Wimsatt visiting Kentucky football this week

Former Owensboro High School star quarterback Gavin Wimsatt is set to visit Kentucky this week after entering the NCAA transfer portal last week.

Wimsatt, a former four-star recruit, spent the last three seasons at Rutgers, where he played in 25 games — including 13 starts in 2023. However, when Minnesota transfer Athan Kaliakmanis won the Scarlet Knights’ starting job during the spring, Wimsatt opted to enter the portal.

Now, the 6-foot-3, 225-pound dual-threat passer is visiting with the Wildcats, who heavily pursued Wimsatt during his time with the Red Devils. Wimsatt was rated as a top-15 quarterback in the class of 2022 but left OHS after three games into his senior season to enroll early at Rutgers.

He played in only four games as a freshman — Wimsatt’s debut came in a reserve role two months after leaving Owensboro — before starting six of eight contests the following year. Last fall, Wimsatt threw for 1,735 yards and nine touchdowns with eight interceptions, along with 497 rushing yards and 11 TDs on the ground. As a team captain, he helped the Scarlet Knights to a 7-6 record, including a 31-24 win over Miami (Fla.) in the Pinstripe Bowl after scoring twice on the ground.

During his Rutgers career, Wimsatt passed for 2,537 yards with 14 touchdowns and 17 interceptions, while he also ran for 628 yards and 11 scores on 180 attempts.

Though former Georgia transfer Brock Vandagriff appears poised to take over as Kentucky’s starter in 2024, Wimsatt would have the opportunity to add a different dimension as first-year offensive coordinator Bush Hamdan looks to incorporate more QB rushes for the Cats.

“I think it’s critical,” Hamdan said of a quarterback’s ability to run. “I really do. I really believe that the quarterback has got to get you at least two first downs a game with his legs. I think it can be a huge, huge advantage, especially in the college game.”

Quarterback rushing was a big facet of Kentucky’s offense in 2021 when current Tennessee Titans signal-caller Will Levis ran for 376 yards and nine scores. Over the last two years, though, the Cats’ passers finished with negative rushing yards.

Wimsatt finished his Owensboro career with 5,304 passing yards and 62 touchdowns, with 1,095 yards and 20 scores on the ground.

Kentucky, looking to bounce back from consecutive 7-6 campaigns, currently has three quarterbacks on its roster: Vandagriff, former four-star Lexington Christian prospect Cutter Boley and Beau Allen, who started his career at UK before transferring away and then back for his senior year.