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Kentucky QB depth will be worrisome in 2022

Adam Luckett07/27/22

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Article written by:On3 imageAdam Luckett

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Redshirt sophomore quarterback Beau Allen has decided to move on from Kentucky football after spending 2.5 years on campus. The former top-500 recruit and Lexington (Ky.) Catholic product was unable to make a true push for playing time for the hometown team and has entered the transfer portal.

Suddenly, Kentucky is down to three scholarship quarterbacks for the 2022 season. For offensive coordinator Rich Scangarello, that lack of depth is concerning in the short term.

Will Levis is entering his second season as QB1 in Lexington, and the redshirt senior has emerged as a legitimate NFL Draft prospect. After throwing for 2,812 yards on 8.0 yards per attempt to go along with 514 non-sack rushing yards on 6.0 yards per rush, expectations are very high for the returnee. The 6-foot-3 quarterback taking the next step would allow the Kentucky offense to enter a stratosphere the program has not been in during the modern college football era.

If all things go to plan, Levis will be the guy for Kentucky this season, and then the coaching staff will go mining in the transfer portal for the program’s next QB1 in 2023. But this is football, and stuff happens. Currently, Kentucky losing a QB would be suboptimal.

Redshirt freshman Kaiya Sheron and true freshman Destin Wade are the only other scholarship quarterbacks on the roster. Each was considered a developmental prospect coming out of high school and the expectation should be for neither to be thrown in the fire this season. There is a very good chance that Wade could switch positions at any point during his playing career.

Following the end of the 2021 season, Kentucky did add Iowa transfer Deuce Hogan to the roster. The Grapevine (Texas) Faith Christian product was a top-500 recruit in the class of 2020 who spent two years with the Hawkeyes in the Big Ten before deciding to move on. Even without a scholarship available, Hogan committed to Kentucky to play in Liam Coen’s pro-style scheme. Those plans stayed the same following a coaching change in Lexington.

In the spring, Hogan flashed some surprising movement skills with the ability to make some throws off platform. The redshirt sophomore needs to improve on playing within the offensive structure, but there is some arm talent as this is a raw quarterback with some intriguing traits.

But at the end of the day, Hogan is a walk-on quarterback.

The quarterback room is thin in the Joe Craft Football Training Facility. That’s not a place you want to be in the most important position in the sport. There is no getting around that. Thanks to some heavy coaching staff churn on the offensive side of the football, the Wildcats have dug a hole at the quarterback position.

In the player empowerment era, roster movement is going to happen. There is going to be transactions both ways in the transfer portal. Quarterbacks will be lost but quarterbacks can also be found. Kentucky can manage this speed bump, but this is not a place the program should want to find itself too often.

For now, the focus needs to be on getting through the 2022 season with a healthy Levis. That should lead to points being put up on the scoreboard in bunches. The results on the field after should allow the coaching staff a great opportunity to close on a rising senior quarterback as the 2023 cycle comes to an end while also finding the next starter in the transfer portal.

However, the situation is worrisome heading into the fall. Kentucky’s QB2 will be a walk-on who was buried on the depth chart for a struggling Iowa offense last season. That’s not a great situation.

You fix your problems through recruiting in college football. Kentucky has a lot of work to do.

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2022-08-17