Former Conner standout, UK QB Drew Barker plans to transfer to finish collegiate career

Kentucky quarterback Drew Barker announced his plans to transfer via his Twitter account Tuesday night. Barker already has a bachelor’s degree from Kentucky. (Keith Taylor/Kentucky Today) By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today Former Conner standout Drew Barker won’t be competing for the starting job at the University of Kentucky next season. Barker, who has one year of eligibility remaining, will...

Back from injury, Kentucky quarterback Drew Barker could see action in season opener

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today Drew Barker didn’t emerge as Kentucky’s starting quarterback following preseason workouts, but that doesn’t mean the junior signal caller won’t just stand on the sideline with a clipboard in the season opener. Kentucky coach Mark Stoops said Barker could see some action at Southern Mississippi Saturday against the Golden Eagles, who defeated the Wildcats 44-35...

Now healthy, Kentucky junior quarterback Barker battling Johnson to regain starting job

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today Drew Barker knows what it’s like to be a starter. He’s also been a backup during his three-year career at Kentucky and finds himself in that same role this season. A year ago, Barker took center stage as the Wildcats’ starting quarterback, a role he kept for two games and for one series in the home opener against New Mexico State before a back injury sidelined him...

UK quarterback Drew Barker no longer takes little things for granted on road to recovery

By Keith Taylor KyForward Senior Sports Writer Drew Barker has enjoyed being back on the football field and it’s the little things the Kentucky quarterback no longer takes for granted. “Having a big setback like that makes you appreciate just being out there every day … the little things, like being back out there for practice and it’s awesome being back out there with my teammates,”...

Kentucky quarterback Drew Barker to miss rest of season because of back injury

Drew Barker will undergo back surgery later this month and miss the rest of the season (Keith Taylor Photo) Mark Stoops made it official on Thursday: Drew Barker will miss the remainder of the season.  Later this month, the sophomore quarterback will undergo surgery on a back injury that has sidelined him since Sept. 16. “We’ve exhausted all treatment that doesn’t involve surgery and it has...

Keith Taylor: Twists and turns in SEC East creates an avenue of opportunity for Kentucky

The landscape of the Southeastern Conference has changed in the past two weeks. That’s good news for Kentucky. Top-ranked Alabama is the best in the West, but the SEC East is much murkier after Tennessee’s 49-10 loss to the Crimson Tide last weekend, leaving Florida in sole possession of first place in the division. Vanderbilt’s upset of Georgia created an opening for the Wildcats, currently...

UK QB Drew Barker out for ‘significant amount of time,’ Johnson to start against Gamecocks

By Keith Taylor KyForward senior sports writer Kentucky will be without its starting quarterback for at least a month, maybe longer, coach Mark Stoops said Wednesday. Drew Barker, who started the first three games and left after the first series in the Wildcats’ 62-42 rout of New Mexico State last week, is out because of an injured back, Stoops said. Stoops said Barker met with a specialist this...

No QB controversy as Stoops plans to start Barker if he’s healthy against Gamecocks

By Keith Taylor KyForward senior sports writer If all goes as planned, Drew Barker will be Kentucky’s starting quarterback when the Wildcats take on Southeastern Conference foe South Carolina Saturday. Barker, who left after the first series in Kentucky’s 62-42 rout of New Mexico State last week, injured his back after getting hit on the third play of the game and didn’t return. Stoops said...

Wildcats figure to get back to the basics this week to get ready for New Mexico State

By Guy Ramsey Special to KyForward If you were expecting some of the air to be taken out of Eddie Gran’s balloon after an 0-2 start to the season, think again. The first-year head coach of the offense/offensive coordinator is his usual high-energy self, intent on fixing what ails the Kentucky offense. “You can’t let up, and it’s our job as an offensive staff – as it came down from...

Jamie Vaught: Loss to Southern Miss another low for Cats, who don’t figure to get well against Gators

Disappointing. Embarrassing. Disgusting. Awful. Heartbroken. Horrible. Frustrated. That’s what the long-suffering Big Blue Nation is feeling like after witnessing the football Wildcats’ second-half collapse in a season-opening setback to Southern Miss Saturday night after Kentucky once led with a very comfortable margin of 35-10. Tweeted Oscar Combs, the founder of The Cats’ Pause magazine, after...

