Kentucky quarterback Gunnar Hoak announced on Tuesday he has entered his name in the transfer portal. He is set to graduate next month, which means he’ll be immediately eligible as a redshirt junior.
— Gunnar Hoak (@GunnarHoak12) April 23, 2019
The 6-4, 212-pound Hoak was a three-star prospect from Dublin (Ohio) Coffman, but has appeared in just five games in three seasons with the Wildcats — completing 13 of 26 passes for 167 yards, two touchdowns and an interception.
Ohio State is looking to add another signal caller following the departure of redshirt freshman Matthew Baldwin, and Hoak appears to be a perfect fit to join sophomore Justin Fields and redshirt senior Chris Chugunov in the Buckeyes’ quarterback room.
Not only did he grow up just 20 minutes north of campus, his dad, Frank Hoak, played under former Ohio State head coach Earle Bruce. His uncle, Fred Pagac, played under legendary coach Woody Hayes and was an assist coach with the Buckeyes from 1978-2000, and his cousin, Freddie Pagac, played linebacker in Columbus from 1999-2003.
Hoak camped at Ohio State and was in contact with former co-offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach Tim Beck and co-defensive coordinator/linebackers coach/area recruiter in high school, but did not land a scholarship offer from the Buckeyes. He choose Kentucky over offers from Bowling Green, Buffalo, Cincinnati, Kent State, Syracuse and Toledo. He redshirted during his first year in Lexington in 2016 and did not play in 2017.
With junior starter Terry Wilson returning for another year, Hoak was set to be the backup once again. He played well in the Wildcats spring game, though, completing 23 of 30 passes for 262 yards and a touchdown — which certainly made him an attractive option to other schools with a quarterback quandary.
Ohio State desperately needs to add another quarterback for depth purposes. It remains to be seen if Hoak would come to Columbus with no clear path to playing time or if he has aspirations of being a starter somewhere else.