We’re squarely in the golden years of the Kentucky Wildcats football program, with the Mark Stoops-coached squad reaching bowl games in each of the past seven seasons.
That on-field consistency has allowed Stoops and company to churn out top-level talent to the NFL, with no former Wildcat doing so much on the sport’s largest stage quite like ninth-year linebacker Za’Darius Smith.
The three-time Pro Bowler, who suited up for Kentucky between 2013 and 2014, was among the SEC players chosen for the 2023 edition of the NFL 100, illustrating how much of an impact the 30-year-old made in the sport.
Following the 2023 NFL 100 list, BetKentucky.com paused Kentucky sportsbooks updates and tallied which SEC schools produced the most players on the list.
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Number of NFL 100 Players From Each SEC School
Smith Serves As UK’s Lone NFL 100 Member For 2023
The only player from Lexington to make this year’s NFL 100 list was Smith, who has 271 tackles, 54.5 sacks, and 12 pass deflections in his NFL career.
Smith is still trying to get back to the form that allowed him to wrack up a career-best 13.5 sacks for loss with the Green Bay Packers in 2019, though he did have 10.0 sacks with the Minnesota Vikings in 2022.
SEC-wide, Smith’s inclusion for the Wildcats allowed Kentucky to sit in a tie with Arkansas and South Carolina for the seventh most players on this year’s NFL 100 list.
Kentucky finished behind Alabama (13 players), Mississippi State (four players), LSU (three players), and Georgia, Ole Miss, and Texas A&M (two players each) on this year’s NFL 100.
With a bowl game streak that’s pushing a decade in length and more and more top-level talent choosing Mark Stoop’s bunch, there’s sure to be more NFL talent rolling through Lexington in the near-distant future.
For now, at least Wildcats fans can take solace in knowing one of the 100 best NFL players in the league donned the team’s uniform during their collegiate years.
With sports betting coming very soon to the Bluegrass State, we at BetKentucy.com will have the best and latest Kentucky sportsbook promos ready for you to utilize as soon as they are available.