Kentucky Wildcats Football: A Dark Horse In The Battle For Starting Center


Don McPeak-USA TODAY Sports

Who’s going to be the starting quarterback? That is the question everyone is asking about Kentucky football. Will it be last years starter Maxwell Smith? Maybe the speedster Jalen Whitlow? Possibly the homegrown kid Patrick Towles? Of course, no one knows the answer to this outside of the staff. By all indications, Jalen Whitlow appears to be taking control in the race. This, however, is just what outsiders have been saying. Those who have only gotten glimpses at the whole body of work. Offensive coordinator Neal Brown has said publicly that a quarterback may not be named until right before the Western Kentucky game, meaning things in the most watched camp battle may not be settled for a couple more weeks. While all of this has been going on, there has been another camp battle that is just as important, but not near is publicized. That battle is for the starting center position.

The starting center has been called the quarterback of the offensive line by some coaches on the Kentucky staff. The reason? In the new offense, it will be the center’s job to check the formations of the defense and call audibles to cover it. Also, unlike most offenses, the center is the one barking out the cadences in Neal Brown’s offense. In other words, the starting center is the second most important person on offense behind only the quarterback. So who is going to be the center come the start of the season? Well that has yet to be answered. Up until a few days ago, it was thought to be a two man race. Redshirt freshman Zach Myers and sophomore Zach West were taking all of the first team reps. While Myers was only taking snaps at center, West was taking splitting time at left guard as well. This put him in an awkward spot, as he was battling Teven Eatmon-Nared for the starting left guard spot on top of the center battle he was involved in. Because of this, it appeared that Myers was taking a hold on the starting center job. Unfortunately, Myers went down with a foot injury this past Wednesday. Since it is unknown how long he will be out, it would be logical to think that West would be getting all the first team reps at center and gain an advantage in the battle. This was not the case though.

Since Myers has gone down with an injury, Junior Max Godby has been taking the vast majority of the first team reps at center. Up until this point, it appeared Godby was out of the starting race. He had been taking the second team reps while Myers and West battled it out for the starting role. Now, however, it appears as though he is back in the race. The staff is now having West spend the majority of his time at left guard, where he is battling Eatmon-Nared for the starting position there. Godby, meanwhile, finds himself in a position that many did not think was possible. The reason? Godby came to UK in 2010 as a walk-on. After redshirting his first year on campus and continuing to practice with the team his redshirt freshman year, Godby finally saw game action last year. He appeared in one game his sophomore, UK’s second win over Samford. Godby, who is now heading into his junior year, stands at 6’4″ and weighs 291 lbs. Having said all of this, if Zach Myers can go then he will be the starter. If he cannot, however, look for the unknown junior Max Godby to get the nod for the Western Kentucky game. And if that’s the case, then he will be the truest definition of a dark horse candidate.