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University of Kentucky Basketball, Football, and Recruiting news brought to you in the most ridiculous manner possible.
August 3rd, 2015

Where Are They Now: Mike Hartline


Mike Hartline became the starting quarterback at GlenOak High School in Canton, Ohio as a sophomore. Hartline’s starting role gained him a lot of attention from college scouts including Ohio State and Wisconsin. However, Hartline decided to take his football talents to Lexington where he signed with Kentucky in 2006.

Hartline redshirted his first season at Kentucky and saw little action in his redshirt freshman season as a backup behind Andre Woodson. Hartline won the starting quarterback position in 2008 following Woodson’s graduation. Hartline was chosen as SEC Offensive Player of the Week following Kentucky’s 20-14 win over Middle Tennessee. Hartline threw for 354 yards (28-47) and two touchdowns with no interceptions. However, late in the season Hartline shared the starting quarterback spot with freshman Randall Cobb. Hartline finished his sophomore season leading Kentucky to a 25-19 victory over East Carolina in the 2009 Liberty Bowl.

Hartline opened his junior season as the starting quarterback after Randall Cobb moved to the wide receiver position. In the fifth game of the season against No. 25 South Carolina Hartline tore his MCL, which sidelined him for most of the season except for a brief appearance in the Vanderbilt game. Hartline underwent surgery following the Vandy game that officially ended his junior season. Hartline began his senior season again as the starting quarterback. Hartline brought his team back from a 28-10 halftime deficit by throwing for a career best of 349 yards, four touchdowns and no interception in a 31-28 upset over South Carolina. Hartline’s efforts earned him the National Performer of the Week and National Quarterback of the Week. His career at Kentucky ended early after being suspended from the 2011 BBVA Compass Bowl.


The Indianapolis Colts signed Hartline as an undrafted free agent following the 2011 NFL Draft on July 26. However, the Colts waived Hartline on Aug. 28 after attempting only two preseason passes. The New England Patriots signed Hartline to a futures contract on Jan. 12, 2012. Hartline was fourth in the Patriots’ quarterback depth chart and was released on May 15.

Following his short professional football career, Hartline worked a short stint as a sales and marketing consultant Vantage Point Consulting, Inc. in Columbus, Ohio. From 2012 to 2015 Hartline worked for the Miami Dolphins and Sun Life Stadium. Hartline worked as an account executive and member service representative. Hartline worked for the Miami Dolphin organization while his brother, Brian Hartline, played wide receiver for the team.

This past February Hartline was hired as a quarterback intern coach at Ohio State University. Hartline will get the pleasure of coaching the reigning national champions and two of the best quarterbacks in college football, Cardale Jones and J.T. Barrett. Mike Hartline made headlines this past week by dressing up as a mannequin in Ohio State’s pro combat uniforms and scaring various football players. Cardale Jones has the best reaction.



This video gave me chills. Cannot wait for the atmosphere at CWS to be like this again.


Get ready to see a lot more of Chris Matthews in the Seahawks’ rotation

Former Cat Chris Matthews was the breakout star of the Super Bowl, making his first four NFL catches for a game-high 109 yards and game-tying touchdown late in the first half. Matthews’ story is pretty incredible. He went undrafted in 2011 and after a short stint on the Cleveland Browns’ practice squad, played a year in the arena football league in Iowa and another year in the Canadian football league. Last summer, he was working at a Foot Locker until he got an invitation to try out for the Seattle Seahawks’ practice squad. Had the Seahawks won the Super Bowl, Matthews probably would have been MVP.

That being said, Matthews is facing heavy competition in a very deep Seattle receiving corps.’s Steve Wyche wrote today that despite the depth at wide receiver, Matthews is already getting a big share of the reps in training camp:

“The Seahawks have more depth at receiver than they’ve had in years. In fact, a long-perceived area of weakness is suddenly one of legitimacy. Super Bowlstar Chris Matthews is getting more run with the top-end rotation of Doug Baldwin and Jermaine Kearse, and the 6-foot-5, 218-pounder looks like he’s building on his breakout performance on the game’s biggest stage.”

Excellent news. Keep it up, Chris.


