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Mark Stoops names Will Levis as Kentucky's quarterback as backup Joey Gatewood leaves

 Chris Lee   in Football

Mark Stoops tabs Levis as his starter as Gatewood departs

Photo courtesy of Kentucky athletics.

Kentucky coach Mark Stoops named Penn State transfer Will Levis as his starting quarterback over the weekend, prompting Joey Gatewood--who'd been competing for the job--to announce his exit.

Levis, a graduate transfer, threw for 644 yards, completing 61-of-102 passes for 644 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions across 15 career games. He also rushed for 473 yards and six career touchdowns.

Levis also beat out Beau Allen, a former four-star recruit who attempted seven passes as a freshman last season. 

“They've done some good things, but this was clear," Stoops said in a virtual news conference on Sunday. “Once we came to the conclusion, there was no reason to delay the decision. ... He won the starting job."

Gatewood, who transferred in from Auburn last season, was 17-of-35 passing for 109 yards and a pick in 2020, adding 25 rushes for 62 yards.

The Wildcats struggled at quarterback a year ago. much of that under Terry Wilson, who since transferred to New Mexico. Wilson started 25 games across three seasons, but threw for just 1,187 yards across 200 attempts last season, with seven touchdowns and four interceptions. Wilson also carried 104 times for 424 yards and 10 touchdowns, but it was the inability to throw consistently--four times last season, he had double-digit pass attempts but less than 100 yards through the air. He topped 200 yards passing just twice in 10 games.