Recently, I did a series of articles discussing which UK basketball players would be selected to grace a fictional Mount Rushmore. To quote my movie idol Fletch, "It was a small article but I know you been following it.”
At least I hope so. If you haven’t, look them up. They are very interesting. At least I think so.
Anyhow, with the start of the Wildcat football season looming, I felt it was a good time to broach the same question to the Facebook nation: Which UK football legends should be chiseled on our fictional Mount Rushmore?
After polling a blue-ribbon panel of Kentucky football fans, 30 former Cats were nominated. The results and names were both star-studded and most deserving.
Before I unveil the four most selected by BBN, the following nominees received multiple votes and deserve an honorable mention. They are:
Coaches: Bear Bryant and Mark Stoops
Quarterbacks: Jared Lorenzen, Babe Parilli, and Andre Woodson
Running Backs: Sonny Collins and Moe Williams
Wide Receivers: Derek Abney and Craig Yeast
Tight End: Jacob Tamme
Offensive Lineman: Dermontti Dawson
Defensive Linemen: Art Still and Warren Bryant
Linebackers: Jeff Snedegar and Wesley Woodyard
Now, without further adieu, I unveil to you the Mount Rushmore of Kentucky Wildcat football, as voted upon by members of the BBN.
4. Randall Cobb, Wide Receiver. The multi-talented star and fan-favorite from Alcoa, Tenn., slipped out of Big Orange country and found his collegiate home in the LEX. Cobb could do it all for Big Blue, whether it be catching passes, returning punts and kicks, or even playing quarterback when needed. Cobb was a second-round pick of the Green Bay Packers, where he won a Super Bowl Ring catching passes from Aaron Rodgers. Cobb is currently a Dallas Cowboys receiver.
3. Benny Snell Jr., Running Back: Although he came into Lexington a quiet three-star high school recruit from Ohio, Snell’s play and the gift of gab was anything but silent in his three-year run to the record books. Snell rushed for three consecutive 1,000-yard seasons and passed Collins for the all-time rushing mark in his junior season. Snell was a driving force both on the field and off the field where he used his magnetic personality to motivate the BBN and the team to uncharted success. After entering the NFL Draft as a junior, Snell was drafted in the fourth round by the Pittsburgh Steelers.
2. Josh Allen, Defensive End/ Linebacker: Allen also came to the Bluegrass an unheralded prospect from New Jersey, but he left it as a force of nature on the defensive side of the ball. Allen spearheaded the record-setting Wildcat defense while setting all-time records in sacks and tackles for losses. His play last season helped to lead the Cats to a 10-win season and a victory in the Citrus Bowl on New Year's Day. Allen was later drafted fifth overall by the Jacksonville Jaguars in the 2019 NFL Draft.
And now, the top vote-getter was…
1. Tim Couch, Quarterback: Couch was the outright winner in the voting and justifiably so. The signal-caller from Hyden, Ky., captivated the nation as a high-schooler at Leslie County and later as the maestro of the Air Raid offense coached by Hal Mumme. Couch led a rebirth of success in Lexington and setting yardage and touchdown records in the process (later passed by Lorenzen) .
Couch led the Cats to a New Year's Day game in the Outback Bowl his junior season before
declaring for the NFL Draft. Couch was chosen first overall by the Cleveland Browns in 1998.
So there you have it BBN, a Mount Rushmore of Kentucky football. Who would make your Mount Rushmore of UK gridiron greats?
Shane Shackleford is a regional sports columnist from Speedwell, Tenn. You can follow his articles in various media outlets, including KySportsStyle.com Magazine, and on social media such as Facebook and Twitter.