Dupree, Forrest, MacGinnis, Williams Honored by Phil Steele
LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Phil Steele, creator of one of the nation’s most informative preseason football magazines Phil Steele’s College Football, has released his All-America, All-Southeastern Conference and Freshman All-America Team with four Kentucky standouts earning honors on one of the three lists.
Senior defensive lineman Bud Dupree was named third-team All-America and first-team All-SEC, while redshirt freshman kicker Austin MacGinnis was also first-team All-SEC. Junior linebacker Josh Forrest was third-team All-SEC, while true freshman running back Boom Williams was Freshman All-America as a kickoff return specialist.
Dupree, who was first-team All-SEC by The Associated Press and league coaches, led all SEC defensive linemen with 74 total tackles. He paced the Wildcats with 12.5 tackles for loss, including 7.5 quarterback sacks, ranking among the SEC leaders in both categories. Dupree was named SEC Defensive Lineman of the Week after intercepting a pass and returning it for the game-winning touchdown vs. South Carolina and was chosen National Defensive Lineman of the Week and SEC Defensive Lineman of the Week following the season finale at No. 22 Louisville.
A native of Irwinton, Ga., Dupree completed a decorated career in 2014. A projected first-round pick in the 2015 NFL Draft by ESPN, CBSsports.com, Scout.com and Yahoo.com, Dupree charted the second-most sacks in UK career history (23.5), the most among current SEC players. He finished his career with 247 tackles, 38 tackles for loss, four forced fumbles and five passes defended. Dupree, who has accepted an offer to play in the 2015 Senior Bowl, was named second-team All-SEC as a junior by the AP and Phil Steele’s College Football.
The accolade adds to a list of postseason honors for MacGinnis, who has been named a first-team All-SEC performer by The Associated Press and league coaches, All-SEC Freshman Team by league coaches and first-team Freshman All-America by Scout.com.
A native of Wedowee, Ala., MacGinnis set five school records in his collegiate debut season, totaling 21 field goals, the most in Kentucky history. He had the most field goals in the SEC this season, also leading all NCAA freshmen. MacGinnis finished with a school-record 104 points – equaling the SEC lead – and is one of only five kickers in the nation with three field goals of 50+ yards.
MacGinnis, who made a UK record 41 extra-point tries without a miss in 2014, set another school mark with the longest field goal in school history, a 54-yard boot at Tennessee. MacGinnis, who earned national placekicker of the week from the College Football Performance Awards after making four field goals at No. 22 Louisville, also set a school record with 25 touchbacks on kickoffs in 2014.
The honor for Forrest is his first this postseason. The linebacker from Paducah, Ky., led the Wildcats in tackles with 110, adding eight tackles for loss, one sack, two interceptions, two pass breakups, two quarterback hurries and one fumble forced. Forrest currently ranks fourth in the conference in total tackles and 36th nationally, while sitting second in the league in solo tackles.
The season was a breakout year for Forrest, who entered the season with 29 career tackles, 1.5 tackles for loss and zero sacks. Forrest had five double-figure tackle games on the year, including a career-high 20 against Tennessee – the first time a UK player had 20 or more tackles since 2012 – and an impressive 15 tackles in UK’s comeback win over South Carolina. Against Louisiana-Monroe, Forrest grabbed an interception and returned it for a touchdown.
Williams, who was named to the Sporting News All-True Freshman Team earlier in the week, led Kentucky in kickoff returns with 19 returns for 511 yards and a 26.9 average. Williams ranks second in the nation amongst true freshmen in kickoff return average, checking in 11th overall. Williams’ longest return of the season was 75 yards against ULM, marking the longest kickoff return for Kentucky since 2009.
A native of Monroe, Ga., Williams led Kentucky in all-purpose yards with 1,159, averaging 115.9 yards per game. That total ranked him 59th nationally and sixth amongst freshmen.
On the offensive side of the ball, Williams led Kentucky in rushing with 488 yards and five touchdowns, including a very impressive 6.5 yards per carry. Williams was one of only 10 players in the nation who had three touchdown rushes of 50+ yards in 2014. The George Walton Academy product had a career-best 126 yards and two touchdowns at Louisville. Williams also caught 17 passes for 162 yards and one touchdown.
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