By Nick Roush on ©April 25th, 2019 @ 11:00pm
Every football player dreams of the day they get the call from the NFL. See the moment Josh Allen’s NFL dream came true.
"#Sacksonville ain't it? I got you."
— #DUUUVAL (@Jaguars) April 26, 2019
Even though Allen was not picked as high as many expected, he believes his NFL career is beginning in the perfect situation.
“You never know what to expect,” Allen said in his post-draft press conference. “My mentality going into the draft was, don’t expect anything. When the phone rings, pick it up. That’s your new home. I felt like my phone rang in the perfect situation.”
By Nick Roush on ©April 25th, 2019 @ 10:28pm
Playing the waiting game at the NFL Draft is not for the faint of heart. Green room veteran Mark Stoops warned Josh Allen ahead of the long night in Nashville.
“I was sitting there lecturing Josh early on about being patient,” Stoops said. “Things don’t always go the way we anticipate sometimes and it seems like an eternity back in that room. But yet, he and I were both sitting in that room getting a little antsy. We can’t lie.”
Projected to be picked in the top five for months, Allen did not hear his name called until the Jacksonville Jaguars were on the clock with the seventh pick.
“He talked about crying when he was going to take that phone call and I think I was about ready to cry, that’s for sure,” said Stoops. “He looked at me with a big smile and it was just, really emotional.”
Falling further than expected in the draft isn’t necessarily a bad thing, especially when the team you fall to is just a year removed from an AFC Championship Game appearance. Tagged as “Sacksonville,” college football’s best pass rusher in 2018 joins a defense that already features Calais Campbell, Myles Jack and Jalen Ramsey.
“That’s a great team. Things always work out for the right reasons,” Stoops said. “He’s going to Florida; no state tax. He’s going to a great defensive team. He’s playing with some really good players. I know several of those guys. They’re great people and they’ll be great teammates and so it’s exciting for him.”
When Allen takes the field for the first time as a Jaguar, it will not be the first time he’s played at TIAA Bank Field. As a sophomore in 2016 he recorded seven tackles for Kentucky in the TaxSlayer Bowl. His experience against Georgia Tech will not quite be the same as when lines up against reigning MVP Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs to open the 2019 NFL season.
By Nick Roush on ©April 25th, 2019 @ 10:15pm
Josh Allen is in good company…with Josh Allen.
In the 2019 NFL Draft, the Jacksonville Jaguars selected Kentucky outside linebacker Josh Allen with the seventh overall pick. In the 2018 NFL Draft, the Buffalo Bills selected Wyoming quarterback Josh Allen with the seventh overall pick.
There’s no rule that Josh Allens must be the No. 7 overall pick, but it certainly seems that way.
The two high-profile prospects frequently confuse Googlers. Ahead of the draft, UK’s Allen did not want to end up on the same team as the quarterback.
— The Lefkoe Show (@LefkoeShow) April 18, 2019
Unfortunately, the greater of the two Josh Allens will not get a chance to bury the lesser Josh Allen in the dirt with a sack in the 2019 regular season.
By Drew Franklin on ©April 25th, 2019 @ 10:06pm
Moments after Josh Allen’s name was called on draft night, before he even shook Roger Goodell’s hand on the draft stage, ESPN’s Booger McFarland threw the UK coaching staff under the bus.
As McFarland was giving his two cents on Allen as the seventh overall pick, he said, “He definitely can be elite and I look forward to him getting better coaching. Right now he is winning off of pure athletic ability.”
The hell, Booger?
McFarland has been very supportive of Mark Stoops in the past, so it was an odd comment to make during an enormous moment for the Kentucky football program.
By KSR on ©April 25th, 2019 @ 10:00pm
Your favorite pop culture podcast is back, as Chris Tomlin and Lee Cruse are bringing you a brand new edition of The Funkhouser Situation.
In episode 56, Tomlin and Cruse discuss…
-Lee had his Derby outfit screen test and he has already called an audible on the selection
-The big James Bond announcement. Rami Malek’s strange message.
-How a video game company is aiding Notre-Dame cathedral
-An update on what Chris and Lee are watching
-The excitement surrounding the release of Avengers: Endgame
-A trending topic on twitter: the Avengers bathroom guide. A specific guide of when to use the restroom during the movie
-Reaction to the movie after the release this week. Are people jockeying for best Avengers fan?
-Lee’s reaction to the Dumbo movie
-A Brie Larson rumor
-Everyone’s favorite Hot Goss segment is back!
