The senior All-America candidate has earned the award twice in last three weeks
LEXINGTON – November 29, 2021
Kentucky offensive tackle and All-America candidate Darian Kinnard has been named the Southeastern Conference Offensive Lineman of the Week for his performance in Kentucky’s 52-21 win at rival Louisville, the league announced Monday.
It is the second time in three weeks the All-America candidate and First-Team All-SEC honoree by Pro Football Focus has won the award. UK ranks second nationally in total offense per game during November at 560.8 yards, which also leads all Power Five schools.
Kinnard, a 6-foot-5, 338-pound mountain from Knoxville, Tennessee, led the offensive line that helped generate a third-straight meeting against Louisville with at least 45 points scored. Kentucky rushed for a season-high 362 yards and averaged 7.4 yards per carry. The seven rushing touchdowns for the Wildcats set a Governor’s Cup record.
Kinnard had two knockdown blocks, did not allow a quarterback sack and did not miss an assignment. He had 11 blocks at the point of attack and the Cats scored on seven of the eight possessions he was in the game, with the only non-scoring drive coming on the possession that ended the first half.
Kinnard continues to rate as one of the nation’s top offensive tackles and recently was named one of 12 semifinalists for 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. He also was a semifinalist for the Outland Trophy, given to the nation’s most outstanding interior lineman.
The midseason All-American has played in 45 career games with 38 consecutive starts at right tackle for the “Big Blue Wall” that has bludgeoned opponents with one of the top rushing attacks in FBS the past few years.
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. Kinnard is the only Power Five tackle who ranks among the nation’s top 10 in both run- and pass-blocking as evaluated by Pro Football Focus.