The Kentucky Wildcats are finally starting to earn national media attention as the 2020 college football season inches closer.

UK, who has posted a combined 18-8 record the last two seasons, cracked Phil Steele’s preseason top 25 checking in as the 21st ranked team in the nation.

They joined seven of their SEC rivals in Tennessee (20), Auburn (19), Florida (13), Georgia (7), LSU (6), Texas A&M (5) and Alabama (2) in Steele’s top 25.

The Wildcats never cracked the AP Top 25 or Coaches Poll during their 8-5 2019 season, but in 2018 ranked as high as No. 9 in the nation and finished 12th in the final AP Pool after defeating Penn State in the Citrus Bowl.

In other news, a key member of that top 15 ranked 2018 roster will be returning to Lexington as a graduate assistant. Derek Terry of the Cats Pause reports former UK tight end C.J. Conrad will be an off-the-field graduate assistant during the 2020 season for Kentucky while working on a master’s degree in sport leadership.

Conrad played four seasons at Kentucky (2015-18) and finished his career with 80 catches, 1,015 yards and 12 touchdowns in 49 career games. He signed an undrafted free agent contract with the New York Giants in 2019 but was released by the team after spending the season on New York’s practice squad. He now appears to be entering the next chapter of his professional career off the gridiron.

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