Kentucky Football: Wide receiver position will be big key in 2017

LEXINGTON, KY - OCTOBER 11: Wide receiver Javess Blue
LEXINGTON, KY - OCTOBER 11: Wide receiver Javess Blue /

The Kentucky football team will need a lot of production from the young wide receiver corps in 2017, and Mark Stoops intends to play them.

Jeff Badet, the nation’s number one player (statistically) in yards per catch decided to transfer from Kentucky for his final year of eligibility. This is a substantial loss for the Kentucky football program going into 2017 due to how effective Badet was on deep passes and catches compared to the rest of the Wildcat receivers.

Today, UK announced that Dorian Baker has suffered an ankle injury. The injury seems to be fairly severe based on the report.

A couple of veterans have really stepped up for the Wildcats. For instance, David Bouvier, a 5’9, 175-pound junior is really impressing the staff. Someone we didn’t really know about last season, he was listed on the two deep depth chart at wideout a couple of weeks ago.

Nonetheless, Kentucky must have more wide receivers become impact players. With the addition of highly touted freshman Lynn Bowden, the wideout group may be able to make up for the losses.

Kentucky Wildcats Football
Kentucky Wildcats Football /

Kentucky Wildcats Football

But for 2017, the freshmen wide receivers can make a tremendous impact for this team.

It has been reported multiple times that the freshmen wide receivers are balling out for Kentucky football. Josh Ali and Isaiah Epps have received an overwhelming amount of opportunity, and their impressing the staff (and teammates).

But just how important will their role be in their first year? The answer is extremely important.

Kentucky has lost one star wide receiver to transfer, and another to injury. Although how significant Baker’s injury is has yet to be determined, it makes the freshmen’s presence a whole lot more impactful.

According to 247 Sports, Mark Stoops sees opportunities for several freshmen to see playing time at wideout. This is unbelievable. Stoops has really been able to recruit well at UK through four years, and especially at wide receiver.

So what makes Stoops want to play four freshmen at wideout in the SEC? Their talent level.

“I’m excited about just some of our freshman that are going to push our older guys,” Stoops said in a press conference. “You look at that receiver group with Clevan Thomas and Josh Ali coming in, and Javonte Richardson,” Gran said. “Those are some good football players, so that’s going to be fun to watch those guys push those guys.”

Vince Marrow and the entire recruiting efforts at Kentucky have been able to spot, analyze, and offer gem’s. They’ve done an excellent job a this noticing talent early, especially at wide receiver.

What should Wildcat fans expect in 2017?

Lynn Bowden, Josh Ali, Clevan Thomas, and Isaiah Epps will all see playing time in their first year.

You can expect these young (but talented) freshmen to rarely miss a beat. Everything that I have heard has points ton precise consistency from the young group, and it’s to be expected on the field.

The quarterback position at Kentucky really must improve to expand the impact of these young Cats.

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Look for Stephen Johnson (or Drew Barker) to find these studs on short intermediate routes a lot as Kentucky looks to improve at the wide receivers receiver position.