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Troy quarterback Sawyer Smith will give UK potential experienced backup for Terry Wilson

Sawyer Smith

By LARRY VAUGHT

Kentucky has found a potential backup quarterback with extensive playing experience who has a UK connection — he played for former UK player and offensive coordinator Neal Brown at Troy the last two seasons.

Sawyer Smith announced on Twitter that he was coming to UK as a graduate transfer — meaning he can play immediately — with two years of eligibility.

“Excited to announce that I’m going to spend my last seasons as a Graduate Transfer at THE University of Kentucky!! Words can’t begin to explain how proud my family and I are to be apart of the #BBN @UKFootball,” Sawyer posted on Twitter.

With Gunnar Hoak leaving UK as a graduate transfer for Ohio State, Kentucky had true freshmen Nik Scalzo and Amani Gilmore on the 2019 roster along with redshirt freshman Walker Wood. However, Smith started seven games for Troy last year after an injury to starter Kaleb Barker. The 6-3, 220-pound Smith passed for 1,699 yards and 14 touchdowns, leading the Trojans to victory in the Dollar General Bowl. He completed 63 percent of his passes with six interceptions and also ran for 191 yards and one score.

Terry Wilson, who also has two years of eligibility left, threw for 1,889 yards and 11 touchdowns with eight interceptions in 2018 and ran for 547 yards. Wilson is a dual threat quarterback and having an experienced backup will allow the UK offense to operate full throttle without worrying about limiting hits on Wilson.
Smith redshirt at Troy in 2017 after playing in six games as a backup in 2016 when he threw a 47-yard touchdown strike on his first collegiate pass attempt. He was 18 of 25 for 181 yards as a freshman and ran 19 times for 73 yards, including a 41-yard run.

He played a Tate (Fla.) High School and led the team to a 27-9 mark in three years as a starter after it went 1-8 the year before he took over. He was rated as the No. 33 dual threat quarterback in the nation by 247Sports and No. 36 by ESPN coming out of high school. He passed for 5,627 yards and 47 touchdowns his junior and senior seasons and rushed for 1,063 yards and 20 touchdowns. He also played baseball.

Smith is the third high-profile former Troy player to land at a new school for 2019 after Brown left to become the head coach at West Virginia. Linebacker Tron Folsom transferred to Colorado State and cornerback/kick returner Marcus Jones is going to Houston.

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  1. Sounds like a great fit for our program. What ever happened to the Penn State quarterback that visited UK? I guess the first to commit, would get the scholarship, or he didn’t like his visit or chance to start. I am happy with Sawyer Smith from Troy.

    1. He had some good stats at Troy, completing about 64% of his passes. Hoak’s departure after Clark left put UK in a real bind for a backup. This may be a good development for UK. This fall will be interesting.

  2. It appears this could be an upgrade from Hoak which is good thing. He seems to have decent experience and good stats. I don’t think his physical stats have been published yet. You have to think he is a good one or Brownie wouldn’t have gone after him. Hate to rush time but can’t wait for kickoff. I think it will be difficult to match last years win totals, but I think anything above 7-8 wins will be very exceptional.

  3. Appears to be an excellent replacement…think we really got lucky,

    1. Yeah, everyone got lucky except Beau Allen. He now becomes a 3rd string nobody who will never see any meaningful PT unless Wilson and Smith get hurt. Can you say Transfer? No wait, he hasn’t signed with us yet, just committed. I look for him to leave before he even gets here and go to a school where he has the chance to play immediately. Who can blame him if he does?

      1. The resident “TROLL” strikes again. He knows more that all these college coaches UK has on staff.

      2. Catmandoo you realize Wilson will be a senior before Beau Allen even gets on campus. So if Beau redshirts, Wilson will be gone. Not sure I get your thinking here

        1. I know Larry, but will Allen want to do that? Would you do that if you were him?

          1. If he thinks he is coming in as a true freshman and starting, he might be a little delusional — and I don’t think he is is at all

          2. Competition in the QB room is a good thing Dukemandoo. Don’t overlook Skalzo either.

            Larry V, don’t you realize Datmandoo is the authority on everything involving UK sports and any of our athletes, or recruits. He knows more than you, Calipari and Stoops combined. Why he even knows what every young man should or should not do as far as their choice in where to play college ball. Man he knows it all. How fortunate we all are to have such a sports guru here on VV’s.

  4. Tisdale. Smith. Peters and Branham on the football side and Daniels, Brown, and Blackshear on the basketball side…what a time to be a Cat fan-wow!

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