LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – If University of Kentucky offensive coordinator Eddie Gran is in any hurry about naming a quarterback for the upcoming season, he isn’t showing it.
Gran was in Louisville with head coach Mark Stoops and defensive coordinator Matt House to talk about the upcoming season at UK’s annual Kickoff Luncheon for its Louisville Alumni Club.
The Wildcats have no shortage of options at QB. They do have a shortage of experienced options. None of the candidates have taken a Division I snap. Gunnar Hoak, a 6-4 redshirt sophomore, was a four-star recruit from Dublin, Ohio. Terry Wilson, a 6-3 redshirt sophomore, transferred to Kentucky from Garden City Community College in Kansas after spending a season at Oregon.
Hoak is a more traditional pocket passer, and completed 14 of 25 passes for 121 yards and a touchdown and no interceptions in the spring game. Wilson, viewed as more of a two-way threat, went 10-24 for 131 yards and no touchdowns with one interception in the spring game.
While game experience is going to be lacking for anyone he puts under center, Gran said he and House decided to make practice as much like games as they could for the young QBs.
“Matt and I both decided about the third or fourth practice that in team, we made everything like a game, whether it was a scrimmage or not, and we called it from the hip, so it was as much of a game situation as we could for those quarterbacks, which was huge,” Gran said. “. . . I think it really helped our quarterbacks, so we'll continue to do that and hopefully somebody just takes the job.”
That’s a theme Gran repeated in Wednesday’s Q&A. His hope is that the winner of the position will grab the ball and run (or pass) into a clear lead. But he says he has set no clear timeline for that to happen.
“You’d like to see it just clear-cut,” Gran said. “Is that going to happen? It didn't happen in the spring. They're both a little bit different. But you'd like to see somebody rise, right? Somewhere down the road, whether it would be in the first 29 (preseason) practices, whether it be by Game 3 or Game 6. Somebody's going to have to take this thing and go with it.”
That Game 3 or Game 6 talk won’t inspire much confidence, but Gran is hoping that the competition at least fosters improvement.
Additionally, he said all four QB contenders – including redshirt freshmen Danny Clark and Walker Wood – will get plenty of opportunities to show what they can do once preseason camp begins.
Hoak figures to be the front-runner, if only because he looks like the safer choice. He knows the offense, and isn’t inclined to turn the ball over. Wilson provides, perhaps, a better chance at disruption. He ran for better than 500 yards last season at Garden City. But he also has a problem throwing interceptions, had 11 last season and another in the spring game.
Regardless, don’t look for a definitive answer for a while, and perhaps not even before the start of the season.
Copyright 2018 WDRB Media. All Rights Reserved.