The Wildcats have had their fair share of issues at the quarterback position this season.
Nik Scalzo suffered a season-ending knee injury in training camp. Terry Wilson suffered a season-ending knee injury in the second game of the year. And Sawyer Smith has dealt with both wrist and shoulder issues since week three.
Apparently, Walker Wood isn’t even somewhat serviceable at this moment in time, and Amani Gilmore appears to be a long-term project. That’s left the Cats with wide receiver Lynn Bowden as QB1 for the time being.
As you can see, there are a lot of bodies, and some solid talent, in the quarterback room in Lexington. However, you can never have enough. Quarterbacks transfer and get hurt. Kentucky lost two backups this past offseason alone in Gunnar Hoak and Danny Clark.
Quarterback is arguably the most important position on the field, as they touch the ball every single play on offense. Having talent and depth at the position is pivotal to success. And that’s why Mark Stoops and Co. will be interested in any and all options that may become available, even with four-star Beau Allen coming in 2020.
That’s where Joey Gatewood comes in.
Gatewood is a 6-5, 233-pound quarterback out of Jacksonville, Florida. According to the 247Sports Composite Rankings, he was the No. 49 overall recruit in the class of 2018. He was actually their No. 1 athlete recruit, but ESPN and Rivals had him listed as a dual-threat quarterback.
He actually committed to the Auburn Tigers way back in December 2015 and stayed committed until he signed in December 2017. Now, that’s a commitment for ya.
Gatewood enrolled early at Auburn in January 2018. However, despite his loyalty to the Tigers, they went out and picked up a commitment from the No. 1 dual-threat QB in the class of 2019 — Bo Nix. Nix was the No. 33 overall player in the 2019 class.
After sitting a season behind Jarrett Stidham, Gatewood was widely expected to win the starting QB job this fall. That didn’t happen, as Nix has taken the reins and has kept it, even through some brutal performances that had people calling for Gatewood to get his shot.
And on October 30th, Gatewood announced he’d be leaving Auburn and would be entering his name in the NCAA transfer portal.
This is strictly reading tea leaves, but it looks like Kentucky is starting to get involved.
As you can see, one of Gatewood’s newest followers is recent transfer Kelvin Joseph. Since then, Lynn Bowden has also followed the former four-star ATH after retweeting his transfer announcement on Twitter. He followed both players back, as well as Vince Marrow.
Also, KSR’s Matt Jones said on the radio Tuesday morning that Kentucky is “heavily involved” with a big-name transfer. Jones didn’t specify who, but it’s almost certainly Gatewood.
Later, Rivals recruiting report Woody Wommack discussed potential transfer options for Gatewood, including Kentucky, but also mentioned the Florida Gators and Florida State Seminoles for the Sunshine State native.
What does all this mean? Maybe, nothing. But when there’s smoke, there’s usually fire.
Maybe Gatewood will end up elsewhere and it will all be for naught. However, as of right now, it looks like UK has a real chance at what would arguably be the best player Stoops has landed since he’s been in Lexington.
Let’s keep our fingers crossed.