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Five Wildcats Named to NFLPA Collegiate Bowl Big Board

The postseason event is geared toward senior prospects looking to enhance pro chances

LEXINGTON, Ky. – August 27, 2021

Five University of Kentucky football players have been named to the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl preseason Big Board, it was announced today.

Senior wide receiver Josh Ali, senior safety Yusuf Corker, senior offensive tackle Darian Kinnard, senior nose guard Marquan McCall and senior defensive end Josh Paschal all are on the game’s radar as the 2021 season begins. This January, the NFL Players Association will produce the 10th annual NFLPA Collegiate Bowl game at the historic Rose Bowl Stadium in Pasadena, California. Since 2011, the NFLPA Bowl has provided senior NFL prospects with an exceptional platform to showcase their talents to all 32 NFL teams as well as a one-of-a-kind experience that educates participants about the business of football. In the past two years alone, 87 NFLPA Bowl participants have been invited to the NFL Combine and 58 were drafted by NFL clubs.

Ali, a 6-0, 190-pound wide receiver and punt returner from Hollywood, Florida, is another four-year letter winner takingadvantage of the NCAA’s extra year of eligibility due to COVID-19. He has played in 45 career games, starting 24 in a row. As a specialist, Ali has been UK’s top punt returner the last two seasons, combining for 20 punt returns for 150 yards.

Ali graduated in May with a degree in community and leadership development and is currently working on second degree in communication.

Corker, a 6-0, 204-pounder from McDonough, Georgia, has played in 37 career games with 24 straight starting nods at safety. As a junior in 2020, he finished second on the team in tackles (77) behind NFL first-round draft pick Jamin Davis. He also added 2.5 tackles for loss, two interceptions, two pass breakups and a forced fumble.

He earned preseason third-team All-SEC honors by the media and Athlon Sports and got a preseason second-team nod by Phil Steele. Corker also is a nominee for the Lott IMPACT Trophy which is presented annually to the college football defensive IMPACT player of the year.

Off the field, Corker was named to the Dean’s List and the SEC Fall Academic Honor Roll in 2020. He graduated in May with a degree in economics and is currently working on a second degree in communication.

Kinnard, a 6-foot-5, 338-pound offensive lineman from Knoxville, Tennessee, was graded by Pro Football Focus as college football’s top run-blocking tackle for 2021. The senior has played in 33 career games with 26 consecutive starts and in 2020, he graded at 88 percent in 10 regular season games with 40 knockdown blocks and 138 blocks at the point of attack.

Kinnard’s list of preseason awards include being named a preseason first-team All-American by Athlon Sports, ESPN, USA Today, Walter Camp and Pro Football Focus. He was also a preseason second-team All-America choice by the Associated Press and Phil Steele. Additionally, he was named first-team All-Southeastern Conference by Athlon Sports, Media, Phil Steele and Walter Camp. He also is on the watch list for the Outland Trophy, given to the nation’s top interior lineman on offense or defense in college football, and the Reese’s Senior Bowl.

McCall, 6-3, 357-pound from Detroit, has played in 31 games in his career, including 10 last season at nose guard. He earned starting assignments vs. Missouri, Georgia and South Carolina and went on to total 22 tackles, a tackle for loss, a fumble recovery and a half-sack in his junior season.

Paschal, a 6-3, 275-pounder from Prince George’s County, Maryland, moved from linebacker to defensive end prior to the 2020 season and immediately became a stalwart on the line. He was named fourth-team All-SEC by Phil Steele’s Football Magazine and All-SEC Honorable Mention by Pro Football Focus in 2020 after totaling 32 tackles, 6.5 tackles for loss, one sack, one quarterback hurry and one interception in 11 games. As a leader on and off the field, Paschal has been elected team captain twice (2019 and 2020) and has been UK football’s representative for the NCAA’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee and the SEC Leadership Council the past two seasons. He also was named a semifinalist for the Jason Witten Collegiate Man of the Year award last season and was a SEC Fall Academic Honor Roll member.

This season, his accolades include being named a preseason second-team All-SEC choice by Athlon Sports and the media, and earning a spot on the CoSIDA Academic All-District First Team. He’s also on the watch list for the Reese’s Senior Bowl.

Paschal graduated in May of 2021 with a degree in family science and a minor in health promotion and is currently working on a second degree in communication.

Seven home games at Kroger Field highlight Kentucky’s 2021 football schedule. The Wildcats kick off the season on Sept. 4 against the ULM Warhawks, the first of three consecutive home games. Missouri arrives in Lexington on Sept. 11 for the first conference game of the year before Chattanooga wraps up the homestand on Sept. 18.

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