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The Kentucky Wildcats haven’t gotten great play out of the quarterback position over the last few years.
Terry Wilson had some issues with injuries and inconsistency throughout his Wildcat career after all. And while his replacement back in 2019, Lynn Bowden Jr., was a dynamic, electric playmaker, everyone knows he wasn’t a true quarterback.
Heading into the offseason, there were two players looking to step into the starting job: Joey Gatewood and Beau Allen. From the buzz around Lexington, both players had a good shot at winning the competition.
But then something interesting happened.
Back in February, former Penn State quarterback Will Levis announced that he was transferring to Kentucky. Levis appeared in six games in 2020, completing 33 of his 55 pass attempts for 421 yards and one score. He also added another 260 yards and three scores on the ground.
Even with Levis on campus, many expected the quarterback battle to come down to Gatewood or Allen. Those people were wrong. Head coach Mark Stoops revealed on Sunday that Levis would be the starting quarterback against Louisiana Monroe in Week 1.
Stoops also announced that Gatewood had once again entered his name in the transfer portal. Gatewood already has one transfer under his belt after he bolted from Auburn following the news that Bo Nix would be the team’s starter in 2019.
As of right now, Gatewood’s departure leaves Allen, Nik Scalzo and true freshman Kaiya Sheron as the only quarterbacks left on the roster. Allen is a solid backup to have, but there are some depth issues now.
Still, the focus needs to be on Levis, who should provide an upgrade to the offense. Yes, he does share the dual-threat ability and spotty accuracy with Wilson, but he’s still growing as a player. We never saw the development we expected from Wilson, which is what ultimately hindered the offense.
Hopefully the arrival of new offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Liam Coen from the Los Angeles Rams should help with those development issues.
Levis is a junior with three years of eligibility remaining.
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Follow Clint Lamb on Twitter @ClintRLamb.