The senior offensive tackle has been rated as one of the best performing blocking tackles in FBS
Kentucky Offensive Gear Darian Kinnard is one of 12 semifinalists for the 2021 Rotary Lombardi Award, the Rotary Club of Houston announced on Wednesday. The award is presented annually to an offensive or defensive lineman who combines outstanding on-field performance with the character and discipline of NFL Hall of Fame coach Vince Lombardi.
Kinnard, a 6-foot-5, 338-pound mountain from Knoxville, Tennessee, is one of the five Southeastern Conference players on the list. The preseason All-American has played in 39 career games with 32 straight starts in right tackle for the “Big Blue Wall” that has knocked opponents down with one of the fastest strikes in FBS in recent years.
The Wildcats’ offense averages a total of 411.8 yards per game, including 214.2 on the ground, and has already completed five hasty 100-yard performances running back. Kinnard is rated by Pro Football Focus as one of the best blocking tackles in the country.
Kinnard’s list of preseason awards included Athlon Sports, ESPN, USA Today, Walter Camp, and Pro Football Focus being a preseason All-American first-team. He was also a preseason second-team All-America pick by Phil Steele. Additionally, he was named to the first-team All-Southeastern Conference by Athlon Sports, Media, Phil Steele, and Walter Camp. He is also on the waiting list for the Outland Trophy, which is given to the nation’s top domestic lineman on offense or defense in college football, and Reese’s Senior Bowl.
To be eligible for the Rotary Lombardi Award, players must be members of the NCAA FBS college football team and meet the following qualifications:
- Be a downward lineman, end to end, both offensively and defensively, drafting no more than 10 yards to the left or right of the ball at the time of the snap
- Be a linebacker in defense, line up no further than five meters from the line of scrimmage
- Shouldnotcome out of the attacking backfield and line up on the line of scrimmage as a blocker or a receiver or listed in the program as an attacking back or receiver
- Eligible to participate in the current season
The second round of voting to announce the final four finalists is October 15, and the nominees will be announced November 9 at a special press conference in Houston, Texas at 11 a.m. EDT.
Honorary President and renowned Green Bay Packer Jerry Kramer, 1987 winner Chris Spielman, the four nominees and their coaches will attend the awards ceremony December 8 in Houston, Texas.
The winner will add his name to a notable list of past winners such as Ndamukong Suh, Aaron Taylor, Julius Peppers, Terrell Suggs, Aaron Donald and two-time winner Orlando Pace.
Just weeks after Coach Vince Lombardi’s death in 1970 from colon cancer,Rotary Club of Houstonwas authorized by Lombardi’s widow, Marie, to institute the Rotary Lombardi Award.
As determined by Ms. Lombardi, the net proceeds of the award’s activities will be contributed to cancer research and in particular to theAmerican Cancer Society’sprograms.
For more information, visitwww.rotarylombardiaward.org.
Kentucky takes to the road this weekend to take on top-ranked Georgia at Sanford Stadium. Kick-off is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. EDT on CBS Sports and the UK Sports Radio Network.
There are only two home games left for the Wildcats. Visit UKFootballTix.comfor great deals on tickets and more information. Prefer to speak with an expert? Fans can work with a personal ticketing consultant to compare and purchase available seat locations by: request a call or by contacting the UK sales office at (800) 928-2287 (option 1).
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