The Kentucky Wildcats, from bringing in Rams’ offensive coordinator Liam Coen to adding Devin Leary, had a masterclass of an offseason and will look to be a force in the challenging SEC.
While many figured they would drop off after losing second-round pick Will Levis, that certainly won’t be the case with the former NC State star leading the way.
Leary was recently named by Saturday Down South as the best SEC transfer. It is clear that expectations are high, and SDS columnist Neil Blackmon acknowledged the ceiling Leary has in the Bluegrass State.
“If Kentucky blocks for him, the ceiling is special. Even if the Kentucky offensive line is again hit-or-miss, Leary is used to that, and his history suggests his production will exceed that of Will Levis, who despite his tremendous arm talent was too careless with the football in 2022 tossing 10 interceptions. Leary has never thrown more than 5 picks in a single season, and his high football IQ, coupled with an improved Kentucky run game, could make the Wildcats a surprise in the SEC East,” he wrote.
While injuries hurt his season last year and it seemed the Wolfpack were ready to move on, Leary’s 2021 campaign was one for the record books. He threw for 35 touchdowns and had just 5 interceptions.
That unprecedented success will be on full display under Coen. The duo of Coen and Mark Stoops was paramount in getting Leary to Lexington. If the offensive line can hold up, Kentucky could be among the surprise programs this season.
While Leary was No. 1, Vanderbilt running back transfer Ray Davis came in at No. 8.
“A super senior transfer, Davis broke the 1,000-yard barrier a season ago at Vanderbilt, with 1,042 yards for a vastly improved Commodores team. Davis also caught 29 passes, including 5 in games against bowl teams Tennessee and Wake Forest. A powerful runner with getaway speed on the second level, Davis should carry the load for the Wildcats’ run game, which hopes to recapture the magic of the Big Blue Wall seasons’ past, which backs like Chris Rodriguez and Benny Snell have parlayed into NFL roster spots,” Blackmon wrote.
The combination of Davis and Leary could lead to some high-scoring games at Kroger Field, which would be deserving for die-hard fans after the Cats' 2022 embarrassing home loss to Vandy.