Chris Rodriguez returning to Kentucky for 2022 season


Kentucky Wildcats running back Chris Rodriguez Jr. (24) celebrates scoring a touchdown during the UK vs Iowa VRBO Citrus Bowl football game on Saturday, Jan. 1, 2022, at Camping World Stadium in Orlando, Florida. Photo by Michael Clubb | Staff

Cole Parke

Kentucky running back Chris Rodriguez Jr. has announced he will return to the Wildcats for the 2022 football season.

Rodriguez, a junior, has been with the Wildcats since the 2018 season as a redshirt freshman. He entered the 2021 season on the preseason All-SEC Second Team as picked by Athlon and the All-SEC Third Team as picked by Phil Steele.

Rodriguez rushed for a combined 1,379 yards in the 2021 season including 107 yards and a touchdown in the Cats 20-17 win over Iowa in the Citrus Bowl. The junior running-back has amassed over 20 touchdowns during his career at Kentucky with one in each of Kentucky’s last four games. His efforts earned him spots on both the Maxwell Award and Doak Walker Award watch lists.

“When I signed at [Kentucky], my goals were to rewrite the record books and be the first in my family to graduate from college,” Rodriguez said via his Twitter. “I’m so close to accomplishing both of those goals and because of that, I would like to announce that I will be coming back for another year!”

Rodriguez is currently majoring in community and leadership development at the University of Kentucky and is on pace to achieve his goal of being the first in his family to graduate from college. 

Rodriguez is also currently 1,133 yards away from breaking Benny Snell Jr’s record for career rushing yards (3,873). With a season similar to his 2021 campaign, ‘C-Rod’ has a realistic chance at also accomplishing his second goal of rewriting the record books.

“I know coming back will make me better not only for myself but also my team and the people around me,” Rodriguez said. “I want to thank God and my parents for putting me in the best position possible to get where I want to be in life.”