Cases For Each Kentucky QB To Start In 2018

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Written by Brock Smith (Everything Kentucky Football)

The battle for the starting quarterback position is in all likelihood a two-horse race between Gunnar Hoak and Terry Wilson. With contrasting styles, they each bring something different to the table, as evidenced by the blue/white game.

So who should be the starter? Let’s take a look at each candidate.

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Photo Courtesy Of UK Football Twitter

Gunnar Hoak:

Hoak is a redshirt sophomore who already has two full seasons of experience under his belt—but no actual game experience. Hoak’s strengths include accuracy, poise in the pocket, making the correct reads, and his footwork.

As far as weaknesses go, arm strength is discussed when it comes to Hoak. He doesn’t have the biggest arm, but he is brilliant at anticipating throws. With Hoak, you’ll see less 30-yard lasers, and more throwing to a spot. His accuracy and anticipation allow for that. However, there are times that a quarterback needs to be able to zip the football into tight windows. Can he do that? That is a question we will see answered this fall.

A common misconception about Hoak is his athleticism. Many people assume that Hoak is strictly a pocket-passer. That assumption is totally false. Hoak is sneaky athletic and can get out of the pocket when needed. I would compare his athleticism to Stephen Johnson. Neither have electric speed, but they can both pull it and run when the situation calls for such.

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Photo Courtesy Of UK Football Twitter

Terry Wilson:

Terry Wilson is the definition of the word “electric.” Wilson, like Hoak, is a redshirt sophomore, but he has taken a different path. He signed with Oregon out of high school and redshirted in his only season there. Wilson then transferred to Garden City Community College in Kansas, where he threw for 2,133 yards and 26 touchdowns and ran for 518 yards and five touchdowns in his lone season there.

Wilson’s strengths include athleticism, arm strength, escapability, and raw speed. While watching the blue/white game, his speed and arm strength were evident. He’s just an electric guy.

Unfortunately, like with most electric players, you have to take the bad along with the good. His erratic passing really stood out. A few shorter passes were skipped to receivers and his deep balls were all a little overthrown. He also had a couple of beautiful throws sprinkled in wit the bad ones. His reads and progressions were inconsistent as well, but that’s to expected from a quarterback learning the system.

Conclusion:

The battle for the quarterback position likely won’t be settled until the season over, or possibly even beyond. I wouldn’t be surprised to see them both get reps on September 1st if one of the two doesn’t really distance himself from the other.

To me, it really boils down to two questions; is Gunnar Hoak mobile enough to run the RPO (run-pass option) that Stephen Johnson had success with? And can Terry Wilson pass the ball well enough to keep defenses honest and prevent teams from stacking the box to stop Benny Snell and the ‘Cats prolific rushing attack?

I feel more confident in Hoak’s mobility than I do Wilson’s accuracy at this time. I predict that Gunnar Hoak will take the first snap of the 2018 season. I also think there is a real chance chance that we see both play. A quarterback can’t truly be evaluated until they are thrust into action. It’s hard to label a kid as a “gamer” from practice alone.

It will definitely be an interesting battle to watch play out. May the best man win!

{Brock is a hell of a dude with a huge passion and knowledge for Kentucky football! Follow Brock and his team over at Everything Kentucky Football}

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