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 Draft Scout College Football Player News: Kentucky
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  05/09/21 - Joey GatewoodrJr/2023, Kentucky, 6-4, 221 (DS#25 QB) + More +

  The Wildcats closed down spring practices completely to the media, so there's a bit of speculation involved here. However, the time does seem to be ripe for redshirt junior Joey Gatewood, the Auburn signee who mostly sat behind Bo Nix in 2019 and then got minimal time behind Terry Wilson at Kentucky last year. Wilson, the only player in Kentucky history with 3,000 passing yards and 1,000 rushing yards, is using his bonus year of eligibility granted by the NCAA at New Mexico.

Gatewood has a sturdy 6-5, 221-pound frame and is the kind of dual-threat signal caller that looks ideal for newly installed offensive coordinator Liam Coen, who came over from a role as assistant quarterbacks coach with the Los Angeles Rams. Gatewood made one start last season, completing a check-down laden 15 of 25 passes for 91 yards while rushing for 23 yards against Georgia. His ascension to a starting role isn't etched in stone. Redshirt freshman Beau Allen is also in the mix, and Penn State transfer Will Levis, also a run-pass threat, will join the competition over the summer. - Northwest Arkansas Times


(DS#25 QB) rJr/2023 QB Joey GatewoodKentucky
News Source: Northwest Arkansas Times
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  05/05/21 - Darian KinnardSr/2022, Kentucky, 6-5, 345 (DS#1 OG) + More +

  A second-team Sporting News All-American in 2020, Kinnard considered leaving school early to declare for the 2021 draft but elected to return to school for his senior season, despite reportedly receiving a second-day draft grade. "I know my time is coming, and I've got to be patient with it," Kinnard said after watching his former teammates perform at UK's pro day. Kinnard will move from right tackle to left tackle this fall. Evaluators have projected him as a guard at the NFL level previously, but a strong season at left tackle will only make him more attractive to NFL scouts. - Courier Journal

(DS#1 OG) Sr/2022 OG Darian KinnardKentucky
News Source: Courier Journal
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  05/05/21 - DeAndre SquareSr/2022, Kentucky, 6-1, 224 (DS#18 OLB) + More +

  All eyes will be on Square this fall to replace much of the production lost by 2021 first-round pick Jamin Davis. While Square does not play Davis's middle linebacker position, the options to play there are all unproven. Kentucky needs Square to take on a larger share of the load at the two inside linebacker positions while the young middle linebackers learn on the job. If Square can approach 100 tackles - he had 60 in 11 games last season - perhaps that will be enough for NFL scouts to look past worries about him being undersized for the position at the next level. Kentucky's success producing NFL linebackers can only help his case. - Courier Journal

(DS#18 OLB) Sr/2022 OLB DeAndre SquareKentucky
News Source: Courier Journal
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  04/29/21 - Jordan WrightrSr/2022, Kentucky, 6-4, 233 (DS#25 OLB) + More +

  Defensive coordinator Brad White thinks Jordan Wright has the ability to be a season-defining difference-maker for the Wildcats this fall. "When he's healthy and his body feels good, he can be as dominant a player that's on our team," White said. He'll mostly be at the "Sam," or strongside, slot primarily manned by Jamar "Boogie" Watson the last couple of seasons. - Herald Leader

(DS#25 OLB) rSr/2022 OLB Jordan WrightKentucky
News Source: Herald Leader
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  04/28/21 - Chris Rodriguez Jr.rJr/2023, Kentucky, 5-11, 224 (DS#30 RB) + More +

  A healthy helping of Chris Rodriguez will be served to opposing defenses this fall. Kavosiey Smoke will continue to be a major reserve, and Jutahn McClain and Travis Tisdale continue to make strides, but Coen during the spring said he wants Rodriguez to get 20 to 25 touches a game (not all, necessarily, as a rusher). The only thing that could keep that from happening is an injury or Coen himself, because Rodriguez has proved to be as reliable as they come up to this point. - Herald Leader

(DS#30 RB) rJr/2023 RB Chris Rodriguez Jr.Kentucky
News Source: Herald Leader
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  04/24/21 - Clevan Thomas Jr.rSr/2022, Kentucky, 5-11, 193 (DS#999 WR) + More +

  The University of Kentucky receiving corps, looking to re-establish itself as a threat in the Southeastern Conference, has probably lost one of its top veterans for the 2021 season. Clevan Thomas, who's entering his senior season, suffered a torn ACL during UK's last week of spring practice, as first reported by Nick Roush of Kentucky Sports Radio. UK spokesperson Susan Lax confirmed the report to the Herald-Leader. Outside of Josh Ali, who led UK in receiving last season, Thomas was the only returning receiver who'd caught a touchdown as a Wildcat; his lone score came in 2019, when he grabbed the first TD pass of Lynn Bowden's career against Arkansas in a 24-20 victory. He played in only four games last season, recording a single reception for 3 yards, but Thomas throughout spring practice drew praise from UK's coaching staff and teammates. New offensive coordinator Liam Coen said in March that, at that time, he was one of the only receivers playing multiple positions within the offense. "He's done some really nice things. Some really nice things," Coen said. "He's working his tail off. He runs great routes. He's hustling around." - Herald Leader

