Sometimes no news is good news. Now is not one of those times.
Less than a week before the 2019 Kentucky football season kicks off at Kroger Field, Mark Stoops still does not know if Florida State transfer Xavier Peters will be eligible to play for UK this fall.
“He’s out until someone tells me different,” Stoops said in his first weekly press conference. “There’s a lot of things that we had to get in order as well, information we had to get from Florida State. They have to do part, so it takes some time.”
A high school All-American, Peters was a consensus four-star recruit when the Cincinnati native signed to play football at Florida State. Projected to start for the Seminoles after redshirting as a freshman, Peters decided in the spring that he needed to play college football closer to his infant son.
“It’s pretty difficult but it was worth it coming back for my son,” Peters told KSR at UK media day on August 2. “I just turned in my letter yesterday, so hopefully I can get my results back from the NCAA two weeks from now.”
More than three weeks later and we still know nothing.
Peters is not alone. Tennessee defensive lineman Aubrey Solomon is still waiting to hear if he’ll be granted a waiver to play right away after transferring from Michigan. Unlike Stoops, Jeremy Pruitt is preparing for Saturday’s opener as if Solomon will be available. Even if Peters was cleared to play this week, Stoops does not believe the outside linebacker is ready to immediately become an impact player.
“It would be hard for him at this point just because of the time he’s been here. As you know, it’s his second year in college, a redshirt freshman. For him to be totally doing our system, it takes some time. You’ve heard me say a bunch of times about that position, it’s most definitely a different position. There’s a lot of nuances to playing outside linebacker and staying up on your feet.” Stoops added, “It’ll take some time.”