Mark Stoops said earlier today, “recruiting is going exceptionally well.” Since he can’t get into →
By Nick Roush on ©December 08th, 2016 @ 11:00pm
Mark Stoops said earlier today, “recruiting is going exceptionally well.” Since he can’t get into specifics, I thought it’d be appropriate to take a deep dive into the specifics.
After hosting about 15 players on campus last weekend for official visits, Stoops picked up a pair of commitments — Maryland offensive tackle Naasir Watkins and Florida defensive end Christopher Whittaker. The two additions give Stoops 16 commits in the 2017 class. It’s ranked no. 33 overall, no. 11 in the SEC. The class in its entirety:
Kentucky Football Class of 2017
|Javonte Richardson||WR||Maple Heights, Oh.||6-4||210||4-star|
|Tyrell Ajian||ATH/DB||Mansfield, Oh.||6-1||185||4-star|
|Danny Clark||QB||Stow, Oh.||6-4||225||3-star|
|Alex King||DE||Mason, Oh.||6-4||235||3-star|
|Phil Hoskins||DT (JUCO)||Toledo, Oh.||6-5||275||3-star|
|Bryant Koback||RB||Holland, Oh.||5-11||191||3-star|
|Joshua Ali||WR||Hollywood, Fl.||6-0||180||3-star|
|Clevan Thomas||WR||Hollywood, Fl.||5-11||190||3-star|
|Michael Nesbitt||CB||Ft. Lauderdale, Fl.||6-0||185||3-star|
|Jamin Davis||OLB||Lincolnton, Ga.||6-3||205||3-star|
|Walker Wood||QB||Lexington, Ky.||6-1||187||3-star|
|Quinton Bohanna||DT||Cordova, Tn.||6-3||275||3-star|
|Nasir Watkins||OT||Olney, Md.||6-6||300||3-star|
|Christopher Whittaker||DE||Hollywood, Fl.||6-4||246||3-star|
|Cedrick Dort||CB||Palm Bech Gardens, Fl.||6-1||165||3-star|
|Austin Dotson||OT||Belfry, Ky.||6-6||305||3-star|
By the Numbers
Players lost next season by position:
- OL: 4
- RB: 3 (2 walk-on fullbacks)
- WR: 2
- DL: 2
- DB: 3
Commits by position:
- OL: 2
- QB: 2
- RB: 1
- WR: 3
- DL: 4
- LB: 1
- DB: 3
Commits by state:
- Ohio: 6
- Florida: 5
- Kentucky: 2
- Georgia: 1
- Tennessee: 1
- Maryland: 1
Far from finished, Stoops expects to land “more than 20” in the class, leaving room for 6-8 more commitments. Here are a few of the guys they’re pursuing to sign on the first Wednesday of February.
Lonnie Johnson — The JUCO defensive back officially visited last weekend. He’ll take an official visit this weekend to Georgia before announcing his decision on Tuesday.
Lynn Bowden — The Youngstown native would be the highest ranked recruit in the class, maybe the highest ranked recruit ever to commit to Kentucky. The Cats are in a great position for the 4-star athlete.
Joshua Paschal — Teammates with Watkins at Good Counsel High School, the four-star defensive end is “low key” about where he stands in the recruiting process, but what once seemed improbable continues to look better and better for Kentucky.
Bruce Judson — Lamar Thomas and Darin Hinshaw visited the 3-star athlete early in the recruiting week. The South Florida commit has an official visit scheduled for January 11.
Isaiah Epps — This receiver from Oklahoma just received an offer from UK earlier this week. Standing tall at 6’3, the Cats are his first major offer. He could be on commit watch when he visits this weekend.
Jordan Wright — The three-star defensive end has already taken his official visit to Kentucky. Before he announces his college decision on December 21, he could convince a teammate to come to Kentucky too. 3-star defensive end Jon Ford is a Miami commit visiting Kentucky this weekend.
Brian Cole — The former Michigan safety once appeared to be a lock for Kentucky. He opted to go the JUCO route, spending this year at
Last Chance U East Mississippi C.C. Kentucky is still an option for Cole. He will visit Lexington this weekend.
