As spring football was nearing its conclusion in Lexington, Mark Stoops made a very interesting comment in regards to his backup quarterback Gunnar Hoak. While Stoops had been quick to praise the offseason development of Hoak and the improvements he had seen from the signal caller in the spring, Kentucky’s coach admitted the soon-to-be graduate may not be on the team in 2019.
Turns out, Stoops was right to be concerned.
Here is what Stoops had to say about Hoak’s status with the team just two weeks ago:
“I’m not sure. I going to sit down with Gunnar next week and we will talk about his plans and what he has planned. I don’t know,” Stoops replied when asked about Hoak’s future with the program. “We are working our tail off with him, like we always do, and he’s doing everything that we ask him to do — like always. But after the spring, we can always sit down and talk and see what’s best for him and his future.
“Of course I want Gunnar here but I’ll be very supportive of him whatever he decides to do.”
While Stoops didn’t outright admit his quarterback would be transferring out of the program as a graduate, Hoak has just announced his decision to enter the NCAA transfer portal. Based on his comments, there is a chance Hoak returns to Lexington next season but this is the first step toward leaving the Wildcat program.
“After much thought and consideration, I have decided to put my name in the NCAA transfer portal,” Hoak tweeted out. “With graduation coming up next week, I knew I had an important decision to make for my future including my football and academic careers.
“I would like to thank Coach Stoops and the UK staff for understanding that I need to see if there are any other options for me at this time in my career.”
Hoak has completed 13 of 26 passes for 167 yards, two touchdowns and one interception during his collegiate career. He came to Lexington after being rated as a four-star prospect by ESPN but with Terry Wilson entrenched as the team’s starting quarterback for the foreseeable future, Hoak’s decision to explore his options looking ahead to the 2019 season is understandable.