Wimsatt transfers to Kentucky

Gavin Wimsatt is back in the Bluegrass State.

The former Owensboro High School star quarterback has transferred to Kentucky, he announced Tuesday on social media after entering the NCAA transfer portal last week. Wimsatt was in Lexington on Monday for an official visit, and he didn’t wait long to make a decision.

“I’m Coming home #BBN,” he wrote in an Instagram post, alongside a graphic of him standing in his Wildcats uniform.

Wimsatt, who will have two years of eligibility remaining, spent the last three seasons at Rutgers. In 13 starts this past fall, he threw for 1,735 yards and nine touchdowns with eight interceptions while also rushing for 497 yards and 11 touchdowns on 131 attempts.

Across his career, Wimsatt played in 25 games with 19 starts for the Scarlet Knights, and he joins Kentucky with the most in-game experience of any QB on the roster.

“We are excited to add Gavin to our program,” UK head coach Mark Stoops said. “Game experience is extremely valuable at quarterback and this is a unique opportunity to add talent and experience to the room.”

Wimsatt will compete for the Cats’ starting job against Georgia transfer Brock Vandagriff, who appeared in 13 games as a reserve with the Bulldogs; Beau Allen, who played in five games in two seasons for UK and then transferred to Tarleton State and Georgia Southern before returning to Lexington this offseason; and Cutter Boley, a former four-star passer out of Lexington Christian Academy. Vandagriff and Allen both have two years of eligibility remaining, while Boley is entering his freshman campaign as a mid-year enrollee.

At OHS, Wimsatt totaled 5,304 yards with 62 touchdowns, and he was named the KHSAA Class 5-A Player of the Year and an Elite 11 participant as a junior. He earned the Red Devils’ starting nod as a sophomore in 2019 and proceeded to lead OHS to a 26-4 record during his career. The Red Devils reached the KHSAA Class 5-A semifinals in 2019 and were championship finalists in 2020.

Owensboro head coach Jay Fallin remembers the unique situation around Wimstt’s recruitment when he was still in high school.

“Because of when Gavin graduated high school, his recruitment process — as well as guys the same age as him — was vastly different than if he were five years older or five years younger,” Fallin said. “Almost his entire recruitment took place while the NCAA had COVID restrictions on college coaches and how they could recruit.”

Wimsatt’s first offer came from Murray State only weeks before March 13, 2020, when national lockdowns went into effect. As the year progressed, Wimsatt naturally started receiving more attention, especially from UK.

“The beginning of Gavin’s recruitment and the beginning of him being a four-star, blue-chip recruit all developed in 2020,” Fallin recalled. “Coaches had more time to recruit than they had ever had before, because their players were at home, but there were also more limitations on what they could do. It was unique in that Gavin’s recruitment early on, relationships were built on Skype calls and over the phone.”

It was the relationship Wimsatt developed with then-Rutgers offensive coordinator Sean Gleeson and head coach Greg Schiano that led him to New Jersey. He even enrolled early — three games into his senior year in 2021 — and made his college debut only two months later.

Now, Wimsatt is back home.

“We’re all really excited and happy for Gavin because I believe that he’s happy, and that’s ultimately what we want,” Fallin said. “And, of course, selfishly, now we’re excited that we’re going to get to see him play a lot more often.

“I know several guys on the staff, and I know they’ll take good care of Gavin. I know they’re thrilled to have him, and it’s a great opportunity for him to go there, compete and try to win the starting job.”