I got so caught up looking for new names I forgot two of the biggest names that have been around for months: Ohio wide receiver Danny Davis and Ohio offensive tackle Thayer Mumford. The Cats have put themselves in a great position. All they can do is continue to do what they’ve been doing, and wait.
By Haley Simpson on ©December 08th, 2016 @ 10:30pm
Wendy’s new Spicy Sriracha Chicken Sandwich features our iconic Spicy Chicken, topped with a one of kind Sriracha Jack Cheese, thick-cut Applewood Smoked Bacon, creamy Sriracha aioli, spring mix, and red onion, all served on a toasted Sriracha-infused bakery-style bun.
#10 Terry Settles
— Terry Settles (@TSettles) December 9, 2016
He’s gotten away with it so many times though…
— bigkat (@bigkat606) December 8, 2016
I haven’t decided whether they’re floating heads or if they’re all wearing turtlenecks.
#8 Ben Mackey
— Ben Mackey (@ben_mackey) December 8, 2016
It looks like a giant pile of poo tbh.
#7 Mason Runyon
— Mason Runyon (@mtrunyon14) December 8, 2016
But aren’t we so excited?!?!
#6 Michael Houchens
12 year old: Miss Kentucky is coming to our school today.
Me: You gonna ask her out?
12 year old: No. She’s a Louisville fan.#BBN
— Michael Houchens (@MichaelHouchens) December 8, 2016
Priorities, kid, priorities.
#5 Tyler Royse
Billy G retires less than a week before @KySportsRadio and crew roll into town. Coincidence? I think not.
— Tyler Royse (@TROYSE90) December 8, 2016
He knew what was coming.
#4 Ray J. Vaske
— Ray J. Vaske (@outRAGEous02) December 8, 2016
But we number one
#3 Jared Young
— Jared Young (@JaredKYoung) December 8, 2016
This will never not be funny.
#2 Danny Albertson
— Danny Albertson (@DAFOOTGUY) December 9, 2016
Best. Christmas. Card. Ever.
#1 Todd McFarland
— Todd McFarland (@todd_ukfan) December 8, 2016
By Nick Roush on ©December 08th, 2016 @ 9:35pm
Karl-Anthony Towns has crazy dunks just about every night. Not all are worthy of a post BUT SWEET MOTHER OF PEARL!
In the words of Shea Serrano: “All we can do now is pray that the judge goes lightly on Karl-Anthony Towns when he faces sentencing for this felony.”
The made sure to get out of Towns’ way the next time he came flying down the lane.
— Scott Charlton (@Scott_Charlton) December 9, 2016
By Nick Roush on ©December 08th, 2016 @ 9:00pm
Drew Barker’s 2016 football season did not end the way he and his family expected. Instead of leading his team to a victory over Louisville, he was sitting on the couch next to his father, recovering from back surgery.
Named the starting quarterback following spring practice, the first half of Barker’s first game as UK’s starter was fantastic. “It almost seemed like magic,” Barker’s father Terry told Mark Story of the Herald-Leader. Then, it turned into a nightmare.
After losing the lead to Southern Miss, Barker was sacked on the first play of the Florida game. Terry Barker believes that hit either injured him, or exacerbated a pre-existing condition.
“Look, I’m not a doctor and I don’t play one on TV,” Terry Barker joked. “But, apparently there is a nerve tree that runs out of the right side of your spine down to your right leg and one that runs out of the left side down to your left leg. And there was something putting pressure on Drew’s right side (nerves) that was causing his (right) leg to really hurt.”
The pain Drew endured sounds horrific.
“I think it’s fair to say (Drew’s) leg hurt every day,” Terry Barker said. “Some days, it hurt more than others. In some ways, he kind of got used to it hurting. But, some days, just doing what a college student has to do — walking to class, sitting in class, carrying a book bag — was really painful for him.”
Since the surgery, Drew felt immediate relief in his leg. It’s a long road to recovery, but his father believes he could participate in spring practice on a limited basis and be ready to compete once again this fall.
