Cats Head Into 2022 With Stability
A season ago Mark Stoops and the Kentucky Wildcats faced a huge question mark at quarterback. Following three years in Lexington, Terry Wilson transferred to New Mexico. However, heading into this season the Cats are strong at the marquee position. Let’s break it down with our 2022 Kentucky Spring Preview: Quarterbacks.
The Clear Number One
Before the 2021 year began, Will Levis was a rather unknown commodity. The Penn State transfer put up some decent numbers in his time at Happy Valley. Part of a three-way battle with Joey Gatewood and Beau Allen Levis eventually won the job. Under new offensive coordinator Liam Coen the junior completed 66 percent of his passes for 2,826 yards and 24 touchdowns. In addition, he ran for nine more scores. However, he did throw 13 interceptions which was number one in the SEC.
Coen went back to the NFL to reunite with Sean McVay. In his place, Stoops brought in Rich Scangarello from the San Francisco 49ers to lead the offense. He says the UK offense won’t change that much under him from what they ran under Coen. As far as the Big Blue Nation goes, for Levis to take that next step in 2022 by cutting down on the turnovers.
Waiting In The Wings
Allen, a Lexington native, sits right behind Levis on the depth chart. In limited playing time last season, he appeared in three games. Allen completed eight of 12 passes for 92 yards. In addition, he scored his first career touchdown on a three-yard run against New Mexico State. As a true freshman in 2020, he completed three of seven passes for 40 yards. Heading into the spring Allen needs more reps to stay ready in case he’s needed in-game action. As Kentucky fans know just go back to 2019 where the Cats went through three different quarterbacks before moving Lynn Bowden to under center.
Continuing our 2022 Kentucky Spring Preview: Quarterbacks let’s look at a couple of other players in the mix for possible playing time.
Another Big 10 Transfer
Levis of course came to Kentucky from Penn State. Now the Cats have another quarterback from the conference. Deuce Hogan, a former four-star recruit, announced his intentions to leave Iowa and after now famous and ill-fated comment from coach Kirk Ferentz.
Spencer Petras and Alex Padilla both had the flu this week.
Kirk Ferentz (joking) on the starter if they were out: “If it was Deuce, with all due respect to Duece, I might’ve stayed in Iowa City."
— John Steppe (@JSteppe1) November 27, 2021
The sophomore only appeared in one game with the Hawkeyes completing his only pass for two yards. However, that does give him a quarterback rating of 117. In an interesting development, the six-foot-four 212 pounder is walking on at Kentucky. With NIL being such a big thing it’s likely he gets some money from that or a possible scholarship if one’s open once fall camp starts. It’s certainly interesting how the Cats got a player away from the team they knocked off in an epic Citrus Bowl thriller.
Other Players Looking For Playing Time
Kaiya Sheron, another home-state player from Somerset returns after redshirting last year. We’ve talked about him a great deal since committing to Kentucky back in 2020. Sheron led his Briar Jumpers to the Class 2A State Championship in 2019 driving his squad 86 yards in the final 28 seconds.
In addition to Sheron, incoming freshman Destin Wade won’t arrive on campus until the summer but brings a wealth of talent to Lexington. The four-star player rushed for 1,463 yards and 21 touchdowns during the 2021 campaign. In addition, he threw for another 926 yards and 12 more touchdowns. He led his team to 25 straight wins before losing in the Class 6A title game. As a junior, he led the Spartans to the Class 5A state championship.
Thanks for checking out our 2022 Kentucky Spring Preview: Quarterbacks here at Last Word On College Football. Next time out we’ll focus on the running backs where the Wildcats have arguably the best group in the SEC. Also, the school announced the return of the spring football game happening on Saturday, April 9th at 1:00 pm. It’s the first spring game since 2019 after the last two were canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.