Devin Leary Semifinalist for Comeback Player of the Year

Devin Leary Semifinalist for Comeback Player of the Year

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Senior quarterback Devin Leary has been named one of 15 semifinalists for the 2023 Comeback Player of the Year Award, it was announced today by the College Sports Communicators (formerly College Sports Information Directors of America [CoSIDA]) in association with The Associated Press (AP) and the Fiesta Bowl Organization.

Since 2018, the award has recognized college football student-athletes from all divisions of college football for overcoming injury, illness, or other circumstances. At the conclusion of each season, in a vote by a panel of college football writers, editors, and sports information directors, three college football student-athletes are honored as Comeback Player of the Year Award winners at the Vrbo Fiesta Bowl.

Leary, 6-1, 217-pound quarterback of Sicklerville, New Jersey, transferred to Kentucky in January of 2023 after four seasons at NC State. Overall, he went 17-9 as a starter and left NC State ranked sixth in school history in career passing yards (6,807) and fourth in career completion percentage (.602). In 2022, he had the Wolfpack clicking on all cylinders to start the season with a 5-1 record and a top-15 national ranking. He completed 118-of-193 passes for 1,265 yards and 11 touchdowns when he suffered a tear in his right pectoralis major.

Following a surgery and almost a year of not playing, Leary returned to the gridiron in 2023 to lead the Wildcats to their school-record eighth consecutive bowl bid with a 7-5 overall record. He has completed 193 of his 343 passing attempts (56.3 percent) for 2,440 yards, 23 touchdowns and just 10 interceptions in 12 games. His 23 passing TDs ranks second in the SEC, behind LSU’s Jayden Daniels.

Previous winners of the Comeback Player of the Year Award include Kentucky’s Kenneth Horsey (2020) and J.J. Weaver (2021).

The three winners of the award will be announced the week of December 18.

For more information on the UK football team, visit and follow the team on Facebook, Instagram and “X,” formerly Twitter.

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