This morning, we found out that UK’s leading receiver Jeff Badet will graduate in May and transfer to another school for his final year of eligibility. The news is surprising; not only did Badet lead Kentucky in receiving yards this season (670 yards, 4 touchdowns), he became Kentucky’s best deep threat and look poised to continue that success next season. Yet, with Kentucky’s offense trending towards the run, Badet chose to go somewhere else to best maximize his exposure, which is totally fair.
But, what does Badet’s departure mean for Kentucky next season? Here are my two cents:
Kentucky loses its best deep threat
With Boom Williams off to the NFL, Kentucky loses another “big play” guy on offense. Badet was Kentucky’s best deep threat option, finishing the 2016 season with seven plays of 40+ yards. He averaged 22.8 yards per reception, which is the second best in program history. Who will step up in his place?
Stephen Johnson loses his most trusted receiver
Badet was the first receiver Stephen Johnson developed a rapport with when he took over for an injured Drew Barker. Johnson and Badet connected for three touchdowns this season, including this gorgeous 65-yard strike vs. Missouri:
The silver lining: UK’s got lots of wide receivers
The only good thing for Kentucky about this news? At least the stable’s full of talented wide receivers, including Garrett Johnson (who led the team in receptions), Dorian Baker, Tavin Richardson, Jabari Greenwood, and Blake Bone, who was Badet’s backup. Add in some major 2017 studs and if there’s one position that could afford a loss, this may be it.
Freddie Maggard will be by later with a much more comprehensive and in-depth analysis of what losing Badet means. In the meantime, best of luck to Jeff in his future endeavors. We’re all rooting for you.