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Terry Wilson played “key role” in getting Joey Gatewood to Kentucky

Auburn transfer Joey Gatewood, left, says Terry Wilson is the biggest reason he’s at UK now.

By LARRY VAUGHT

After Joey Gatewood decided he was leaving Auburn and put his name into the transfer portal, he got a call from Kentucky recruiting coordinator Vince Marrow urging him to make a visit to Kentucky.

Gatewood, a four-star quarterback in Florida when he was a top 40 rated recruit nationally, had a good first visit to UK. His host was quarterback Terry Wilson, who led UK to 10 wins in 2018 before missing all but two games last year with a knee injury.

“Terry was the one who really built the foundation and told me how things were here. Still to this day our relationship is really good. That is my man. I can’t wait to see him get better,” Gatewood said about Wilson.

Wilson hopes to be fully recovered from his knee injury this season and Gatewood is asking the NCAA for a wavier to make him eligible this season. That could lead to them competing for playing time against each other next season but Gatewood wishes nothing but the best for Wilson.

“Terry is a great guy. I am ready to see him get back to himself and play ball. He’s a dude. It speaks a lot about him being a good dude that he was my host on my visit and did play a key role in recruiting me,” Gatewood said.

Gatewood heard and read speculation that his interest in Kentucky was not genuine considering some of the options he likely would have.

“When I put my name in (the transfer portal) I was open to everybody. Kentucky was one of the first ones to hit me up. Coach Marrow is a great guy and told me, ‘Let’s get you up on official (visit)’ and I said I would be there,” Gatewood said. “He’s kind of hard to say no to. I have said no but he’s a really good dude. He really cares about you and takes his time with you.”

It apparently was not a hard sell with Gatewood. He made a second visit to Kentucky before making his commitment but never visited any other schools.

“It is on the rise. Last season was strong and the season before that was strong. There is nothing going downhill for Kentucky football. It is only up from here,” he said.

“I didn’t have to go all around the country looking at some where to play. My home is here. That was a benefit for me. I didn’t have to go anywhere else. I came to Kentucky two times and it was fine. I was looking for what was the best for my situation. The coaches kept it straight up with me, kept it real. I needed that.”

He threw for 1,468 yards and 12 scores and ran for 1,100 yards and 16 scores to help his team win the 2017 Florida Class 7A state title. He redshirted in 2018 at Auburn and then played in five games as a redshirt freshman — he completed five of seven passes for 54 yards and ran 29 times for 148 yards and three scores — before deciding to transfer.

Gatewood said it was important for him to find another SEC school to continue his career because the “SEC is full of top dogs.” He believes he can play with any of them and thinks Kentucky can play with any SEC team.

“This program is nowhere close to going downhill. It is going up and up and I expect even more in these next years,” Gatewood said. “This program is going to be one of the top programs in the nation in the coming years. I really feel like they’re on a roll and I don’t think they’re going to stop. That’s why I wanted to be here.”

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  1. I like what this young man Gatewood is saying about UK’s football future. I am also pulling for TW to bring it in 2020.

  2. Interesting article. Kudos to Terry for doing his part to get Gatewood here and a tip of the hat to Gatewood for his view of the KY program. One or the other is going to get left out though. Its like Gatewood jumped out of the pot only to land in the fire, unless he really thinks Terry will not be ready to play next Fall. If that’s the case, we have that base covered. If Terry is healthy though, he will be our starting quarterback and will play 90% of the snaps. In that scenario, how did Gatewood accomplish anything by coming here? They are both good guys and talented players, but one will end up with a disappointing end to their playing career. Sad for whoever that will be, but good for UK. I really thought Gatewood would go to another school where the opportunity was more of a sure thing.

    1. NO guarantee that Gatewood will even be eligible to play in 2020

      1. It would be in Gatewood’s best interest if he is not eligible in 2020. That would make Wilson’s recovery, both medically, athletically, and psychologically, that much more vital for us to keep moving forward without Gatewood risking a year of riding the bench. Maybe we will catch a break.

        1. There’s also a couple of incoming QBs coming that may fight for that starting qb position.

    2. I guess you didn’t consider what Gatewood said himself about Kentucky, and particularly Coach Marrow 33. Why do you always second guess Kentucky 33, in both football and basketball? Any school he chose he would have had to win the starting job. A kid is just not going to walk into any SEC school and suddenly be the man at the QB position. Why do you think he left Auburn? Thank goodness he chose UK. Can’t you just say that. Besides, I’m not so sure Beau Allen is not in the picture in the future , starting in 2020.

  3. As we have seen, UK can never have too many quality QBs

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