Former Boyle standout Cole Lanter back in the transfer portal

Published 5:45 pm Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Former Boyle County High School standout Cole Lanter is back in the transfer portal for good this time.

The University of Kentucky redshirt freshman receiver put his name into the portal about the same time Kentucky played in the TaxSlayer Gator Bowl but took it back out.

“I was a little late to the party and a lot of schools already had their guys,” Lanter said. “Coach (Mark) Stoops was nice enough to let me come back, be part of the program and work on my craft to see if I wanted to stay or not. And he kept me on scholarship.”

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Lanter, who came to UK as a walk-on but earned a scholarship, went through spring practice but now knows being back in the transfer portal is the best thing for his career.

“Playing time is huge. I have three years left and would love to spend it playing. I grew up a Wildcat fan and would love to stay a Wildcat but there are only so many games left for me and I want to play,” he said.

He’s open to playing for any Division I school anywhere from California to South Carolina if a “team will take me and let me play.” He has been in contact with several schools since entering the portal and quickly got an offer from Gardner-Webb in Boiling Springs, N.C.

Lanter had a sensational career at Boyle as the Rebels went 52-3 in his four years and he had 2,253 yards receiving and 35 touchdowns. His senior season he led the state with 78 catches and 21 touchdowns — both school records. He amassed 1,288 yards receiving ranked second in the state and he also ran 28 times for 227 yards.

“My senior year at Boyle I did pretty well. I didn’t have any real expectations when I came to Kentucky. I knew I would be able to play one way and focus on one position and thought that would be a good way to develop my fundamentals and hopefully play at a really high level,” Lanter said.

He shined when he got a chance in spring games or practice but UK’s receiving depth made it difficult for him to get on the field.

So what is his selling point to schools now?

“If you are asking me, it’s how smart I am and how tough I am. It is going to take more than one hit to take me down and out of the game,” the 5-11, 172-pound Lanter said. “I can learn and adapt to a new offense pretty easily. I have played for three offensive coordinators here and learned a lot. I believe I am pretty versatile. I have played all three receiver positions here.

“What limited me is my size. I like to think I am athletic, smart and know the game to the point where I can continue to grow.”

There’s one other major UK connection that made the decision to transfer difficult for Lanter. His fiancee is Taylor Ebbs of Oregon, a junior softball player at Kentucky. The two met at a Fellowship of Christian Athletes event.

“She told me around bowl time when I hit the portal that I only have three more years to pursue football and you have forever to pursue me,” Lanter said. “She has worked her tail off to do what she does in softball and I am proud of her. I don’t know what will happen in the future but I will support her any way I can. She has so much power and strength in her swing.”

She asked Lanter recently if they went to the field to hit which one would generate more exit velocity when the ball left the bat.

“I told her on exit velocity only I could beat her. She said, ‘I have trained my whole life for this, so you would not beat me,’” he said. “I would probably bet my money on her, too.”