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What Danny Clark’s Departure Means for the Kentucky Football Team

Kentucky’s quarterback room just got a little smaller.

Earlier this afternoon quarterback Danny Clark announced he will transfer from the University of Kentucky.  A long-time Ohio State commitment, the four-star recruit’s strong left arm and athleticism provided plenty of promise once he stepped on campus, but after two years, production never matched promise.

After enrolling early and redshirting in 2017, Mark Stoops gave Clark an opportunity to compete with Terry Wilson and Gunnar Hoak for the starting position.  As fans focused their attention on Hoak and Wilson, Stoops never failed to mention Clark’s progress.  In the end, Wilson won the job, but the door was open for Clark to make a few appearances.

Shortly after his father made a comment about on Twitter about potentially transferring, Clark played in his first game.  He led the offense on its final drives in a blowout win over Murray State, and scored a touchdown on a read option run from the two-yard line.  As Terry Wilson hit a midseason slump, Clark got another opportunity.  Against Missouri, Clark was used in a Tebow-like power run package in a short-yardage situation.  He got the first down, then fumbled the ball.  The Cats recovered, but Clark never saw the field again.

One of the offense’s most charismatic personalities, his intensity was infectious.  His presence in the quarterback room will most certainly be missed.

Heading into the second half of the season, it became clear that at least one quarterback would transfer, we just didn’t know who it would be.  Clark was the first to pull the trigger.  Now it’s incredibly important for Gunnar Hoak to remain on the roster.

Terry Wilson’s best weapons are not his legs, but they were used quite a bit this fall.  He carried the ball a little more than ten times a game.  It only takes one shot to sideline Wilson.  It happened in the Central Michigan game.  We learned after the Louisville game that Wilson was hampered by a sprained knee in the middle of the season.  If Wilson goes down, Gran needs a quality backup ready.

Hoak filled in admirably in the final drive of the half vs. Central Michigan, leading the Cats to a scoring drive in the final minute.  If Hoak follows in Clark’s footsteps, Walker Wood is the only scholarship quarterback who knows the offense, yet he’s never played a down of football.  Amani Gilmore and Nik Scalzo are expected to sign in December, but the incoming freshmen lack experience and Scalzo recently suffered a torn ACL.

Transferring could be too enticing for Hoak.  As Jon Hale notes, the former early enrollee is set to graduate this spring.  After graduating Hoak could transfer to another FBS and be eligible to play right away.

Without Clark, Kentucky needs Gunnar Hoak on the 2019 roster.  Without Clark, Jared Lorenzen needs to find a new favorite player.


Article written by Nick Roush

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

46 Comments for What Danny Clark’s Departure Means for the Kentucky Football Team

  1. Brutal Hustler
    2:05 pm November 27, 2018 Permalink

    I’ll be the first to say it, PUT IN LYNN (at QB)

    • Booby Petrino
      2:15 pm November 27, 2018 Permalink

      That would be a desperation move. I love Lynn, he’s a great athlete, solid receiver and a playmaker. But did you see that awful interception he threw at Louisville? Let’s just let him concentrate on making plays on positions other than QB. He can’t contribute quality time to practice all those positions, let him do what he does best.

    • J-Dub421
      2:50 pm November 27, 2018 Permalink

      No, just no. Leave Bowden at WR.

    • cats646
      3:40 pm November 27, 2018 Permalink

      I do love Lynn in the wildcat. But Terry is gonna be great. I vote we just keep him in there.

    • BigolBlue
      4:40 pm November 27, 2018 Permalink

      Did you see his int in Lou game? He is not a qb. Talented wr that we need

    • bigbluebanana
      5:03 pm November 27, 2018 Permalink


      Also, punctuation. If you’re going to be a miserable, fat troll, at least learn how to spell and properly punctuate your stupid comments. While I’m here, Cal, Stoops, and Wilson are all the best at what they do for UK. You’re not even the best troll here.

    • BigolBlue
      9:18 pm November 27, 2018 Permalink

      Thx english professor. Find new material. Everyone rags ppl for punctuation. Are we all on typewriters still and/or members of the press. Stfu

  2. bankshot
    2:07 pm November 27, 2018 Permalink

    I believe Hoak would lose a year if he transferred since he has redshirtred. If it were me I would stay this year since it is guaranteed I am the #2 and one play away as was mentioned. The next year he could transfer and play immediately as a graduate.

    • ClutchCargo
      2:26 pm November 27, 2018 Permalink

      Agree. Staying put for at least another year is his best option.

