The UK football team will go into spring practice next month with four scholarship quarterbacks on the roster, and all of them will have at least two seasons of remaining eligibility beyond this fall.
Still, college programs can never have too much depth at the QB spot, and it’s also a position rife with roster turnover, as the Wildcats have seen in recent seasons with the premature departures of Drew Barker, Patrick Towles and Reese Phillips.
With the 2019 recruiting cycle now in full swing, here’s a rundown of Kentucky’s early quarterback targets for that class — a look at who could join Terry Wilson, Gunnar Hoak, Danny Clark and Walker Wood in the Cats’ QB room a year from now:
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One of the first names to pop up on UK’s 2019 radar is the namesake of one of the most famous figures in Wildcats football history: Paul “Bear” Bryant, who coached Kentucky for eight seasons before going on to win six national titles at Alabama. Tyson is the great-grandson of Bryant and one of the most highly touted quarterbacks in the 2019 class.
UK was the first major college program to extend a scholarship offer to Tyson — doing so back in April — but many have followed suit. The 6-foot-4 prospect from Trussville, Ala., now has offers from Alabama, Notre Dame, Michigan, Louisiana State, Southern Cal and several others.
That early UK offer was special to Tyson — the No. 7 pro-style QB nationally in the 247Sports rankings — but the Cats obviously will have an uphill climb to beat out those major programs and land his commitment. Tyson’s Crystal Ball page is already heavily favoring Alabama.
He threw for 3,392 yards with 36 touchdowns and just four interceptions last season.
The No. 1 quarterback from the state of Ohio in the 2019 class, Bazelak — a 6-4 prospect from Dayton — landed his first offer from Kentucky back in June and has already been on UK’s campus for a recruiting visit. Since that UK offer, he’s landed additional offers from Vanderbilt, Pittsburgh and West Virginia, among others.
He’s listed the Wildcats among his top schools at various points along the way, but — like the other QBs on this list — he’s sure to pick up more interest as the recruiting cycle continues. (Ohio State Coach Urban Meyer was on Bazelak’s high school campus last week.)
Bazelak — the No. 15 pro-style QB in the 247Sports rankings — is also a basketball standout, and it’s worth noting that he’s teammates with four-star running back John Bivens, one of UK’s top running back targets for the class of 2019.
UK’s football program has become quite a presence in the state of Florida in recent years, and the Cats have apparently made quite the early impression on Wolff, the No. 24 pro-style QB nationally and third-best pro-style QB from Florida, according to the 247Sports composite rankings.
Wolff — a 6-5 prospect from Englewood, Fla. — went as far as to name the Wildcats the leaders in his recruitment during an interview with 247Sports last month. He’s already visited Lexington and has additional early offers from Western Kentucky and Toledo, with more sure to come in the near future. He’s expected to visit Lexington for the program’s junior day event later this month.
A more recent recipient of a UK scholarship offer, LeGendre is also the only dual-threat quarterback on this list. The 6-2 prospect from New Orleans is the No. 19 overall dual-threat QB nationally, according to the 247Sports composite rankings for 2019, and Kentucky’s interest early last month set off a flurry of new offers.
Since UK extended one, LeGendre picked up offers from Tennessee, Oklahoma State, Indiana and Kansas, among others. Then — on national signing day for the 2018 recruiting class last week — Alabama extended a scholarship offer to LeGendre.
The Bama offer came right when UK Coach Mark Stoops was talking to reporters about one of his new assistants, Michael Smith, and that coach’s relationships and experience recruiting the state of Louisiana. The home-state LSU Tigers are also targeting LeGendre, a mobile QB with a strong throwing arm.
Unlike the other players on this list, LeGendre has not yet visited Lexington, so that will be important to watch in the coming months as a gauge of his interest in UK.
Though the major recruiting databases don’t list Scalzo with a UK scholarship offer yet, he’s already off to a great offseason on the camp circuit and he’s being tracked by Wildcats offensive coordinator Eddie Gran.
The 5-11 prospect from Fort Lauderdale, Fla., was among the QB standouts over the weekend at the Rivals camp in Miami, and recruiting analyst Rob Cassidy noted in his recap of the event that Scalzo “could be nearing a commitment to Kentucky or Boston College.” Cassidy wrote that Scalzo “makes up for his lack of elite height with accuracy and an ability to extend plays.”
A three-star recruit, he’s the No. 13 dual-threat QB in the 247Sports composite rankings.
He doesn’t have a scholarship offer from the Wildcats yet, but Jones is an intriguing prospect who will be playing his senior season right in UK’s backyard.
The 6-8, 260-pound pro-style QB recently transferred from Knott Central to Frederick Douglass — Lexington’s newest high school — and will play this fall for Coach Brian Landis, a former member of UK’s football staff.
Jones — ranked by 247Sports as a two-star recruit and the No. 45 pro-style QB nationally — completed 179 of 299 passes for 2,646 yards, 27 touchdowns and eight interceptions in 10 games with Knott Central last season. He also ran for seven TDs. He’s already been on UK’s campus numerous times and also took recruiting visits to Florida, Tennessee, South Carolina, Western Kentucky and Cincinnati last year.