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Be Like Will

Kentucky quarterback Will Levis gives the ‘Ls down’ after scoring another touchdown against Louisville (Dr. Michael Huang Photo).

(LEXINGTON, Ky.) – There are 68 days until Kentucky Football kicks off against Miami University (OH)…and do you know where Will Levis is?

Your guess is as good as mine. The last I heard, Kentucky’s newest favorite son was down in Thibodaux, Louisiana, at the Manning Passing Academy—arguably the premier football skills camp in the country—showing off his burgeoning quarterback talents as a camp counselor.

Those of us who watched Levis closely last year shouldn’t be at all surprised at the lavishing praise he’s garnering. All of BBN saw what the Penn State transfer could do in leading Kentucky to another ten-win season and a thrilling Citrus Bowl victory over Iowa on New Year’s Day. With a cannon for an arm and the size and stature (6-foot-3, 232 pounds) to run over defenders, you can see why he’s quickly ratcheting up the NFL draft boards.

In fact, CBS Sports’ Chris Trapasso even projected Levis as the No. 1 overall pick in his 2023 NFL mock draft earlier last month. Are you kidding me? Not just the first quarterback off the board (over the likes of Alabama’s Bryce Young and Ohio State’s CJ Stroud), but the first player picked.

Not since the Cleveland Browns selected Tim Couch with the No. 1 pick in 1999 has the national spotlight shone so brightly on My Old Kentucky Home.

Which brings me to my point: EVERYONE WANTS TO BE WILL LEVIS.

Admit it—you’d give your right big toe right now to change places with the Wildcats’ newest gunslinger. Sure, it’d be a thrill to complete 233-of-353 passes for 2,826 yards and 24 touchdowns like Levis did last year in his first season with the Cats. But it’s his persona off the field that’s calling all of us to be his doppelganger.

Whether it’s eating a banana—peel and all—or putting mayonnaise in his coffee, Levis knows exactly how to connect with all his adoring social media masses. One moment he’s hobnobbing with the glitterati in Italy, the next week you’ll find him yucking it up with Bubba at Hillbilly Days in Pikeville. Talk about versatility. The guy checked off a visit to the Derby, a meeting with Tom Brady, and a chat with two of his favorite Pardon My Take podcasters all in one fell swoop.

Perhaps it’s this video, however, from the NIL Summit that captures it best of all.

See what I mean? Will Levis has the talent, the looks, the swagger, and now enough NIL money to run for governor if he wishes. But before throwing his hat into the ring, Levis better take care of the pressing business on the field. If he can lead Kentucky on a march to Atlanta, he just might assume the mantle of most popular Kentucky football player ever.

“We want to play for the SEC Championship,” Levis told the NFL Draft Network’s Justin Melo earlier this month. “We want to be in Atlanta come December. That’s the next step for our program to take. We’ve been looking forward to that. We want it to happen this year. That’s the goal we have in mind.”

Add “confidence” to the growing list of Will Levis qualities we admire. The Madison, Connecticut, native knows what he wants and isn’t afraid to go after it. He’ll stick his neck out (literally and figuratively) to help his team gain an added advantage. From an obscure backup quarterback for the Nittany Lions to a potential Heisman candidate competing for a championship in the best conference in America, Levis’ first-class ticket to stardom shows no signs of expiring.

Is it too much, too soon? Has his passing accuracy improved enough to warrant the accolades? Can the receiver corps replace Wan’Dale Robinson? Are UK fans expecting way too much?

Perhaps we are. Normally, I’d say, “Hold your horses.” Because as a long-suffering, die-hard Kentucky Football fan, I never thought I’d see the day when BBN would view an 8 – 4 record as somewhat of a disappointment. And yet, due partly to the Will Levis hype train, that’s exactly what we’re faced with nearly two months from D-Day.

Call me delusional, but that’s the way it should be. After decades of futility, Kentucky Football needs to aim for the stratosphere. Will Levis—the man, the myth, the legend—is the perfect guy to lead them there.

He’s certainly got the swagger. Even if you can’t be like Will, you can still have a heck of a fun time celebrating with him at Kroger Field this fall.

Dr. John Huang is a UK columnist for Nolan Group Media and editor-in-chief of JustTheCats.com. He also covers the NFL and MLB for Sports View America. You can follow him on Twitter @KYHuangs. If you enjoy his writing, be sure to check out his new book, KENTUCKY PASSION. https://www.amazon.com/Kentucky-Passion-Wildcat-Wisdom-Inspiration/dp/1684351669

Dr. John Huang
Dr. John Huang is a retired orthodontist and military veteran. As a lifelong Wildcat fan, a fledgling author, and an occasional guest host of Just the Cats Radio, he's now living out his dream as a UK Sports columnist. Dr. Huang also covers professional sports on a regional level. You can follow him on Twitter @KYHuangs or contact him @KYHuangs@gmail.com. If you enjoy his writing, you can also read more at www.huangswhinings.com.
http://www.huangswhinings.com

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