Three things to know about Will Levis, Kentucky football's banana-eating quarterback

Jon Hale
Louisville Courier Journal

LEXINGTON, Ky. - Penn State transfer Will Levis has quarterbacked Kentucky to an 9-3 record to start his Wildcat career.

Here is what you need to know about the Connecticut native.

1. Will Levis is a TikTok star because of how he eats bananas and drinks coffee

Kentucky's quarterback has done more than impress on the football field. Since transferring to UK, Levis has made a concentrated effort to increase his social media visibility as part of a strategy to boost his name, image and likeness earning potential.

That work has translated in several viral TikTok videos.

Levis first gained a national audience, including a segment on the TODAY Show, after the TikTok video of him eating a banana with the peel still on was circulated on Twitter. His TikTok profile also features videos of golf outings, a series of celebrity look-alike photos of teammates and a clip of him hitting the goalpost crossbar with a pass from midfield on his knees that has been viewed more than 200,000 times

More recently, Levis has turned heads on social media with a video of him squirting mayonnaise into his coffee before drinking it.

Even if being a football or social media star does not pan out, Levis has a backup plan. According to his UK bio, Levis's dream job is to be stay-at-home dad with a wife who earns six figures.

More on Will Levis:How a viral TikTok video offers he can end the Kentucky football QB drought

2. Why Will Levis transferred from Penn State

UK junior quarterback Will Levis at the UK media day. Aug. 6, 2021

At Penn State, Levis felt unfairly pigeonholed as a run-first quarterback. He rushed for 473 yards and threw for 644 across the last two seasons. His arm strength was never in doubt, but even Levis acknowledges accuracy was an issue early in his college career.

With NFL aspirations, Levis worried he would be unable to prove he could make plays with his arm too in Penn State's system.

"It’s up to the coaches," Levis told the Courier Journal before the season. "It’s up to the guys calling the plays. Luckily, I’m at a place now where the staff believes in that ability and hopefully are going to be able to give me opportunities to throw it down the field more.”

When new UK offensive coordinator Liam Coen went searching for a transfer quarterback after being from the Los Angeles Rams, Levis’s 2020 performance against Nebraska in which he completed 14 of 31 passes for 219 yards stood out on film.

Coen had briefly recruited Levis out of his Connecticut high school while Coen was offensive coordinator at FCS Maine.

“He had beliefs in my ability as a quarterback,” Levis said. “That’s what I really wanted to hear. I wanted to go to a school and play for a coach that believed I could be a great quarterback for him. That’s what happened.”

More on Liam Coen:Drawing plays since 4 years old, new offensive coordinator has football in his blood

3. Will Levis was elected a team captain before playing in a game for Kentucky

Levis needed just more than a week of preseason practices to earn Kentucky's starting quarterback job. The quick impact he made on UK's program was made even more evident when his teammates elected him one of eight captains before the 2021 season opener.

"I think it shows how much effort I put in this summer and it paid off,” Levis said. “Being captain was not in my mind at all. When coach Stoops announced the captains, it was a huge moment for me.”

Email Jon Hale at jahale@courier-journal.com; Follow him on Twitter at @JonHale_CJ