Louisville football: Joey Gatewood could be the “Taysom Hill” in Jeff Brohm’s offense

Oct 31, 2020; Lexington, Kentucky, USA; Kentucky Wildcats quarterback Joey Gatewood (2) looks for his receivers in the second half against the Georgia Bulldogs at Kroger Field. Mandatory Credit: Katie Stratman-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 31, 2020; Lexington, Kentucky, USA; Kentucky Wildcats quarterback Joey Gatewood (2) looks for his receivers in the second half against the Georgia Bulldogs at Kroger Field. Mandatory Credit: Katie Stratman-USA TODAY Sports /

Jeff Brohm continues his mastery of the transfer portal. Two days ago, he landed another commitment from former Auburn and Kentucky quarterback Joey Gatewood.

Coming out of high school, Joey Gatewood was a consensus four-star prospect and the No. 1 overall athlete in the Class of 2018. He initially committed to Auburn, but in two seasons with the Tigers, he only appeared in eight games. In those eight appearances, he recorded 176 rushing yards, three rushing touchdowns, 54 passing yards, and two passing touchdowns.

He originally committed to Gus Malzahn at Auburn as a quarterback. But, he failed to win the starting role and was listed as the third-string quarterback for the team. In October 2019, it was reported that he was considering entering the transfer portal.

Gatewood came into the NCAA as a quarterback, but it was quickly presented that he may not have the throwing mechanics to be a full-time quarterback. Saturday Down South’s Keith Farner was quoted as saying the following four years ago when he was still a member of the Auburn Tigers,

"“Last week, AL.com published a story on Gatewood’s development, which included a quote from coach Gus Malzahn that he can throw the ball, which was counter to some fans’ opinions. It also included quotes from his quarterback trainer Denny Thompson, who reviewed that Gatewood’s maturity helped him after losing the starting quarterback race to Bo Nix entering this season following a redshirt year.”"

AL.com and Keith Farner were on to something because the Giana Han and Matt Zenitz report came to fruition and Joey Gatewood did enter the transfer portal. He transferred to the University of Kentucky to play for Head Coach Mark Stoops.

His first order of business once arriving in Lexington was to receive eligibility to play from the SEC. The NCAA cleared him to play with immediate eligibility, but he had to receive clearance from the SEC due to his transferring within the conference. Gatewood officially received clearance from the SEC in September 2020.

Upon receiving his eligibility, he appeared in seven games in 2020. He recorded 62 rushing yards, 109 passing yards, and one interception. Senior quarterback Terry Wilson appeared in the majority of the games. Once 2021 rolled around, he was in the conversation to compete for the starting quarterback role, until Penn State transfer Will Levis showed up.

Will Levis won the starting quarterback position with relative ease, which left Joey Gatewood scrambling once again. So, he decided to enter the transfer portal once again. He followed his former Head Coach at Auburn, Gus Malzahn, who was presently the Head Coach at UCF.

The following spring in Orlando, Florida, the UCF coaching staff decided to switch Gatewood’s position to wide receiver. Here is what KSR’s Nick Roush had to say about his quarterback play:

"“A 6-foot-5, 235 pound athlete, Gatewood has all the physical tools to make plays on a football field, but lacks the touch and consistent accuracy to play the quarterback position.”"

This makes sense as to why he switched positions. But, he didn’t record any receiving yards while a Knight. He did attempt 8 passes and completed two of them. Another situation that didn’t work out for him, which drove him to enter the transfer portal one more time.

This time he finds his home with Jeff Brohm at the University of Louisville. An elite offensive mind and a proven developer of talent, Jeff Brohm could be the perfect situation for him. But, he is expected to play the tight end position — a position he has never played before.

From a roster construction standpoint, it makes sense because Louisville is thin at the tight end position. Arguably, the most talented tight end on the roster is freshman Jamari Johnson — another athlete who switched positions from quarterback.

The two of them can discuss what it’s like to switch positions, which could be beneficial for both sides. Jamari Johnson has blocked offensive linemen in practice and the spring game, which is something Gatewoord hasn’t done. And from Gatewood’s perspective, he can give Johnson some collegiate football street knowledge.

Also, because Joey Gatewood has recorded passing statistics at the collegiate level, there is a very real chance that Jeff Brohm can use him as an X-factor. Trick plays have appeared in Jeff Brohm’s playbook in the past. For example, he employed the flea flicker, while at Purdue, against Minnesota in 2017.

Against Michigan in 2017, he employed the throwback pass, which could definitely utilize Joey Gatewood. And also, Jeff Brohm has used the double handoff reverse before against Ohio. So, any of these plays or forms of these plays could be perfect for Joey Gatewood’s skill set.

It will be interesting to see how he is used in the offense. Stay tuned for more Jeff Brohm trickery.