Kentucky’s 2018 offense was defined by the ground game. That should change this fall.
Leaning on Benny Snell, 61.5% of Kentucky’s offensive production came on the ground last season. Following the departure of the school’s all-time leading rusher, Eddie Gran must seek alternative options for offense. The most explosive returning playmaker is prepared to create highlights in 2019.
“I’m working hard,” said Lynn Bowden at SEC Media Days. “I was 215 (pounds) in the spring. That was probably the heaviest I’ve ever been and it wasn’t fat, it was muscle. I’m just grinding right now. I’m taking everything that everybody is saying and I’m running with it.”
He’s not the only pass-catcher that’s made improvements throughout the offseason. Bowden mentioned a number of his peers during his stint at SEC Media Days. Akeem Hayes, Allen Dailey and Isaiah Epps’ names were thrown around, but the two constants were Josh Ali and Bryce Oliver.
“Bryce Oliver, he’s from Florida, one of the hardest working kids we have on our team. He’s one person you guys should look forward to seeing play this year. Josh Ali, he’s been there with me in my grade. He’s taken huge steps towards his goals.”
They’ll be catching passes from a new and improved Terry Wilson. Mark Stoops and Gran limited the JUCO transfer’s attempts in his first season. With a luxury like Benny Snell lined up next to Wilson, the offense could afford to take the air out of the ball. That’s no longer the case. Wilson will be asked to do much more in 2019. His teammates and coaches know he’s prepared to handle the additional workload.
“We expect him to make a big jump, and Terry’s worked extremely hard in the offseason just fundamentally getting better, understand the offense, getting better around him with the wide receivers,” said Stoops.
“He’s been working his tail off this offseason, in the weight room, out throwing 7-on-7,” Logan Stenberg said. “I think he’s going to have a huge year this year. He’s going to be ready to make a difference and that’s what we need on this team. He’s going to be a leader vocally and physically. He’s going to show other guys how to do it right and it’s going to be a great thing for us.”
Bowden, one of the players who has worked with Wilson all summer, can’t wait to see what Terry brings to the table in 2019.
“He’s looking like the best quarterback (in the SEC) to me, hands down,” said Bowden.