By Nick Roush on ©December 08th, 2016 @ 7:30pm
Before Matt hits the road for Vegas with the KSR crew, he’ll spend an hour and a half discussing “Success is the Only Option” with Coach John Calipari tomorrow morning in Lexington.
Commerce Lexington Inc. is hosting the two at the Hyatt Regency Ballroom in their Good Morning Bluegrass series, beginning at 8:00 a.m. Following their discussion, Coach Cal will be signing copies of his book. Tickets are just $35, $25 for Commerce Lexington members.
If you can’t wait until tomorrow morning, you can listen to last night’s postgame show. I missed it, but I hear it’s one for the ages.
By Nick Roush on ©December 08th, 2016 @ 7:00pm
The Depth Chart Podcast returns with a new sponsor, Jack Kain Ford, and a special guest, Kyle Tucker from SEC Country. Before discussing how Kentucky matches up with Georgia Tech’s triple option, Freddie vents about the All-SEC awards and much more, including:
— How Kyle got his start in journalism as the Fazoli’s breadstick guy.
— Jonathan Allen’s remarks about UK’s offensive line.
— The secret 7-on-7 scrimmage between UK and EKU before Stoops’ first season.
— How Stoops has matured as a head coach.
— Why Saban is better than Bear Bryant and do Saban and Calipari comparisons hold up?
By Brett Bibbins on ©December 08th, 2016 @ 6:30pm
USA Today Sports’ For The Win ranked the 8 best student sections in college basketball. The eRUPPtion Zone came in at number 7, which might seem low, but is not surprising to me at all. Here’s what USA Today had to say about the students in Rupp.
The passion of Kentucky basketball is undeniable, but by no fault of their own, the student section gets hurt solely by its location. Kentucky cut the student allotment from 9,000 to between 4,000 and 5,000 in 2015, which inevitably took a toll on the noise level. That being said, Rupp Arena remains one of the tougher places to play in college basketball, and the lower level “eRUPPtion Zone” is always rowdy. The students just deserve more seats.
Check out the rest of the top 8 in the full article here.
On a side note, having attended games as a student, an employee of UK Athletics, and now as a graduate, I feel that student’s don’t get their fair shake with the tickets they are offered in Rupp Arena. Say what you want about the student not filling the rafter seats for games against S.F. Austin and Asbury, but can you really blame them?
These students wait for hours in a completely outdated lottery system for tickets. Not to mention that the majority of those tickets are either upper deck, nosebleed seats or are stuck directly behind the basket in the eRUPPtion Zone. Let me also say, outside of freshmen and the people who sit in the front row of the student section every game, that watching a game in the eRUPPtion Zone really isn’t much to write home about. Your view is obstructed by the basket, and they pack too many people into vague stand-only rows. Believe it or not, some students would much rather watch the game on a big-screen HD television, than from an uncomfortable seat far away from the court.
A lot of the top student sections in the country have students along the sidelines, so they can have more impact on the game. The students in these arenas truly make it tough on the opposing team to play every possession.
Many believe that the donors should be moved to suite style seating, leaving room near the floor for the students. What do you think? Should students get different seating to move the student section up to the top of the list where it belongs?
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©December 08th, 2016 @ 6:00pm
The AP All-SEC Teams were released this afternoon and three Kentucky Wildcats made the list: Jon Toth, Jordan Jones, and Mike Edwards. Toth, a senior, make the First Team at center, while Jones and Edwards, both sophomores, made Second Team at linebacker and safety.
If Freddie Maggard hasn’t hammered it into your head enough, today’s honor should show you how special Toth is. The senior center played in 48 career games with a nation-high 47 consecutive starts. In addition to helping UK’s rushing attack rank 16th nationally, Toth leads the team with 69 knockdown blocks and has been credited with 195 blocks at the point of attack this season. He was a nominee for several national awards this season, including the National Football Foundation’s Scholar-Athlete Award, the Rimington Trophy, given annually to the nation’s most outstanding center and the Outland Trophy, given to the nation’s best interior lineman. According to Corey Price, Toth is the first Kentucky player to be named First Team All-SEC at center since Ken Roark in 1980.
