Levis has learned through adversity

Published 8:56 am Friday, March 10, 2023

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Contributing columnist

Will Levis didn’t worry about setting a high bar for himself at the NFL Combine.

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“I want to win more than anybody. I want to be the greatest of all time. I think you are crazy if you don’t think that way,” said Levis during his media session.

Levis went 17-7 as a two-year starter at Kentucky after transferring from Penn State.

“This past season did not go as well as we wanted but I learned a lot and how to battle through adversity,” Levis said about injuries and offensive line issues that limited his production. “I dealt with a lot of things but became a better player and quarterback and want to show that at the next level.”

He has studied Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow, who transferred from Ohio State to LSU to get his starting opportunity and now has led the Bengals to the last two AFC title games. He said sometimes his inaccurate passes were due to how he initiated his movement.

“Joe is not the fastest guy but he moves so efficiently. I have been watching a lot of film on him,” Levis said. “People make a lot of the (Buffalo Bills quarterback) Josh (Allen) comparison but we are two different guys.”

Levis gets compared to Allen because the Buffalo quarterback is a physical player who will run for yards when needed like Levis did during the 2021 season at UK. Levis said it’s important to be smart about when to run but “if you have the ability” to run it is a good thing to do.

“But I really am trying to emulate a lot of what Joe does. I am learning heavily on him to learn from,” Levis said.

The Kentucky quarterback interviewed with numerous teams at the combine as well as showing off his throwing arm. The Houston Texans have the second overall pick, need a quarterback and did interview Levis.

The Houston Texans are picking No. 2 overall in the 2023 NFL draft and they need a quarterback. Levis said his interview went well.

‘Thought I did really well, put my best foot forward, and thought I made a good impression,” he said.

One thing NFL teams like about Levis is that he had Liam Coen as his offensive coordinator in 2021 and Rich Scangarello in 2022. Coen came to UK from the LA Rams and Scangarello came from the 49ers. That means he’s already familiar with a lot of NFL terminology.

“I think that our terminology crosses over with a lot of different teams in the league,” Levis said. “When they ask me about the plays that we run and I’m watching tape and I’m running through kind of what our footwork or what our language that we use was, kind of cool they can realize right away that it’s the same or very similar to what they do.”

Levis completed 185 of 283 passes for 2,406 yards and19 touchdowns with10 interceptions in 11 games last season. In two seasons he had 46 touchdown passes and 25 interceptions. He accounted for 5,501 yards of total offense.

Levis believes his arm strength and morals will help set him apart from other quarterbacks in the 2023 draft.

“I think it will be a beneficial thing for me to share with (NFL) coaches through these (pre-draft) interviews,” Levis said. “Let them get to know me as a person and understand how serious I take every aspect of my life and how much I love ball and use those values and morals to make me the best person in the locker room and on the field.”