Five Wildcats Selected in NFL Draft

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Add two more names to the University of Kentucky’s draft list as running back Benny Snell Jr. was selected by the Pittsburgh Steelers as the 122nd pick in the fourth round and offensive tackle George Asafo-Adjei was taken in the seventh round as the No. 232 pick in the National Football League Draft on Saturday in Nashville, Tenn.

Benny Snell (Photo by Jamie H. Vaught)

The pair joins Josh Allen (No. 7 overall pick), Lonnie Johnson Jr. and Mike Edwards, making up the most draft picks since eight players (James Ramsey, Jim Kovach, Kelly Kirchbaum, Rod Stewart, Bob Winkel, Robert Hawkins, Dan Fowler and David Stephens) were chosen in 1979.

Snell, a native Westerville, Ohio, concluded his illustrious three-year career with 3,873 rushing yards and 48 TDs in 39 games. He joined Herschel Walker as the only two players in Southeastern Conference history to rush for at least 1,000 yards and 12 touchdowns in each of their first three seasons.

He continued his onslaught on the UK record books, breaking or tying 14 school records during his career. He became the Wildcats’ all-time leading rusher in the Citrus Bowl, breaking the UK career rushing record of 3,835 yards held by Sonny Collins from 1972-75.

He was named second-team All-America by Walter Camp Football Foundation, College Football News, USA Today, American Football Coaches Association and third-team All-America by AP and Athlon Sports. He also was a First-Team All-SEC choice in 2018.

Snell is the 12th Kentucky player drafted by the Steelers, the first since Bud Dupree in 2015.

Wildcats who have played for the Steelers include Jeff Brady (1991), Dermontti Dawson (1988-2000), Thom Dornbrook (1979), Bob Daugherty (1958), Bud Dupree (2015-present), Russell Hairston (1987), Dick Hensley (1952), David Johnson (1989-93), Steve Mellinger (1961) and Lou Michaels (1961-63).

Snell is the first UK running back taken in the draft since Artose Pinner in 2003.

Asafo-Adjei, of West Chester, Ohio, was a key cog in the offensive line unit who blocked for Snell, the first Wildcat to rush for 1,000 or more yards in three straight seasons. He played in 48 career games with 23 starts and was part of a senior class (2015-18) who totaled 29 wins, the second-most of any senior class since freshmen became eligible in 1972.

“Big George” graduated in December of 2018 with a degree in community and leadership development. He is the ninth Kentucky player drafted by the Giants, the first since quarterback Andre’ Woodson in 2008. He is the second offensive lineman to be drafted under head coach Mark Stoops, joining OG Larry Warford in the third round in 2013.

Wildcats who have played for the Giants are George Adams (1985-89), John Connor (2013), Maurice Douglass (1995-96), Dan Fowler (1979), Dick Hensley (1949), Shipwreck Kelly (1932), Doug Kotar (1974-81), Jim Little (1945), Jared Lorenzen (2005-07), Noah Mullins (1949), Dave Roller (1971), Omar Smith (2002-03), Ken Willis (1992), Walt Yowarsky (1955-57).

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