Kentucky’s Will Levis to skip bowl game, enter NFL Draft

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Kentucky quarterback Will Levis will declare for the NFL Draft and will not play in Kentucky’s bowl game against the Iowa Hawkeyes in the Music City Bowl. 

Levis is the fourth-highest-rated prospect on the board of ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. and the second-highest quarterback on his list. 

Will Levis #7 of the Kentucky Wildcats talks with reporter Lauren Sisler after defeating the Missouri Tigers at Faurot Field/Memorial Stadium on November 5, 2022 in Columbia, Missouri. 

Will Levis #7 of the Kentucky Wildcats talks with reporter Lauren Sisler after defeating the Missouri Tigers at Faurot Field/Memorial Stadium on November 5, 2022 in Columbia, Missouri. 
(Jay Biggerstaff/Getty Images)

Last week, Levis declared his intentions to enter the draft but left the door open for playing in Kentucky’s bowl game.  

“Because of Kentucky, I found belief and confidence in myself that had not been reached beforehand, and, most importantly, we won some incredibly memorable ball games in my college career,” Levis said in a statement posted to Twitter on Wednesday. “It has been a great move forward. 

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“With that in mind, after much thought, I have decided to forego my final college football game, look to that next step, and declare for the 2023 NFL Draft.”

Levis could have applied for a sixth season due to the NCAA waiver enacted during the COVID-19 pandemic season of 2020. 

Will Levis #7 of the Kentucky Wildcats against the Georgia Bulldogs at Kroger Field on November 19, 2022 in Lexington, Kentucky. 

Will Levis #7 of the Kentucky Wildcats against the Georgia Bulldogs at Kroger Field on November 19, 2022 in Lexington, Kentucky. 
(Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

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Levis began his career at Penn State before transferring to Kentucky, where he led the Wildcats to a 10-3 record in 2021. 

He threw for 2,826 yards, 24 touchdowns, and 13 interceptions in 2021 before returning for a fifth season. He also added nine touchdowns on the ground. 

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The Wildcats began the 2022 season 4-0 and ranked No. 7 in the country before losing to Ole Miss in Week 5, and ended the year at 7-5.  

Will Levis #7 of the Kentucky Wildcats rolls out to pass during the first half against the Missouri Tigers at Faurot Field/Memorial Stadium on November 5, 2022 in Columbia, Missouri. 

Will Levis #7 of the Kentucky Wildcats rolls out to pass during the first half against the Missouri Tigers at Faurot Field/Memorial Stadium on November 5, 2022 in Columbia, Missouri. 
(Jay Biggerstaff/Getty Images)

Levis finished the 2022 season with 2,406 yards, 19 touchdowns, and 10 interceptions. He battled injuries throughout the season, missing the game against South Carolina with a turf toe injury. 

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Levis is ranked ahead of Alabama quarterback Bryce Young but behind Ohio State QB CJ Stroud on Kiper’s board. 

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