While some would be discouraged by a change at the top, Kay is thankful just to have an opportunity to show the Bearcat faithful more than just a glimpse of his talent.
"I can't put it into words," said Kay. "All the work I've put in over the years along with the trials and tribulations to finally get my chance to get a full year. It will be a challenge learning a new offense but I'm really excited about it."
So why did Kay want to return for another year as a Bearcat?
"The love of the game really comes out and how much it fazes the family," explained Kay. "It seemed every time I started to get health or get comfortable again something else would happen and I would have to start at square one. For it to happen now you're really grateful and thankful and it means that much more."
Getting another year means Kay will be saying goodbye to those he entered Cincinnati with back in 2008. However, he's seen this before and is well prepared.
"It has been this way the last two years," said Kay. "The guys that didn't redshirt I came in with left last year and the guys that redshirted with me are gone this year. But I'm not worried as I've got plenty of friends on the team so it won't be a hard transition."
While Kay was excited about the news of his extended eligibility he said his parents were even more so.
"Both my parents were ecstatic," said Kay. "They were a loss for words but both were thankful."
With the change at the top of the Bearcats coming after the Belk Bowl, Kay and his fellow seniors are keeping things in perspective and leading by example.
"We have to be leaders," said Kay. "This is a big challenge with us having a short coaching staff. So as seniors and as players, we've got to go out and provide our own energy and get each other going."
One thing Kay knows about Duke is they will have a purpose.
"They have not been to a bowl game in 18 years so they're going to come out ready to play," said Kay. "They have a team that plays hard and they're going to come ready to play. They'll throw a lot of different things at us defensively so we've got to react to it."
Following the Belk Bowl, Kay has plans with his new head coach.
"We talked a little bit about the offense," said Kay. "But we talked more about personal than we did scheme or anything. So I'll be up there after the bowl game as right now I'm just focusing on Duke. When the time comes we'll attack that."