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Kentucky’s New Offensive Coordinator’s Inheritance

Article written by:On3 imageFreddie Maggard
As speculation of Eddie Gran being named as Kentucky’s new offensive coordinator grows, I thought we could take a look at what he’d be inheriting following his short move down I-75. Below are position groups with level of concern for the new offensive boss:

Quarterback

Apparently it’s Drew Barker’s team. With a limited amount of game snaps under his belt, the quarterback position is somewhat of an unknown. Barker has started two games. In both, he played above average in the first half, but below in the second. Inconsistencies can be attributed to situation and scheme. In assessing this position going forward, Barker’s minuscule body of work muddies the projective waters. In addition to on the field development, Drew Barker must prove he can maintain focus and provide positive leadership. Reece Phillips is an accurate passer and a viable option if Barker falters. Accuracy is Phillips’ strength but he lacks in mobility. Gunnar Hoak is a promising early enrollee with a big arm and dual threat capabilities. Level of concern: High   [caption id="attachment_185830" align="alignnone" width="850"]Mark Zerof | USA Today Mark Zerof | USA Today[/caption]

Running Back

Boom Williams has every tool to be special. If healthy and appropriately motivated, Williams is a Top 5 SEC running back. JoJo Kemp is the rock of the group and will be a 2016 team leader. Mikel Horton has both struggled and flourished. Sihiem King has displayed elite speed and elusiveness. The second half of the Governor’s Cup illustrated that Kentucky must prepare to adjust for positional attrition. With a new coordinator and clean slate, incoming freshmen will have the opportunity to compete. If properly used, UK’s stable of runners is more than capable. Level of concern: Low   toth to twoles bigblueinsider

Offensive Line

Lack of depth and insufficient offensive tackle play limited production from this group. Incoming junior college tackle Tate Leavitt will be an automatic upgrade at left tackle. Phil Steele’s All-SEC center Jon Toth is back for his senior campaign. Right tackle is a dilemma. Kyle Meadows struggled toward the latter portion of the season. George Asafo-Adjei is a rising star but at which position? The versatile Cole Mosier can plug and play across the line of scrimmage along with returning starter at guard, Ramsey Meyers. The OL will be deeper, but until improved results are displayed, it remains a reasonable point of concern. An optimistic sign is the influx or incoming and redshirted talent. Level of concern: High   [caption id="attachment_186667" align="alignnone" width="741"]Photo by UK Athletics Photo by UK Athletics[/caption] Tight End Possibly the most reliable of the offensive position groups. Was grossly underutilized in 2015. CJ Conrad, Darryl Long, Greg Hart, and other potential TE/WR hybrid players (Tavin Richardson) complete a group that should be featured, not ignored. The unfathomable neglect of targeting this position in the passing game was bewildering. I foresee the new boss strategically exploiting multiple TEs. Level of concern: Low   [caption id="attachment_185649" align="alignnone" width="2304"]Mark Zerof | USA Today Mark Zerof | USA Today[/caption] Receivers The additions of Tavin Richardson and Jabari Greenwood will boost depth and present alternative options to substitute for underperforming players. Dorian Baker, Blake Bone, Garrett Johnson, Jeff Badet, and Ryan Timmons will be under the microscope. Every dropped pass or negative body language moment will be scrutinized. With an abundance of physical attributes, this position must display improved maturity both on the field and in the training center. With proper motivation and development, there is no reason that WR cannot become an offensive strength. Level of concern: Medium   Overall, the pieces are in place for Kentucky to have an above average SEC offense. Obviously quarterback is the major concern followed by the offensive line. However, both position groups will benefit from experience and a new direction. Strengths are at TE and RB. Receivers are the enigma. All that talent needs to mature into consistent production.

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2023-01-30