University of Kentucky running back Benny Snell Jr. was named to the Football Writers Association of America’s freshman All-America team.
Snell, a native of Westerville, Ohio, had a record-breaking season with the Wildcats, rushing for a freshman school-record 1,091 yards and 13 touchdowns.
Snell formed part of a running back trio with junior Boom Williams and senior Jojo Kemp that powered the nation’s 16th-best rushing attack and became one of the most impressive rushing trios in school history.
The Wildcats combined for 3,044 rushing yards in 2016, only the second team in school history to surpass 3,000. The 1974 team had 3,124 rushing yards.
This year’s squad averaged a school record 5.4 yards per rushing attempt, besting the old record of 4.9 yards per attempt set in 1974 and also had 30 rushing touchdowns, tying the record of 30 rush TDs in 1949.
Snell, who did not have a rushing attempt until the third game of the season, had a UK-freshman record five 100-yard rushing games, including 192 at Missouri and 152 against Austin Peay. He burst onto the scene with 136 yards and four touchdowns on just 17 carries against New Mexico State and continued his stampede throughout the season.
The 5-foot-11, 220-pounder ranked ninth overall and second among freshmen in the Southeastern Conference in rushing yards per game and all-purpose yards, while leading the SEC freshmen in scoring overall (78 points) and scoring TDs (13). He led the nation in rushing touchdowns by a freshman and ranked third nationally among freshmen in rushing yards.
Snell was named SEC Freshman of the Week twice this season and finished the season being named to the SEC Coaches’ All-Freshman team and the Athlon Sports Freshman All-SEC First Team. He also earned ESPN and 247Sports True Freshman All-America honors.