Keith Taylor: Past failures haunt Stoops, UK in season-opening loss to Southern Mississippi

A season of promise started with disappointment, leaving Kentucky coach Mark Stoops scrambling for answers following a 44-35 setback to Southern Mississippi Saturday night at Commonwealth Stadium. In rebuilding mode since he arrived on campus four years ago, Stoops thought the Wildcats had moved on from past disappointments, including two victories over Louisiana-Lafayette and Eastern Kentucky last...

Game Time: Stoops, Wildcats eager for first chance to prove preseason work has paid off

By Guy Ramsey Special to KyForward Those two-a-days weren’t for fun. Neither were early-morning workouts, grueling weight-lifting sessions or late-night film sessions. All that work the Kentucky football team logged this winter, spring, summer and fall was for Saturday and the 11 Saturdays to follow. “We are excited to get going,” UK head coach Mark Stoops said. “It is finally game week. We...

Keith Taylor: Wildcats seek to avoid costly letdowns down the stretch this season, finish on a high note

During a break in practice earlier this week, Kentucky offensive coordinator Eddie Gran gathered around some of his offensive players and stressed the importance of finishing. Although Gran hasn’t been apart of the team’s late-season meltdowns during the past two years, he is aware of promising starts and season-ending disappointments that have resulted in two consecutive 5-7 finishes. Gran and...

Keith Taylor: Gran says Kentucky offense ahead of schedule; Malik Monk confident on, off the court

It’s crunch time for the Kentucky football team and the Wildcats have made strides in the first two weeks of fall camp. Kentucky offensive coordinator Eddie Gran liked the way the offense performed in the team’s first scrimmage last week and added the Wildcats are ahead of schedule. UK offensive coordinator Eddie Gran likes the way the Wildcats’ offense has progressed in fall camp (Keith...

Loss of safety Darius West a ‘tough blow’ for UK; Stoops pleased with first scrimmage of fall

By Keith Taylor KyForward senior sports writer Kentucky’s defense took a hit Saturday with the loss of defensive back Darius West. According to Kentucky coach Mark Stoops, West, a sophomore safety, tore his patella tendon during a scrimmage Saturday and will miss the rest of the season. West collected 17 tackles in 10 games last year. Stoops said the injury to West was a “tough blow.” “He’s...

Keith Taylor: Running short on time, UK’s junior class eager to make good on ‘changing the game’

Three years ago, they were learning the ropes. Now veterans, Kentucky’s recruiting class of 2014 wants to put their stamp on a program that hasn’t been to a bowl game in five years. Mark Stoops’ second recruiting class has experienced some hits and misses during the past two seasons, but the talent level was an upgrade when compared to previous recruiting classes. Garrett Johnson, left, and...

Keith Taylor: Calm and confident, UK quarterback Drew Barker ready to guide pro-style offense

Drew Barker isn’t uptight going into fall camp. In fact, the Conner High School graduate has been “calm” and “confident” this summer, an early sign he’s not backing away from the expectations as Kentucky’s starting quarterback. “I see a calmness about him,” Kentucky coach Mark Stoops said during the team’s annual Media Day Friday. “He’s done that way all through spring....

Keith Taylor: UK QB Barker the starter, but backup Johnson will be giving chase during offseason

Former Conner High School standout Drew Barker is penciled in to be Kentucky’s starting quarterback next fall, but he can’t afford to relax this summer. Barker won the job during spring drills, beating out junior college transfer Stephen Johnson. Barker threw for 156 yards and a pair of touchdowns in Kentucky’s blue-white scrimmage last weekend and Johnson threw for just 36 yards...

Keith Taylor: Drew Barker doesn’t plan to change his approach as UK’s starting quarterback

Drew Barker won’t spend his summer trying to figure out how to beat out an incumbent quarterback. Moments after he helped lead the Blue team to a 31-20 win over the White squad in the annual spring game Saturday, Barker was named the team’s starter, eliminating the possibility of a quarterback controversy next fall. Drew Barker looks for an open receiver in UK’s Blue-White game Saturday...

Kentucky’s new-look offense will feature ‘condensed’ game plan in annual Blue-White spring finale

By Keith Taylor KyForward senior sports writer For the third time in four years, a new coordinator will be calling the plays for Kentucky next fall, but don’t expect too much from the team’s annual Blue-White game set for noon Saturday at Commonwealth Stadium. Although the Wildcats spent a majority of spring drills installing Gran’s system, the new-look offense won’t be fully...