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Kentucky Needs Another QB, Could it Be Another Gunner?

Because if there’s one things Kentucky fans love, it’s a QB with long blonde hair. (USA Today)

Because if there's one things Kentucky fans love, it's a QB with long blonde hair. (USA Today)

Because if there’s one things Kentucky fans love, it’s a QB with long blonde hair. (USA Today)

Since news broke that Eddie Gran would be leaving Cincinnati for Kentucky, people began speculating that his quarterback, Gunner Kiel, may follow his footsteps.

It makes sense on paper.  Kiel has transferred before, he had plenty of success with Gran at Cincinnati, making him familiar with the system and he would be eligible to play immediately.  A Cincinnati fan even told me that it’d probably be the best move for him, even though he’d hate to see him go.  Today Twitter caught on fire when rumors circulated that there’s a strong chance he transfers to Kentucky, but that was quickly debunked by Jon Hale of The Courier-Journal.

To make sense of the situation I’ll say this:

1.  We won’t know until we know, and right now, nobody really knows.

2.  Kiel was the starter, but his backup, Hayden Moore, played in all but four games this season.  It wouldn’t make much sense to bring in a graduate transfer for one year that you only kinda sorta trust.

There’s no doubt that Kentucky needs another quarterback.  After all, in yesterday’s press conference Darin Hinshaw said he started looking for another quarterback the minute Stoops hired him, but I don’t believe he was looking for one in Cincinnati.

At the top of their list is dual-threat JuCo quarterback Stephen Johnson.  Johnson was offered last week and was reportedly told that Hinshaw evaluated 17 other JuCo QB’s before offering Johnson.  Today Patrick Loney confirmed that Johnson will visit Kentucky on January 14th.

After watching Johnson’s film, Freddie Maggard fell in love with Johnson, not just because he can run, but because of his quick release.  After watching his highlights, I agree with him.  Besides, I’d rather watch something new and exciting than a recycled quarterback, but only time well tell who ends up in Lexington when Spring Practice begins.

Article written by Nick Roush

"Look upon the doughnut, and not upon the hole." @RoushKSR

20 Comments for Kentucky Needs Another QB, Could it Be Another Gunner?



  1. Sentient Third Eye
    4:21 pm January 5, 2016 Permalink

    Don’t players have to have two years of eligibility remaining to transfer into the SEC because of some SEC rule?



    • kvltclassic
      4:24 pm January 5, 2016 Permalink

      Not if they are a graduate transfer I do not believe.



    • BluKudzu
      5:42 pm January 5, 2016 Permalink

      I know we need numbers at QB, but this guy will give us two head cases at QB. He is the one that missed their bowl game for personal reasons, and gets injured when the wind changes direction. He has quit on his team a lot over the years, originally signed with ND and transferred out. Not a good player with all the “ME” problems we had last year.



  2. Big Kat
    4:23 pm January 5, 2016 Permalink

    If Kiel came in there would immediately be a “QB controversy” in the minds of some fans. Bring in a real backup to back up Barker as the starter. A guy like Johnson who can step in when needed and then take over in a couple years.



    • @BallBlog_Chad
      5:15 pm January 5, 2016 Permalink

      if he’s coming from a junior college, he’s most likely already used 2 years of his eligibility … could still redshirt a year I guess



  3. tribialbert
    4:31 pm January 5, 2016 Permalink

    I believe the Cincy backup played because Kiel was hurt a lot. Like A LOT. Big arm though.



  4. ClutchCargo
    4:33 pm January 5, 2016 Permalink

    I’m kind of thinking that a QB who has experience with Gran’s system and can show Barker the ropes for one year would be nothing but a positive. Or maybe they will be able to bring in Kiel AND Johnson. I’m all for Barker getting his shot, but not at the cost of zero depth at the most critical position on offense.



  5. BobTheBuilder
    4:44 pm January 5, 2016 Permalink

    Jon Hale of the Courier Journal has sources saying this “will not” happen.



    • J-Dub421
      4:48 pm January 5, 2016 Permalink

      Yes, that was reported in the article above, which you clearly did not read….



  6. Laker Cat 18
    4:48 pm January 5, 2016 Permalink

    Kiel would be a nice pick-up for someone already with experience in this system. Johnson looks like a very nice player. I would not crown Barker as the starter by no means. He was the 3rd best QB last year and could quite possibly be in the same boat this year. Where is Riley Hall? He is a shade behind Johnson in speed, but more accurate without question. A hometown guy who is a proven winner. Would fit right in with Daniel, Jackson, & Young.



  7. The Rest of the story
    4:54 pm January 5, 2016 Permalink

    OK first we do not need a senior back up QB so Kiel is out. Johnson looks good on the film but a lot of passes were to receivers so wide open only Towles could have missed em. Looks real good running the ball though.



  8. nybrasky
    4:57 pm January 5, 2016 Permalink

    IU->LSU->ND->UC->UK?



  9. nybrasky
    5:19 pm January 5, 2016 Permalink

    Yes. Do you?



  10. RealCatsFan
    5:28 pm January 5, 2016 Permalink

    I hope they don’t let Johnson see any footage of our WR’s dropping passes all over the field. That run-in that he does about the 2:00 mark with the somersault is pretty crazy.



  11. BlueDew
    6:08 pm January 5, 2016 Permalink

    Johnson would have three years left along with Barker. That is, with a red-shirt season, if he has one. Why do we always use negative connotations like “quarterback controversy” when discussing a competition between/among players at this position? I thought the recruiting process was to bring in the best players possible and then let them compete for positions.🤔🤔🤔 Furthermore, I’ve heard some negative statements about the offence that will be implemented next year. Some are heartbroken that the air raid has been, more than likely trashed. If these people have been watching the last couple years, it was trash. The last year Mummy was here we didn’t win a conference game with the fabulous “Air Raid”. This is a gimmick offence in a conference that is too athletic and too skilled on the defensive side of the football. Answer this question—-what offense did Rich Brooks use?



  12. UK Fan In Nashville
    9:37 am January 8, 2016 Permalink

    We’d get a guy like Johnson who can make incredible plays with his feet and he would get a high ankle sprain and miss the Florida game. That’s Kentucky’s luck. God I’m already pessimistic and we haven’t even signed the kid yet.



  13. 3dcatfan
    9:43 am January 8, 2016 Permalink

    It’s my understanding that the SEC has a rule that graduate transfers have to have 2 years of eligibility left to be eligible. Not sure why Nick is posting this as a possibility. Unless there’s a loophole this isn’t even possible.