Kentucky starting left tackle Cole Mosier will miss the entire 2017 season with a torn ACL in his right knee, the team announced Monday. Mosier sustained the injury during Kentucky’s preseason scrimmage on Saturday. His UK career is over.
“We’re extremely disappointed about Cole’s injury,” coach Mark Stoops said in a press release. “He has been with us all five seasons we’ve been at Kentucky. He helped set the example of hard work that is the theme of this program, as he came in as a walk-on and earned a scholarship. We know Cole will continue to support his teammates this season and we wish him the best in his recovery and in the future.”
The senior from Walton, Ky., started 10 games for Kentucky last season at left tackle. He missed three games due to injury. Mosier was penciled in as the Wildcats’ starting left tackle this season. Sophomore Landon Young will likely take over Mosier’s starting spot.
Young’s first playing time last season came at Florida in Week 2 when Mosier went down with an ankle injury.
“Coach kind of joked, ‘You got dipped in gasoline and thrown into the fire,'” Young said at UK media day. “I wouldn’t have it any other way. It would’ve been nice to have a redshirt season to develop my body, but now being able to go back and look at what I did, I wouldn’t have it any other way.”
Mosier, at 6-foot-6 and 335 pounds, was one of eight offensive starters returning for Kentucky. He was part of a 2016 offensive line that sprung running backs Boom Williams and Benny Snell to individual 1,000-yard campaigns.
The Kentucky native has played in 32 games with 13 starts in his career. Mosier came to Lexington as a walk-on and transformed himself into one of the best offensive lineman on the team.
“Tearing my ACL was a big blow and it’s unfortunate because I wanted to finish my career here at UK with my teammates,” Mosier said in a statement. “However, I’m going to have surgery on Thursday and I plan to rehab my knee in order to participate in UK’s Pro Day in March. I want to thank Coach Stoops and Coach Schlarman for everything they’ve done for me. I also want to thank the Big Blue Nation for their support. Coming here as a walk-on and then earning a scholarship was a dream come true. I’m going to continue being around the team to cheer them on and help the team as much as I can.”
Kentucky’s offensive line is once again expected to be a strength of the team. The Wildcats lost All-SEC center Jon Toth and former starting guard Ramsey Meyers from last season, but everyone else returned. Mosier’s injury is a significant setback to offensive line coach John Schlarman’s group.
Monday marks the beginning of Week 3 of Kentucky’s preseason camp. Players and coaches weren’t available for interviews Monday, but offensive coordinator Eddie Gran and offensive players will be available after practice Tuesday.
Kentucky opens the season on Sept. 2 at Southern Miss. The Wildcats will play their season opener Sept. 9 against Eastern Kentucky at Kroger Field.