Couple that with a defense that has tremendously improved under Mark Stoops, and the sky could be the limit for Kentucky this upcoming season. They are bringing back four of their top seven tacklers as well, so both sides of the ball should have experience.
While Kentucky has been able to soar up many rankings in the past few seasons, starting off at No. 19 is a pleasant surprise. The most recent rankings were via Pro Football Focus, with the Wildcats as the sixth-best SEC side.
Leary was the No. 8 overall prospect per 247 Sports, and if he’s at the top of his game, which often wasn’t the case given his injury history at NC State, the Cats could be among the conference’s most lethal attacks.
After a disappointing 7-6 finish last season under former quarterback Will Levis, Kentucky will look to have a strong bounce-back season, especially with a highly-motivated coaching staff.
That said, ESPN ranked Kentucky No. 24 in their preseason rankings.