Every year in college football there are guys who burst onto the scene. Many times, it is expected however there are occasions where a player seemingly comes out of nowhere.
Four Potential Breakout Kentucky Wildcats For 2018
Mark Stoops‘ 2018 club is loaded with young players who fit that mold. Picking two players on each side of the ball, here are Four Potential Breakout Kentucky Wildcats For 2018.
A Big Time Playmaker
Lynn Bowden – Sophomore Wide Receiver– As one of the most hyped recruits in recent memory, the Youngstown, Ohio native played in all 13 games as a freshman. He had 17 catches for 210 yards with a season high 79 against Vanderbilt. All this after getting to Lexington just before practice started in August while waiting on academic eligibility.
In addition to his receiving stats, he made a big splash on kickoff returns. Averaging 23 yards per return, Bowden finished seventh in the SEC with 869 yards. His 93-yard return against the Commodores was the longest in school history since 2009.
After a year of conditioning and system familiarity under his belt, the coaching staff is expecting big things as a sophomore. A quarterback in high school, don’t be surprised to see Bowden line up in the Wildcat as they try to get him as many touches as possible. He was named to the preseason list for the Paul Hornung Award given to the most versatile player in college football.
— Kentucky Football (@UKFootball) August 15, 2018
Bowden has the home run capability the Kentucky offense hasn’t had since Jeff Badet transferred to Oklahoma two years ago.
Waiting In The Wings
A. J. Rose– Sophomore Running Back- Make no mistake, Benny Snell is the man in the backfield for the Cats. The top returning back in the SEC looks to break the school record for yards this season. However, when Snell needs a break or offensive coordinator Eddie Gran wants to change things up they hope the transition to Rose will be seamless.
The Cleveland, Ohio native ran only 15 times for 37 yards in 2017 in limited action. He notched a season-high of nine carries for 26 yards against Mississippi State. In the 2018 Spring Game Rose was the star. Rushing for three touchdowns and 134 yards, Rose took great strides in the battle with Sihiem King to back up Snell.
As we continue looking at Four Potential Breakout Kentucky Wildcats For 2018 it is time to look at the defensive side of the ball. One is a player the staff hopes will shore up the front line while the other is an in-state kid who looks to fill a major cog at linebacker.
The Big Man In The Middle
Quniton Bohanna– Sophomore Nose Guard– For years, the Kentucky defense has had trouble on the defensive line, especially against the run. In 2017, the Cats ranked 78th in college football giving up 175 yards per game.
As a freshman, Bohanna appeared in 12 of the 13 games starting the last five. For the season the Cordova, Tennessee native totaled 14 tackles with one pass break up. He came on strong at the end of 2018 and the coaching staff has raved about his work ethic.
As mentioned earlier, the defensive line has been much maligned during Stoops’ tenure at Kentucky. However, it looks as if 2018 is the year the Cats finally have the depth to improve in the SEC. If it does happen, Bohanna will be one of the catalysts.
Big Shoes To Fill
Kash Daniel– Junior Middle Linebacker– The Paintsville, Kentucky native is the heir apparent to Courtney Love. Playing in all 13 games in 2017, Daniel recorded seven tackles. In addition, he gained six yards on a fake punt against Missouri to set up a field goal by Austin MacGinnis. That would prove to be the game winner.
While questions linger about Daniel’s speed, the staff has no doubt he will be a force in the middle. He should finish the season as one of the Cats leading tacklers.
One player who undoubtedly would have been on this list is Josh Paschal. The staff was expecting big things from the sophomore defensive end in 2018 replacing Denzil Ware. However, he was recently diagnosed with a malignant melanoma in his foot. Currently, there is no timetable for his return.
Thanks for check out Four Potential Kentucky Wildcat Breakout Players For 2018 here at Last Word On College Football. Next week is a big one as we will have the season predictions for the 2018 Cats. Can they make it to three straight bowls for only the third time in school history?