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2023 NFL Draft: Kentucky QB Will Levis intends to declare, unsure about playing in Wildcats’ bowl

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Kentucky quarterback Will Levis said Wednesday that he plans to declare for the 2023 NFL Draft after five years of school football. Levis technically has one season of collegiate eligibility remaining but is taken into account a probable first-round pick within the draft after two years because the Wildcats’ starting quarterback.

Levis made the revelation in a Twitter Spaces chat with UK Blue Chips, saying, “my intentions are to enter the draft after this season.” The Wildcats finished the 2022 regular season 7-5 with Levis as their primary quarterback. The Penn State transfer accomplished 185 of 283 passes for two,406 yards with 19 touchdowns and 10 interceptions this season while playing through injuries. 

Though Levis intends to maneuver on to the subsequent level, he hasn’t decided whether he’ll play in Kentucky’s bowl game yet.

“I’ve talked with the coaches and the people in my circle that I needed to those past couple days,” Levis said. “I can be making a call soon, but nothing is final.” The Wildcats should discover their bowl destination on Sunday.

A former three-star prospect, Levis spent the primary three seasons of his college profession playing sparingly at Penn State. He redshirted as a real freshman in 2018 and played primarily as a backup over the next two seasons before transferring to Kentucky after the 2020 season. He immediately earned the starting job and accomplished 66% of his passes for two,826 yards with 24 touchdowns and 13 interceptions while leading the Wildcats to a 10-3 mark in 2021.

Draft Projections 

Levis is ranked because the No. 3 quarterback within the CBS Sports 2023 NFL Draft Prospect Rankings behind Alabama’s Bryce Young and Ohio State’s C.J. Stroud. Young, Stroud and Levis are all considered top-five overall prospects within the rankings, though, so Levis could have a likelihood to be the first-quarterback chosen.

“I do know that I could be, and I will do the whole lot I can to make that occur,” Levis said. “I hope I’m, and I just need to exit and prove to everyone else that I’m as well.”

In his latest NFL mock Draft, CBS Sports NFL Draft author Chris Trapasso has Levis going No. 6 overall to the Carolina Panthers.

“Levis hasn’t built on an awesome 2021, yet he has all of the traits teams want of their franchise quarterbacks today,” Trapasso wrote. “He can compete with Sam Darnold and Baker Mayfield in 12 months 1 for the starting gig.”

What next for Kentucky’s QB room?

Though Levis’ departure was widely expected, a succession plan on the position is not particularly clear. When Levis missed time with injury this season, redshirt freshman Kaiya Sheron filled in. The previous three-star prospect from Somerset, Kentucky, accomplished 15 of 27 passes for 178 yards with two touchdowns and one interception in UK’s loss to South Carolina on Oct. 8. 

Other quarterbacks on this yr’s roster include true freshman Destin Wade and Iowa transfer Deuce Hogan, a third-year sophomore and former three-star prospect in his first season with this system after two years as a reserve with the Hawkeyes. Kentucky doesn’t have a quarterback committed as a part of its 2023 recruiting class.

Head coach Mark Stoops fired offensive coordinator Wealthy Scangarello after only one season, and depending on who he brings in, it could make the Wildcats a destination for transfer quarterbacks. Levis showed that, with the appropriate system in place, UK could be a place where transfer quarterbacks can take their games to the subsequent level.

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