On the other side of the ball, Jones and Edwards led Kentucky in total tackles with 100 and 93, respectively. Jones ranked third in the SEC in tackles per game (8.3) and his 70 solo tackles led the league and ranked 11th nationally. He’s the only player in UK history to have at least 100 tackles, 14.0 tackles for loss and 4.0 sacks in a single season. Jones also added nine quarterback hurries, four pass breakups and a forced fumble.
Edwards finished the regular season leading all SEC defensive backs in tackles with 93. He ranks fourth in the SEC with 7.8 tackles per game. Edwards had four double-digit tackle performances and tied for the team lead with three interceptions, including two of Heisman Trophy finalist Lamar Jackson in the Cats’ 41-38 victory over No. 11 Louisville. Edwards has recorded a tackle in 20 consecutive games and has 132 tackles, 6.5 tackles for loss, four interceptions and 11 pass breakups for his career.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©December 08th, 2016 @ 5:00pm
Last night, DeAndre Liggins made his first start of the season — the second of his career — for the Cleveland Cavaliers vs. the Knicks. The reason for the start should sound familiar to Kentucky fans; yes, JR Smith was out with an injury, but Cleveland coach Tyronn Lue wanted someone to shut down Brandon Jennings, so he called upon Liggins, who is quickly developing a reputation as the team’s lockdown defender.
“DeAndre Liggins coming in and pressuring Brandon Jennings and relieving some of our pressure on the defensive end, he did an incredible job tonight to fill in for Swish [JR Smith],” Teammate Kyrie Irving said afterwards. “He’s hawking guys. I have the luxury of playing against him in practice and he’s picking me up 94 feet. He’s just an agitator and he’s going to play hard, he’s going to play his role and he’s going to do it to the best of his ability, which we need from him.”
Irving’s praise for Liggins echoes that of LeBron James from a few days ago, when James told reporters Liggins should have the game ball for his performance. Liggins only had six points in last night’s rout, but, as he told Fox Sports Ohio afterwards, that’s not where he can have the most impact.
“My job is to bring the defensive intensity and set the tone with my energy,” Liggins said, adding that he’s thankful to just do what he does best with the Cavaliers. “I can be me. Bringing my defensive edge, picking up guards full court, being disruptive, that’s what I bring.”
After sharpening his skills in the D-League — where he won Defensive Player of the Year twice — Liggins said he’s having the most fun of his NBA career with the Cavaliers.
“Yes, this is the most fun. No matter what, these guys are great guys all around, in the locker room, on the bus, on the plane. I’m a quiet guy, but these guys are funny and I love being around them.”
Calipari will always be famous for helping guys like Derrick Rose, John Wall, DeMarcus Cousins, Anthony Davis, and Karl Towns achieve their potential, but he deserves way more credit for helping players like Liggins and Andrew Harrison develop into lockdown defenders.
Consider it accomplished. pic.twitter.com/Wa6uSB2y33
— FOX Sports Ohio (@FOXSportsOH) December 8, 2016
— FOX Sports Ohio (@FOXSportsOH) December 8, 2016
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©December 08th, 2016 @ 4:10pm
You have to hand it to John Calipari; the man is incapable of taking a day off. Today is supposed to be an off day for the team, but Calipari couldn’t help but put out a mini-manifesto on Twitter, doing as the young kids do and posting a screenshot of a note on his phone.
“We have an off day, and my thoughts went to all the players I currently coach and my responsibility to them,” Cal writes. “Parents who send us their most precious child expect a lot more from us than to just dedicate ourselves to this profession. Their child should not be a spoke in the wheel that’s used to win a ‘chip for our program. We owe them more!!”
Etc. Etc. Etc. Losing attention span…oh hey, caps!
“We should KEEP IT REAL! Let them know they are responsible for themselves! Nothing in life is given that’s worth having! Life isn’t always fair so deal with it. We need them to know how to create joy in their lives (helping others) and how to be continually happy (be continually grateful). That’s a mouthful but we owe it to the parents, the kids and ourselves to be dedicated to them and not just our profession.”
