Kentucky has been on a very solid run when it comes to guard and center play. Both Drake Jackson and Logan Stenberg were All-SEC performers, but each has moved on to the NFL. However, there are still quality pieces remaining on the roster joining forces with what appears to be a very bright future.
After touching on every other position on offense — quarterbacks, running backs, wide receivers, tight ends, offensive tackle — now is the time to touch on the interior. The Wildcats have a chance to be pretty good in the middle once again in 2021, but there are some major questions.
Luke Fortner: A super senior who is back for a sixth season, Fortner has played in 42 career games with 23 consecutive starts. The Ohio native can play both the right and left guard positions while the coaching staff cross-trained the veteran at center this spring. Fortner should compete for All-SEC honors this year.
Kenneth Horsey: The winner of the 2020 Mayo Clinic Comeback Player of the Year Award, Horsey started eight games last year for Kentucky at left guard. The redshirt junior from Florida gives position coach Eric Wolford another returning starter at guard. At 6-foot-3 and 300 pounds, Horsey figures to have the lateral agility to succeed in Liam Coen’s wide zone and bootleg scheme.
Quintin Wilson: The redshirt junior from Cincinnati, Wilson has been the primary backup at center the last few seasons and will have a chance to step into a starting role this season. The 6-foot-1, 294-pound lineman can play both center and guard. Wilson has twice made the Dean’s List since enrolling in school.
Jager Burton: The highest-rated recruit in the class of 2021, Burton came to Lexington with high expectations and the true freshman appeared to pass the first test during spring practice. The blue-chipper is working at guard for the Wildcats, and those around the program like what the young player has shown so far.
“I think Jager is special,” Jackson told KSR. “I’ve worked with him since he was maybe a sophomore in high school, and I could tell early on that he was special.”
Eli Cox: Entering his redshirt sophomore season, Cox has played in eight games and could be a key cog along the offensive line. The in-state product has positional versatility and could push Wilson for the starting job at center.
Austin Dotson: The Belfry, Ky., native became a valuable piece of the offensive line in 2020. The redshirt senior started four games last season while playing in all 11 games. A mauler in the run game, Dotson should be one of the best reserve guards in the SEC this season.
R.J. Adams: The high three-star prospect was a late recruiting win for Kentucky in the class of 2020. Adams has tremendous size — 6-3, 330 pounds — and could be a point of attack force in gap schemes.
Josh Jones: Another class of 2020 member, Jones picked Kentucky over LSU and the Alabama product has positional versatility. As of now, it is unsure how Kentucky will use the 6-6 and 336-pound offensive lineman.