By LARRY VAUGHT
Quarterback Sawyer Smith threw for 320 yards and four touchdowns last season when Troy beat Buffalo 42-32 in the Dollar General Bowl to cap off a season where he started seven games, completed 63 percent of his passes and threw for 1,669 yards and 14 scores and ran for 191 yards and another score.
But after coach Neal Brown left for West Virginia, Smith put his name into the transfer portal and wound up at Kentucky. He’s expected to back up Terry Wilson, who won 10 games last year, but he has over 600 collegiate snaps — a huge plus for the UK offense.
“It is important to get Sawyer, the fact that he has experience. He’s a really talented player, but he’s also played in big games. I’m a big believer at that position you don’t know exactly what you have until you get him into a game,” Kentucky coach Mark Stoops said at SEC Media Days Thursday.
“With us having some transfers leave us, we had a quarterback that was a sophomore that won 10 games, and so we had some departures, it was important to bring some experience in there until we have some of our young quarterbacks have the time to develop.”
Stoops admitted he’s not even sure exactly what role Smith play.
“Sawyer’s going to be a big piece of it. How big? I don’t know. We’ll see when he gets on campus and we get to work with him,” the UK coach said.
“But I’m excited to have him. I’m excited to have that experience. He’s been under pressure. He’s played in big games. You’ve seen him deliver under pressure. So that’s really important to have at that position, as you know.”