By LARRY VAUGHT
Joey Gatewood was one of the best quarterbacks in his recruiting class coming out of high school before picking Auburn, where he redshirted in 2018 and playing briefly in 2019 before deciding to transfer.
The 6-5, 230-pound Gatewood didn’t need long to pick Kentucky even though he will have to sit out the 2020 season unless the NCAA approves his waiver so he can be eligible.
Before spring practice started and then was halted, I asked the Florida native what he knew about Kentucky coming out of high school.
“I am not sure. I just don’t know coming out of high school if I knew anything really,” Gatewood said.
What about after a year in the SEC?
“I could tell you the program is a rising program. I knew that then,” Gatewood said. “Anybody who was looking could see that the program was rebuilding under coach (Mark) Stoops.”
Gatewood could be a huge asset for UK’s 2020 season if he was eligible in case expected starting quarterback Terry Wilson does not fully recover from his knee injury — or gets injured again.
Gatewood had thought he would be the starter at Auburn in 2019 but did not win the job. If he has to wait to play, he will. However, he insists he’s a more mature person and player now.
“I learned a lot about myself in that situation (last year at Auburn). How much I loved the game and just the drive I have each day to get better,” Gatewood said.
What if he has to sit out a year and then have two years of eligibility left for 2021 and 2022?
“There are a lot of positives and negatives to it (sitting out a year),” Gatewood said. “Just get to know the group of guys around me a little more, get a better understanding of the offense and how things are done and see more how the program is ran.
“It would give me a whole spring and fall camp and then after that take the ball and just run with it.”
He was a four-star recruit and 26th rated player overall nationally in the 2018 recruiting class after throwing for 1,468 yards and 12 scores and running for 1,100 yards and 16 scores to help his team win the Florida Class 7A state title.