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Chris Rodriguez Jr. on National Performer of Year Trophy Watch List

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Kentucky junior running back Chris Rodriguez Jr. was named to the College Football Performance Awards (CFPA) 2021 National Performer of the Year Trophy watch list, it was announced on Wednesday. The award honors the nation’s top player.

Rodriguez, a 5-11, 224-pounder from McDonough, Georgia, led the Cats in rushing in 2020 with 785 yards and 11 touchdowns despite missing two games due to COVID-19 protocols. The power back had four 100-yard rushing games, including three of the final four games for which he was available, and was nearly impossible to bring down. He totaled 105 consecutive carries without being tackled behind the line of scrimmage and gained positive yardage on 116 of his 119 total attempts. He delivered a career-best 149 yards vs. Vanderbilt on Nov. 14 and led the SEC in yards per attempt at 6.6. Overall, he ranked fifth in the Southeastern Conference in rushing yards per game (87.2). Rodriguez currently has 1,361 career rushing yards, good for 27th place in school history.

He is also on the Maxwell Award Watch List for the nation’s outstanding player in college football, the Doak Walker Award watch list for the nation’s top running back and has been named preseason second-team All-SEC by Athlon Sports, third-team All-SEC by Phil Steele and a preseason honorable mention All-American by Pro Football Focus.

The CFPA National Performer of the Year Trophy is a 22-inch K-9 optic crystal tower with an eight-inch crystal football on top. The award will be announced on January 12, 2022.

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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