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2024 Kentucky Spring Preview: Quarterbacks

2024 Kentucky Spring Preview: Quarterbacks

A Completely New Group In Lexington

It seems like yesterday the Kentucky Wildcats were finishing up the 2023 season. That tough loss to Clemson in the TaxSlayer Gator Bowl still stings. However, March 19th is almost upon us, and with it spring practice begins. Starting his 12th season in Lexington Mark Stoops begins the process of getting his Cats ready for the new look SEC. Over the next few weeks, we’re going to preview every position on the roster. First, it’s the glamour spot with the 2024 Kentucky Spring Preview: Quarterbacks.

Goodbye And Good Luck

Before we look forward let’s look to the past. Pretty much everyone is gone from last year. Devin Leary, who had a solid season in his one year in Lexington, is off to the NFL. In fact, he turned some heads with a good performance at the NFL Combine. Leary threw for 2,746 yards with 25 touchdowns. However, he did have 12 interceptions.

In addition to Leary all of the backup signal callers are gone as well. Kaiya Sheron, who threw for 192 yards and two touchdowns in limited time over two years, transferred to Tennessee-Martin. Former Iowa transfer Deuce Hogan spent two years as a backup in Lexington announced he was leaving as well. Hogan is now on the New Mexico State roster. Finally, Destin Wade, a former four-star recruit, left Kentucky with his brother Keaten, for Deion Sanders at Colorado.

That’s a look at who’s gone from last year. As we continue with the 2024 Kentucky Spring Preview: Quarterbacks let’s look at the all-new QB room.

Finally A Chance

Coming out of high school Brock Vandagriff was the 34th-best player in the 2021 class and fifth at his position. However, he found himself behind Stetson Bennett on the depth chart. Bennett of course went on to win back-to-back titles with Georgia. Last season he battled Carson Beck for the starting job before losing out.

When Beck announced he was coming back for the 2024 season Vandagriff hit the portal. After quickly forming a relationship with then-offensive coordinator Liam Coen, Vandagriff quickly announced he was heading to Lexington.  Appearing in eight games last season Vandagriff completed 12 of 18 passes for 165 yards and two touchdowns. Ironically he had some of his best numbers in the Bulldogs’ 51-13 win over Kentucky. Playing the entire fourth quarter he hit on five of seven passes for 46 yards and a touchdown. In addition, he ran two times for 27 yards.

Of course, the man who helped get him to Kentucky is no longer there. Coen did another “one and done” in Lexington as he went back to the NFL as offensive coordinator for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. In his place is former Boise State OC Bush Hamdan, who is Stoops’ fifth coordinator in as many years. How quickly he will mesh with Hamdan and a talented group of wide receivers is one the biggest things in spring practice.

Continuing on with our 2024 Kentucky Spring Preview: Quarterbacks let’s look at two other players competing with Vandagriff for playing time.

Returning Home

Lexington native Beau Allen is back for a second tour of duty with the Cats. Winner of the Paul Hornung Award for the state’s top player as a senior in high school, the Lexington Catholic star spent 2020-21 at Kentucky. First backing up Terry Wilson and then Will Levis, Allen appeared in five games over two seasons. He completed 11 of 19 passes for 132 yards.

Following the 2021 season, he transferred to Tarleton State in Stephenville, Texas. Allen was the Western Athletic Conference Newcomer of the Year after throwing for 2,357 yards and 22 touchdowns. Allen transferred again, this time to Georgia Southern, for the 2023 year. However, he had to sit out the season after transferring for a second time. Now he’s back at Kentucky.

As we wrap up our 2024 Kentucky Spring Preview: Quarterbacks let’s look at the third player vying for time.

Quarterback Of The Future?

Incoming freshman Cutter Boley is a four-star player from Lexington Christian Academy. Boley chose the Cats on May 18th, 2023 electing to stay home over offers from Florida State, Michigan, Penn State, and Tennessee.

As a senior Boley threw for 2,187 yards and 24 touchdowns. He led the Eagles to an 11-2 record and the second round of the Class 2A playoffs where they lost to perennial state power Mayfield. Those numbers were down some from his stellar junior campaign. He completed 64 percent of his passes for 3,901 yards and 36 touchdowns.

247 Sports ranks Boley as the third best player in Kentucky. Ironically the top two players are his future teammates Jacob and Jerod Smith of Corbin. Overall 247 puts him as the 20th best quarterback in the country and 237th best player overall. The staff believes after sitting behind Vandagriff for a couple of years he’ll be the man going forward. The Wildcats also have Shane Hamm on the roster who has yet to see any game action.

Final Thoughts

Heading into the spring there’s not much question who the starter is and that’s Brock Vandagriff. However, the battle between Allen and Boley for the backup role is the one to watch. Boley enrolled early to get a head start on his college career. Another interesting thing to watch is to see how quickly they learn Hamdan’s system. Thanks for checking out our 2024 Kentucky Spring Preview: Quarterbacks here at Last Word On College Football. Next time out we’ll look at another group who’s had a big turnover and that’s the running backs.

2024 Kentucky Spring Preview: Quarterbacks
Photo courtesy: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

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