QB Drew Barker will transfer for graduate season

Friday, 12 Jan, 2018

Barker's move means Kentucky will enter the 2018 football season without a quarterback on its roster who has ever taken a snap in a Division I game.

Barker made the announcement on Twitter, thanking his coaches and teammates.

Now, Stephen Johnson will walk into the sunset, leaving the quarterback position for 2018 vacant.

Barker played sparingly this season as Stephen Johnson's backup.

During the early signing period, the Wildcats landed dual-threat JUCO QB Terry Wilson, so it'll be interesting to see if Wilson can land the starting job next year.

Gunnar Hoak also is expected to compete for the starting job next season. Barker's tweet did not indicate what school he would pick or when he would do it. Since he's already graduated - he actually graduated in three years - he will be eligible to play at another FBS program as a graduate transfer immediately.

Before heading to Kentucky, Barker was a star recruit out of the Bluegrass State. After sitting behind Patrick Towles for almost two seasons, Barker took over with two games remaining in the 2015 season. Barker and three other United Kingdom players were suspended one game and charged with disorderly conduct after an incident with an airsoft gun that shut down UK's South Campus for several hours. Southern Miss but was injured following a hit on the first possession of the second half, which eventually ended his season two games later. Barker (6'3/225) arrived on campus with much promise as a four-star recruit back in 2014, but his career was knocked sideways by a season-ending back injury sustained in September of 2016. So when he's come back and just had practice opportunity, limited reps in the games.

The 6-foot-3, 222-pound Barker completed his United Kingdom career with 57 completions in 113 attempts for 747 yards, with five touchdown passes and seven interceptions.

Wilson is by far the most seasoned of the four remaining contenders for UK's starting job.

Wilson is an Oklahoma native who signed with OR out of high school as a dual-threat QB. His longest pass completion went for 72 yards and he tossed a 28-yard strike this past season.