Eddie Gran, first season at Kentucky, 28th season as a college assistant coach, sixth season as an offensive coordinator; and Darin Hinshaw, 16th season as a college assistant coach, fifth as an offensive coordinator.
Eddie Gran, running backs; Darin Hinshaw, quarterbacks; Lamar Thomas, wide receivers; Vince Marrow tight ends; John Schlarman, offensive line; Tommy Mangino, quality control assistant; Michael Colosimo, Mark Pelini, offensive graduate assistants.
Kentucky finished ninth in the Southeastern Conference and 89th (out of 128) nationally in total offense, averaging 372 yards a game. The Cats were 10th in the league in scoring offense, averaging 24.7 points.
Jeff Badet, wide receiver; Dorian Baker, wide receiver; C.J. Conrad, tight end; Nick Haynes, left guard; Garrett Johnson, wide receiver; Kyle Meadows, right tackle; Ramsey Meyers, right guard; Jon Toth, center; Boom Williams, running back.
What to watch
Kentucky’s offense returns 99.1 percent of its catches from last season and 97.3 percent of its rushing yardage. The Cats have four of their five offensive line starters back (with a combined 83 career starts between them) and an impressive bookend of tight ends. And now UK has a completely revamped offense led by Eddie Gran and Darin Hinshaw, who put up eye-popping numbers while working together at Cincinnati.
With so much returning talent and depth, the only real question marks are will it come together? Does quarterback Drew Barker — the only real new part of the offense — have what it takes to lead an SEC offense? Will he have time to make plays? Can UK get more production and less drama from some of its top players like Barker, running back Boom Williams and wideout Dorian Baker? Have the players bought into this new system and Gran the way they say? How involved will Stoops be?
This seems to be the season when Kentucky’s offense finally has all of the pieces in place: A plethora of talent, size, speed and depth at the wideout spots, a deceptively deep running back group that has a veteran interior line to run behind, versatile tight ends and a system that promises to find a way to utilize all of it. But while it seems to be the season, two huge questions still remain: Is Barker the answer at quarterback? Can he become a facilitator for the talent within the offense? And can Barker get enough time to make the offense go? While there is some impressive veteran depth on the offensive line, there’s still some question about the Cats’ fortitude at both offensive tackle spots.
2016 College Football Preview
Click on the links below to read other stories from the Herald-Leader’s season preview. Watch for more coming Monday and Tuesday, or pick up the Sunday Herald-Leader and get it all at once.