During the Kentucky Wildcats football media day, head coach Mark Stoops gave an update on the backup quarterback situation.
This battle will come down to redshirt sophomore Deuce Hogan and redshirt freshman Kaiya Sheron, both of whom Stoops said have taken big jumps this summer.
Stoops did not mention true freshman Destin Wade in the backup QB discussion.
So for now, it looks like Hogan and Sheron are the only two guys in contention to be Will Levis’ backup.
Last Wednesday, Kentucky Wildcats quarterback, Beau Allen announced his decision to enter the transfer portal. While he could still technically return to Kentucky, it looks like Allen is heading elsewhere, perhaps to Tarleton State.
A class of 2020 recruit who spent the last few seasons as the backup quarterback for the Cats, Allen has decided to pursue playing time elsewhere. That now leaves the Big Blue Nation with one question: What does the future look like?
Let’s start with the upcoming season.
With fall camp arriving, Allen was competing to be QB2 this season behind the obvious starter in Will Levis. Now that Allen is gone, it will be up to Deuce Hogan, Kaiya Sheron or Destin Wade to lock down the backup spot.
Even with Allen on the roster, there had been rumblings that Hogan might be closer to that QB2 spot than expected after transferring in from Iowa. So for this season, Rich Scangarello and company should be just fine.
The big question now in play is what happens in 2023?
It has been expected that the UK staff would look to the transfer portal to find someone to compete with Allen next season. That plan is now solidified, as next season’s starter is likely playing his college football elsewhere currently.
What this move does do is make the Cats also have to contemplate going after a backup from the portal as well.
Do they like what they have in Hogan, Wade and/or Sheron enough to be comfortable? That question is yet to be determined, but looking for two transfer QBs is definitely an option that wasn’t quite on the table until Allen’s transfer.
While Hogan could be a reliable backup, he has yet to prove he’s capable of being an effective full-time starter at a Power 5 school.
With Sheron, there’s very little on him after he joined the team as a mid-year enrollee in 2021 but ended up redshirting.
As for Wade, he is a 4-star signee from the 2022 class, though that was as an athlete recruit. Kentucky is giving him a chance to compete at quarterback, but it’s more likely that he ends up transitioning to another position.
As for the 2023 class, Kentucky does not have a pledge from a QB and is not currently expected to land one.
When you look at recruiting, it’s plain and simple: This staff needs to land a QB prospect in the class of 2024.
During the Mark Stoops’ tenure, that has been the missing piece when you look at recruiting boards. They have landed commitments from big-time prospects but haven’t got them to stick.
With several names in the class they are interested in, now is the time to turn the corner.
Does the departure of Beau Allen stink? Absolutely.
However, this staff has shown time and time again they can make it work. Now it’s just hoping that stays true.