Kentucky Wildcats quarterback Joey Gatewood has been granted a transfer waiver by the NCAA and SEC, meaning he is now eligible to play during the 2020 football season. Head coach Mark Stoops made the announcement Wednesday.
We’re excited that @joey1gatewood has received waivers from the @NCAA and @SEC and will be eligible to play this season. We’re thankful that the SEC Presidents and Commissioner @GregSankey took into account the unique circumstances around this season.— Mark Stoops (@UKCoachStoops) September 30, 2020
Gatewood, the quarterback who left Auburn for Lexington, was originally expected to sit out a year. However, the NCAA and SEC are allowing Gatewood to be immediately eligible for the 2020 season. He is expected to be the primary backup behind Terry Wilson at quarterback.
After sitting out the 2018 season, Gatewood completed 5/8 passes for 54 yards and two touchdowns with 32 carries for 176 yards and three more scores for the Tigers last season.
For the 2020 season, Gatewood will be a redshirt sophomore. That’s also what he will be in 2021, as the NCAA previously ruled that athletes who play in fall sports won’t lose a season of eligibility due to coronavirus concerns. That means Gatewood has three more seasons of college eligibility following the 2020 season.
Ironically, Kentucky faced Auburn in Week 1 of the 2020 SEC season.
Here is Gatewood’s scouting report when he was a recruit.
“Gatewood, who possesses intriguing size for a young quarterback, is a dual-threat that can dismember defenses by extending plays with his legs. He is effective when throwing on the run, and shows good poise and anticipation in the pocket as well. Gatewood has big-play capabilities and does a nice job of evading pressure once the pocket gets congested, but is athletic enough to finish the play off for six points as well. He’s at his best when putting defenses on their toes in the read-option, but must continue to work on his release and weight transfer moving forward.”
Gatewood’s immediate eligibility is huge for depth at Kentucky’s quarterback position. Wilson is expected to be Kentucky’s quarterback moving forward, but the Wildcats are now better prepared in the event of an injury, as they’ll have Gatewood, Sawyer Smith or Beau Allen to turn to if such an unfortunate situation were to occur. It’s quite a turn from where Kentucky was a year ago.
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