22 Wildcats set for the beginning of December – University of Kentucky Athletics

LEXINGTON, Ky. Twenty-two current and former Wildcat student athletes from 10 UK teams are on their way to graduate Friday.

The early December ceremonies of the University of Kentucky will take place online this Friday. In addition to the 76 student athletes who graduated in May, UK Athletics is expected to have 98 graduates in the 2020 calendar year alone.

Along with 18 student athletes currently competing or recently eligible, four additional Cats are expected to graduate upon completion of their undergraduate work as part of UK Athletics’ Post-Eligibility program.

Through the Post-Eligibility Program, UK Athletics pays tuition and books for scholarship students who return to school after they become eligible. Since its inception in 1989, more than 150 Wildcats have returned to graduate through the program.

Cats who graduated through the Post-Eligibility Program include Derek Anderson (1996-97), 1996’s national champion of men’s basketball; Sean Hjelle (2015-17), star pitcher of the UK’s 2017 Regional Baseball Champion; Steve Johnson (2006-07), who caught the game-winning touchdown passes in victories at No. 1 LSU and No. 9 Louisville in ’07; and cornerback Derrick Tatum (1999-2002), who played in the ’99 Music City Bowl and helped the Cats to a season of seven wins in 2002.

Two football Wildcats, Drake Jackson and Sawyer Smith, are in the process of completing master’s degrees. With the help of advanced placement credits earned in high school, football player Quentin Wilson completes his bachelor’s degree in two and a half years.

Below is the full list of expected graduates:

Sean Hjelle – Baseball
Derek Anderson – Men’s Basketball
Kameron Roach – Women’s basketball
Cedrick Dort Jr. – Football
Brandin Echols – Football
Isaiah Epps – Football
* Drake Jackson – Football
Steve Johnson – Football
Zach Johnson – Football
Justin Rigg – Football
AJ Rose – Football
Brett Slusher – Football
* Sawyer Smith – Football
Derrick Tatum – Football
Quintin Wilson – Football
Mollie Korth – Gymnastics
Aimé Mabika – Men’s football
Foster Ignoffo – Women’s soccer
Enzo Wallart – Men’s Tennis
Connor Blandford – Swimming and diving for men
John Mitchell – Swimming and diving for men
Lauren Edelman – Swimming and diving for ladies

* indicates graduation with a master’s degree

Graduation marks another milestone of academic success for British student athletes. Led by UK Athletics’ Student-Athlete Experience Division, Wildcat student athletes have achieved a cumulative grade-point average of better than 3.0 in 16 consecutive semesters, with grades for the fall semester closing next week. In November, British student athletes broke both school records in the NCAA’s Graduation Success Rate and Federal Graduation Rate.

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