The Kentucky Wildcats have lost Dorian Baker to a fracture-dislocation in his left ankle during Saturday’s scrimmage, the school announced Monday. UK also says Baker will have surgery on Tuesday and will miss significant time, possibly the entire 2017 college football season.
“We’re very disappointed for Dorian, as he had a good offseason and was helping lead our receivers during preseason camp,” head coach Mark Stoops said in a press release. “However, we are hopeful for a full recovery and look forward to his eventual return to the field.”
Baker, who was entering his senior season, has started in 23 of 32 games in his three seasons as a Wildcat. In 2016, he missed the first three games due to a preseason hamstring injury, but he returned to catch 14 passes for 208 yards and two scores.
By season’s end, Baker became just the 27th player in school history to compile 1,000 career receiving yards (1,015).
As a sophomore in 2015, Baker led the team in catches (55) and touchdowns (three), collecting 608 yards, including a team season-long 53 yard catch vs. Louisville. In 25 career games, Baker has caught 89 passes for 1,015 yards and six touchdowns.
Baker has a redshirt year available and could return in 2018 if he does not play this season.
Now that we know Baker is out for at least a good portion of the 2017 season, expect to hear a lot more about Kayaune Ross, Joshua Ali, Cleven Thomas and Blake Bone in the coming weeks. Those are the guys who had good showings in fall camp, and with Baker out, they’ll all be getting more snaps this season.
Ross figures to be the starting Z receiver now, but those other guys will earn their share of reps as well. Bone is also entering his senior season, so this could be his chance to finally step into a big role with this offense.
Ali and Thomas have had great summers and were already pushing for playing time. Now, they’re all but assured of getting it and not being redshirted this year.