It’s 100 days until the head-coached Kentucky Wildcats football program begins its 10th season Markus Stoops.
Stoops has taken the Kentucky football program to new heights as it has hit bowl games for six straight years for a program record with two 10-win seasons.
To honor Stoops’ 10th season as head coach and the countdown to the 2022 season opener against Miami, Ohio, the Cats Pause will list the top 100 players to have played for Stoops during his time at Lexington.
We’ll start with #100, long snapper Blake best.
Hometown: Duluth, Georgia
Secondary school: Peachtree Ridge
Recruiting profile: Unrated Long Snapper Class 2015
Years in the UK: 2015-19
A Georgia native, Best enrolled in Kentucky in 2015 after a high school career playing both offensive line and long snapper.
After becoming a walk-on redshirt for the Wildcats in 2015, he became the team’s long snapper in 2016 and has never looked back.
Best started every game for Kentucky from 2016 to 2019 with Long Snapper and recorded 52 action games. He was perfect in all his field goals, extra points and punt snaps as he delivered the ball to the best placekicker in British history Austin MacGinnis for two seasons and Ray Guy Award winner, First-Team All-American punter Max Duffy in 2018 and its award-winning 2019 campaign.
Overall, he had 55 field goals scored and 166 extra points converted during his career in Kentucky, including 46 extra points and 14 field goals as a senior.
Perhaps his most famous snap came as a redshirt freshman in 2016 when he snapped MacGinnis Game-winning 51-yard kick to beat Mississippi State on time.
Today is 51 days until the season opener, so let’s celebrate our all-time favorite 51-yard field goal – Austin MacGinnis’ game winner vs. Mississippi State in 2016! pic.twitter.com/7lFXnMHA9T
— Kentucky Football (@UKFootball) July 15, 2021
In 2019 he was a nominee for the prestigious Burlsworth Trophy, awarded to the most outstanding football player to start his career as a walk-on and has demonstrated outstanding performance on the pitch. Among the winners of the award is the Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Baker Mayfieldformer Clemson wide receiver and now NFL star Hunter Renfroe and former Penn State star quarterback Matt McGloin.
Best has been on four Kentucky Bowl teams, including the 2019 Citrus Bowl and Belk Bowl champions.
As part of a 2019 senior class, Best helped Kentucky win 32 games, which at the time was the most wins for Britain in a four-year period since 1949-52.
Off the field, he was a seven-time member of the Dean’s List, earned a 4.0 GPA in 2019, and graduated summa cum laude in December 2018 with a dual major in Business and Finance with a perfect GPA of 4.0.
He was named to the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) Academic All-America First Team in 2019 and 2018 Google Cloud Academic All-American runner-up during his time in the UK.