kentucky football transfers

Kentucky Has Won the Transfer Portal This Off-Season

Coach Mark Stoops, Top Assistant Vince Marrow, OC Liam Coen, and everyone on the UK Staff deserve their flowers for the work they put in this off-season. In the new age of NIL and the transfer portal, many were skeptical about Kentucky’s chances of keeping up with the traditional football powerhouses and blue-bloods – those doubts were laid to rest over the course of these past few months.

Kentucky Football Transfers to Mention

According to the ON3 Transfer Portal Rankings, Kentucky ranks #1 in the entire country in average commit ranking among schools with five or more transfers. The seven incoming transfers generate an average commit rating of 86.57, higher than USC, Michigan, and Florida St.

The addition of Devin Leary is the biggest win for Stoops and Co. this offseason. Kentucky beat out Auburn, Notre Dame, and other big-time programs for – according to ESPN – Devin Leary is the #2 overall player in the entire portal (only behind Travis Hunter who is following Coach Prime to Colorado). 

Next is the huge addition of Keeshawn Silver from North Carolina – who ON3 ranks as the #1 DL in the transfer portal. Kentucky was already returning vital pieces to their defensive front four, but now they’ve completely upgraded with Silver – a 6’5” 315 lb freak of an athlete. Out of high school, Silver was a consensus 5-star recruit that ranked as the #8 player in the entire country, according to ESPN. Kentucky’s defense has become a staple under Stoops – where they finished first in the SEC this past season. Silver will only continue that excellence – just imagine him and Deone Walker leading the charge up front next year!

Ranking as the #5 RB in the transfer portal according to ON3, Kentucky will replace UK Legend Chris Rodriguez with elite transfer Ray Davis out of Vanderbilt. Davis had 130 yards and a touchdown in Vandy’s upset win in Lexington this past fall.

The offensive line was a focal point this past year, and Stoops made it a priority to load up the trenches and get the Big Blue Wall back to its former glory. He has done just that, landing OT Tanner Bowles from Alamaba and OT Marques Cox from Northern Illinois.

Lastly, Kentucky loaded up on some big-time transfers to help their secondary, which is already returning a ton of production from this past season, with the signings of Jantzen Dunn from Ohio State and JQ Hardaway from Cincinnati – both former 4-star high school DB prospects. 

The outlook on 2023 is very bright thanks to the work Stoops and his staff put in with the portal!