Two University of Kentucky football greats will be in Whitesburg next week for a presentation and autograph session sponsored by Appalachian Regional Healthcare.
Benny Snell Jr., UK alltime leading rusher, and Tim Couch, former quarterback for the Wildcats and for the Cleveland Browns in the NFL, will be at the CANE Kitchen in the old Whitesburg High School at 12:30 p.m., March 12.
The event is sponsored by ARH Cardiology Associates and the Gill Heart and Vascular Institute at UK.
Snell, who attended Westerville Central High School in Ohio, broke UK’s freshman rushing record, previously held by Moe Williams, and went on to break five more freshman school records that year, including most rushing touchdowns at 13, most total touchdowns at 13, most 100-yard rushing games at 5 and most rushing yards by a freshman in a single game at 192.
During his college career, he was named True Freshman All-American by ESPN and 247Sports, Football Writers Association of America Freshman All-American, Freshman All-SEC and a Second-team All-SEC pick by Pro Football Focus, and preseason All- SEC First Team and All-SEC Second Team by the Associated Press.
Snell, who is entering the NFL draft in April and foregoing his senior college season, is one of only four players in Southeastern Conference history to have three 1,000-yard rushing seasons consecutively, and only UK player ever to have consecutive 1,000-yard seasons. He broke a 43-yard school rushing record held by Sonny Collins when he carried the ball 12 yards for a touchdown against Penn State during the 2019 Citrus Bowl.
The Citrus Bowl trophy will be at the event next week for viewing and photo opportunities.
Couch, a native of Leslie County, played five years in the NFL at Cleveland after a stellar career at UK. Couch split the starting quarterback position with Billy Jack Haskins his freshman year under Coach Bill Curry. Curry was replaced after one year, and Couch came into his own with Coach Hall Mumme’s “air raid” strategy. While in college, Couch completed 795 of 1,184 passes for 8,435 yards, with 4,275 passing yards during the 1998 season alone and 74 touchdowns including a 97-yard touchdown pass.
Couch still owns the NCAA record for completion percentage in one game at 83.0 percent, with 44 completions of 53 attempts against Vanderbilt in 1998, and for completions per game, 36.4 in 11 games the same year (400 for the season). He also left UK after his junior year with NCAA records for most completions in a season (400), most completions in a two-year period (793), most completions per game in a two-year period (34.7) and career completion percentage (67.1 percent). His career completions percentage is still number 2 in the SEC.
Couch’s SEC record 4,151 offensive yards in 1998 stood until 2007, when Tim Tebow broke it with 4,181 yards for Florida.Couch’s 1998 record of 4,275 passing yards is still an SEC record.
The event in Whitesburg on Tuesday will include a short presentation by Snell, followed by an autograph session with Snell and Couch. The first 50 people to arrive will get a free signature football to be signed.