Hinshaw wants Barker to complete over 70 percent of passes

By GUY RAMSEY, UK Athletics

When Kentucky Co-Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks Coach Darin Hinshaw arrived in Lexington, he knew he had a physical talent in quarterback Drew Barker. But Hinshaw also knew that Barker had plenty of work to do, both on and off the field.

“I said ‘when I came in and I said the name Drew Barker’, what does everybody say, and the things that came out of my mouth were not good,” Hinshaw said after Friday’s practice. “The things that came out of the AD’s mouth were not good, the things that came out of the equipment room were not good. I said ‘your brand stinks’, so let’s change it. The only way you’re going to change it is not with your mouth, it’s going to be with your actions and what you do on and off the field, and he’s done the things he needs to do to change his brand.”
Barker has put forth a lot of effort to change that brand, leading by example on and off the field. Specifically, he has excelled in the classroom.
“Number one, he’s done what he’s supposed to do off the field,” Hinshaw said of his quarterback. “I’m really proud of him. His GPA was 3.75 last semester and he had a 3.5 this summer. That’s number one, he’s handling his business off the field.”
Hinshaw is hoping that a more focused Barker can spark the Kentucky offense this season. In limited playing time last year, Barker connected on 50 percent of his passes (35-of-70) for 364 yards, with one touchdown and two interceptions. So far in preseason camp, the redshirt sophomore has been able to improve on those numbers. When asked about reports that he had completed passes at nearly 70 percent during a recent practice, Barker wasn’t satisfied.
“I even want to get higher (than 70 percent),” he said. “There’s definitely room for improvement.”
As soon as he got to Lexington, Hinshaw began working with all of the quarterbacks, letting them know what he and Co-Offensive Coordinator Eddie Gran expected from them.
“I think when I came in here, (Barker) was very hungry for knowledge and wanting to do the right thing, but I don’t think he knew how,” Hinshaw said. “So I laid it out for him. I explained all of the details of what it’s like to be a pro quarterback, to be professional and to handle your business the right way. He’s done that, he’s worked very hard at it, and it’s become a ritual to him, which is the most important thing for a quarterback. “
Barker continues to attempt the mastery of his craft every single day in practice.
“We’ve got to be more accurate and give our receivers a chance,” Barker said of himself and his fellow signal callers. “It’s not like we’re doing terrible or anything, we just need to be more consistent.”
Barker and Hinshaw have forgotten about the past and are looking to the future.
“The bottom line is, things that are in the past are in the past, you can’t dwell on them,” Hinshaw said. “But you have to go change the future. To do that, you have to work on the present. And the only way is to make every day better, and that’s how you get the future to be good. We’ve changed the past and now we’re working on the present.”


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  1. Hinshaw’s comments regarding his arrival and the re-branding of Barker tell me we finally have a quarterback coach. It also sheds a bit of light on the departure of Towles and Phillips. I am convinced we are finally on the track to success.

    GO CATS !!

    1. Norman hope you remember reading Hinshaw telling me the same thing about the re-branding over a month ago

      1. Gosh Larry, I’ve slept since then. Getting old I reckon.

  2. I can’t wait until kick-off. Frankly, I am more impressed with newer coaching staff than with existing. I think Hinshaw wanting Barker to go over 70% is a bit unrealistic if he was really serious. 60-65% would be very acceptable to probably most of us.

  3. I forget where I read it but Mike Tyson has a cool saying when it comes to game plans.

    “Everyone has a winning plan until they take the first punch to the mouth!”

  4. Last year, one QB in D1 Football completed 70% of his passes, Brandon Doughty, Western Ky. (Conference USA), 71.9%. The highest completion rate in the SEC belonged to Jake Coker, Alabama at 66.9% as a Senior, which ranked 11th in the nation. 19 players completed 65% or more.

    64% Top 23
    63% Top 34
    62% Top 41
    61% Top 50
    60% Top 59 This is just below the median of all ranked QB’s

    At the other end of the scale, there were 114 QB”s with enough attempts to rank, and #114 had a completion Percentage of 41.7%.

    46% #112
    47% #110
    48% #109
    49% #108 Drew Lock, Missouri SEC
    50% #107
    52% #101

    Patrick Towles completed 56.1% of his passes last season for UK, which was sufficient to rank 84th.

    A 70%+ goal is very ambitious, and is really a statement that if you want to be the best, here is your measuring stick. A 60% goal is not ambitious at all, as it is really NCAA average, and not going to distinguish the QB in very many eyes, and is not likely to lead a team to great achievements.

    1. Great stuff as always here Professor. I would take 62 percent and be thrilled

      1. 62% puts a QB in the top 1/3 of all QBs, and that seems reasonable both as a goal and as an expectation for a sophomore QB playing an SEC schedule. Clearly, a coach wants to push his player to be the best he can be, as do all fans, and if Barker can exceed 62%, all the better. However important the QB is to team success, the QB cannot do it alone. I would like to hear what the coaches believe the success rate should be for the other players, such as OL players on percentage of successful blocks to protect the passer, or for receivers on percentage of plays running the proper route, or making the required downfield block.

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