    • mashburnfan1
      6:13 pm November 27, 2018 Permalink

      He is set to Graduate now, would be a graduate transfer and eligible right away. To his credit he has handled this well and tried to help the team when he has been put in. I thank him for that, very respectable.

  3. secrick
    2:08 pm November 27, 2018 Permalink

    I don’t blame him for leaving and wouldn’t blame Gunner either.

  4. thatCat
    2:12 pm November 27, 2018 Permalink

    It means nothing. Next question.

    • mashburnfan1
      6:14 pm November 27, 2018 Permalink

      it means he will not be on the team and will be on another team, pretty easy.

  5. CombatMedic_98
    2:21 pm November 27, 2018 Permalink

    Well I hope TW can carry this UPTICK sin play through the Bowl Game…rough year at QB and sad to see DC move on.

    • cats646
      3:43 pm November 27, 2018 Permalink

      3rd highest completion rating in the nation against ranked teams. Terry IS our QB. Get. Over. It.

    • CoachCat
      6:00 pm November 27, 2018 Permalink

      Easy to complete a hundred 3 yard passes

    • mashburnfan1
      6:16 pm November 27, 2018 Permalink

      he threw nice passes vs U6 and has all year when he hs time. Presure siuations {being rushed} is where he needs to get better but that is difficult on most qb’s. He should have had 2 more completions, one for a TD vs U6 as Bouvier and Epps dropped wide open easy cathces, Epps would have been a TD.

  6. thatukfanbourne
    2:27 pm November 27, 2018 Permalink

    That’s good for him

  7. zoupman
    2:42 pm November 27, 2018 Permalink

    Sorry to see him go.

  8. Jiminy Crickets
    2:50 pm November 27, 2018 Permalink

    Matt said huge incoming transfer, who would have to sit out right? Maybe Kelly Bryant is coming and Hoak and Clark know their window closed

    • IheartRex
      3:14 pm November 27, 2018 Permalink

      I missed the show today. What did he say?

    • DerBaron
      4:11 pm November 27, 2018 Permalink

      Jalen Hurts?

    • JASUN74
      7:00 pm November 27, 2018 Permalink

      Derbaron, man , you talk about flipping college Football on its head. We would be ranked #5 , as soon as he stepped in Lexington. With Kelly Brynt, we may be close to that also. Maybe #7-8. Lmao. Wow Ky could never get that lucky, could we? Lol. Sure be nice to dream about. I love Terry Wilson and it would be a very nice problem to have. Be a battle in the QB room!!

    • BigolBlue
      9:21 pm November 27, 2018 Permalink

      Why would those guys come here? They wanna go to an organized offense that could be a national contender

  9. Alleykat16
    2:52 pm November 27, 2018 Permalink

    It’s the move for him. I don’t think he would move ahead of Gunnar. And I think with Gunnar being number 2 he knows he’s one qb run away from being the number 1. I don’t know if it would matter but Clark can red shirt this year and still have 4 years, is that possible or not

  10. Alleykat16
    2:53 pm November 27, 2018 Permalink

    No I just remember Clark was here last year my bad

  11. Cokely53
    3:53 pm November 27, 2018 Permalink

    It’s means absolutely nothing. He was a clear #3 and if we are digging that deep into the bench then our season is already likely over. We can bring someone else in who will be likely just as good or better and potentially younger. Same story every season with this. The 3rd or 2nd string depending on the QB battle always leaves. Pretty much the same everywhere

    • Cokely53
      4:15 pm November 27, 2018 Permalink

      If we lose Hoak too then we start grabbing other transfers. But like many have said before. Hoak should wait as he could win the job in the off season.

    • JoeMoney333
      7:39 pm November 27, 2018 Permalink

      Lol this is Terry’s job as long as he’s healthy. Telling yourself different is silly.

  12. jaws2
    4:09 pm November 27, 2018 Permalink

    QB has been a problem since Stoops has been here. We can’t get a top 10 SEC QB, and can’t keep potentially good QB’s here. Until we have that QB talent on a regular basis, we’ll never be consistently top 3 in the East. Perhaps Wilson will change that.

    • zoupman
      4:32 pm November 27, 2018 Permalink

      I hope Wilson turns out to be that guy. Stoops has done so many things well, I just believe evaluating QB’s is not his strength. Wish Gunner and Clark had been given a chance to play earlier in season.

  13. Not Dan Issel
    4:15 pm November 27, 2018 Permalink

    It doesn’t mean anything. Clark was not going to play next year and we all know that. IF he was good enough, he would have beaten the others out in practice. Now, he may go somewhere else and have a great career. In fact, I hope he does. But for UK, TW is our QB, and will be for the next 2 years barring injury. And GH is just one play away from being the man (and I am ok with that).

