Sports. Honestly. Since 2011

2023 Kentucky Spring Preview: Quarterbacks

2023 Kentucky Spring Preview: Quarterbacks: The first in our look at the 2023 Cats including a big-time signal caller through the portal.

Replacing a First Round Pick

It’s hard to believe six weeks have passed since Kentucky wrapped up the 2022 season. Of course, most of the Big Blue Nation would rather never talk about the Music City Bowl again. The forgettable 21-0 loss to Iowa without quarterback Will Levis marked the end of an era in Lexington. With the potential top-five draft pick onto the pros Mark Stoops and his staff must find a new starting quarterback. They’re pretty sure they’ve found that guy. Let’s meet him and look at all the quarterbacks on the roster with our 2023 Kentucky Spring Preview: Quarterbacks.

Big Time Get Through the Portal

With Levis off to the NFL, the Cats needed help quickly. Naturally, they did what most schools do these days, look to the portal. They quickly found their guy in Devin Leary, the top-ranked quarterback in the transfer portal. A season ago at North Carolina State Leary appeared in only six games due to a torn pectoral muscle. During that time he threw for 1,166 yards and 11 touchdowns. Leary’s expected to be available for spring practice, though it’s unclear how much he will participate.

Kentucky is hoping for a return to his 2021 form where he threw for 3,433 yards, 35 touchdowns, and only five interceptions. As a result, he was a finalist for the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm award for the nation’s top quarterback. Pittsburgh’s Kenny Pickett won the trophy.

Another big recruiting victory for Stoops was convincing Liam Coen to return as offensive coordinator.  Coen spent 2021 in the same position where not only Levis put up big numbers but Wan’Dale Robinson had the best year by a receiver in school history. After a year running the L.A. Rams offense, he’s back in Lexington.

While the Cats expect Leary to be fully healthy the question remains, “what if he’s not?” As we continue our 2023 Kentucky Spring Preview: Quarterbacks let’s look at the other players vying for playing time.

Who’s the Next in Line?

Redshirt freshman Destin Wade begins the Spring as the favorite to back up Leary. The Spring Hill, Tennessee native didn’t take an in-game snap until the Music City Bowl. He was thrown to the wolves so to speak against one of the top defenses in the country in Iowa. Wade completed 16 of 30 passes for 98 yards and two interceptions. Unfortunately, both were pick-sixes for the Hawkeyes.

During his high school career, Wade rushed for 1,463 yards and 21 touchdowns. 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.

Battling for the second-string quarterback job is Kaiya Sheron, a junior from Somerset, Kentucky. When Levis was out due to injury Sheron got the start against South Carolina. He completed 17 of 28 passes for 178 yards and two touchdowns. However, he did have one interception as the Gamecocks picked up a 24-14 win. 

Sheron made a name for himself in high school during his junior campaign where he threw for 3,285 yards and 28 touchdowns. Furthermore, he ran for another 959 yards and nine more scores. Trailing Mayfield 31-28 with 28 seconds to go the Briar Jumpers had the ball on their own 13-yard line. Sheron calmly led Somerset down the field and won the game at the buzzer.

The third quarterback battling for the job behind Leary is Deuce Hogan. The former Iowa transfer started the 2022 season as the backup to Levis but was quickly passed by the other players. He played a clean-up role against his old squad in the bowl game completing six of seven passes for 19 yards.

Final Thoughts

The combination of a healthy Leary and a Coen-led offense has the Big Blue Nation thinking big for this Fall. In addition, Kentucky returns its top five receivers from 2022 which makes expectations even higher. In fact, Leary is on the early board for the 2023 Heisman Trophy. Right now Leary’s a long shot at +8000 but still, it’s nice seeing him on there.

Thanks for checking out our 2023 Kentucky Spring Preview: Quarterbacks here at Last Word On College Football. We’ll look at all the positions as we go through Spring practice which begins on March 6th. However, if you haven’t heard for the third time in the last four years the Wildcats won’t have a Spring game in 2023. The installation of new turf at Kroger Field means the game won’t happen this season.


2023 Kentucky Spring Preview: Quarterbacks: The first in our look at the 2023 Cats including a big-time signal caller through the portal.

George Walker IV / / USA TODAY NETWORK


More Posts

Send Us A Message