Karl-Anthony Towns to be Featured on ESPN



Karl-Anthony Towns will be featured on ESPN’s ‘Face to Face with Hannah Storm’ Thursday at 7 p.m. Storm takes a visit to the family’s home in New Jersey to sit down and talk with KAT about what it’s like playing at Kentucky and making the jump to the NBA. 

Face to Face with Hannah Storm started back in 2012, with the idea of giving viewers a look into big-name athletes that they might not know about. The press release on says the following about the program:

“In each special we look to bring something new to viewers, whether that’s insight into a sports figure they think they already know or introducing a new face that is about to break through,” said Storm. “This special is no different as we talk to a diverse lineup of intriguing newsmakers across the sports landscape who have made a meaningful impact on their sport or society and those who are still making their imprint. These people will continue to be big stories in sports in the years ahead.”

Guests this time around include DeMarco Murray, Adam Jones, Missy Franklin, Mo’ne Davis, Pat Haden and Michele Roberts.

More importantly, we get to see how this golf swing looks. More Happy Gilmore or more Jordan Spieth?


@espnhannahstorm’s new website is great, but…

Screen Shot 2015-08-03 at 3.42.36 PM debuted a new design for their site today and it’s beautiful. Very fancy, modern, user-friendly, etc. However, as BTI noted on Twitter, there are a few wrinkles left to iron out, namely the listing of Patrick Towles as a freshman quarterback. Unless Patrick, a junior, somehow regained a few more years of eligibility, in which case, PARTY ON!

In all seriousness, check out the new design. It’s pretty cool.


Saturday Down South has UK Ranked No. 13 in SEC Power Rankings

Sad Stoops

Saturday Down South, an extremely popular SEC football blog came out with the first version of their power rankings today. It wasn’t a glowing review for UK as the Wildcats are slotted in at the No. 13 position – ahead of only Vanderbilt. 

While expectations continue to grow in Lexington – and for good reason – it’s hard to be mad at a site like SDS for ranking the Cats at No. 13 to start the season. This, the ability to change the perception of the program as a whole, is arguably the biggest challenge for Stoops and company. 

There were only three SEC East teams in the top 10 with Georgia leading the way at No. 3 followed by Missouri at No. 7 and Tennessee at No. 8. Just over a month to football season, you guys.

Andrew Harrison had a very special assistant at the Calipari ProCamps this weekend

Andrew Harrison was one of several former UK players back on campus this weekend to help out with the John Calipari ProCamps and yesterday morning, he had a very special assistant at the Cincinnati camp: 11-year-old Toby Foster. Toby suffers from mitochondrial disease, a progressive, incurable metabolic disorder which causes a deficit in life sustaining energy. We’ve mentioned Toby before; you probably remember him as the sweet kid who wrote John Calipari a letter to make sure his mother, Amy, had a good time at the UK Basketball women’s clinic. He’s also Jared Lorenzen’s cousin and a huge Kentucky fan. 

Toby’s had a rough go of it lately. A dangerous new blood clot has formed and gone to his brain, making life very, very difficult. He has a lot of restrictions, especially concerning travel, but luckily, the ProCamp he was registered for was close enough to his hospital in Cincinnati that the doctors gave him permission to attend.

This was originally supposed to be Toby’s first ever sports camp. With a lot of rest breaks and accommodations, Toby was going to get to play basketball with the other kids, but because of the blood clot and medications he’s on, that was no longer an option; however, the folks at ProCamps found him a new role as Andrew Harrison’s assistant for the day. The looks on Toby and Andrew’s face say it all.


I spoke with Toby’s mother Amy, who said that although the summer has been very hard on her son and the family, UK-related moments like yesterday’s give Toby a lot of joy. Earlier this summer, Tom Leach came to Toby’s 5th grade graduation party/mitochondrial disease awareness event with the Lexington Legends and spoke to the crowd about Toby’s battle. Amy said Toby was awestruck. Three days later, he was admitted to the hospital. Since then, Amy says “he has been fighting for his life.”

Thanks to his cousin Jared Lorenzen, Toby will have another Big Blue-related event to look forward to in September. When Jared found out he was being inducted, he called Toby and Amy to invite them. “There’s just nothing like the hearts of those who bleed blue,” Amy said.

