On Sunday the Kentucky football program landed the highly-coveted JUCO quarterback Terry Wilson Jr. Does this bring an end to Drew Barker’s career with the Wildcats?
Drew Barker has had a tumultuous career at the University of Kentucky. A highly-touted, in-state recruit, Barker was one of Mark Stoops’ first major targets when he came to Kentucky. Barker was a four-star standout at Conner High School in Hebron, Kentucky. He was the No. 9 ranked quarterback according to ESPN when he committed in 2013.
Barker played sparingly in 2015, in what most observers would call a wasted year for the redshirt freshman. It wasn’t until the Wildcats played Charlotte in the 11th game of the season that Barker received his first career start. Barker threw for only 129 yards, but the Wildcats still won the game 58-10.
2016 was to be Barker’s breakout season. Patrick Towles transferred to Boston College making Barker the unquestioned starter for the Cats. However, Kentucky dropped the first game of the year to Southern Mississippi and lost again the following week to Florida. Barker’s performance against the Gators was extremely underwhelming. He completed only 2-of-10 passes for 10 yards and threw 3 interceptions.
Barker suffered a back injury in the third game of the season against New Mexico State. Barker had thrown only two passes at the time of his injury. One was completed for 1 yard, and the other was intercepted. Stephen Johnson entered the game and rallied the Wildcats to a come-from-behind victory over the Aggies. Johnson would go on to lead the Cats to a 6-3 record as the starter in 2016 and secure the starting job this season.
Barker has only seen action in three games this season. All of his appearances have been either in “garbage time” or a brief injury substitution. Barker’s off-the-field issues were just as bad as his on-field play.
Barker was part of a group of Kentucky players involved in a bar fight with members of the Eastern Kentucky football team in in 2015. That same night, Barker was the victim of a sucker punch in an Eastern Kentucky University dorm by Patrick Graffree, a former Kentucky lineman who’d transferred to EKU.
Barker was also part of the group of UK freshman who were suspended for firing pellet and BB guns on campus in 2014. Barker, along with the other three freshman, were suspended for the game against South Carolina for that stunt.
On Sunday Kentucky football snagged JUCO quarterback Terry Wilson from Garden City Community College. Most fans and pundits see Wilson taking over for the senior quarterback Johnson after his final game in the Music City Bowl later this month.
Drew Barker has made a name for himself during his time at Kentucky. Unfortunately for Barker, they’e been for all the wrong reasons. Time will tell, but it’s doubtful that Barker will be the starting quarterback during his senior year at Kentucky.