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Levis looks to put up big numbers, prep for NFL opportunities

Quarterback Will Levis, a Penn State transfer, will be looking for big numbers this season as he pursues future NFL career opportunities.

Sixty-five FBS quarterbacks threw for at least 2,500 yards in 2019 — the last full collegiate season — and another threw for at least 2,000 yards. Can Kentucky do that? If UK plays 13 games by going to a bowl, Levis would need to average about 192 yards passing per game to reach 2,500 yards if he plays in all 13 games.

Terry Wilson threw for 1,187 yards in 2020 and 1,889 yards in 2018. Stephen Johnson threw for 1,605 yards in 2017 and 2,037 in 2016. Think back to 2014 when Patrick Towles threw for 2,718 yards.

“I haven’t been around many quarterbacks who throws the ball the way he does. It’s something special,” UK receiver Wan’Dale Robinson said.

Pat Forde of Sports Illustrated has the UK quarterback included on his list of the 25 most intriguing players for the 2021 season.

With new offensive coordinator Liam Coen running the offense and UK seeming to have more big-play options at receiver, Levis’ passing total — if he is healthy — has to be at least 2,500 yards or I think a lot of UK fans will be disappointed.

“I am excited to see what we are going to do with this offense. Coach Coen brought me in because my strengths suit this offense as a whole and I think we can put up big numbers,” Levis said.

Levis could have three years of eligibility at Kentucky but he has indicated two years is all he plans to play before hopefully being ready for the NFL.

He is the 15th different starting quarterback Kentucky has had since 2008 after Andre Woodson started 37 straight games from 2005-2007. However, Levis has convinced UK coaches and players he can be special.

Others, like former Florida quarterback Shane Matthews, remain skeptical.

“Until they can complete a forward pass, I have a hard time looking at Kentucky as a team that can beat us,” Matthews, a 14-year NFL veteran, said on a Florida football podcast.