To learn more about Toby and his fight, visit or Amy’s Facebook page.

Who won the first annual KSR cow milking contest?


Over two hundred people came out to today’s show at Chaney’s Dairy Barn in Bowling Green, a record crowd so far on this summer tour. Most of them stuck around afterwards to see Ryan and Shannon compete in a milking contest with KSR listener Jessica, who absolutely smoked them. Jessica exposed Shannon and Ryan for the cow milking rookies they are and won the crown, but Shannon had the line of the day when he told Matt, “I’ve milked a few cougars in my time, but never a cow.”

Enjoy the video on Matt’s Periscope, which you can view by clicking here.

While you’re at it, enjoy today’s podcast, which featured stories from Fancy Farm, Matt’s breakdown of Aussie big man Isaac Humphries, and much, much more.

Hour 1:

Hour 2:

Tomorrow, the KSR Summer Tour rolls into McKee, where the guys will broadcast live from the Old Courthouse Community Room.

11 UK targets are playing on ESPNU tonight

What are you doing tonight? I know I mentioned it earlier, but don’t bother watching the replay of “Ballers.” It sucked. If you love high school basketball and consider yourself something of a scout, you should watch the adidas Nations games on ESPNU starting at 7 p.m. ET. Eleven players with offers from Kentucky will be playing in the two games.

At 7 p.m. ET, Team Lillard, featuring Gary Trent Jr. (2017), Xavier Tillman (2017), Jason LeDee (2018) will take on Team Africa, featuring Wenyen Gabriel. Gabriel is one of the hottest players on the circuit right now, and in turn, picked up an offer from John Calipari on July 26. He’s been on fire in the adidas Nations event so far.

The 9 p.m. game features two teams named after former Calipari point guards. Team Wall includes Udoka Azubuike, Markelle Fultz, and Dennis Smith, Jr. They’ll face Team Rose, which includes Edrice Adebayo, Jarrett Allen, Rawle Alkins, and Kobi Simmons.

So, watch that and then report back here tomorrow morning with a complete scouting report, okay?

Until then, enjoy Wenyen Gabriel showing out in front of Cal and others in Vegas last weekend:

Karl Towns signs with Nike

Karl Towns is joining a new family today: the Nike family. Nike Basketball just announced that Towns and D’Angelo Russell, the number two pick in the Draft, have signed on to the Nike roster. Nike sent out a press release with this very Karl-like Karl Towns quote about the addition:

“For me, the biggest thing is going to be making the playoffs with Minnesota after an 11-year drought. If I was blessed to be able to take them to the playoffs, that would be a big step in my career,” said Towns.

No word on if Karlito also received a contract, but he is enjoying some time with an old friend:


September, Kentucky’s latest most critical challenge

By year three, media types (me included) have declared numerous “most critical” scenarios for Mark Stoops. On three or four separate occasions we’ve proclaimed a game as “most critical”. I can also throw in four or five “most critical” recruits. In 2015, the latest development is the month of September. I won’t label it the most critical thirty days of the Stoops era, but the month’s four football Saturdays are darn important.

September 5th, Louisiana Lafayette

After stating that the Wildcats would be on week one upset alert, I’m now backing off such warnings. A little bit. I’m confident that the Ragin Cajuns would have waxed the Cats in 2013. Last year, the game would have been closer but I would have given ULL the slight edge. However, after diligently analyzing both teams while paying particularly close attention to returning personnel, I’ve concluded that ULL’s 2015 weaknesses are UK strengths.

During the new Commonwealth Stadium’s unveiling, ULL will sport seven new defensive starters. As customary, veteran Head Coach Mark Hudspeth will replenish his defense with experienced backups and JUCO reinforcements. But after losing both of its most effective pass rushers; two cornerbacks and linebackers, opening the season with a road SEC win is unlikely. Louisiana will also have to replace all-conference quarterback Terrance Broadway. Brooks Haack is the new starter and will be lined up behind a depth deficient offensive line. However, elite running back Elijah McGuire returns. He alone gives Hudspeth a constant touchdown threat. McGuire will be the most versatile running back that Kentucky will face. Coming off four consecutive 9-4 records and four bowl wins are impressive accomplishments regardless of conference.

