Before Saturday’s rivalry match-up with Louisville the Kentucky Wildcats will honor 11 seniors, many of whom have been key contributors in turning around the culture of the program.
With senior day approaching let’s take a closer look at Kentucky’s 2019 senior class and the best moment from each player.
#3 Jordan Griffin
Defensive back Jordan Griffin has been a leader on and off the field for the Wildcats during his time in Lexington.
Off the field Griffin has represented UK at the SEC Football Leadership Council and is a representative UK Football’s for Student-Athlete Advisory Committee. On the field he was the lone senior in Kentucky’s defensive back field in 2019 and has helped guide the unit into one of the best in the country.
Best Moment: Interception vs. Vanderbilt (2017)
Griffin has become a play maker as a senior in 2019 as he’s both grabbed an interception and recovered fumbles but perhaps his best moment as a Wildcat came back in 2017 when the sophomore grabbed his first carer interception when he picked off Vanderbilt’s Kyle Shurmur to help secure a 44-21 Kentucky victory in Nashville.
Jordan Griffin with UK's fourth interception of the game. pic.twitter.com/SYcRkWRnua
— Scott Charlton (@Scott_Charlton) November 12, 2017
#14 Ahmad Wagner
Ahmad Wagner is better known as Ahmad “Flagner” among Kentucky fans as the 6-5 former Iowa Basketball standout has drawn 10 pass interference penalties in his two seasons as a Wildcat.
No pass interference Wagner drew was bigger than the one against Missouri in 2018 that came in the end zone with the Wildcats down five and time expiring. This would set-up an untimed down in which Kentucky would find the end zone with and complete a comeback victory.
Best Moment: Circus Touchdown catch vs. Florida (2019)
While drawing the pass interference penalty to set up the game-winning play against Missouri was important, Wagner’s best moment in Blue and White came on Sept. 14th of 2019 against the Florida Gators. Down 7-0, quarterback Sawyer Smith lobbed one up to the former basketball star who made a juggling catch in the end zone to come down with the score. This gave Kentucky momentum, which they nearly rode to victory.
— Kentucky Football (@UKFootball) September 15, 2019
#39 Elijah Barnett
The son of legendary Wildcat, Oliver Barnett, Elijah Barnett has not gotten much playing time since coming to UK but did pick up an SEC Academic Honor Roll mention in 2018.
Best Moment: First carer tackle (2019)
After nearly four years of practicing with the team, Barnett finally got in on defense in Kentucky’s 50-7 route over U-T Martin on Nov. 23rd of 2019 and recorded his first carer tackle.
— Elijah Barnett (@ebarnett39) July 24, 2018
#53 Blake Best
The only player that started every game from the second he stepped on campus that he will be honored Saturday is long-snapper Blake Best. Best took over Kentucky’s long-snapping duties as a freshman in 2016 and has started each game ever since without ever botching a snap.
Off the field Best has made the Dean’s List three times including a perfect 4.0 GPA in 2018 and is a three-time SEC Academic Honor Roll member.
Best Moment: Perfect snap to set-up Austin MacGinnis game winner over Mississippi State (2016)
As a freshman, Best snapped the ball on not one but two game-winning field goals for the Wildcats. While one came in a stunning upset victory over Louisville, there might have been even more pressure against Mississippi State on Oct. 22nd, 2016. Down one, Kentucky needed a 51-yard kick from Austin MacGinnis to beat the Bulldogs at home. Best stayed calm and delivered a perfect snap, which was held down and knocked through by MacGinnis to seal the victory.
#56 Kash Daniel
Perhaps no player on this list is more popular than Paintsville, Kentucky native Kash Daniel.
Daniel’s fiery personality earned him the role of team captain in both 2018 and 2019 teams. After appearing in all 13 games as a junior, Daniel took over as the Cats starting middle linebacker in 2018. He would go onto finish the season with 84 tackles and five quarterback hurries and even played part of the season with a broken hand. His leadership helped guide the Wildcats to their first 10 win season since 1977. As a senior, Daniel has recorded 45 total tackles and grabbed an interception in his second year as the Wildcats starting middle linebacker.
Best Moment: Post Game Interview after beating Mississippi State (2018)
There have been many outstanding Kash Daniel moments on the field, such as his sack against Penn State in the Citrus Bowl. However, one moment that made the Big Blue Nation fall in love with the Paintsville native was his electric postgame interview following Kentucky’s win over No. 14 Mississippi State on Sept. 22nd, 2018. One of the best moments of the interview came after Daniel was asked if he felt sorry for any of the Bulldogs after his Wildcats handed them a 28-7 loss. His response was priceless.
#71 Logan Stenberg
Along with Kash Daniel, Kentucky will lose a second captain in offensive lineman Logan Stenberg. After redshirting in 2015, Stenberg joined Kentucky’s offensive line in 2016, where he allowed just one quarterback pressure.
Stenberg has started every game for Kentucky each of the last three seasons, helping form the “big blue wall” that guided Benny Snell Jr.’s to the school’s all-time rushing record and helped Lynn Bowden make the almost. Seamless transition to quarterback. Of all the players on this list, Stenberg will likely be the first to hear his name called on NFL Draft Day in 2020
Best Moment: Beautiful Block to set-up Kavosiey Smoke touchdown (2019)
Stenberg has been a significant factor on creating a lot of big Kentucky run’s over the past four seasons however none was more evident the block he made against Eastern Michigan on Sept. 7th, 2019 to propel Kavosiey Smoke to the end zone which probably helped land him an invite to the prestigious Reese’s Senior Bowl this coming January.
