Terry Wilson wins Kentucky’s starting quarterback spot


Terry Wilson. The University of Kentucky football team holds a inter-squad scrimmage on Saturday, August 18th, 2018 at Kroger Field in Lexington, Ky. Photo by Quinlan Ulysses Foster I UK Athletics

The question Kentucky football fans have been wondering for months was finally answered on Monday as Mark Stoops announced in his weekly press conference that Terry Wilson will be Kentucky’s starting quarterback at Saturday’s game.

Stoops made the decision over the weekend before announcing it on Monday. He met with Wilson and Gunnar Hoak on Friday to let the quarterbacks know where he was leaning before making a final decision.

“I had a face-to-face with them and just told them what I was thinking and when I was going to make that decision just so they understood where we were at,” Stoops said. “I told them I’d call over the weekend and bring them back into the office and tell them face-to-face.”

With Wilson taking the starting job, this will be the third consecutive season that a junior college transfer is Kentucky’s primary quarterback. Wilson will be stepping into the job Stephen Johnson shined in last season.

Even though Wilson emerged victorious from the quarterback battle, Stoops is appreciative of all the quarterbacks he’s got and what they did trying to earn the starting job.

“I have great respect for all our quarterbacks,” Stoops said. “I feel like we have a great quarterback room, and the other quarterbacks with Gunnar [Hoak] and Danny [Clark] in particular, they’ve put up a great fight.”

Stoops said he looked at each quarterbacks’ accuracy, targets, decision making and leadership to pick a quarterback. Wilson is believed to be the better runner out of the quarterbacks, but Stoops said Wilson’s legs were not why he won the job.

“It’s about operating within the offense within the offense and you’ve heard me talk for a year now about being improved and trying to build on the passing game as well,” Stoops said.

Last week, while the competition was still ongoing, Stoops introduced the fact that he might play two quarterbacks if a certain situation arises. He did a similar thing last season when Drew Barker made an appearance in UK’s games against Eastern Kentucky.

However, he is unsure if a situation like that will happen this year, as Wilson will own the starting job until he loses it.

“They [starting quarterbacks] have not been on a short leash, we’ve been very supportive of that until it gets to a point where we feel like we absolutely have to make change or take another look,” Stoops said. 

Even though Wilson won the job, he still hopes to get Hoak his opportunity at some point in his career. 

“At some point in time, he’s going to get his opportunity, and when he does, what he does with it us up to him,” Stoops said.

With the starting quarterback chosen, UK’s offense can now fully focus on preparing for Central Michigan, who the Cats will face on Saturday. 

Kickoff at Kroger Field is scheduled for 3:30 p.m.