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Mark Stoops names Will Levis the starting QB for Kentucky

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Levis is the man.

UK Athletics

UPDATE

Mark Stoops has announced that Will Levis is the starter and Joey Gatewood is entering the transfer portal.


It appears the Kentucky Wildcats have settled on a starting QB for Week 1 vs. Louisiana Monroe.

According to KSR’s Matt Jones, head coach Mark Stoops told his team this weekend that Will Levis will be the team’s starting QB heading into the regular season.

Though we’re still two weeks away from Kentucky’s first game week, Stoops and offensive coordinator Liam Coen must have seen enough from Levis to decide he gives this team the best chance to win.

Levis, who transferred in from Penn State this offseason, was drawing the most buzz among the QBs competing for the job, which include Joey Gatewood and Beau Allen. Levis has the biggest arm of the three and also can make big plays with his legs.

Originally a Class of 2018 recruit, Levis appeared in 14 games in Happy Valley over the last two seasons after redshirting his first year. He served as the primary backup to Sean Clifford in both seasons. The 6-3, 222-pounder completed 61/102 passes for 644 yards and three touchdowns vs. two interceptions. He rushed for 473 yards and six touchdowns on 133 attempts.

In 2020, the Connecticut native played eight games with one start, completing 33/55 passes for 421 yards and a touchdown with 82 runs for 260 yards and three scores. He briefly took over the primary QB role in Penn State’s loss at Nebraska, a game Clifford started but struggled in before being benched with the Nittany Lions down 24-3. Levis nearly rallied his team to victory before falling 30-23. He went 14/31 passing for 219 yards with 18 runs for 61 yards.

The following week, Levis got the starting nod vs. Iowa (finished 15th in the final CFP Poll and eighth in total defense) and went 13/16 passing for 106 yards while rushing 15 times for 34 yards and taking three sacks in the 41-21 loss. He would only attempt eight more passes the rest of the season before entering the transfer portal.

Even though he was rarely starting, Penn State still deployed him as a change-of-pace QB to run the ball occasionally. But he’s clearly got some arm talent that’s been showcased more in Coen’s new system, and the Kentucky coaches clearly have liked what they’ve seen.

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