In addition to the W/L column’s initial pencil mark, the Wildcats will need to excite an enthusiastic yet unconvinced fan base. For Kentucky, its opening performance must catapult the Wildcats into three difficult yet winnable SEC games. How UK plays in week one will provide a peek into how successfully it travels to Columbia.

September 12th, at South Carolina

Coming off a 2014 Lexington loss and an unaccustomed onslaught of doubters, Steve Spurrier will be eyeing revenge. Columbia is an extremely difficult venue, especially for Kentucky. The Gamecocks will be coming off a semi-rivalry game against North Carolina in Charlotte. If Spurrier loses to the Tar Heels, the UK game will then transition into a season saving, must-win affair. Carolina’s quarterback situation is undecided and fluid. That same unknown can also be applied to its defense that’s now led by veteran defensive coordinator Jon Hoke. Spurrier’s chips are all in on Hoke salvaging a defense that gave up several 2014 late leads and was absolutely embarrassed by Texas A&M. The Gamecock defense is talented, but not quite at the elite category we’ve grown accustomed to. Linebacker Skai Moore and defensive end Marquavious Lewis will lead a unit that will get a talent boost from the additions of junior college defensive linemen and Kansas safety transfer, Isiah Johnson. Schematically and personnel wise, South Carolina is a team lacking an identity. Offensively, tackle Brandon Shell and versatile athlete Pharoh Cooper will lead a group that now ironically relies on clock management and the power run game. The Head Ball Coach is far removed from his Florida Fun-n-Gun glory days. Two factors will give the Gamecocks a slight edge. First is the game’s geographical location. Second is the Legend of Steve Spurrier. Last year’s contest proved that the two team’s talent gap has closed. Once obviously favoring South Carolina, talent disparity is now a thing of the past.

September 19th, Florida

Quoting the great American lyricist Ryan Lemond, “everybody’s poo-poo’ing Florida.” The Gators will arguably bring the SEC’s best defensive secondary into Commonwealth Stadium. UF linebackers are also elite but both are coming off knee surgery. Oddly, the front four are considered the unit’s weakness. Cornerbacks Vernon Hargreaves III and Jalen Tabor have lockdown ability. Hargreaves is considered the top CB in the country. Offense is where the mess lies. The Gators have quarterback uncertainty with questionable skill player support. Running back Kelvin Taylor returns as does 2014 Cat Killer WR DeMarcus Robinson. Florida desperately lacks offensive line depth and will rely on true freshmen at key positions. This game all of a sudden appears winnable. UF will have momentum. Its first two games are at home against putrid New Mexico State and a bowl game rematch vs. East Carolina. On a personal note, I’ve never liked Florida, at all. After more than my share of trips to the Swamp, if any SEC team deserves a dose of humility, it’s the Florida Gators. Opportunities like the one UK will have on September 19th don’t come around very often.

September 26th, Missouri

The habitually disrespected Missouri Tigers are well known for developing NFL defensive linemen. Last year, defensive ends Shane Ray and Marcus Golden wreaked havoc in opposing backfields. Both are now professionals. Pre-season sophomore All SEC defensive tackle Harold Brantley was unfortunately injured in an offseason car accident and is lost for the season. The incredibly talented defender will return in 16. In addition to Brantley, and following spring practice, promising sophomore defensive end Marcus Loud was dismissed from the team. The Mizzou defensive line will still be solid, but minus the aforementioned four, it is now less daunting. Offensively, Missouri returns its maverick quarterback, Maty Mauk. Statistically, Mauk won’t wow. However with a 14-4 record as a starter, all he seems to do is win. Dangerous running back, Russell Hansbrough, will join Mauk in the backfield. Missouri won’t scare easily. Even through personnel losses, the back to back SEC East Champions are formidable, but not unbeatable. Upon its Commonwealth Stadium visit, the Tigers will be 3-0.

