A common sight for UK fans during the 2016 season: Freshman bulldozer Benny Snell lining up in the Wildcat formation and plowing over opponents.
An uncommon sight for those same fans: The Cats doing anything but run the ball out of the Wildcat.
Defenses often couldn’t do a whole lot to stop it, but everyone in the stadium had a pretty good idea of what was coming once they saw Snell or another non-QB set to take the snap for Kentucky.
Four-star playmaker Lynn Bowden will add another wrinkle to that option this season.
Bowden — a 6-foot-1 athlete from Ohio — is penciled in as a slot receiver at UK, but he played quarterback for his high school team and has been compared to former Wildcats star — and Wildcat QB — Randall Cobb, who did a little bit of everything offensively during his time in Lexington.
Bowden can kill defenses with his feet. But he’s not bad with his arm, either.
“He’s a guy who can throw it well enough out of the Wildcat to keep defenses honest,” said Scout.com analyst Bill Greene. “He’s not a guy who’s going to stand back there and look at three options. That’s not going to happen. But you give him one option — either take off and go or hit the tight end — he can do that. Definitely can do that. Lynn throws it well. Him with the ball in his hands, it’s just amazing.”
Bowden, ranked by Scout.com as the No. 60 overall football recruit nationally in the 2017 class, passed for 1,366 yards as a senior and is likely to be utilized as a receiver, runner and passing threat during his time in Lexington.
Snell will get plenty of carries for the Cats, but Bowden should bring a little something different to the UK offense.
“He’s going to play day one,” Greene said. “There’s no doubt in my mind. … I’d look to get him the ball as much as possible.”