Players to know for Kentucky: Will Levis

The Kentucky Wildcats have been a relatively weak team so far this season. Having started the season as a top 10 team, they almost certainly won’t be ranked in today’s College Football Playoff rankings. Sadly, their quarterback Will Levis reflects the team’s disappointment.

This season, the Wildcats are only 6-4, with all 4 losses coming to SEC opponents (including a big upset at home to the Vanderbilt Commodores last Saturday).

Levis, a 3-star transfer from Penn State according to 247sports, was highly regarded as a recruit due to his “pro stature” and excellent arm strength. In 2021, he led Kentucky to an impressive 10-3 record, completing 66% of his passes efficiently and throwing for just over 2,800 yards. In his second year with the program, Levis and the Wildcats should take a big leap and possibly even compete for the Eastern Division in the SEC.

Head coach Mark Stoops and Kentucky run a “pro-style” offense that usually requires multiple pre-snap reads, ability to play under center, and an accurate arm from his quarterback. Many NFL scouts believe that QBs running offensive styles like this transition into the NFL much more seamlessly. At 6″4 and 222 pounds, Will Levis fits the bill perfectly.

Because of this, Levis found himself on the Heisman watch list and was even ranked very high on Mel Kiper’s Big Board as a potential #1 overall pick in the 2022 preseason. However, he has put on a performance eerily similar to a year ago and his team’s disappointing record may suggest that Levis is not quite the first-round talent he was predicted to be. He is currently midfield in the SEC with just over 2,000 yards, is currently fifth in passing touchdowns and has already had 12 more layoffs than last season. Unfortunately for Levis and the Wildcat offense, they will face their toughest challenge by far this Saturday in defense of Georgia.

In the previous matchup, Levis shot for a whopping 76.2% and 2 touchdowns against a legendary 2021 Georgia defense that, at the time, had not allowed more than 1 touchdowns per game. Despite completing the ball with a very high percentage, Levis threw for just 192 yards and failed to complete a 16+ yard pass the entire game.

Criticized multiple times this season for their simple and often ineffective offensive schemes, Kentucky is currently averaging just 23.3 points per game. They will most likely struggle to move the ball against an elite Georgia defense that only allows 11.6 points per game. While Will Levis has an impressive arm and usually makes very efficient throws, expect him and the Wildcat offense to battle this proud Bulldogs defense at home on Saturday.