Kentucky has found its quarterback and made it official.
Terry Wilson, a junior-college transfer, has been named the Cats’ starter for the Sept. 1 game against Central Michigan.
“Ultimately with all the things we looked at, we decided on Terry,” Coach Mark Stoops announced on Monday at his news conference. “We’re excited about Terry and what he’s going to do this week.”
Wilson, a 6-foot-3, 205-pound sophomore, is a dual-threat quarterback, whom coaches and teammates said has been clocked running as fast — if not faster — than many of his fastest teammates.
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Without going into all the reasons that he decided on Wilson because Stoops didn’t want to say anything about the other candidates, the head coach said coaches looked at everything, including targets, accuracy, decision making, yards and leadership.
“We’re very excited about Terry, but again have a lot of confidence in the other guys as well,” Stoops said.
Speed had to be a factor.
“There’s no doubt that you can see Terry’s speed, that he can run,” quarterbacks coach Darin Hinshaw said after the spring game. “He was clocked faster than some of the receivers and some of the DBs in practices.”
The Oklahoma City native played one season at Garden City Community College in Kansas after redshirting a year at Oregon. While at Garden City, Wilson threw for 2,133 yards with 26 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. Wilson, who completed 57.6 percent of his passes, also ran for 518 yards and five scores.
Wilson beat out fellow sophomore Gunnar Hoak, a traditional pocket passer who has been in the program under Eddie Gran and Darin Hinshaw for three seasons.
Neither player was a statistical standout for the Cats in the Blue-White Spring Game in April, with Wilson completing 10 of 24 passes for 131 yards and one interception. Wilson also ran for 14 yards on five tries, including a 17-yard sprint.
Hoak connected on 14 of his 25 attempts for 121 yards and a score in the spring game.
Stoops made that decision over the weekend and brought in the quarterbacks to announce his decision.