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Despite being a backup Sawyer Smith is ready to make an impact

The graduate transfer brings much needed experience to the Kentucky quarterback room.

Dollar General Bowl - Buffalo v Troy Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images

When Gunnar Hoak decided to transfer from Kentucky to Ohio State in April, there was a lot of concern for the Kentucky Wildcats.

No, Hoak wasn’t great on the field, but he brought much-needed protection and some experience to the backup quarterback position in case of injury to starter Terry Wilson.

Needing someone with experience, Mark Stoops and company landed graduate transfer Sawyer Smith from the Troy Trojans. Smith appeared in 13 games and took over the starting job in week seven for Troy in 2018. He passed for 1,669 yards and 14 touchdowns vs. just six interceptions.

In Troy’s Dollar General Bowl win over the Buffalo Bulls, Smith took home MVP honors after throwing for 320 yards and four scores.

Now a Wildcat, Smith knows he may not be starting but feels he can still gain a lot from playing the SEC.

At Kentucky’s annual media day Friday Smith talked about what he wants to accomplish.

“I just got to kind of come to (UK) and be in the locker room and have an impact. That’s all I would ask for. Just play in the SEC. That’s kind of a good opportunity to be in.”

Offensive coordinator Eddie Gran believes Sawyer’s experience as a backup will help him at Kentucky.

“He’s a team guy.” Gran said Friday “(Smith) was a guy that was a backup, came in, led (Troy) to a lot of victories, did what the coaches asked of him. I loved, really, his humility, the way he approached that.”

Even in a backup role, Smith seems poised to make an impact on the 2019 Wildcats. But hopefully, Kentucky fans won’t see much of him because of the fact Wilson will have a breakout and healthy 2019.