Landon Young and Logan Stenberg just obliterated an Eastern Michigan dude on that touchdown run. pic.twitter.com/hDZhiQ3wXW
— Jamie McCracken (@jamieamccracken) September 8, 2019
#77 Mason Wolfe
Another member of the Big Blue Wall that will depart at season’s end is Mason Wolfe. Wolfe has appeared in 11 games in 2017 and played in 12 in 2018 despite never starting for the Cats. In 2019 he has appeared in all 11 games as he’s continued to be a key rotation piece for the Kentucky offensive line.
Off the field, Wolfe has been an SEC Academic Honor Roll each year of his carer while earning Dean’s List honors in 2018.
Best Moment: Protection during Terry Wilson touchdown pass to Lynn Bowden in the Swamp (2018)
It took a complete team effort for the Kentucky Wildcats to finally end their 31-year losing streak to the Florida Gators on Sept. 8th, 2018. Among the contributors was Mason Wolfe, who had beautiful pass protection on Terry Wilson’s 54-yard touchdown pass to Lynn Bowden to give Kentucky a 21-10 third-quarter lead over the Gators.
Mason Wolfe and Luke Fortner were both in at guard during 2H scoring drives in this season’s first two games. Each had solid pass protection on the Bowden deep post. Add in a Watkins/Price platoon at LT and UK is developing serious depth at OL. pic.twitter.com/d8xx1MVfpK
— Adam Luckett (@AdamLuckettKSR) September 10, 2018
#90 T.J. Carter
T.J. Carter has been one of Kentucky’s most reliable pass rushers the last four seasons. As a true freshman in 2016, Carter played in 11 games and recorded eight tackles in the Wildcats bowl clinching victory over Austin Peay.
In 2017 Carter recorded three sacks, in 2018, had one sack with three passes defended, and this season has recorded two sacks and a carer high 20 total tackles.
Best Moment: Citrus Bowl Sack (2019)
With Josh Allen seemingly getting to the quarterback, nearly every play in 2018 Carter had not gotten to the quarterback all season heading into the Citrus Bowl. That changed in Orlando as Carter brought down Penn State quarterback Sean Clifford in the third quarter to force a Nittany Lion punt.
TJ Carter joins the sack party with his first of the season. pic.twitter.com/0vbS9PQfm7
— Scott Charlton (@Scott_Charlton) January 1, 2019
#91 Calvin Taylor Jr.
Similarly to Josh Allen, Calvin Taylor was not highly recruited out a high school but has blossomed into a dominant pass rusher for the Wildcats. Taylor redshirted in 2015 and played in just four games in 2016 but finally began to blossom as a sophomore in 2017.
The 6-9 defensive end played in 11 games and logged his first carer start in the Music City Bowl against Northwestern. In 2018, Taylor played in all 13 games, recording a sack and recording 26 tackles. His breakout season has come this season as a senior as Taylor has recorded a carer high eight sacks, which ranks tied for the SEC lead. In addition, he also has recorded a carer high 30 total tackles and has forced three fumbles.
Best Moment: Game Clinching Sack vs. Arkansas (2019)
Coming off a three-game losing streak, the Wildcats were in danger of dropping a fourth straight as the Arkansas Razorbacks drove down the field as the clock began to wind out. On third down and eight from the Kentucky 14 yard-line Taylor crushed Razorback quarterback Nick Starkel for an eight-yard loss and on the following play broke up a pass to clinch the UK victory.
Calvin Taylor with a HUGE sack! pic.twitter.com/Kg39KNL7Zc
— Scott Charlton (@Scott_Charlton) October 13, 2019
#92 Phill Hoskins
Defensive tackle Phil Hoskins will be honored during Kentucky’s senior day Saturday but there is still a small chance he can return next year if he’s able to receive a medial red-shirt for a sixth season after missing this season due to injury.
Regardless, Hoskins has had a solid carer at Kentucky. Hoskins came to Lexington in 2017 after spending time at Highland Community College in Kansas. In his first season at UK, Hoskins played in three games recording two tackles. Then as a junior in 2018 played in all 13 games recording three sacks and 21 total tackles.
Best Moment: Sack vs. Florida (2018)
In Kentucky’s streak ending victory over Florida in 2018, Hoskins delivered one of the biggest defensive plays of the game as he drilled quarterback Felipe Franks for a nine-yard loss with the Gators nearing the end zone.
— KY Clips (@KY_Clips) September 9, 2018
#97 Ben Logsdon
The only member of Kentucky’s 2019 senior class to never see action is graduate transfer kicker Ben Logsdon.
Logsdon transferred to Kentucky after parts of four seasons at nearby Centre College, where he broke the school record with 49 made PAT’s in 2016 and was named an all-Southern Athletic Association honorable mention in 2017.
Best Moment: Senior Day 2019
Since Logsdon has never seen action as a Wildcat, his best moment will come Saturday against Louisville when he will get honored in front of the Kroger Field crowd with his family on the field.