I wanted to provide a brief overview of UK’s September opponents. Prior to each game, I’ll post a detailed yet understandable scouting report. The KSR crew will make their season predictions on a later date. But as you’ve read, I can confidently see Kentucky starting 3-1 or possibly even 4-0. Other than South Carolina, UK’s first four games will be categorized as a “pick’em” or at worst, slight underdogs vs. Florida and Missouri. Realistically I can also envision 1-3. History tells me that 2-2 is the month’s best case scenario.

Therefore, in my humble opinion, September is the most critical month of the 2015 season. Start hot, Cats are going bowling. Come out of the gate slow, the pressure to win six becomes burdensome. Due to its new offensive coordinator and rookie players filling key roles, Kentucky seasonal prognostications are virtually impossible. This especially applies to the junior college defensive linemen Alvonte Bell and Courtney Miggins situation. As of today, neither have reported to campus. That makes me incredibly uneasy. Ryan Flannigan showed us that late arriving JUCO players struggle in SEC adaptation. That’s why I’ve said that 2015 must be evaluated game by game. I’d rather prolong my Missouri guess but that wouldn’t be fun Kentucky goes 3-1 in September.

Za’Darius Smith will be featured in Esquire’s TV series “The Agent”

Screen Shot 2015-08-03 at 10.07.36 AM

Za’Darius Smith is busy turning heads at Baltimore Ravens’ training camp, but a week from tomorrow, he can add “TV star” to his resume.

Big Z will be featured on the Esquire Network’s new show “The Agent,” which premieres August 11th at 10 p.m. ET. The 10-part docuseries gives viewers an inside look at the world of high-profile NFL agents and their clients, including Sunny Shah, Jeff Guerriero, Peter Schaffer, and Ed Wasielewski. Guerriero is Za’Darius’ agent and their relationship will be featured in the series. Here’s a preview:

After “Ballers” turned in an absolute stinker of an episode last night, I’m willing to give “The Agent” a go.

Three football players got baptized yesterday

Yesterday was a big day for three big Kentucky football players. Sophomore tackle Kyle Meadows, freshman guard “Big George” Asafo-Adjei, and senior defensive end Farrington Huguenin were baptized by Aaron Hogue, and Mark Stoops and Vince Marrow were in attendance.

Redshirt freshman linebacker Nico Firios, former Cat Max Godby, and high-performance coach Erik Korem were also there, and shared these pictures:

Congrats to all three.

Three big football recruits are wrapping up visits today

You’re looking at 4-star ATH Joshua Paschal, 4-star RB Mohamed Ibrahim, and 3-star OLB/WR Ayinde Eley. All three 2017 recruits play for Good Counsel High School in Olney, Maryland, and all three are wrapping up visits to Kentucky today.

Yesterday, the three players arrived and spent the evening taking about a million pictures in the UK locker room, trying on the various uniform combinations. It looks like they enjoyed themselves:

Nice sock game, Josh.

In 247 Sports’ 2017 Composite rankings, Ibrahim’s considered the 18th best running back, Paschal the 27th best athlete, and Eley the 71st best wide receiver. Hopefully redshirt freshman linebacker Kobie Walker, a fellow Good Counsel alum, showed them a good time.

Keep an eye on Paschal today in particular. He’s the brother of former Cat TraVaughn Paschal, so this isn’t his first trip to Lexington. By all accounts, it may not be his last, either.

KSR is at Chaney’s Dairy Barn in Bowling Green (Monday Show Thread)

Good morning, friends, and welcome to the Monday edition of Kentucky Sports Radio, which is coming to you live from Chaney’s Dairy Barn in Bowling Green. People have been lined up outside since 7 a.m. CT for today’s show, which promises to be a great one. Tune in to hear Matt and Ryan recap Fancy Farm, Aussie big man Isaac Humphries, a potentially big day in football recruiting, and much more.

If you’re in the area, come on out for the chance to win tickets from and to see Ryan and Shannon face off in a milking contest after the show. If you’re there, please take pictures and videos to share with the rest of us.

Join in on the fun by calling (502) 571-1080.

