Barker likely to redshirt

Kentucky head coach Mark Stoops announced Friday that the staff intends to redshirt freshman quarterback Drew Barker entering the season.

Barker, the crown jewel of the Wildcats' 2014 signing class, had been competing with Patrick Towles, Reese Phillips and Maxwell Smith for the starting job in fall camp before Towles emerged No. 1 on the depth chart earlier this week.

"I think we would like to redshirt him," Stoops said. "I think that would be in his best interests and our best interests. We'll see how that goes. He will prepare to play in a backup role, and if we can save him through the season, that's what we'd like."

Barker was rated the nation's No. 10 quarterback prospect coming out of Conner High School in northern Kentucky last year. He enrolled early at UK in January so he could begin learning the system and competing for the job during spring football.

Stoops said he expects several other signees to play this season at positions of need for the Cats, including receivers Dorian Baker, Blake Bone, T.V. Williams, Thaddeus Snodgrass and Garrett Johnson, running backs Stanley Williams and Mikel Horton, defensive tackle Matt Elam and defensive back Kendall Randolph.

Receiver, in particular, was a major priority in UK's recruiting class. It has become magnified due to uncertainty surrounding injurred returnees Alex Montgomery and Jeff Badet and Demarco Robinson, who is facing possible disciplinary action stemming from an unspecified team rule violation.

"We recruited those guys to play," UK offensive coordinator Neal Brown said of the receivers. "A couple of them may start. We'll see."

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