Who knows what prompted this, but read it for yourself below:
A little something to think about on our off day. pic.twitter.com/9mHBYgoql7
— John Calipari (@UKCoachCalipari) December 8, 2016
By C.M. Tomlin on ©December 08th, 2016 @ 4:03pm
Why go see the new Stars Wars film Rogue One like a chump with the rest of randos? Enter Hey Kentucky’s contest to prove you’re the biggest Star Wars fan ever and win Opening Night VIP tickets to the movie event of the year with food and beverage included at Brannon Crossing’s Movie Tavern.
Just send us a video explaining why and how you’re the biggest Star Wars fan on earth, Hosniam Prime, Coruscant or Ord Mantell (do not tell me in the comments section that these are not things because I just looked up on a star wars map page on the internet) and send it to firstname.lastname@example.org right now. And may the force be with you (that’s what they say in Star Wars, you guys). Good luck!
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©December 08th, 2016 @ 3:20pm
Congratulations to Benny Snell and Logan Stenberg, who were named to the SEC Coaches’ All-Freshman Team this afternoon. The freshman running back and offensive guard were pivotal members of Kentucky’s dominant rushing attack, which ranked 16th nationally and has already broken or could break as many as 12 team and individual rushing records this season. Should the offense rush for at least 230 yards and two touchdowns in the TaxSlayer Bowl, the unit will set new single-season school records for rushing yards and rushing touchdowns in a season.
We all know how great Benny Snell is. The true freshman running back from Westerville, Ohio, had a record-breaking season, rushing for a freshman school-record 1,057 yards and 13 touchdowns. He had a UK-freshman record five 100-yard rushing games, ranked eighth in the SEC in rushing yards per game, led the nation in rushing touchdowns by a freshman and ranks third nationally amongst freshmen in rushing yards. He was also named SEC Freshman of the Week twice this season.
Stenberg, a 6-foot-6, 318-pound guard from Madison, Ala., saw his role increase as the season went along, joining the Wildcats’ second offensive line unit as part of a dominating rushing attack. Stenberg had 37 knockdown blocks, missed only one assignment and allowed just one quarterback pressure on the season.
Let’s celebrate with Benny’s highlights (and appreciate Stenberg for his many blocks):
Those never get old.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©December 08th, 2016 @ 3:00pm
Struggling to find a Christmas gift for that special someone? How about tickets to a UK basketball game? Tonight at 5 p.m., a limited number of single-game tickets for three games in January will go on sale: Auburn (Jan. 14), South Carolina (Jan. 21) and Georgia (Jan. 31). You can only get these tickets online at Ticketmaster.com or by calling Ticketmaster at 800.745.3000. Based on availability after Thursday’s sale, tickets will also be available on Friday morning through the UK ticket office and the Rupp Arena box office.
In addition, an extremely limited number of 200-level single seats will be available for the Kansas game (Jan. 28), as well as verified resale tickets through the TicketExchange, the official fan-to-fan resale marketplace of UK Athletics.
For a complete listing of on-sale dates, single-game ticket prices and other ticket information, visit UKAthletics.com/tickets-mens-
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©December 08th, 2016 @ 2:30pm
Call it a hunch, but I think Kentucky fans are excited about going to a bowl game. UK just announced that in only three days, Kentucky sold through its initial allotment of 8,000 tickets for the TaxSlayer Bowl. If you don’t have your tickets yet, don’t panic; the UK Ticket Office has also secured additional lower-level tickets from the TaxSlayer Bowl in order to fulfill all ticket requests.
“The passion of our fans is a major reason we were selected to play in the TaxSlayer Bowl and we are thankful they have already made plans to follow us in such great numbers,” Athletics Director Mitch Barnhart said. “Though we have sold through our initial allotment, tickets are still for sale. We hope many more members of the Big Blue Nation will buy them and join us in Jacksonville.”
Lower-level tickets are still available for the game and can be purchased by visiting UKFootballTix.com or through the TaxSlayer Bowl’s website. Kentucky sideline is on the WEST SIDE of the stadium, so take that into consideration when choosing your seat.
And then enjoy these highlights of Kentucky beating Louisville because why not: