Kentucky starting backfield to skip Music City Bowl

Published 4:30 pm Friday, December 9, 2022

Kentucky will be without its starting quarterback in the Music City Bowl.

Senior Will Levis announced Wednesday he has decided to sit out Kentucky’s rematch with Iowa on Dec. 31 in Nashville. The next step for Levis will be the NFL Draft and he’s been ranked as a top 5 quarterback behind Bryce Young of Alabama and Ohio State’s C.J. Stroud.

“Every great move forward in your life begins with a leap of faith, a step into the unknown,” Levis said in a social media post. “Whatever the risk, with that leap of faith, I also remind myself that you only control your attitude and effort from that point forward. All other factors and people are out of your control. But it helps your situation when those people have your back.”

Levis, a Penn State transfer, led the Wildcats to a 10-3 record and a Citrus Bowl win over the Hawkeyes during his junior season. The Wildcats finished with a 7-5 record this season behind a revamped offensive line and former offensive coordinator Rich Scangarello.

In two seasons as a starter at Kentucky, Levis completed 418-of-636 passes for 5,232 yards, No. 6 for the most passing yards in school history. Levis threw 43 touchdown passes and 23 interceptions. He was 17-7 record as a starter at Kentucky, including a perfect 4-0 mark against Louisville and Florida.

“If I have one thing to hold in my heart from my time here in Lexington, it’s that Kentucky has my back and that everything ahead of me wouldn’t be possible without the support and encouragement I received along the way.

“As a Wildcat, I have met life-long friends, learned from incredible coaches, and built connections with valuable mentors that will guide me through my journey. Because of Kentucky, I found belief and confidence in myself that had not been reached beforehand, and, most importantly, we won some incredibly memorable ballgames in my college career. It has been a great move forward.”

Kentucky starting running back Chris Rodriguez will also sit out the bowl game.

“Big Blue Nation, thank you for everything! I can’t tell you how much your support this past year has meant to me,” Rodriguez said in a social media post. ”Although I’m going to sit out the bowl game to focus on my health and prepare for my lifelong dream of playing in the NFL, I’ll be in the Music City to support my brothers and I hope to see you there! Kentucky always.”

The Kentucky running back ended his collegiate career with 3,644 rushing yards and 32 touchdowns. He added 116 yards and three scores as a receiver. During his senior year, Rodriguez rushed for 904 yards and added six touchdowns. he averaged 5.2 yards per carry and finished his career third on the school’s all-time rushing list behind Benny Snell and Sonny Collins.