Mark Stoops put together an impressive transfer portal class to pair with a plethora of returning players for the 2023 football season.
Stoops’ incoming class ranked as the No. 18 class with 12 commits.
After losing Will Levis to the NFL, Stoops and Liam Coen again hit the portal for their QB1 and found it in North Carolina State transfer Devin Leary, who finished ranked as the No. 8 overall transfer and the No. 2 QB. Leary finished just one spot behind Sam Hartman, a Wake Forest transfer headed to Notre Dame.
In Leary’s last healthy season in 2021, he finished with 3,433 yards passing, 35 touchdowns, and just five interceptions. When healthy, Leary can absolutely live up to being a top-10 transfer talent.
JQ Hardaway was next on the list at No. 75 and the No. 13 CB transfer. Hardaway played in 11 games for Cincinnati last season but barely scratched the stat book. Hardaway was a former Under-Armour All-American who committed to a Cincinnati team just coming off of a College Football Playoff berth in 2021.
Familiar foe Ray Davis was ranked as the No. 125 transfer. Davis was also tabbed as the No. 11 running back transfer. After lighting up Kentucky in Lexington, the Vanderbilt running back transferred to Lexington after the departure of Chris Rodriguez.
Davis rushed for 1,042 yards and five touchdowns last season at Vandy.
Glasgow, KY., native Tanner Bowles was up next at No. 164 in the portal and the No. 10 IOL.
Bowles committed and played at Alabama from 2019-2022, winning a national championship in the process. He served primary in a backup role for Nick Saban in Tuscaloosa but is expected to have a larger role at Kentucky.
He played in eight games last season for the Wolfpack and was their second-leading rusher with 305 yards and three touchdowns on the ground. He also added 148 yards receiving and one touchdown.
North Carolina transfer Keeshawn Silver rounded it out for the Wildcats, coming in at No. 193 in the portal and the No. 20 defensive lineman.
A former five-star recruit in his high school class (No. 28), Silver played two seasons for his home-state Tar Heels before entering the portal. He redshirted in 2021 and played just three games in 2022.
The potential for Silver is there in Kentucky and Mark Stoops’ hard-nosed defense.