Why Will Levis isn’t playing for Kentucky in Music City Bowl

Quick Bit: Levis, touted as one of the 2023 NFL Draft’s brightest prospects, will sit out the Music City Bowl in an effort to maintain his health and draft position.

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If Kentucky football has proved anything over the past two years, it’s that it is more than a basketball school.

The Wildcats have strung together back-to-back winning seasons for the sixth time in their past seven campaigns. Given the program’s torpidity in the past — Kentucky finished sub-.500 in six straight years to start the 2010s — that is certainly a good thing.

And although Mark Stoops’ squad didn’t quite reach the heights of last year, it was a fruitful campaign. The Wildcats climbed as high as No. 7 in the AP rankings and claimed victories over then-No. 12 Florida and then-No. 16 Mississippi State.

All in all, it was a solid — if unspectacular — year in the Bluegrass State.

MORE: Watch college football bowl games live with fuboTV (free trial)

If Kentucky wants to capture another bit of postseason hardware, though, it’ll have to do so without its star quarterback.

Will Levis is sitting out the Music City Bowl, calling an end to his glittering Wildcats career.

Here’s what you need to know about Levis’ decision to opt out of Saturday’s game, as well as what you could expect to see from his replacement come to Friday.

Why Will Levis isn’t playing for Kentucky in Music City Bowl

Touted as one of the nation’s top hurlers heading into the year, Levis was preeminent force in an offense that looked destined to greatness after a 4-0 start. And although that didn’t quite happen, Levis maintained his strong showings, so much so that he garnered serious draft consideration.

Sporting News’ Vinnie Iyer has Levis slated to go No. 14 in his latest 2023 NFL Mock Draft.

MORE: NFL Mock Draft 2023

As one of the nation’s top QB prospects, Levis was always going to be tasked with a challenging proposition come the end of the season. And as NFL scouts swirl, it seems the 21-year old is preparing for the next level.

On Nov. 30, Levis announced his intention to declare for the 2023 NFL Draft. At the time, he indicated that he was not sure whether he would take part in the Wildcats’ final game of the season.

“My intentions are to enter the draft after the season,” Levis said live in a Twitter space with Blue Chips on Wednesday night. “I still don’t know about the bowl game yet. I talked to the coaches and people in my circle that I’ve needed to these past couple of days, and I will be making that decision soon. Nothing is final. But where my mind is at, I do believe — I’ll make an official announcement once I feel it’s necessary and appropriate, but I do believe after this year I’ll be declaring.”

On Dec. 7, Levis made it official. He posted a statement on social media officially declaring for the league — and ruling himself out of Kentucky’s Music City Bowl clash with Iowa.

Given Levis’ injury issues — the former Penn State transfer dealt with injury for much of the season, even missing Kentucky’s 24-14 loss to South Carolina back in October — it makes sense that he opted against participating in another game. He stands to make himself a lot of money in the coming few months if things work out, after all.

Who is Kentucky’s starting quarterback for the Music City Bowl?

With Levis out the door, it seems Stoops will put his faith in one of three fairly unproven options.

Sitting behind Levis in the depth chart is redshirt freshman Kaiya Sheron, true freshman Devin Wade and sophomore Deuce Hogan, a former Hawkeyes transfer.

Sheron fielded the first team snaps while Levis was away earlier in the season. And although the Wildcats fell to the Gamecocks that day, Sheron put on a solid showing: he completed 15-of-27 passes for 178 yards for two touchdowns.

Originally found on Sporting News Read More

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