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National Media Believes Kentucky Football Will “Be a Problem” in 2023

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Kentucky Wildcats wide receiver Barion Brown (2) runs onto the field before the game against the South Carolina Gamecocks at Kroger Field.
© Jordan Prather-USA TODAY Sports

For much of Mark Stoops’ tenure at Kentucky, the Wildcats have exceeded expectations, but not in 2022. Immediately following a deflating 21-0 loss to the Iowa Hawkeyes in last season’s Music City Bowl that culminated in a 7-6 season, Mark Stoops and the Kentucky football program got back to work.

After re-hiring Offensive Coordinator Liam Coen, returning key players, and using the transfer portal to fill positions of need, the national media believes Kentucky could make some noise this season. 247Sports and CBS Sports writer Josh Pate, who also hosts a football podcast called The Late Kick , says that he is hearing more positive news from the Kentucky football camp than any other school.

In a post that Pate sent out on Twitter/X on August 17th, he said, “Some of the best intel I’m hearing from any camp is coming out of Kentucky. They’ll be a problem.”

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When Mark Stoops arrived in Lexington, he instilled a “blue collar” mentality in his program. The work was going to be dirty. It was going to be hard. It was going to be all guts, no glory, but the rewards were endless. That was not apparent last season. Starting in the spring, the staff and players have recommitted themselves to that mentality.

If Josh Pate really is hearing “the best intel” he has heard from any team’s camp, then there is no reason that the Kentucky Wildcats can’t take the next step and become a contender in the SEC East this fall.

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Four-Star Safety, Top 200 Recruit Martels Carter Jr. Commits to Kentucky

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2025 Four-star safety Martels Carter Jr commits to Kentucky Wildcats over Auburn, Colorado, and Louisville.
UK Athletics

YAHTZEE!

The Kentucky Wildcats have added the top-ranked player in the state and one of the top safeties in the country to their 2025 recruiting class.

On Saturday, Martels Carter Jr. announced his commitment to the Wildcats!

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“BBN I’M HOME”

A unanimous 4-star prospect and top 20 safety nationally, Carter chose the Cats over finalists Auburn Tigers, Colorado Buffalo, and Louisville. He also held offers from some of the biggest programs in the sport, including Alabama, Georgia, Michigan, and Oregon among others.

Originally from Chattanooga, TN, Carter moved to Paducah last summer where he starred for Paducah Tilghman High School, helping them to an undefeated regular season and a deep run in the 4A state playoffs, falling in the semifinals.

While it’s okay to celebrate his commitment, it will still be a battle until signing day. Auburn is seen as Kentucky’s biggest threat with Carter planning multiple visits, and he also has a family connection to Deion Sander’s Colorado program.

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That said, he will almost certainly take an official visit to Kentucky this fall. Vince Marrow has made Carter a priority of this class and will do everything in his power to retain the talented defensive back.

Carter makes the sixth commitment for Kentucky’s 2025 class, to go along with two talented offensive players and fellow four-star recruits Quintin Simmons Jr (WR) and Marquise Davis (RB).

Also published on A Sea of Blue.

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REPORT: Liam Coen Leaving Kentucky for NFL Offensive Coordinator Position

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UK Athletics

On the eve of a huge recruiting weekend for Kentucky football, the program has received some bad news. Offensive coordinator Liam Coen is leaving for the NFL again, this time taking the Tampa Bay Buccaneers offensive coordinator position.

When Coen returned to Kentucky last offseason from the Los Angeles Rams, for his second stint as offensive coordinator, he talked about Lexington being a place that he and his wife had missed. In his return press conference, on January 12, 2023, he went as far as saying he wanted to be somewhere for a “few years”, at least.

“I want to go somewhere, make a real impact. Plant some roots for a little bit. Be somewhere for a few years — at least — that you feel really good about. I’m excited about being back in Lexington… I’m not in a rush to go anywhere.”

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That “few years” was just a year, but to be honest, it shouldn’t come as a huge surprise. After many games last season, Coen talked to the media with frustration about fundamental things such as lack of discipline and dropped passes. Even then, it always felt he was holding his words back. With his name circulating around multiple NFL jobs, it was clear this was the direction it was heading.

Now for Kentucky, it’s about getting the next hire right. In a time where offense is becoming the premium in college football, going through five offensive coordinators in ten seasons is not ideal. Paying $1.8 million to Coen, they have shown they will pay amongst the top in the country. Now, go get someone who keeps this core of offensive talent, can recruit, and brings much-needed consistency.

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A Piece of Will Levis’ Historic NFL Debut Displayed in NFL Hall of Fame

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Tennessee Titans quarterback Will Levis after his NFL debut.
© Andrew Nelles / The Tennessean / USA TODAY NETWORK

During last year’s NFL Draft, Will Levis was one of the last players left in the green room after dropping to the second round. That moment fueled Levis, and he’s since earned the starting quarterback spot with the Tennessee Titans, appearing to have a bright future with the team.

Entering the season with no shortage of motivation, Levis entered the franchise as QB3 and wasn’t even on the active roster for the first six weeks of the season, being deemed the “emergency quarterback.” However, following an ankle injury to Ryan Tannehill in Week 6, the Titans gave their rookie quarterback an opportunity.

Levis certainly capitalized and had one of the best debuts in NFL History, throwing for 238 yards (19/29 passing) and four touchdowns. From the game, Levis has been put in the Hall of Fame. Well, at least his Houston Oiler throwback helmet from the performance has been placed on display in the Hall of Fame’s “Pro Football Today Gallery.”

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Levis started his career with a bang and had his moments. The former Kentucky Wildcat will look to build on his rookie campaign, going into a year where he should be the starter under new head coach Brian Callahan.

Also published on A Sea of Blue.

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