Kentucky Football Adds Six from Transfer Portal
Head coach Mark Stoops announced the addition of six players from the transfer portal Wednesday in offensive lineman Tanner Bowles, formerly at Alabama, offensive lineman Marques Cox, formerly at Northern Illinois, running back Ray Davis, formerly at Vanderbilt, defensive back Jantzen Dunn, formerly at Ohio State, Jonquis “JQ” Hardaway, formerly at Cincinnati, and quarterback Devin Leary, formerly at NC State.
All six will be mid-year enrollees, begin offseason workouts with the team in January and participate in spring practice in March/April.
“This group strengthens our defensive backfield and offensive line and adds two proven offensive playmakers,” Stoops said. “We’re excited to get them here in January and making them part of our program.”
Tanner Bowles, Offensive Lineman, 6-5, 300, Sr-Tr, Glasgow, Ky. (Alabama/Glasgow)
Twitter – @ TBowles51 | Instagram – @tannerbowles_
Transferred to Kentucky after four seasons at Alabama (2019-2022) … Rated a four-star recruit by Rivals and 247Sports and the No. 6 player in the state of Kentucky at his time of commitment … Also got four stars from ESPN as the No. 3-ranked player in Kentucky for the 2019 recruiting cycle … Played in all 12 games for Alabama in 2022 … Played in 19 games in his career for the Tide during his four years in Tuscaloosa … Had offers from Florida State, LSU, Tennessee, Oklahoma and Louisville coming out of high school in addition to UK and Alabama.
Marques Cox, Offensive Lineman, 6-5, 305, Sr-Tr, Peoria, Ill. (Northern Illinois/Peoria)
Twitter – @MonsterMarq | Instagram – @bigseven0
Transferred to Kentucky after five seasons at Northern Illinois (2018-2022) … Only allowed three sacks in over 1,000 snaps at NIU according to PFF … Was named to Phil Steele’s 2021 All-Mid-American Conference Team … Redshirted his freshman season in 2018, and has one more year of eligibility remaining, thanks to the Covid-year exemption … Started in 33 total games for Northern Illinois, as the Huskies garnered the fourth-best offensive rushing attack in FBS for the 2021 season … Missed the final eight games of 2022 after suffering a season-ending injury at Kroger Field in a loss to Kentucky … Rated a three-star recruit by 247Sports coming out of high school and the 32nd-ranked player in Illinois.
Ray Davis, Running Back, 5-9, 215, Sr-Tr, San Francisco, Calif. (Vanderbilt/Temple/Blair Academy)
Twitter – @MrHeisman7 | Instagram – @hbk_ray
Transferred to Kentucky after two seasons at Vanderbilt (2021-22) and Temple (2019-20) … Phil Steele All-SEC Team in 2022 at Vanderbilt … Rushed 232 times for 1,042 yards and five touchdowns … Became the 10th Commodore all-time to rush for 1,000 yards in a single season … Played in all 12 games, ranking fourth in the SEC and 32nd nationally in rushing yards per game … Had five 100-yard rushing games, with a career-high 167 yards vs. South Carolina … Also showed his receiving ability during the season with 29 catches for 169 yards and three TDs … Rushed for 238 yards and a touchdown in three games for Vanderbilt in 2021 … Played in the first four games of the 2020 season at Temple, rushing for 323 yards and a touchdown … 2019 First-Team Freshman All-America by Pro Football Focus, rushing for 1,259 yards and nine touchdowns while catching 27 passes for 243 yards and a TD … Had three 100-yard rushing games that season, including 157 yards against East Carolina and a 135-yard, two-TD performance in a win over Georgia Tech that earned American Athletic Conference Player of the Week honors … Has 10 siblings … Rated a three-star recruit by 247Sports coming out of high school and the 42nd-ranked player in New Jersey … Had offers from Albany, Kent State, Maine and Navy coming out of high school.
Jantzen Dunn, Defensive Back, 6-0, 185, So-Tr, Bowling Green, Ky. (Ohio State/South Warren)
Twitter – @JantzenDunn | Instagram – @Jantzen.Dunn
Transferred to Kentucky after two seasons at Ohio State (2021-2022) … Rated a four-star recruit by Rivals and 247Sports and the No. 2 player in the state of Kentucky at his time of commitment … Appeared in four games for the Buckeyes in 2022, including Notre Dame, Alcorn State, Rutgers and Penn State in a special teams role … Played two games in 2021 … Ranked as a top-10 safety in the transfer portal by 247 sports … Played on Ohio State teams who qualified for the CFP New Year’s Six in both of his seasons in Columbus … Had offers from Florida State, Arkansas, Mississippi State, Indiana, Purdue and Louisville.
Jonquis “JQ” Hardaway, Defensive Back, 6-3, 190, So-Tr, Columbus, Ga. (Cincinnati/Central Phenix City, Ala.)
Twitter – @Jhardaway_24 | Instagram – jq_1516_
Transferred to Kentucky after one season at the University of Cincinnati (2022), his true freshman season … Rated as the No. 9 overall player in the transfer portal by 247sports … Played 11 games for the Bearcats in 2022 with a sack, four unassisted tackles and seven total tackles … Had a season-best game vs. Temple where he logged three total tackles in the game … Was an early enrollee with UC after being selected to play in the 2022 Under Armour All-America Game … Was assigned four stars during his recruitment, the No. 27 safety in the nation and No. 15 player in the state of Alabama … Had interest from Georgia, Tennessee, Ole Miss, Vanderbilt, Florida State, Maryland, UCF, Mississippi State and Louisville.
Devin Leary, Quarterback, 6-1, 215, Sr-Tr, Sicklerville, N.J. (North Carolina State/Timber Creek)
Twitter – @DevinLeary1 | Instagram – @d__leary1
Transferred to Kentucky after four playing seasons at NC State (2019-2022) … Widely regarded as the top quarterback to enter the transfer portal this year … Leaves NC State ranked sixth in school history with 6,807 passing yards and fourth in completion percentage (.602) … Redshirted the 2018 season with the Wolfpack … Played in eight games with five starts as a redshirt freshman in 2019, completing 101 of 210 passes with eight touchdowns … In 2020, saw action in four games, completing 66 of 110 passes for 890 yards and eight scores … Did not play in UK’s win over NC State in the TaxSlayer Gator Bowl … In 2021, generated 3,433 passing yards, completing 283 of 431 passes for 35 passing touchdowns and just five interceptions in 12 games … Named NC State’s winner of the Governor’s Award for Most Valuable Player, the Ken McNeill Award for comeback from injury and the Torry Holt Award for Offensive MVP … Named Atlantic Coast Conference Preseason Player of the Year in 2022 … Went 118 for 193 in the six games of his 2022 season with 1,265 yards, 11 TDs and a 61 percent completion rate before suffering a season-ending shoulder injury vs. Florida State … NC State was 5-1 and ranked in the top-15 of both The Associated Press and Coaches’ Poll at the time of his injury … One of 25 semifinalists for the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award … Finished his prep career as the state of New Jersey’s all-time leader in passing yards (9,672) and touchdown throws (117) … Completed 566 of 910 passes for 9,672 yards and 117 touchdowns … Also rushed for 525 career yards and 11 TDs … Named the Gatorade Player of the Year in New Jersey as both a junior and senior … Played in the Polynesian Bowl in Hawaii … Took part in both the Elite 11 and The Nike Opening Finals after his junior season … Had offers from Auburn, Missouri, Baylor, Boston College and Indiana … Interesting tidbit: writes left-handed, he learned to throw with his right because he used his right-handed brother’s baseball glove as a kid.