You can easily listen on the KSR App, available on iTunes and Google Play. Streaming online is simple through Pod Paradise. You can also get it directly to your phone by subscribing to The Funkhouser Situation podcast feed on iTunes or via Android’s Podcast Addict app.
Today’s episode is brought to you by Jake’s Cigar Bar.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©April 25th, 2019 @ 9:41pm
It’s been quite a week for Josh Allen. Not only was the Kentucky star drafted seventh by the Jacksonville Jaguars, it was revealed tonight that he also got married.
Allen broke the news on the red carpet and his wife Kaitlyn followed up with ESPN’s Tom Rinaldi:
What a week. Congrats to Josh, Kaitlyn, and their son Wesley.
By Jack Pilgrim on ©April 25th, 2019 @ 9:08pm
The Jacksonville Jaguars just got the best player in the NFL Draft in Kentucky’s Josh Allen.
With the No. 7 pick, the Jaguars have selected the 6-foot-6, 260-pound linebacker out of Montclair, New Jersey.
As a Kentucky Wildcat, Allen won the Chuck Bednarik Award, the Lott Trophy, and the Bronko Nagurski Trophy, making him the consensus National Defensive Player of the Year. He was also named SEC Defensive Player of the Year, along with being a unanimous First Team All-SEC and All-American selection.
His senior season, Allen managed 51 total pressures, 14 sacks, nine QB hits, and 28 hurries. Over the course of four years at Kentucky, the former Wildcat accumulated 31.5 career sacks.
Now, Allen will take his talents to Jacksonville.
— Kentucky Football (@UKFootball) April 26, 2019
Jacksonville grabs Josh Allen at No. 7 ? pic.twitter.com/wIQ1lDSfVH
— ESPN (@espn) April 26, 2019
By Jack Pilgrim on ©April 25th, 2019 @ 8:00pm
Back in September of 2017 when the college hoops scandal initially broke, the basketball world waited on the edge of their seats for Kentucky or John Calipari’s name to be brought up as those involved with the shady recruiting tactics.
So far, things have been mostly clear for the Wildcats.
And then earlier this afternoon, things looked even better for Kentucky when Merl Code, a former Adidas consultant found guilty of funneling money to recruits to ensure they went to Adidas-sponsored schools, said he didn’t want his guys to go to Kentucky because he’d lose control over them. With his long-term goal being that schools would sign with the Adidas school, and then later sign deals with the company once they turned pro, he knew recruits going to UK would result in lost clients.
“If I let my kid go to Kentucky, I promise you I won’t get him back,” Code said, per Adam Zagoria.
Great news, right?
Unfortunately for us, it doesn’t quite end there.
A bit later, though, Kentucky’s name was brought up during the trial in reference to some of the shady recruiting, and Dan Wetzel wrote about it for Yahoo! Sports.
“Without money, there is no recruiting success,” Wetzel said. “None. That much was made clear, over and over and over, especially by coaches who were fighting the sports’ so-called “Blue Bloods” — Duke, North Carolina, Kansas and Kentucky — that they believe are awash in money to spend on the best prospects.”
According top Wetzel, ex-sports agent Christian Dawkins said that Kentucky is among the schools that has “a lot of resources” to secure top-level recruits.
“They’ve got a lot of resources,” Dawkins explained during one meeting that was played Thursday during his federal bribery trial here in Lower Manhattan. “And they’ve got a lot of existing relations with agents, agencies, runners and … Nike.”
In another conversation, Merl Code, a co-defendant in this case, declared, “In some form or fashion, Duke, North Carolina, Syracuse, Kentucky, all of the schools are doing something to help get kids. That’s just part of the space.”
Later in the article, a Clemson assistant named Steve Smith said that he couldn’t compete with the “resources” that the other blue blood schools competing for former Duke star Zion Williamson had.
Smith needed money, he believed, for Williamson, who if not for geography would never have considered a school such as Clemson. He felt completely outgunned by the other contenders — Duke, North Carolina and Kentucky. They’ve got the real resources.
“It’s like me, Roy Williams, Mike Krzyzewski and [John Calipari],” Smith said on the tape. He later implied that Clemson has resources, too, and the close-knit nature of the school and small town its located in helps.
“That’s why football is so successful,” Smith said. “If you do it and use resources at Clemson, like you can really keep everything tight.”
Dawkins understood the position Smith was in.
