The Kentucky Wildcats football program has been taking positive strides over the past couple of years. Head coach Mark Stoops has been bringing in much improved recruiting classes and has found ways to convince recruits to choose Kentucky over other schools.
It hasn’t been an easy process, but they are well on their way to becoming an extremely competitive football team.
One of the big recruits in the Wildcats’ 2016 class is quarterback Gunnar Hoak, who is expected to be a potential long-term starter once he steps foot on campus in Lexington.
At 6-foot-4, 194 pounds, Hoak has impressive size for a freshman and he has the benefit of another season of high school football left tocontinue growing into his frame. Last season at Dublin Coffman High School in Ohio, Hoak threw for 2,584 yards and 30 touchdowns.
Hoak, a four-star recruit, is currently rated as the No. 14 player at his position according to ESPN. He still has quite a bit of work to do on his game, but he is a very mature quarterback that has shown an impressive work ethic throughout his high school career.
Hoak took some time to speak with Campus Sports as he prepares to take the next step in his football career at Kentucky.
To begin, Hoak opened up about why he chose to play for the Wildcats
“I really loved the coaches. They definitely know what they are doing. Coach Dawson is a great guy. I also love the type of offense that they run there,” he said. “The QB situation is favorable for me as well. They didn’t take a QB in the 2015 class, and I think can get there and get some early playing time. Lastly, playing in the SEC is a dream come true.”
Another thing that fans look for in new recruits is what kind of person they are off-the-field in addition to what they can bring on-the-field. Hoak was more than happy to talk about both of those areas.
“I am a pocket passer type of quarterback. I’m always keeping my eyes downfield when looking for the open receivers,” he noted. “When needed, I can get out of the pocket and make some moves on my feet though. My team throws it more often than not, but we still have a strong running game as well running the spread.”
Kentucky is looking to take a big leap forward and become a contender in the SEC in the near future. Hoak believes he can help the Wildcats achieve that goal.
“I know last year with Kentucky not getting a quarterback commit hurt them. They had a couple kids de-commit last minute. I think in this ’16 class I’m doing my best to keep us all together,” he said. “It truly seems to me that everyone is all in. It is a great group of talent for sure. I know coach Dawson loves how I am a pass first kind of guy, and thinks I have great accuracy and could fit in well with the type of offense they run now.”
One of the most difficult things for a quarterback to do is compare himself to another player. Hoak was very confident with his comparison, however, and stated that he would compare himself to Green Bay Packers superstar quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
Not only is Hoak an excellent football player, he also prides himself on the grades that he gets in the class room.
“I have a 3.4 GPA. I stay on top of my schoolwork. I don’t like to get behind in anything,” he said.
Excitement should begin building around Hoak as he is set to join the squad next season. He has a chance to compete for the starting job immediately, and there is no denying the on-field skill that he has to go along with the maturity and intelligence that he has shown as well.
*Featured Photo (above) credit to Scout