Former UK QB Hoak settling in at Ohio St. – The Advocate-Messenger

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By LARRY VAUGHT

Contributing author

Gunnar Hoak is understanding along with his Ohio State teammates and attending group conferences to get into a brand new routine after transferring from Kentucky about three weeks in the past.

Hoak, a three-star quarterback from Columbus, accomplished 13 of 26 passes for 167 yards and two scores final 12 months as Terry Wilson’s backup. Nevertheless, with Wilson having two years of eligibility remaining additionally, Hoak opted to depart UK as a graduate switch.

“It’s rather a lot totally different than the recruiting course of that you simply undergo in highschool. If in case you have by no means been by means of it, it’s arduous to clarify in order that others can perceive what the switch course of is like,” Holly Hoak, Gunnar’s mom, stated. “As a mother or father, you expertise one factor. If you’re an athlete, I’m certain it’s a totally different expertise.

“It’s not like a rebirth, however you have a look at it by means of a special lens. You recognize what goes at you and what coaches are going to say and what they’re in search of.”

New Ohio State coach Ryan Day apparently stated the fitting issues to Hoak to let him know he would have an opportunity to compete for the beginning job, one thing each quarterback desires to do.

Not each Kentucky fan was pleased with Hoak’s resolution to depart as a result of it left UK with out an skilled backup. Coach Mark Stoops solved that dilemma Monday when Troy graduate switch quarterback Sawyer Smith picked UK. McClane Carter of Texas Tech additionally thought-about UK earlier than transferring to Rutgers the place he felt he had a greater probability to begin. Penn State’s Tommy Stevens additionally visited UK however has but to choose his faculty. Plus, Ohio State wanted one other quarterback after Matthew Baldwin transferred to TCU within the rising development of quarterbacks transferring to discover a higher state of affairs.

“That is one thing that weighed closely on us as a household,” Holly Hoak stated. “We make lots of selections collectively. It was tough for Gunnar to depart a spot he was dedicated to and felt at house. However as an athlete and somebody who has goals of taking part in, you need to just be sure you end your profession with none regrets.

“Gunnar had each intention of staying and ending out his Grasp’s at UK however he needed to determine if he needed to be a backup or did he need to get a shot to play and look to get his Grasp’s someplace else. We advised him no matter resolution he made, we might assist him.”

Gunner Hoak throws the ball throughout a previous UK sport. (Photograph by Vicky Graff)

Clearly rising up in Columbus he was a Buckeye fan. His father performed there. An uncle coached there. A cousin performed there. Gunnar Hoak grew up going to camps there. Nevertheless, coach City Meyer was utilizing an offense that didn’t match Hoak.

“Not that he was anticipating to go there as a result of he knew in his coronary heart as a lot as he cherished it, he was not a match for Ohio State,” Holly Hoak stated.

Finally he got here to the identical conclusion at Kentucky the place coach Mark Stoops and offensive coordinator Eddie Gran went with a run-heavy offense that didn’t match greatest for a pocket passer like Gunnar Hoak until he was content material being an emergency backup.

“We simply advised him that he was a person, not a 17-year-old boy like when he was recruited out of highschool,” Holly Hoak stated. “We advised him to take a look at it not simply from a soccer standpoint however from what he needed to do along with his life. The place do you see your self 10, 20 or 40 years down the highway.

“We advised him he could possibly be completed with faculty and get a job. However he had two years of eligibility left and will use that to get his Grasp’s and discover a place to compete. It was as much as him. Even when Gunnar had stayed at Kentucky, we needed him to compete.”

Holly Hoak says many assumed the switch to Ohio State was primarily about his household’s legacy. As an alternative, she says it was about the fitting match he discovered again house.

“The match isn’t just soccer however the place will he be in 40 years,” she stated. “I’m certain if a child from Kentucky is a basketball participant and performs at Kentucky that opens doorways if he plans on dwelling his life in Lexington. Gunnar’s girlfriend is from right here. He thinks his future is in Columbus. Different faculties reached out. He talked to them however felt his most suitable choice was Ohio State. It was not the drive of the household legacy however only a sense of coming house, being again the place he was comfy and seeing the fitting match.

“He cherished Lexington. He made nice mates on the soccer group and had a fantastic relationship with (quarterbacks) coach (Darrin) Hinshaw. Leaving was arduous however it’s type of like whenever you go away your highschool mates and acquainted settings. Generally you simply need to roll the cube. Gunnar has dealt with himself nicely. He’s been mature by means of all of it. It’s unlucky how some issues have gotten twisted by some about his switch. Backside line is he cherished being at Kentucky however simply needed to do what he felt was greatest for his future.”

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