(DS#999 WR) rSr/2022 WR Clevan Thomas Jr.Kentucky
News Source: Herald Leader
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  04/19/21 - DEryk JacksonSo/2024, Kentucky, 6-1, 245 (DS#999 ILB) + More +

  Kentucky football's quest to replace projected first-round NFL draft pick Jamin Davis just grew a little more difficult. Sophomore D'Eryk Jackson, the favorite to replace Davis at UK's middle linebacker position, will likely miss the entire 2021 season due to an injury suffered during the Wildcats' spring practices, UK coach Mark Stoops announced Saturday. Jackson suffered what Stoops called a "lower leg injury" during warmups before the team's scrimmage on April 10. "Very disappointed in that because he was doing a really good job," Stoops said. "We've got a variety of guys, we've got some newcomers coming in. We'll continue to figure that out and see where that goes. We have players here on campus that will step up. Next-man-up mentality like we always do, but I'm disappointed for D'Eryk because he was having a really good spring." Jackson totaled four tackles and one interception while playing in nine of 11 games for Kentucky in 2020. The former three-star recruit from Dublin, Georgia entered spring practice as the first-team middle linebacker after Davis elected to forgo his senior season to enter the NFL draft. - Courier Journal

(DS#999 ILB) So/2024 ILB DEryk JacksonKentucky
News Source: Courier Journal
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  04/03/21 - *Jamin DavisrJr/2021, Kentucky, 6-4, 234 (DS#1 ILB) + More +

  Kentucky football linebacker Jamin Davis may have cemented his status as a first-round NFL draft pick with a standout pro day performance Wednesday. Davis posted an eye-popping 42-inch vertical leap that would have ranked second among all players at the 2020 NFL combine. His 11-foot broad jump would have ranked 11th at that event. UK's pro day broadcast timed Davis at unofficial 40-yard dash times of 4.41 and 4.37 seconds. While those times are not as accurate as the laser measurements used at the combine, a 4.37 40-yard dash would have ranked fourth among all players at the 2020 combine. NFL Network analyst Daniel Jeremiah reported a scout at the event had timed Davis at 4.49 seconds, which would have ranked third among linebackers at the 2020 combine.

The performance represented the latest step in an astronomical rise for Davis over the last year as draft pundits begin to include him in first-round mock drafts after just one year as a featured part of Kentucky's defense. "Honestly, I'm guessing people are just starting to wakeup a little bit," Davis said when asked about his growing draft hype on the eve of pro day. "I honestly couldn't tell you all, couldn't put my finger on it. I'm not doing anything special...I'm just being myself. I guess everything is just unfolding right before my eyes." - Courier Journal


(DS#1 ILB) rJr/2021 ILB *Jamin DavisKentucky
News Source: Courier Journal
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  03/24/21 - Joey GatewoodrJr/2023, Kentucky, 6-4, 221 (DS#25 QB) + More +

  Only one of the quarterbacks currently on campus, Joey Gatewood, has started a game for UK. Beau Allen made brief appearances in two separate games last year. Reading much of anything into how they performed last season is somewhat trivial; they're getting a crash course this spring in new offensive coordinator Liam Coen's system, which puts an increased premium on footwork and has them taking snaps predominantly under center rather than in a shotgun formation. Through three practices, they've adapted well. "Our quarterbacks, they really know where to go with the football," head coach Mark Stoops said following Saturday's scrimmage, in which players wore pads. "Our completion percentage is extremely high, which I really like to see. Very few drops, very few footballs on the ground. I'm pleased with what I'm seeing."

Gatewood is not a stranger to learning a new offense or coaching at the quarterback position. At Auburn, where he played eight games between the 2018 and 2019 seasons before transferring to Kentucky, he had two offensive coordinators: Chip Lindsey, who left to become the head coach at Troy following the 2018 season, and Kenny Dillingham, who bolted for Florida State following the 2019 campaign. Coen is Gatewood's fourth coordinator in as many seasons at the college level. "From Auburn to Kentucky, Kentucky last season to now with a new OC, I'm putting everything together and really just trying to make it one," Gatewood said. "I feel like if I could get that done and I keep on striving every day as well as my teammates with me, I think we'll be pretty good." - Herald Leader


(DS#25 QB) rJr/2023 QB Joey GatewoodKentucky
News Source: Herald Leader
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  03/13/21 - Darian KinnardSr/2022, Kentucky, 6-5, 345 (DS#1 OG) + More +

  Kentucky head coach Mark Stoops is entering his ninth season in charge of the Wildcats' football program. Kentucky's football program for the second straight season will not conduct a Blue-White Game at Kroger Field. UK's football players will have a more typical spring football practice regimen, though, the school announced Wednesday. The Wildcats will conduct the first of their 15 practice sessions allowed by the NCAA beginning Tuesday and conclude the spring session in mid-April. This year's spring game will not be played due to Kroger Field's continued operation as a COVID-19 testing and vaccination site. - Herald Leader

