Kentucky football: Terry Wilson’s decision could affect current Cats quarterbacks
We tackle the best question asked by Kentucky fans every day. If you’d like to submit a question, tweet to Kyle Tucker here and Joe Mussatto here. Look for the Question of the Day every Monday through Friday.
Kentucky quarterback Stephen Johnson will be honored at Senior Day on Saturday. He’ll play his final game in Kentucky’s bowl game in late December. Then there will be a new leader in the Cats quarterback room.
And that brings us to the Kentucky Question of the Day. Brian Gaskin asks on Twitter: “If Terry Wilson is signed at QB will Drew Barker or Gunner Hoak leave? or both?”
First, a little background. Terry Wilson is on Kentucky’s short list of 2018 quarterback targets. He’s a 6-foot-3, dual-threat quarterback from Oklahoma City. Wilson originally committed to Nebraska, flipped to Oregon, and spent one redshirt season with the Ducks. He decided to transfer to Garden City Community College in Kansas. That’s where he played this season, and now Wilson is back on the market.
Wilson has offers from Kentucky, Ole Miss, Baylor and Indiana. He has an official visit to Lexington planned for mid-December.
While he was a 4-star prospect in high school, it’s hard to predict a couple things when it comes to how he’d fit with the Wildcats. One is obvious: This is only a hypothetical, and if Wilson commits elsewhere none of this will matter in a few weeks. Second, who knows what kind of quarterback he could be in the SEC. He passed for 1,776 yards with 22 touchdowns and 9 interceptions this season at Garden City. He had an average completion rating of 59 percent. He averaged 45 rushing yards per game and ran for 5 touchdowns.
But for the sake of this story, let’s assume that Wilson commits. Johnson will be gone, as will walk-on quarterback Luke Wright. Kentucky’s quarterback room going into next season would look like this: senior Drew Barker, sophomore Terry Wilson, sophomore Gunnar Hoak, redshirt freshman Danny Clark, redshirt freshman Walker Wood.
That’s five scholarship quarterbacks. So back to Brian’s question: Will Barker, Hoak, or both leave if Wilson signs? Of course the other option is that neither will leave.
My guess is that all five will stick around for spring football to compete for the job. After they get a sense of where the depth chart stands, I do think one of the quarterbacks will transfer. If Wilson starts, I don’t know how likely it is that Barker stays to be the backup again. If Hoak is behind Barker and Wilson, I think he might look elsewhere. Clark and Wood are the most unlikely to transfer given their class.
Barker is in the best position to start next season, and Mark Stoops and his staff want him to be that guy. Stoops defends Barker at every turn, and it’s clear Kentucky wants to keep the former 4-star prospect happy.