“We found out this year that having quarterbacks is probably a good thing.”
Eddie Gran’s tongue-in-cheek remark was made shortly after the Kentucky coaches let out a sigh of relief following the receipt of a pair of faxes from Beau Allen and Joey Gatewood. Coming off a year where Kentucky was forced to finish the season with a receiver at quarterback, UK got their guy(s).
“We’re really excited about that. Your offense can only go as far as the guy that’s the trigger-man,” Gran said on Kentucky Roll Call. “You got Beau Allen right here in town who’s just as good, not only human being, but a guy who loves the game of football. He studies it. He’s one of those gym rats. Loved getting to know the family and he’s just wanted to be a part of this thing for so many years, so we’re really lucky because he throws a great ball. His motion is fantastic. Couldn’t be more excited about that.”
What was only a dream 15 years ago….. pic.twitter.com/sadVQ2Bv9H
— Ingrid Allen (@IngridA22945161) December 18, 2019
The son of former Wildcat Bill Allen, Mark Stoops’ staff invested early to keep the local gunslinger in Lexington.
“Beau Allen has been a target of ours for three, four years. We’ve gotten really close to Beau and been recruiting him forever. It was really important for us,” Stoops said on Kentucky Sports Radio.
“And then you get caught with the injuries. Then you get caught with transfers. When Joey Gatewood came to a point where he was going to take a visit and we had the opportunity to recruit him — he’s a no-brainer. He’s just an unbelievably talented guy, a big, strong guy with good experience. A different class (by experience) than Beau, so I’m really pleased with both of those guys and we’re fortunate to have two great ones in this signing class.”
UK will petition the NCAA for Gatewood’s immediate eligibility, but Gran is operating under the assumption that the Auburn transfer will not be available in 2020. Even though he will have to wait, selling Gatewood was simple. Kentucky has not had overwhelmingly successful quarterback play in recent years. What they have done is whatever is necessary to put their signal-callers in positions to succeed.
“I think that if you’re a guy like Joey Gatewood, he says, okay, these guys understand personnel. We’d be different (offensively) with Beau than we would with Joey than we would with Sawyer that we would be with anybody. Us being able to do that has really helped us,” said Gran.
No matter who they’re rolling with at quarterback, Gran said on UK’s signing day show that he believes either could step in right away and play.
“We could go into a game tomorrow with Beau Allen and we wouldn’t have any problem moving the ball. Same with Joey,” he added, “I’m not sure I could have said that three years ago.”
Since Mark Stoops arrived in Lexington, Kentucky has recruited almost every position well at one point or another. Quarterback has been the exception to that rule. Drew Barker’s injury prematurely ended his promising career. Mac Jones and Jarren Williams were supposed to be the next big things, but Kentucky failed to procure the LOIs. Two junior college transfers saved the day. Moving forward, Kentucky will not need to seek a superhero right away. Stoops and Gran got their guys at quarterback.
You can hear more from Gran (30:45) and UK signees John Young (6:30) and Izayah Cummings (1:21:50) in today’s KRC podcast.
Mark Stoops spent about 20 minutes touching on a variety of topics, from Signing Day to the Belk Bowl, at the start of the second hour of today’s Kentucky Sports Radio.