Gunnar Hoak needed the quarterback reps.
And Kentucky needed the freshman quarterback to play with starter Stephen Johnson nursing a sore knee after the Tennessee loss and few other options.
But the way the rules work now, if Kentucky’s backup quarterback had come into that game against Austin Peay, Hoak would have lost his entire redshirt season potentially for one game late in the year.
Because of that and hundreds of other situations like that, UK Coach Mark Stoops is all for a new proposal from the American Football Coaches Association that would allow redshirt players to participate in up to four games without having to forfeit an entire season of eligibility.
“That rule change would make a lot of sense,” Stoops said during Monday’s Southeastern Conference spring teleconference.
“I think it makes a lot of sense. It can protect the player and their redshirt year, help gain a little bit of experience for the following year, and overall I think it’s a very good rule.”
If the rule can get through NCAA legislative hurdles, the AFCA hopes to allow a player to play four full seasons and up to four games in a fifth year.
More on early signing period
As he did in an interview with the Herald-Leader last week, Stoops stressed that UK would work within the confines of the new early signing period, but he had mixed feelings on the sped up recruiting calendar that comes with it.
“If you look through the years it certainly could have benefited us in certain ways,” he said on the teleconference. “I think it’s good, as far as having the early signing period, having that ability. As far as changing the calendar and all those things when you package it together I don’t think I was totally in favor of that, but you have to make due with the rules that were given to you.”
The head coach expects UK will be signing its share of commitments in December.
“If we feel very comfortable with the player and we have a good feel for them personally, for their character and their families and we can get it knocked out, I definitely think we would use it to try and get them locked up.”