LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Vince Marrow believes Kentucky has found the quarterback the Wildcats have been yearning for since Mark Stoops took over nine years ago.
"I've been around a lot of quarterbacks," Marrow, UK's associate head coach, said Thursday. "Will is one of the strongest arms I've been around. I was a big fan of Joey (Gatewood), but Will came in the right way, won the team over and did the little things. He's the first one in (to practice) and the last one to leave. Just his leadership on the field -- all of the guys started following him, even the defensive guys."
In looking back during the past nine years, Marrow said that he didn't want to "take anything away from Stephen Johnson, because those guys won games for us" and added that Terry Wilson didn't get enough credit for his success with the Wildcats, but thinks Levis is "the guy to do it."
"I've been very impressed with him," Marrow said. "His deep balls are very good and the ball just comes out. This league (the Southeastern Conference) is the closest thing to the NFL and the corners are good and when you run out routes, that ball has to be out and he's one of the best that I've seen throw it. I still want to see him when we play somebody, but I've seen him in practice, he looks pretty good."
Former Mr. Kentucky Football Wan'Dale Robinson, a transfer from Wisconsin, agreed.
"He (ranks) up there at the top," Robinson said, "I haven't been around many quarterbacks who throws the ball the way he does. It's something special."
Levis will be counted on to run an offense seeking balance and more of a passing attack under first-year offensive coordinator Liam Coen. According to tight end Justin Rigg, Levis has succeeded behind the scenes in practice this fall.
"As an offense, it's more 50-50 this year," Rigg said. "We're still going to run the ball a lot, but we're going to show that we can pass the ball a lot. You've got to do both right, because if you're not passing the ball right, you've got to run the ball. You have to help each other out, if you're running the ball good, you're going to be passing the ball good."
Marrow also is anxious to see how Robinson performs in the opener against Louisiana-Monroe set for Sept. 4 at Kroger Field. Robinson transferred from Nebraska after originally committing to Kentucky.
"He's a professional young man," Marrow said. "A lot guys with that type of talent you would thing that they have a chip on their shoulder or they are arrogant, but he's a class act. He broke my heart two years ago, but he came back and the whole state is excited that he's back. … He didn't want his teammates to think something was given to him so he came in and earned it the right way, just like Will (Levis) did."
Gametracker: Lousiana-Monroe at Kentucky, noon, Sept. 4. TV/'Radio: SEC Network, UK Radio Network.