There is not a specific size, shape, style or star rating that Kentucky’s new quarterbacks coach is using to find the Cats’ future quarterbacks.
But Darin Hinshaw knows what he wants when he sees it.
“This is like finding your wife,” he described recently. “There’s a lot of pretty ones out there, but at the end of the day I’m looking for certain things. You only get one shot most of the time to bring in one guy one year, and you don’t want to mess it up.”
Hinshaw spends a lot of time studying film of quarterbacks, not their Rivals or ESPN rankings.
Never miss a local story.
“Let me go detail him and film him and do all the things and find out about him before I can concur with that,” Hinshaw said. “So recruiting the quarterback position, I think it’s a hard, patient process.”
There is not a prototypical quarterback shape nor size that Hinshaw is married to either.
“I’ve researched and you look at all the great ones that have been successful and they’re all different sizes,” he said. “They’re all different skill sets.”
The only non-negotiable for Hinshaw is in a quarterback’s motion.
“They can throw the ball from point A to point B, they can hit a doorknob 35 yards away,” he detailed. “Those are the guys you have to have in the SEC to complete the football.
“Otherwise you’re going to see balls that are going to be inaccurate, thrown over people’s heads. And the motion is the most important thing.”
Ideally, Hinshaw is looking for a quarterback that can run the ball -- both of the new offensive coaches have said that will be a component of every game plan -- but also be able to sit patiently in the pocket and wait for plays to develop.
It’s also clear that UK’s new quarterbacks coach wants a quarterback who is willing to put in the extra work. When asked what kind of quarterback he was at Central Florida, Hinshaw latched onto the fact that he went above and beyond.
“I was a real student of the game, honestly,” said Hinshaw, who credited several coaches with his success as well. “Maybe I didn’t have the best talent as everybody in the world, but I got to be a four-year starter because I outworked everybody, I outworked everybody on the field and I outworked everybody on the classroom.”