Three University of Kentucky football players have been named All-Southeastern Conference performers by Phil Steele’s College Football, the publication announced Wednesday.
Senior offensive lineman Larry Warford headlined the honors as a second-team performer, while junior linebacker Avery Williamson and sophomore linebacker Alvin “Bud” Dupree were named to the third team.
Warford, who earned third-team All-America honors Tuesday from The Associated Press, has now earned five All-SEC honors. The talented offensive lineman has already received praise this season from SEC coaches, AP, CollegeSportsMadness.com, ESPN.com and CBSSports.com. He is the first UK O-lineman to receive All-SEC accolades for three-consecutive seasons since Warren Bryant in 1974-76.
This is the second honor for Williamson, who was also named second-team All-SEC by CollegeSportsMadness.com. Dupree, who was named a second-team Sophomore All-America by CollegeFootballNews.com, was also named a third-team All-SEC performer by CollegeSportsMadness.com.
Warford received high praise throughout the season from the UK coaching staff for playing with amazing skill up front. He did not allow a quarterback sack all year, grading at 90.3 percent for the season and totaling 48 knockdown blocks.
The native of Richmond, Ky., ended his UK career having played in 47 games with 37 consecutive starts. The senior was named SEC Co-Offensive Lineman of the Week after UK’s win over Kent State, handling blocking responsibilities on KSU’s star lineman Roosevelt Nix. In the game, Warford collected eight knockdown blocks and graded out at 91.7 percent.
Warford began the season on the Outland Trophy and Lombardi Trophy Watch Lists. Warford led the UK offensive line, being named game captain five times throughout the season. Warford helped UK tailbacks earn 4.9 yards per carry during the season, including rushing for 342 yards against Samford.
Williamson ended the season first on the team in tackles with 135, including three sacks, 4.5 tackles for loss, four pass breakups, two fumbles caused, one fumble recovered, one interception and a quarterback hurry. The high tackle mark ranks him second in the SEC and sixth nationally in tackles per game. The best game of Williamson’s career game this season against Vanderbilt when he recorded 20 tackles to become the first UK player to record 20 or more in a game since Chad Anderson in 2003.
The native of Milan, Tenn., followed his 20-tackle performance with 13 tackles against Samford, becoming the first UK player with 13-plus tackles in four consecutive games since Randy Holleran in 1990. Williamson also had two sacks and a pass breakup against Samford. Williamson posted 10 or more tackles in eight games during the season, including 12 or more in seven games.
Dupree had a breakout year for Kentucky in 2012, finishing second on the team in tackles with 91. The native of Irwinton, Ga., led the team in quarterback sacks and tackles for loss with 6.5 and 12.5, respectively. Dupree’s best game came against Tennessee when he posted 10 tackles, one sack and three tackles for loss. The sophomore posted a career-high 12 tackles against Western Kentucky. Dupree started all 12 games this season and has had a sack, tackle for loss, fumble caused, fumble recovered or pass breakup in 13 of the last 16 games he has played.