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Gunnar Hoak’s “main goal” is to graduate

Gunnar Hoak

By LARRY VAUGHT

He’s played sparingly during his time at Kentucky and has not had many chances to showcase his talent in front of Kentucky fans.

Friday night redshirt sophomore quarterback Gunnar Hoak completed 14 of 15 passes for 174 yards and two scores for the Blue team and went 9-for-15 for 88 yards with the White team in UK’s Blue-White Game.

Kentucky coach Mark Stoops praised Hoak, who backed up Terry Wilson last year, often during spring practice.

“I thought tonight went well. I thought the team looked really good and defense looked good, offense did well too. Overall, and all spring, I thought we looked good,” Hoak said. “You just have to go out and compete. No matter who it is, no matter what the team is you just have to go out there and do the best you can. Try to win.”

Wilson was 10 of 12 for 191 yards and two scores the Blue team Friday night. He’s back for his junior season and, like Hoak, has two years of eligibility left.

Stoops said Wilson has continued to work on improving his fundamentals since last season ended with Kentucky winning 10 games.

“He and coach Hinshaw have worked hard to fundamentally be in better position to deliver the football. And I think he and Gunnar Hoak have both worked hard and improved,” Stoops said.

But will Hoak be at UK next year? Will he be willing to start out behind Wilson again or might he transfer after he graduates in May and still have two years of eligibility left?

“My main goal right now is to focus on these last two weeks of finals of course. I came here to graduate. That’s the biggest goal in life, to get through college and get a degree, so right now I have to focus on finals, these final papers, see what happens then,” Hoak said.

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  1. I don’t get the feeling he will be with the team come fall–if so, I wish him the best.

  2. I don’t know what Hoak plans to do, but I hope he comes back. Don’t think he beats out Wilson though from what I have seen, including the 2019 spring game. He is a very capable backup that is one play/injury away from starting. UK needs him. Let me add that I do wish him well, he is a fine young man that has stayed the course, and has been a team first player.

  3. I think Gunnar has a lot of potential that he will never see or be able to develop at UK sitting on the bench. I would like for him to be at UK, but I think it is in his best interest to go somewhere else. He could start for a lot of teams that like to throw the ball and let him show what he can do.
    IMO Gunnar has much more pro potential than Wilson, but UK does not run that type of offense and doesn’t want to; making Wilson the better choice for UK at this time.

    1. OF, I have watched them both under fire in SEC competition and in this year’s SG. IMO Wilson is the better QB, and with a stronger arm hand down. Now, If Wilson goes down with an injury in 2019 and Hoak is not around, UK could be in serious trouble at that position. That is why I sure hope he stays. He will do what he thinks is best for him. Hoak for one thing has not seen a lot of game action, especially against SEC competition. Starting over at a new school for a QB is not as easy as everybody thinks either. For example, we never heard much out of Reese Phillips after he transferred.

      1. LP, you are right, but I don’t think Hoak will ever get the chance at UK that he is looking for.
        Wilson is better for now, and a lot of that is because of game experience.
        Hoak came in as a pocket passer and they last much longer than qb’s that are expected to run. I just think Hoak needs to go to a school where he can develop the skills he has and not try to be molded into what UK is wanting to run. UK is just not a “good fit” for his abilities because they are built for a qb that aligns much better with the abilities that Wilson brings.
        I am not saying Hoak is better right now, but I think his upside is much greater, with the right team, than the upside of Wilson.
        They are different qb’s that need to be on different types of teams.

        1. Maybe so OF, I do see your point, but even if he leaves UK early he will have to learn a new system, and compete against their best. It is starting all over again in front of new coaches, with new teammates, and no guarantees. On the other hand, at UK, if Wilson goes down, he’s the man. There is value in that with two years left to compete for the job too. Nothing wrong with that status, he’s earned it. Most of these college teams today throw it out of the shotgun or pistol anyway, not many drop back pocket passing QB’s in the college ranks today. Most use a run pass option offense. Many are spread offenses too. We shall see. It is his choice. As a fan, I want only what I feel is best for Kentucky football. If he goes, UK has no experience at backup.

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