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Kentucky Football: Terry Wilson named Wildcats’ starting quarterback

Wilson has won the quarterback competition, for now.

Jason Marcum - Sea of Blue

It took longer than many thought it would, but Terry Wilson has been named the Week 1 starting quarterback, as expected.

Mark Stoops made the announcement Monday that Wilson will be the starter. We still should probably expect to see some Gunnar Hoak in Week 1 as well, but for now, Wilson is the guy.

Wilson, a former Oregon Ducks signee, committed to Kentucky this past winter and brought a lot of hype with him. He was one of the top junior college players last year, as he was rated No. 5 by ESPN among JUCO players.

When he committed, he was the expected starter for this season, but Gunnar Hoak impressed in camp and caused a legitimate quarterback competition. Hoak, a redshirt sophomore, was seen to be a real threat to win the job because he’s been in this offensive system for a couple of years, but Wilson still won out.

Wilson is an extremely versatile quarterback that can make plays with his feet and his arm. The offensive system with him at the helm will likely be similar to what it was with Stephen Johnson at quarterback, though it’s likely that Wilson will be more reliable as a passer.

Wilson redshirted his freshman year at Oregon before going to play at Garden City Community College, so this will be his redshirt sophomore season. Wilson threw for 2,133 yards and rushed 518 yards while totaling 31 all-purpose touchdowns in his one year at Garden City. For that, he was named the Jayhawk Conference Offensive Player of the Year.

Hoak, who will be a redshirt sophomore this year, committed to Kentucky as a three-star quarterback in the Class of 2016. He passed for 2,584 yards and 30 touchdowns with just three interceptions as a high school junior, which was followed by a senior campaign of 1,798 yards and 14 touchdowns with only six picks.

There is a lot to like about Gunnar Hoak, which is why Kentucky recruited him and why he still has a chance to lead this year’s team under center. He has the most experience and knowledge of Eddie Gran’s offense, as Hoak enrolled early in the Spring of 2016 to get a jump start on adjusting to college football.

Hoak redshirted his first season, as Drew Barker was the designated starter and JUCO transfer Stephen Johnson was on his way to play backup. Hoak was available in 2017, but did not see any game action as he sat at No. 3 on the depth chart.

Wilson will lead the Wildcat offense out in less than one week, as Kentucky takes on Sep. 1 at 3:30 p.m. at Kroger Field.