Roster Rundown: No. 20 Kavosiey Smoke
Kavosiey Smoke was one of Kentucky's most productive offensive players as only a redshirt freshman in 2019.
Going into the year Smoke knew he was part of a stable of backs and not the feature act, but as he told reporters his ability to add "juice" to the offense could benefit the team.
That's exactly what happened, and now fans could see quite a bit more of that going into 2020.
Smoke, No. 20, is next up in Cats Illustrated's Roster Rundown.
Background: Smoke was a high three-star (5.7) prospect from Wetumpka, Ala., and a late addition to Kentucky's 2018 recruiting class, which also featured Chris Rodriguez. By that point UK was working and planning to replace Benny Snell, who was likely to enter the draft a year early.
Between his true freshman and redshirt freshman seasons Smoke worked hard to lose some bad excess weight and he believed, going into 2019, that it would be make him a more explosive runner. It's tough to argue against that conclusion.
Smoke had 101 carries for 616 yards and six touchdowns as a redshirt freshman for Kentucky. His best games were against Eastern Michigan (95 yards), Vanderbilt (95 yards), Toledo (78 yards), Florida (81 yards), and Louisville (75 yards). For the season he averaged more than 6.1 yards per carry.
UK offensive coordinator Eddie Gran is not only Smoke's position coach but also the lead recruiter who was responsible for bringing him to Lexington.
2020 Outlook: Smoke has demonstrated his talent. He's too good to keep off the field so his place in the running back rotation is assured. Last year the carries were divided fairly evenly between AJ Rose, Chris Rodriguez, and Smoke. It could be a "hot hand" approach. The carries will be impacted by who is excelling in pass protection and avoiding mistakes.
For Smoke, who has had a history of migraines as the coaches have said, durability will be an issue to watch for. It remains to be seen if he will be a 20-carry back for Kentucky at some point but so long as there is a rotation the offense will likely get his best whenever he is on the field.