“[Zion’s recruitment] is going to be crazy,” Dawkins said. “Duke is going to have their resources. UNC is UNC. Kentucky, they have their resources.”
No specific former or current players or or assistant coaches were named in the report, nor was John Calipari named as a guilty party in any specific wrongdoing.
Nonetheless, Kentucky was thrown in there with the other blue-blood talent involved.
For the rest of Wetzel’s article, take a look here.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©April 25th, 2019 @ 7:40pm
One of the reasons Josh Allen returned to Kentucky for his senior season was to improve his draft stock enough to give his son Wesley a better life. Tonight, Allen is honoring his son and fiancée through his draft night attire. Check out Allen’s draft suit, which has Wesley’s birthdate stitched on the lining:
— Joshua Allen (@JoshAllen41_) April 25, 2019
Very cool. Here’s Allen hitting the red carpet:
— Kentucky Football (@UKFootball) April 25, 2019
— Kentucky Football (@UKFootball) April 25, 2019
Less than an hour until it all begins…
By Jack Pilgrim on ©April 25th, 2019 @ 7:00pm
Kentucky forward signee Keion Brooks Jr. wasn’t considered a top-10 prospect in the class of 2019, nor was he even a consensus five-star athlete. He had plenty of Hall of Fame coaches and prestigious programs vying for his signature, but most recruiting services didn’t consider him a can’t-miss prospect in the class.
What he was, however, was the leading scorer and most valuable player of the No. 1 high school basketball team in the nation this year, La Lumiere. The same La Lumiere squad that went undefeated through the regular season and failed to lose a single game until the high school national championship.
Say what you want about Brooks’ specific strengths and weaknesses, but what isn’t debatable about the 6-foot-8 forward out of Fort Wayne, IN is that he is a true winner at his core.
“The kid just likes to win, wants to win,” La Lumiere head coach Pat Holmes told KSR at the Jordan Brand Classic this past weekend. “He’s going to compete, he’s going to play the right way, he’s gonna share the ball, hit open shots. He’s a great teammate, guys love playing with him. But that’s the biggest thing, he’s going to go to Kentucky and he’s going to want to win. He’s not concerned with his own stuff, he’s concerned when he doesn’t play well, but if the team wins, he’s alright with it.”
When asked about the his former coach’s comments, Brooks says he can’t necessarily disagree. In his mind, as long as he’s making a positive impact on the win/loss column, it doesn’t matter what the box score says about his game. That’s the mindset he plans on taking with him to Lexington this fall.
“I just feel like I go out there every time and try to make a winning play,” Brooks said. “Whatever it takes to help my team win, whether that’s playing defense, scoring, rebounding, facilitating the ball, whatever I can do to help my team win. That’s the same attitude I’m going to take to Kentucky.”
According to Holmes, that growth for Brooks came last spring when he joined his AAU program, Spiece Indy Heat. They worked together to groom him to play on the perimeter more to add versatility to his game.
In the Kentucky signee’s mind, that’s how you contribute on a winning program. If you minimize your flaws and expand your game to play anywhere on the floor, you’re a tough player to stop.
“(His AAU team) played him as a perimeter player, catch-and-shoot, one dribble pull-ups, trying to use ball screens a little bit,” Holmes said. “He just wanted to add some versatility to his offensive game because he’s so comfortable posting up a little bit, and this year he’s posting up smaller guards, smaller wings, so he can get to his sweet spot. … He did a little bit of everything for us on the offensive end, going on the offensive glass, cutting hard, running in transition, catch-and-shoot threes. He was kind of Mr. Utility for us.”
With the ability to knock down shots, bring the ball up the floor, and drive the paint, it’s obvious he brings a lot of positive to the floor. But what about the negative?
According to Holmes, the future Wildcat will need to bulk up a bit when he makes it to Lexington.
“At the next level, he’s 6-foot-8, good size, gotta get stronger, but that’ll come with time when he’s in a college weight room for a year or two,” he said. “That’s going to really help his game and his development.”
But with the resources available to him at Kentucky, Brooks’ head coach doesn’t have a doubt in his mind that his star forward will be able to develop into a freak physically.
“He probably needs to get stronger with the ball, there are moments that he’s probably too upright, but that also comes with his body,” Holmes said. “He came to us, and we were able to put on seven or eight pounds of good muscle in a short period of time. When you get to Kentucky where you have training rooms and facilities, food, resources at your fingertips 24/7, you’re going to see a lot of gains there where he’s going to be in a healthy spot, especially in the lower body.”