Listen to Kentucky Sports Radio

Here’s an updated list of tour stops:

August 3: Bowling Green – Chaney’s Dairy Barn
August 4: McKee – Old Courthouse Community Room
August 5: Glasgow – Papa John’s
August 6: Jamestown – Lawless-Smith True Value and Appliance Center (Russell Springs)
August 7: Monticello – Conley Bottom Resort

August 10: Frankfort – Governor’s Mansion
August 11: Maysville – Laurel Oaks Golf Course
August 12: Danville – Sun Tropic Outdoors
August 13: Lexington – All Sports at Fayette Mall
August 14: Louisville

gotc-ksr is giving away UK basketball and football tickets at every tour stop this summer. That’s 33 chances to win, and all you have to do is come out to listen to your favorite radio show. That’s so easy even Ryan Lemond could do it!

BTI’s Rants and Ramblings: 2016 Football Roster As It Stands Now


I know many of you are going to look at this post and immediately say “WHY THE HELL ARE YOU LOOKING AHEAD TO NEXT SEASON BTI!!!”.  Quite honestly, I look ahead to next season because that is what we do with basketball and that is what elite programs in both sports should do.  You are always planning for your present but also with an eye on the future.  So excuse me for doing what we do with basketball year-round.

Here is where the 2016 UK football scholarship roster currently stands with those players committed.  For the 2015 incoming freshman, I assumed all will be redshirted unless they are on the 2-deep depth chart released at the beginning of the month.

Those in RED would be projected as returning starters in 2016
Those in BLUE are Class of 2016 commits

Seniors: Patrick Towles (RS)
Juniors: Reese Phillips (RS)
Sophomores: Drew Barker (RS)
Freshmen: Gunnar Hoak

Seniors: JoJo Kemp
Juniors: Boom Williams, Mikel Horton
Freshmen: Sihiem King (RS), Asim Rose, Benny Snell

Seniors: Ryan Timmons
Juniors: Garrett Johnson, Dorian Baker, Blake Bone, T.V. Williams, Alex Montgomery (RS), Jeff Badet (RS), Kayaune Ross
Sophomores: Thaddeus Snodgrass (RS)
Freshmen: Tavin Richardson (RS), Therrell Gosier (RS), Jabari Greenwood (RS), Dakota Holtzclaw, Za’Aire Hughes

Junior: Greg Hart (RS)
Sophomores: C.J. Conrad, Darryl Long (RS)
Freshmen: Justin Rigg

Juniors: Kyle Meadows (RS), Tate Leavitt
Sophomores: Nick Richardson (RS)
Freshmen: Mason Wolfe (RS), Logan Stenberg (RS), Levon Livingston (RS), Calvin Taylor (RS), Landon Young

OFFENSIVE GUARD (4, Cole Mosier-walk-on)
Juniors: Ramsey Myers (RS), Nick Haynes (RS)
Sophomores: Jarrett LaRubbio (RS), George Asafo-Adjei

Seniors: Jon Toth (RS), Zach Myers (RS)
Sophomores: Bunchy Stallings (RS)
Freshman: Luke Fortner, Drake Jackson


Seniors: Courtney Miggins (RS)
Juniors: Reggie Meant (RS), Matt Elam, Jacob Hyde (RS)
Sophomores: Adrian Middleton (RS), Tymere Dubose (RS)
Freshmen: Javon Provitt (RS), Ja’Quize Cross, Kordell Looney, Kobe Smith

Seniors: Jason Hatcher, Alvonte Bell
Sophomores: Denzil Ware (RS)
Freshmen: Kenegra Daniel (RS), Jaylen Bannerman

Junior: Courtney Love
Sophomores: Nico Firios (RS), Dorian Hendrix (RS), Kobie Walker (RS)
Freshmen: Eli Brown (RS), Jordan Jones (RS), Josh Allen (RS), Kash Daniel, Roland Waller

Seniors: Blake McClain, JD Harmon (RS), Jaleel Hytchye
Juniors: Kendall Randolph
Sophomores: Jared Tucker (RS)
Freshmen: Chris Westry (RS), Kei Beckham (RS), Derrick Baity (RS), Will Jackson (RS), Marcus Walker (RS), Tobias Gilliam, Jordan Griffin, Davonte Robinson

Seniors: Marcus McWilson, Zack Blaylock (RS)
Sophomores: Mike Edwards (RS), Darius West (RS)

Austin MacGinnis (RS Junior)
Grant McKinnis (Freshman)