Kay, who emerged as the Bearcats starter this season, spent most of his career on the sideline thanks to a series of injuries. After he injured his knee a second time in 2010, doctors suggested that Kay think about giving up football because they weren't sure whether he would be able to play again.
But Kay worked extensively during the rehab process, and got his opportunity this year -- replacing the ineffective Munchie Legaux against Syracuse and hanging on to the starting job the rest of the way. Kay went 70-of-113 for 966 yards with six touchdowns and two interceptions this season. He applied to the NCAA for a sixth season of eligibility earlier this year.
"I'm excited," Kay said in a statement. "I can't thank Maggie McKinley and Bob Mangine enough for their efforts in helping me through this process. This University has given me so much and I'm grateful for the opportunity."
In an interview with ESPN.com in November, Kay discussed all the adversity he had to overcome to reach this point. He was limited to just six games before this season because of all his injuries.
"That's where your love for the game really comes out," Kay said. "It was extra motivation for me to prove all those people wrong. There's nothing better than when people say you can't do something and you can do it."