By LARRY VAUGHT
True freshmen quarterbacks Amini Gilmore and Nik Scalzo have been making progress learning Kentucky’s offense. Both played on high school state championship teams and co-offensive coordinator Darin Hinshaw says both have the winning qualities he really likes.
“The number one thing I look for in a quarterback is the throwing motion. I can fix a lot of issues but I cannot stop 17, 18 , 19 years of muscle memory of throwing. You can’t change that,” Hinshaw said. “They both can run the football, too.
“Nik Scalzo is your dynamic guy. He is only about 5-11 but he can beat you with his feet and arm. Amani is exactly the same way. He can throw the heck out of it and he can run. When you can beat teams with your legs and arms, that’s what we are looking for and they can both do that.”
Gilmore was also a talented high school baseball player in Louisiana who has talked about also playing baseball at UK.
“Not worried about that. Just trying to get him ready to play quarterback,” Hinshaw said. “But he’s an unbelievable baseball player and we will cross that bridge later.”
Redshirt sophomore quarterback Walker Wood knows the offense better than either true freshman but he’s had two surgeries on his throwing shoulder during his time at UK. Hinshaw says he’s a “very good athlete” and even with junior Terry Wilson, junior grad transfer Sawyer Smith and the two true freshmen quarterbacks on the roster that there has not been any discussion about moving Wood to a different position.
“I would really prefer him to be the great quarterback we recruited,” Hinshaw said. “He has just gone through injuries. It can take time to really perform at this level but when he had his surgeries he went back some and he just needs a chance to be healthy and show he can compete.
“But my job is to get all the quarterbacks ready. There have been seasons where we had to play a fourth string quarterback to get to bowl games. You just never know. I really like all the guys we have and feel really good about what they all can do.”