One of the top quarterbacks in the Transfer portal He headed to Kentucky as Will Lewis’ successor.

Former North Carolina State quarterback Devin Leary committed to Kentucky on Tuesday. According to 247Sports ranked Leary the No. 2 recruit anywhere and the No. 1 quarterback in the portal in early December.

In four years at NC State, Leary completed 60.2% of his passes for 6,807 yards, 62 touchdowns and 16 interceptions. His best season came in 2021 when he completed 65.7% of his passes for 3,433 yards, 35 touchdowns and five interceptions. That same year, Leary was named one of five finalists for the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award, the best quarterback in college football.

Kentucky has been in the market for a transfer quarterback following the release of Levis, widely projected as a first-round pick in the 2023 NFL Draft. As Kentucky’s quarterback since transferring from Penn State, Levis posted a 17-7 record.

Devin Leary ranks sixth on NC State’s career passing yards list (6,807) and fourth in passing yards (62). Jacob Cooperman A.P

Leary will be the favorite to start Kentucky’s 2023 opener, but will face competition from backups Kaia Shron and Destin Wade. Sharon and Wade are expected to play in the Music City Bowl against Iowa after Lewis. You have chosen from the game To start preparing for the draft. Wade, a former four-star recruit rated as an athlete, will make his collegiate debut in Borough as a dual-threat option at quarterback.

Here are three things you need to know about Kentucky’s new quarterback.

1. A significant injury ended Leary’s 2022 season early.

While Leary’s 2021 season earned Lee a spot on preseason Heisman Trophy candidate lists, he couldn’t duplicate that feat in 2022 when his season ended after six games after he tore his right pectoral muscle against NC State on Oct. 8. State of Florida

The injury required surgery in just over a week. In November, Leary He told reporters in Fayetteville. He is waiting to see how his rehab goes before deciding whether to return to NC State or enter the 2023 draft.

Instead, Larry entered the transfer portal. Had he stayed at NC State, Leary would have been working with a new offensive coordinator since Wolfpack coordinator Tim Beck was hired as the new head coach at Coastal Carolina.

It is unclear when Leary will be able to return to practice.

The torn pectoral muscle is Leary’s second significant injury in college. His 2020 season ended early with a broken fibula.

Quarterback Devin Leary was helped off the field during North Carolina State’s game against Florida State on Oct. 8. A torn pectoral muscle in his right side ended Leary’s season. Carl B. DeBlaker A.P

2. Larry broke one of Philip Rivers’ NC State records

In the year While 2022 should be considered a disappointment for Leary, he leaves NC State as one of the best quarterbacks in program history.

Leary ranks sixth on NC State’s career passing yards list (6,807) and fourth in passing yards (62). In the year His 35 passing touchdowns in 2021 broke Phillip Rivers’ school record for most in a season.

The 6-foot-1, 215-pound Leary is the only NC State quarterback to throw at least four touchdowns in five games against ACC opponents in a season and the only Wolfpack quarterback to throw at least four touchdowns in three consecutive games. He once threw 228 consecutive passes without an interception.

Leary’s record-breaking performances weren’t limited to 2021 either.

Earlier this fall, he became the third NC State quarterback to count Six touchdowns in one game Southern victory at Charleston. He is the only player on this list to throw for four touchdowns and rush for two in the same game.

Devin Leary is rated the No. 2 transfer anywhere by 247Sports and the No. 1 quarterback in the portal since early December. Ethan Hyman

3. Like Levis, Leary comes to the UK from the North East

Lewis, a native of Connecticut, was the rare Kentucky football player from New England. Leary also grew up in the Northeast, though in the Mid-Atlantic rather than New England.

A former star player at Timer Creek High School, Leary graduated as the all-time leader in New Jersey high school football history in passing yards (9,672) and passing touchdowns (117). He was twice named the Gatorade Player of the Year for New Jersey.

In high school, Leary was rated a four-star prospect by both Rivals and 247Sports. The 247Sports Composite ranks Leary as the No. 16 pro-style quarterback in the 2018 high school class.

Next season, Leary and 2023 high school defensive back commitment Naasir Addison could become the first New Jersey native to play for Kentucky since 2018 National Defensive Player of the Year and current Jacksonville Jaguars linebacker Josh Allen.

This story was originally published December 20, 2022 12:23 pm.

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John Hale is the Lexington Herald-Leader’s Kentucky football beat writer. He joined the Herald Leader in 2022 but has covered UK athletics for more than 10 years. Hale was named the 2021 Kentucky Sportswriter of the Year.

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