Help At Positions Of Need
During the early signing day back in December Kentucky purposefully took fewer players than usual. That’s because Mark Stoops and the Wildcat coaching staff were expecting big things from the transfer portal. That certainly turned out to be the case as the Cats picked up several players at positions of need for 2021. As we begin looking at Kentucky’s recent signees we start with an in-state player returning home.
Home Run Threat
The first signee actually came before the Febuary signing period. In mid-January the Cats got a late Christmas present. Two years ago Western Hills star Wan’Dale Robinson committed to Kentucky and was later named the state’s Mr. Football. However shortly thereafter he decided to play for Scott Frost and Nebraksa. Of course this left some hurt feelings with not only the coaching staff but the entire Big Blue Nation. Stating a desire to be closer to his family the Frankfort native announced he was entering the transfer portal and heading home.
new beginnings.. i’m home 💙 pic.twitter.com/BHc4vCAlxo
— Wan’Dale Robinson (@wanda1erobinson) January 15, 2021
In two years at Nebraska Robinson hauled in 91 passes for 914 yards and three touchdowns. He was a Mr. Everything for the Cornhuskers as he also rushed for 540 yards and found the end zone four more times. The Cats have arguably the best rushing attack in the SEC led by Christopher Rodriguez and Kavosiey Smoke. As a result this allows Robinson to concentrate on playing receiver under new offensive coordinator Liam Coen. He gives the Cats a home run threat anytime he touches the ball.
Add in the fact 2020’s leading pass catcher Josh Ali is returning for one more year and the Cats have a 1-2 combination like they haven’t had in years. Now Kentucky just has to figure out who’s throwing it to them.
Competition At Quarterback
As many of you are aware Kentucky’s quarterback of the last few years Terry Wilson announced he’s hitting the transfer portal. That leaves Joey Gatewood and Beau Allen as the only players with any game experience, and that is limited. If Kentucky fans learned nothing from two years ago you can never have too many quarterbacks. To that end enter Will Levis, who’s transferring from Penn State.
On track to graduate in May Levis comes to Lexington as a graduate transfer and is eligible to play immediately. In his time at “Happy Valley” Levis completed nearly 60 percent of his passes for 644 yards and three touchdowns. In additon he ran for 473 yards and six touchdowns. Furthermore his rushing total ranks him 10th all-time in Penn State history. Though he won’t get to Lexington until the summer he’s definitely in the mix for the starting quarterback position.
As we continue looking at Kentucky’s recent signees let’s now turn to the defensive side of the ball. Again Stoops and his staff picked up players at needed positions.
A Big Time Recruit
Kentucky’s lone non-transfer newcomer is a huge one. With both Jamin Davis and “Boogie” Watson both off to the pros the linebacker position took a big hit. As a result the Cats needed instant help and they found it in Trevin Wallace. The four star linebacker out of Georgia chose the Cats over Auburn, Georgia and Ole Miss. Wallace ranks as the 140th best player in the country by 247 Sports and 15th in the state. At his commitment he even did the “fake like your picking another team” then chose UK.
Trevin Wallace is going to be a WILDCAT
— Connor DelPrete (@Connor_DelPrete) February 3, 2021
In high school Wallace played all over the field including quarterback, running back and receiver. Furthermore Wallace ran track where he ran the 100 meters in 11.08 and had a 6-2 high jump. It may take a little time for Wallace to adjust to the college game but he’s a player you could see on the field from day one.
In addition to Wallace the Cats picked up another linebacker through the transfer portal. The school also announced Luke Fulton was heading to Lexington. The Youngstown, Ohio native was a top 20 inside linebacker who chose Michigan State over Kentucky. However after redshirting in 2019 and not playing at all last season Fulton hit the transfer portal and is now a Wildcat. Again he adds depth at a spot where the Cats need it.
A third transfer on defense is Justice Dingle, who comes to Kentucky from Georgia Tech. In eight games total with the Yellow Jackets Dingle recorded eight tackles and a sack. One other note he’s the brother of highly touted incoming tight end Jordan Dingle.
As we finish up looking at Kentucky’s recent signees with a look at another player on offense.
Adding Wide Receiver Depth
After getting Levis from Penn State, the Cats again raided the Big 10. Tre’von Morgan comes to Lexington from Michigan State, becoming the second former Spartan heading to Kentucky. Coming out of high school both Rivals and ESPN ranked the six foot six Morgan as the number one receiver in Ohio. In addition he ranked in the top 30 overall in the Buckeye State.
Morgan redshirted in 2019 then played in four of seven games during the COVID shortened 2020 season. He caught two passes for 46 yards and one touchdown. Coming against Penn State his score was very impressive.
That throw from Payton Thorne.
That catch from Tre’Von Morgan.
Beautiful touchdown for MSU.
— Tony Dombrowski (@tonydombrowski) December 12, 2020
Morgan draws comparisons to former Cat Ahmad Wagner, who Kentucky routinely took advantage of his six foot seven frame around the end zone. Currently Morgan has to sit out the 2021 season but could become eligible should the NCAA extend the blanket transfer waiver. He has four years of eligibility remaining.
Thanks for looking at Kentucky’s February signees with us here at Last Word On College Football. Next time out we’ll start diving into the Wildcats’ spring football.