And when that happens, watch out.
“It’s going to make him a little more explosive, which is kinda crazy to think about because he can already jump through the roof,” Holmes continued. “He’s got great length and great versatility, but just taking care of his body, that’s going to really help his game improve. A little bit of handling the ball, being stronger with it when he’s driving the ball, that’s about it.”
Personality-wise, Holmes describes Brooks as an “old school” kid. He enjoys listening to old music and watching old movies, just enjoys going with the flow.
Above all else, though, Brooks eats, breathes, and sleeps basketball.
“He’s a basketball junkie, loves watching the NBA and college basketball,” Holmes said. “He’s the kind of guy you can have conversations with about random games and stuff like that. Easy personality, wants to win, he’s going to compete, extremely coachable, wants you to coach him hard, wants to be held accountable. He’s going to be a delight to coach and watch for a year or two at Kentucky.
When it came to his recruitment, Holmes knew the process wasn’t easy for his star forward. When you’re a laid-back guy like Brooks, but have to field countless phone calls, fill your schedule with visits both at home and on the road, it gets you out of your comfort zone a bit.
Now that the process is over with, he’s excited for Brooks to finally be able to just focus on getting to Kentucky and developing both as a player and a person.
“I was just happy for him because recruiting is not easy, especially when it comes to higher level kids like him,” Holmes said. “Ton of scrutiny they’re under, they’re always under the microscope. I know he was weighing a lot of great options, a bunch of Hall of Fame coaches, along with Indiana also talking to him. That was tugging on his heartstrings, being a hometown kid. But I was just excited for him because it was a giant weight off of his shoulders.”
So what should Kentucky fans expect from the Fort Wayne native next season in Lexington? A role player off the bench or a high-impact stud from the jump?
Bias aside, Holmes genuinely believes Brooks will fit in the latter category, though he’ll thrive in whatever role is asked of him by John Calipari.
“I genuinely think he’s going to be a big-impact guy,” he said. “Kentucky is always going to have talented players, and I think everyone at Kentucky is going to be a role player, play some type of role. Keion is going to embrace his role, because he wants to win, but it’s also going to get him better because Coach Cal brings you in with the idea that “we’re going to get you to the NBA as quickly as possible and get you ready.”‘
According to Holmes, the Brooks family has bought into that mindset completely. They know that the Kentucky head coach is going to do whatever it takes to develop his players into the best versions of themselves for the future.
“Keion and his family, they’ve bought into that,” he said. “So you’re going to see a guy that is asked of him. If that means he’s going to come off the bench and play 20 minutes a game, he’s going to come in, play his role, and do it to the best of his ability.”
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©April 25th, 2019 @ 6:22pm
The NFL may have forced UK to take down the Josh Allen banner, but they can’t stop Bridgestone Arena from giving him some love. Tonight, Allen, Lonnie Johnson, Benny Snell, and Kentucky’s other draft prospects will be featured on the large digital sign outside Bridgestone Arena:
Awesome. Shoutout to Jeremy Burson, a UK grad who works for the Nashville Predators, for making it happen.
By Drew Franklin on ©April 25th, 2019 @ 6:00pm
Reid Travis is getting back out in Kentucky to meet more fans. He added new stops in Frankfort, Elizabethtown, Bowling Green and Louisville as part of the final round of his #TravisTour, which begins its last leg this Saturday at 6 p.m.
Check out the new dates and locations, then get out there and meet him.
By Drew Franklin on ©April 25th, 2019 @ 5:00pm
Matt Norlander, a college basketball writer for CBSSports.com, is in New York for the second college basketball corruption trial and his tweets of the testimonies are electric.
My favorite so far is one about former Texas A&M star Robert Williams. You remember him, right? Big guy who came back for a second season when he was already projected as a first-round pick. We now know about some extracurricular activity that may have impacted his decision to play a sophomore season with the Aggies: he was already getting paid (allegedly, of course).
From Norlander’s juicy thread:
Here’s an all-timer: In 2017, then-Texas A&M asst Amir Abdur-Rahim met w/ Dawkins, Blazer + undercover agent to discuss paying then-A&M player Robert Williams. A pair of shoes were then allegedly purchased @ Cosmo in Vegas, stuffed with $11,000 and FedEx’ed to Williams. (@MattNorlander)
Racks stuffed in shoes and shipped via FedEx? Classic!