the second half of the team's NCAA college football game against South Carolina, Saturday, Dec. 5, 2020, in Lexington, Ky. (AP Photo/Bryan Woolston)

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- There wasn't a Lamar Jackson, Lynn Bowden or Tevin Coleman on the local college football scene this season.

But seven players from Kentucky, Western Kentucky and Indiana earned recognition on ProFootballFocus's all-American team, especially UK's Darian Kinnard, who was named first-team all-American at right tackle.

ProFootballFocus is an analytics-oriented pay website based in Cincinnati. Its writers and analysts watch extended game video and grade players after every game. Some argue that its all-American teams are more meaningful than the picks made by media members and coaches.

Here is the list of local players Pro Football Focus honored, while naming first-, second- and third-team all-Americans as well as one honorable mention performer at every Position.


Darian Kinnard, right tackle, first team. This is what PFF said about Kinnard:

"Kinnard maintained his status as one of the top tackles in the run game this year, raising his run-block grade from 89.1 in 2019 to 92.3 this season. That was anchored by the third-highest positively graded run-block rate among FBS tackles."

Kinnard picked UK over Penn State, UCLA and Tennessee. He projects as a first-round draft pick if he decides to leave UK after a solid junior season.

Chris Rodriguez, halfback, second team. Rodriguez was honored after North Carolina swept first-team recognition with Javonte Williams and Michael Carter. Rodriguez ran for 701 yards and nine touchdowns, ranking second in the Southeastern Conference in yards per attempt at 7.01.

Drake Jackson, center, second team. Jackson ranked behind Tyler Linderbaum of Iowa. A talented four-year starter from Woodford County High School in Versailles, Ky., Jackson is another prospect with a solid NFL future.

Max Duffy, punter, third team. Duffy averaged 45.76 yards per punt, tops in the Southeastern Conference.

Western Kentucky

Jordan Meredith, right guard, second team. Meredith is a redshirt senior from Bowling Green (Ky.) High School who came to WKU in 2016 as a 2-star recruit and the No. 22 prospect in the state.

Brayden Narveson, kicker, third team. Made 13 of 14 field goal attempts, including seven of eight from 40 yards or more. A transfer from Iowa State, Narveson was twice named special teams player of the week in Conference USA.


Micah McFadden, linebacker, honorable mention. McFadden picked IU over Boston College, his only other Power 5 offer but not until McFadden's father asked IU coach Tom Allen if he truly believed that his son could start in the Big Ten. McFadden has led Indiana in tackles in consecutive seasons. McFadden grew up in Tampa, which means he'll be home when the Hoosiers play in the Outback Bowl.

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