Kentucky junior running back Chris Rodriguez Jr., an Ola grad, has been named to the watch list for the 85th Maxwell Award, it was announced Monday.

The Maxwell Award is presented annually to the outstanding player in college football.

Rodriguez, a 5-foot-11, 224-pounder from McDonough, led the Cats in rushing in 2020 with 785 yards and 11 touchdowns despite missing two games due to COVID-19 protocols. The power back had four 100-yard rushing games, including three of the final four games for which he was available, and was nearly impossible to bring down. He totaled 105 consecutive carries without being tackled behind the line of scrimmage and gained positive yardage on 116 of his 119 total attempts.

Rodriguez delivered a career-best 149 yards vs. Vanderbilt on Nov. 14 and led the SEC in yards per attempt at 6.6. Overall, he ranked fifth in the SEC in rushing yards per game (87.2). Rodriguez currently has 1,361 career rushing yards, good for 27th place in school history.

He also has been named preseason second-team All-Southeastern Conference by Athlon Sports, third-team All-SEC by Phil Steele and a preseason honorable mention All-American by Pro Football Focus.

Semifinalists for the Maxwell Award will be announced on Nov. 1 and the three finalists on Nov. 22.

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