3 Cats named to All-SEC team

Published 10:02 am Tuesday, July 25, 2023


Three University of Kentucky football players have been named to the 2023 Preseason Media Days All-Southeastern Conference teams, it was announced Friday.

Sophomore defensive lineman Deone Walker was named second-team defense, while senior offensive lineman Eli Cox and senior outside linebacker J.J. Weaver were named to the third-team offense and third-team defense, respectively.

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Walker, a 6-foot-6, 330-pounder from Detroit, played in all 13 games with 11 starting assignments in his rookie season in 2022. Because of his size and physicality, he was an absolute force on the defensive line, finishing with 40 total tackles, 4.5 tackles for loss (third on the team), five quarterback hurries (second on the team), two pass breakups, one sack and one forced fumble.

He earned freshman All-America honors from the Football Writers Association of America, The Athletic, College Football News, on3.com, 247Sports.com and Pro Football Focus.  Additionally, he was named to the SEC All-Freshman Team, was named second team All-SEC by the Associated Press, Pro Football Focus and Phil Steele’s College Football and was a semifinalist for the Shaun Alexander Freshman of the Year Award.

He is currently on the watch list for the Lott IMPACT Trophy.

Cox, a native of Nicholasville, is a veteran on the Big Blue Wall after seeing action in 30 career games with 22 starting assignments. Last season, he moved to center and started in all 13 games, earning a spot on the Outland Trophy Watch List and the Comeback Player of the Year Award Watch List. In 2021, he saw action in nine games before a hand injury which required surgery sidelined him.

Cox will move back to his natural position at right guard in 2023.

Cox graduated in May of 2022 with a degree in integrated strategic communication with a business minor and is currently working on a second degree in media arts studies. He also is one of three representatives for UK football on the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) for the second straight year. Additionally, he was elected to the SEC Football Leadership Council for the second straight season, including being elected chair of the Leadership Council for 2023.

Weaver, a native of Louisville, is another veteran leader for the Wildcats this season. After considering entry into the NFL Draft, Weaver decided to return to Kentucky and build off a solid junior season that saw him play in 11 games with eight starting assignments. He was listed on the Lott IMPACT Trophy Watch List after tallying 47 tackles, 6.0 tackles for loss, a team-high 3.0 sacks, three quarterback hurries, a team-high three fumbles recoveries, a team-high tying two forced fumbles and a blocked kick.

He is on track to graduate in December with a degree in community leadership and development.





QB – Jayden Daniels, LSU

RB – Quinshon Judkins, Ole Miss

RB – Raheim Sanders, Arkansas

WR – Malik Nabers, LSU

WR – Ladd McConkey, Georgia

TE – Brock Bowers, Georgia

OL – JC Latham, Alabama

OL – Amarius Mims, Georgia

OL – Tate Ratledge, Georgia

OL – Will Campbell, LSU

C – Sedrick Van Pran, Georgia



QB – KJ Jefferson, Arkansas

RB – Jase McClellan, Alabama

RB – Kendall Milton, Georgia

WR – Antwane Wells, South Carolina

*WR – Bru McCoy, Tennessee

*WR – Ja’Corey Brooks, Alabama

TE – Mason Taylor, LSU

OL – Tyler Booker, Alabama

OL – Brady Latham, Arkansas

OL – Javon Foster, Missouri

OL – Xavier Truss, Georgia

C – Seth McLaughlin, Alabama



*QB – Joe Milton III, Tennessee

*QB – Will Rogers, Mississippi State

RB – Jarquez Hunter, Auburn

RB – Trevor Etienne, Florida

WR – Ainias Smith, Texas A&M

WR – Jermaine Burton, Alabama

TE – Trey Knox, South Carolina

OL – Emery Jones, LSU

OL – Eli Cox, Kentucky

OL – Javontez Spraggins, Tennessee

OL – Layden Robinson, Texas A&M

C – Cooper Mays, Tennessee




DL – Mekhi Wingo, LSU

DL – Mykel Williams, Georgia

DL – Maason Smith, LSU

DL – Nazir Stackhouse, Georgia

LB – Dallas Turner, Alabama

LB – Harold Perkins, LSU

LB – Jamon Dumas-Johnson, Georgia

DB – Kool-Aid McKinstry, Alabama

DB – Malaki Starks, Georgia

DB – Kamari Lassiter, Georgia

DB – Javon Bullard, Georgia



DL – Jaheim Oatis, Alabama

DL – McKinnley Jackson, Texas A&M

DL – Justin Eboigbe, Alabama

DL – Deone Walker, Kentucky

LB – Smael Mondon, Georgia

LB – Nathaniel Watson, Mississippi State

LB – Ty’Ron Hopper, Missouri

DB – Malachi Moore, Alabama

DB – Dwight McGlothern, Arkansas

DB – Demani Richardson, Texas A&M

DB – Kris Abrams-Draine, Missouri



DL – Princely Umanmielen, Florida

DL – Tonka Hemingway, South Carolina

DL – Tim Smith, Alabama

DL – Darius Robinson, Missouri

LB – Chris Braswell, Alabama

LB – Jalon Walker, Georgia

LB – JJ Weaver, Kentucky

DB – Major Burns, LSU

DB – D.J. James, Auburn

DB – Nehemiah Pritchett, Auburn

DB – Jason Marshall Jr., Florida




P – Kai Kroeger, South Carolina

PK – Will Reichard, Alabama

LS – Kneeland Hibbett, Alabama

KOS – Mitch Jeter, South Carolina

RS – Kool-Aid McKinstry, Alabama

AP – Ainias Smith, Texas A&M



P – Nik Constantinou, Texas A&M

PK – Harrison Mevis, Missouri

LS – Slade Roy, LSU

KOS – Nathan Dibert, LSU

RS – Ainias Smith, Texas A&M

AP – Tulu Griffin, Mississippi State



P – Oscar Chapman, Auburn

PK – Alex McPherson, Auburn

LS – William Mote, Georgia

KS – Mitch Jeter, South Carolina

RS – Tulu Griffin, Mississippi State

AP – Dakereon Joyner, South Carolina

* – Indicates a tie