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Kentucky Position Breakdown: Quarterbacks and Running Backs

Breaking down the quarterback battle and running backs.

NCAA Football: Mississippi at Kentucky Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

With fall camp now over, it’s time to break down the position everyone wants to hear about: The quarterbacks.

Gunnar Hoak (Sophomore): The 6-foot-4 quarterback from Dublin, Ohio had the most efficient spring game for the Cats, completing 14 of his 25 passes for 121 yards. Hoak did not play in any games in the 2017 season as Johnson and Barker received most of the reps.

Here’s the thing about Gunnar Hoak: He is an outstanding talent at QB, he was ranked the No. 14 quarterback in the nation by ESPN and a four-star prospect. Hoak has a great arm and he is probably the smartest quarterback the team has when it comes to football smarts and making good decisions.

As a junior in high school, Hoak was able to throw for over 2500 yards while passing for 30 touchdowns and only three interceptions. The only downfall Hoak has, is his ability to move in the pocket.

Unlike Wilson, Hoak is a very good pro-style QB. He is very good at staying in the pocket and making throws with his arm, rather than using his legs to make plays happen. If Hoak can show the staff that he can move in the pocket and avoid sacks making plays with his legs, he has a good chance at playing a lot against Central Michigan in Week 1, even if it’s not as a starter.

“Touchdown” Terry Wilson (Sophomore): The Garden City Community College transfer is looking to play a big role for the Cats this season with his dynamic playing style. Wilson came to Kentucky this past spring rated as the No. 5 overall JUCO player, after completing 58 percent of his passes at Garden City for over 2,100 yards and 26 Touchdowns. Wilson came to UK after choosing the Cats over Florida and Nebraska, so hopefully that will help with the Florida Slump.

Wilson is a very dynamic quarterback and he is very good at what he does. Wilson was able to rush for 518 yards last season while at Garden City grabbing five touchdowns.

On film, Wilson looks to be good at two things: Making plays with his feet, and one every UK fan should love, Hitting the tight end on 10-15-yard passes. The one downfall to Wilson’s game that I think he needs to work on is throwing the short ball.

Wilson is good at hitting the tight end as well as throwing the deep ball, but he has to work on sitting in the pocket and trusting his line to make good, precise passes to his wide-outs for short-to-mid gains.

If Wilson can show that he trusts his line and makes plays in the pocket, then he has a good shot at the starter role, which it sounds like he’s about to win.

Danny Clark (Redshirt Freshman): The Columbus Ohio native is a very talented QB and he is also very athletic. Clark chose to come to UK over hometown school Ohio State, and he was committed to for almost three years. He also chose Kentucky over Georgia, Alabama, Miami and Florida State.

The Cats may be favoring Wilson or Hoak at QB, but some say Clark will snab some playing time.

Quarterbacks coach, Darin Hinshaw said of Clark, “I’m really proud of Danny, He’s came a long way from day one.” Hinshaw saying that about Clark in spring practice after Clark had scored on five of six drives.

Clark is an outstanding talent at QB, but the UK coaches have made it clear that he is in 3rd place right now in the race for that starter job.

No matter what, don’t forget about Clark. He is a very talented player and eventually he will have his shot. He just must keep improving every day.

The next group I would like to talk about for a minute is running backs. The running backs have several talented backs, of course, Benny Snell is the leader, but they also have talented, A.J Rose and Sihiem King.

Benny Snell Jr. (Junior): Benny Snell. What else do you really need to say? The junior running back is back for his junior season and higher expectations than ever.

Snell is coming off two consecutive 1,000-yard rushing season as a freshman and a sophomore, and he is the first person in school history to do so. Snell led the team in carries last season with 262, and he was able to rush for 1,333 yards and score 19 touchdowns. He ended the regular season as the SEC’s rushing yards leader with 1,318 as well as the conferences touchdown leader with 19.

Snell is an amazing back and the rest of the country is starting to notice. He announced at SEC Media Days that he is the best running back in the nation. I know I’m not the only person saying this, when I say I am very excited to see what he could do. Can he be the first Heisman contender since Couch?

Maybe. I think Kentucky needs to win 9-10 games before that can happen though.

The second-string spot is currently unknown, as A.J. Rose and King are battling for the spot. In my opinion, if Rose can avoid fumbling problems, he is the No. 2. If not, King will get the call

Stoops and Eddie Gran will have a tough decision to make by 3:30 PM September 1st, but no matter the decision they choose to make, I think it will be good. UK is in for a special season and I for one, am very excited for the ride with any of these guys.