LEXINGTON, Ky. — A list of Kentucky players who might get the most attention in 2017 would likely include Benny Snell and Stephen Johnson, Jordan Jones and Mike Edwards.
Ask SEC Network analyst Cole Cubelic which Wildcat he’s most looking forward to watch and you won’t get any of the above responses.
“Probably Logan Stenberg,” Cubelic told SEC Country on Thursday. “I’ve seen him do some things that are pretty exciting.”
It’s a surprising response, but maybe not when you consider Cubelic is a former Auburn offensive lineman — and “offensive lineman from Alabama” is a description Cubelic and Stenberg share.
Stenberg, a sophomore guard from Madison, Ala., was a 3-star prospect coming out of high school. He was ranked the 27th-best prospect in Alabama and chose Kentucky over Southern Miss and Troy. But after redshirting his first season in 2015, Stenberg landed on the All-SEC Freshman Team in 2016.
Stenberg was the primary backup for Nick Haynes but he saw more and more time as the season went on. The 6-foot-6 and 318-pound guard was part of a group that sprung running backs Boom Williams and Benny Snell to individual 1,000-yard rushing seasons.
Now a sophomore, Stenberg is listed as Kentucky’s first-team left guard on the preseason depth chart.
“He’s got a ton of power,” Cubelic said. “I went back and watched the Alabama game a couple weeks ago and he’s moving some guys around, pushing some guys around. It’s not something that you expect to see against that group. I feel like he’s not a very natural offensive lineman, so it’s taking him a little bit longer to sort of grow into being a collegiate offensive lineman. And that’s OK. I did the same thing. I redshirted and didn’t start until my redshirt sophomore year. Sometimes it takes a little bit more time.”
Cubelic thinks Kentucky has the fourth-best offensive line in the SEC heading into the season. Stenberg, not yet a household name, will likely be a key piece of the group.
“If he improves his flexibility and his overall understanding of the position, continues to grow and come around, I think he could be one of the better guards in the league,” Cubelic said.