  14. Not Dan Issel
    4:16 pm November 27, 2018 Permalink

    I hope Walker Wood has a great spring.

  15. CPACAT
    4:17 pm November 27, 2018 Permalink

    Here’s my question. There is only one starting person at all of these positions: center, left tackle, tight end, right tackle, left guard, right guard, middle linebacker, etc. etc. Why is a quarterback any different than a tackle who is second string? I know we rotate the entire O line out, but don’t rotate the QB regularly…just like Chris Oates may be a better option than Kash Daniel on a passing down, seems like you would have games where we would have QBs that are better at the short pass, the RPO, pocket passers, etc. Therefore we would need, and could utilize all types of QBs on the roster…and could use all of them.

  16. BigolBlue
    4:41 pm November 27, 2018 Permalink

    1 play, 1 fumble

    • zoupman
      5:02 pm November 27, 2018 Permalink

      After getting the first down, by running like a man. Sliding in OT is inexcusable.

    • J-Dub421
      5:50 pm November 27, 2018 Permalink

      Sliding when you’re playing on a sprained knee isn’t inexcusable. Idiot.

  17. JoshtheCATSfan
    5:36 pm November 27, 2018 Permalink

    I dont blame him for leaving and would not blame gunner. Qb play has been bad and no one else got a real opportunity to play. I hope tw lights it up on the bowl and proves me wrong but we need a legit sec qb to stay relevant.

    • gasman01
      5:45 pm November 27, 2018 Permalink

      I totally agree with you. I don’t think Clark ever attempted a pass. The kid was an awesome high school talent that we wooed away from Ohio St. I truly believe we promised all the playing time to TW to get him here. That’s fine but if he goes down, we don’t have a quarterback ready to fill in.

    • J-Dub421
      5:58 pm November 27, 2018 Permalink

      Clark bailed from OSU because he got recruited over. We didn’t woo him away.

      Meanwhile Terry Wilson had the 3rd highest completion percentage in the SEC this season behind only Tua at Alabama, and Fromm at Georgia. But please, keep whining about our QB play.

    • gasman01
      6:12 pm November 27, 2018 Permalink

      Hey, I’m fine with Wilson, in fact I think he has the talent to be a top tier SEC quarterback. With as much as he runs, he’s more susceptible to injury. We need a strong backup or your season is gone.

    • JoshtheCATSfan
      10:20 pm November 27, 2018 Permalink

      Completion rating is important but so is putting up points buddy. So is not turning the ball over. Maybe if you knew more about fb you would understand why we are suspicious of tw. And our defense won us like 5 of those 8 wins as well

    • notFromhere
      9:12 pm November 27, 2018 Permalink

      Agree with you, Josh. We need 2 QBs that can compete at a high level for the next 2 years. There were opportunities for playing time and they were not given. I hope Stoops learns from this situation as HC and makes bringing along the backup QBs more real game time with an open playbook within the season.

  18. makeitstop
    7:40 pm November 27, 2018 Permalink

    First, Terry had his best game Saturday, credit to him. And I love Cat(football) fans for their capacity for forgiveness and faith in resurrection after one game, but Wilson WAS the guy who led the offense to 8 points per game for almost half a season, and had almost as many INT as TD until the last two games. I’m all in hoping that was prologue to a great bowl game and season 2… but I believe in back up plans, and Clark was a guy Urban Meyer (who won a couple championships) was high on, so I can’t help but feel losing him is no bueno. I like Gunnar. But he likely will follow (and no he won’t lose a year bc he graduates) so we are left w a great, injured, true freshman and redshirt who’s a mystery. Call me paranoid but that concerns me. And am I the only one who thinks Nick’s hero-worship of Terry is a little odd? Kid had a couple good games, laid some serious eggs and is at best a high risk high reward stock pick. But Nick bless his heart is all in, betting the farm and hanging Heisman banners.

  19. notFromhere
    9:05 pm November 27, 2018 Permalink

    Clark is better suited for he offense we are running with Terry, so this sucks. Unless the OC can truly setup and execute both offenses, being able to trade out QBs without missing a beat or losing efficiency, then we’ve lost our best backup. While I think his transferring is a mistake, I wish him the best.

    Always thought Hoak was leaving when he didn’t beat out Wilson and had a hard time leading the team in games. I wish both of them luck.

    12:57 am November 28, 2018 Permalink

    Get Kelly Bryant, the transfer from Clemson or just get another top duel threat juco to back terry up. Best of luck to Gunnar. Let him transfer too