(DS#1 OG) Sr/2022 OG Darian KinnardKentucky
News Source: Herald Leader
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  02/08/21 - *Jamin DavisrJr/2021, Kentucky, 6-4, 234 (DS#1 ILB) + More +

  College programs are able to solicit NFL scouting evaluations on up to five underclassmen every year. Davis was one of those for whom UK sought guidance. He described the feedback he received as "inexact," so much of his decision was rooted in how he believes he stacks up against other linebackers coming out this year. Jon Sumrall, UK's inside linebackers coach, believes Davis has the tools to contribute right away in the NFL, particularly on special teams, a unit with which he played significant snaps in the seasons leading up to 2020. He has improved as a leader, vocally, and has always demonstrated the necessary work ethic in practice and on game day in terms of leading in that realm.

Sumrall thinks he has a long runway in front of him, too. "Jamin's not a finished product," Sumrall told the Herald-Leader. "I think he's just begun to scratch the surface for what he can become as a football player in regards to his football IQ and awareness and recognition. He's improved a lot and I think he's got a lot of growth left in him...The sky's the limit for what he can become." - Herald Leader


(DS#1 ILB) rJr/2021 ILB *Jamin DavisKentucky
News Source: Herald Leader
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  02/08/21 - TreVon MorganrSo/2024, Kentucky, 6-6, 230 (DS#999 WR) + More +

  The transfer portal is paying off for Kentucky football again. Former Michigan State wide receiver Tre'Von Morgan committed to Kentucky Monday. He is the fifth FBS transfer to join UK's roster this offseason following Penn State quarterback Will Levis, Michigan State linebacker Luke Fulton, Nebraska wide receiver Wan'Dale Robinson and Georgia Tech outside linebacker Justice Dingle. Morgan, a 6-foot-6, 218-pound sophomore, caught two passes for 46 yards and one touchdown for Michigan State last season. Both receptions came in the season finale versus Penn State. He redshirted during the 2019 season while rehabbing a knee injury. Rivals.com rated Morgan as a four-star prospect in high school. - Courier Journal

(DS#999 WR) rSo/2024 WR TreVon MorganKentucky
News Source: Courier Journal
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  02/04/21 - Akeem HayesrJr/2023, Kentucky, 5-08, 155 (DS#999 WR) + More +

  The University of Kentucky's receiving corps got a little thinner on Thursday. Akeem Hayes, who would have been a junior academically this fall, is transferring from UK, he shared Thursday on Twitter. Due to the COVID-19 waiver granted by the NCAA, Hayes could have up to three years of eligibility remaining at his destination school (the third year is contingent upon the passing of proposed legislation by the NCAA that calls for all first-time transfers to be immediately eligible). Hayes recorded four receptions for 54 yards in seven games last season. - Herald Leader

(DS#999 WR) rJr/2023 WR Akeem HayesKentucky
News Source: Herald Leader
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  01/29/21 - Will LevisrJr/2023, Kentucky, 6-2, 222 (DS#21 QB) + More +

  One of Penn State's most productive offensive players and one of its top defensive recruits from the 2019 class likely will be playing elsewhere this fall. Quarterback Will Levis, who temporarily claimed the starting job last season and spent most of the second half splitting time with Sean Clifford, announced Thursday he plans to enter the NCAA transfer portal. So, too, is Lance Dixon, a one-time five-star recruit who played sparingly the last two seasons as a backup outside linebacker. Levis' decision is somewhat of a surprise, but it also might be an indicator of change coming at the quarterback position as offensive coordinator Mike Yurcich settles into his new role. As a sophomore, Levis provided a spark and some stability to Penn State's erratic offense last season, completing 33 of 55 passes for 421 yards and a touchdown. He also rushed for 260 yards and three scores, starting two games. - Tribune Review

(DS#21 QB) rJr/2023 QB Will LevisKentucky
News Source: Tribune Review
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  01/16/21 - WanDale RobinsonJr/2023, Kentucky, 5-10, 185 (DS#23 WR) + More +

  Former Western Hills High School star Wan'Dale Robinson is coming home. The 2018 Mr. Kentucky Football announced Friday he is transferring from Nebraska to Kentucky. Robinson, a 5-foot-10, 185-pound do-everything receiver, initially committed to UK as a senior at Western Hills in November 2018 but flipped to Nebraska just more than a month later. In his Monday announcement that he was entering the transfer portal, Robinson cited a desire to move closer to home because his mother was dealing with ongoing health complications following being hospitalized with COVID-19. Robinson appeared in eight games during the coronavirus-shortened 2020 season, catching 51 passes for 461 yards and one touchdown and rushing 46 times for 240 yards and one touchdown. - Courier Journal

(DS#23 WR) Jr/2023 WR WanDale RobinsonKentucky
News Source: Courier Journal
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