20 offensive snaps.
That is what Morgan Newton has contributed to this Kentucky football team this season. Newton has not played since September 18th against Akron, and that was only in the 4th quarter garbage time. In fact, Newton has not taken a single snap with the game in doubt this season. And in part this has been due to Mike Hartline’s very good play this season. There has really been no need for Morgan Newton this year.
But it begs the question: Why wasn’t Newton redshirted this season?
Once Morgan Newton took his first snap against Western Kentucky, he was eliminated from the possibility of a redshirt, barring that he got injured before playing in 30% of his team’s games. To me, once Hartline was named the starter before the Louisville game, and with Ryan Mossakowski already having used his redshirt year, why don’t you also give Newton a redhsirt year, thus giving him 3 full years to be the potential QB at Kentucky, as opposed to the 2 years he has now. To me, it tells me the coaching staff had to think 1 of 2 things:
1) The coaches didn’t believe in Mossakowski enough to install him as backup and redshirt Newton. But this is NOT what the coaches said before they year. They claimed that the 3 quarterbacks were nearly equal, and that each had strengths and weaknesses. So if they were being honest, there would not have been any problem redshirting Newton.
2) The coaches were not positive Hartline would be successful, and thus wanted the semi-experienced Newton there as a backup. But again, the coaches SAID they were committed to Hartline since he was named starter, thus there would be no reason to feel the need to keep Newton eligible when you have Mossakowski there also.
I have made it clear that I am not sold on Morgan Newton yet. Last year’s performance from him is so mischaracterized that it makes me laugh when people think he STILL should see snaps over Hartline. But, he is clear favorite for starter come next season. His experience last year gives him a clear advantage over Mossakowski, so why not give him 3 years as starter instead of 2. If Mossakowski wins the starting spot next season, he will have 3 years as starter, why should Newton have received that same extra year. If the coaching staff had been smart, they would have judged in the first 2 or 3 games if Hartline was going to have the job the entire season (which he did), and not played Newton, only using Mossakowski as backup. This would have allowed them to give Moss some experience and leave open the redshirt for Newton.
Instead, they gave Newton 20 pointless snaps and a wasted year of eligibility.