The Kentucky offense could be as explosive this coming season as it has ever been in the Mark Stoops era. The man with the headset that will be calling plays and leading the offense is once again offensive coordinator Eddie Gran.
After practice on Tuesday, Gran met with the media to discuss the looks of the offense so far as fall camp begins to ramp up.
Last season, wide receiver Lynn Bowden Jr. took over at quarterback as the position was riddled with injuries, and the team was forced to almost exclusively running the ball. While it often worked and the team put up staggering rushing numbers, Eddie Gran says with a fully healthy QB room, they are ready to throw the ball more this year.
“We want to develop a passing game,” Gran said. “We’re gonna be able to, because our passing game is getting better, mix it around a little more and keep people off balance in just a different manner than we did last year.”
A prominent member of the receiver group that will contribute to the passing game this coming season is senior wideout Josh Ali. Last season, he started all 13 games, and most notably caught the game-winning touchdown pass in the Belk Bowl.
UK offensive coordinator Eddie Gran feels Ali has taken another step up after offseason training.
“I love where he’s (Ali) at right now, he’s being a leader out there, and he certainly is the number one guy out there right now at the receiver position,” he said.
Behind Ali, there are a lot of young, speedy wideouts that could contribute to the passing game this coming season including redshirt sophomore Bryce Oliver and freshman Michael Drennen. Eddie Gran is excited about the potential of the group, and ready to watch them flourish through the next few seasons.
”I’m excited about all those young guys,” he said. “There’s some heavy legs right now — we just went back-to-back practices, but you can certainly see their ability to run, so we’re excited to see where that goes in the next couple years.
In those next couple of years, Kentucky also has young and talented players at the quarterback position to look to in building a bright future for the program. The one that has stood out a lot is Lexington Catholic star Beau Allen, who Eddie Gran says cited accuracy and understanding of the game as reasons that he is special.
”His understanding of the offense — knowing where to go with the ball. He’s done some things that are really special. He’s taken some alerts and he’s really really accurate with the ball and I love what I see out of him.”