Kentucky Sports Radio

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July 6th, 2015

The Current State of UK’s 2016 Football Recruiting Class

While you were devouring hot dogs and firing whistlin’ bungholes, spleen splitters, whisker biscuits, honkey lighters, hoosker doos, hoosker don’ts, cherry bombs and nipsy daisers at the lake over the weekend, Kash Daniel became Mark Stoops’ 19th commitment in the 2016 recruiting class. Daniel’s pledge bumped Kentucky up to 16th in 247Sports’ team rankings and sixth in the Southeastern Conference. The four-star linebacker became the fifth in-state commit in the class, six shy of Ohio’s 11 prospects with hard commitments to UK.

Tonight, as we recover from the long and exhausting weekend, let’s take a quick look at the 19 young men who make up the current state of Kentucky’s 2016 recruiting class. Some may leave before National Signing Day, but with quality leadership at the top of the class, it’s not crazy to think it will stay intact while adding more top talent.


Hard Commitments:


By State:

Ohio: 11
Kentucky: 5
Alabama: 1
Arizona: 1
Georgia: 1

By Position:

Offensive Line: 3
Defensive Line: 3
Defensive Back: 3
Athlete: 2
Linebacker: 2
Tight End: 2
Punter: 1
Running Back: 1
Quarterback: 1
Wide Receiver: 1

The Commits:

Landon Young
Offensive Tackle
6-7, 270 lbs.
Lexington, KY (Lafayette)

Top247: 99 | 13 OT
247 Sports Composite: 121 | 14 OT
Rivals: 149 | 13 OT
ESPN: 150 | 17 OT
Scout: 202 | 18 OT


Drake Jackson
6-2, 288 lbs.
Versailles, KY (Woodford County)

Top247: 71 | 1 C
247 Sports Composite: 149 | 2 C
Rivals: 244 | 2 C
ESPN: 271 | 4 C
Scout: 102 | 1 C


Kash Daniel
Inside Linebacker
6-1, 235 lbs.
Paintsville, KY (Paintsville)

Top247: 96 | 2 ILB
247 Sports Composite: 484 | 16 ILB
Rivals: — | 15 ILB
Scout:  | 21 ILB


Jordan Griffin
6-1, 170 lbs.
Jonesboro, GA (Jonesboro)

Top247: 285 | 29 CB
247 Sports Composite: 477 | 42 CB
Rivals: — | 38 CB
ESPN: — | 23 CB
Scout: — | 82 CB


Dakota Holtzclaw
Tight End
6-7, 215 lbs.
Columbus, OH (Worthington Kilbourne)

Top247: 931 | 43 TE
247 Sports Composite: 730 | 34 TE
Rivals: —
ESPN: — | 20 TE
Scout: — | 29 TE


Tobias Gilliam
6-0, 185 lbs.
Dayton, OH (Wayne)

Top247: 921 | 87 CB
247 Sports Composite: 858 | 85 CB
Rivals: — | 44 CB
ESPN: — | 44 CB
Scout: — | 84 CB


Jaylin Bannerman
Defensive End
6-6, 215 lbs.
Pickerington, OH (Pickerington Central)

Top247: 922 | 52 WDE
247 Sports Composite: 866 | 52 WDE
Rivals: —
ESPN: — | 73 DE
Scout: — | 54 DE


Gunnar Hoak
Pro-Style Quarterback
6-4, 190 lbs.
Dublin, OH (Dublin Coffman)

Top247: 1070 | 51 PS-QB
247 Sports Composite: 868 | 38 PS-QB
Rivals: —
ESPN: — | 15 PS-QB (****)
Scout: — | 35 QB


Ben Snell
Running Back
5-11, 200 lbs.
Westerville, OH (Westerville Central)

Top247: 640 | 45 RB
247 Sports Composite: 874 | 60 RB
Rivals: —
Scout: — | 49 RB


Roland Walder
6-3, 230 lbs.
Dayton, OH (Trotwood-Madison)

Top247: 760 | 27 ILB
247 Sports Composite: 898 | 34 ILB
Rivals: — | 39 OLB
Scout: —


Zy’Aire Hughes
6-1, 180 lbs.
Paducah, KY (McCracken County)

Top247: 892 | 65 ATH
247 Sports Composite: 902 | 64 ATH
Rivals: —
ESPN: — | 56 ATH
Scout: — | 45 ATH


Kordell Looney
Defensive Tackle
6-4, 285 lbs.
Springfield, OH (Springfield)

Top247: 1062 | 66 DT
247 Sports Composite: 925 | 62 DT
Rivals: — | 46 DT
ESPN: — | 50 DT
Scout: — | 32 DT


Davonte Robinson
6-1, 165 lbs.
Lexington, KY (Henry Clay)

Top247: 899 | 85 CB
247 Sports Composite: 1097 | 106 CB
Rivals: —
Scout: — | 36 CB


Asim (A.J.) Rose
6-2, 185 lbs.
Cleveland, OH (Garfield Heights)

Top247: 773 | 56 ATH
247 Sports Composite: 1074 | 76 ATH
Rivals: — | 26 RB
ESPN: — | 48 ATH
Scout: —


Luke Fortner
Offensive Line
6-5, 278 lbs.
Sylvania, OH (Sylvania Northview)

Top247: 776 | 67 OT
247 Sports Composite: 1370 | 112 OT
Rivals: — | 5 C
Scout: —


Justin Rigg
Tight End
6-6, 240 lbs.
Springboro, OH (Springboro)

Top247: 923 | 41 TE
247 Sports Composite: 1403 | 58 TE
Rivals: —
Scout: —


Ja’Quize Cross
Defensive Tackle
6-3, 292 lbs.
New Market, AL (Buckhorn)

Top247: 1165 | 70 DT
247 Sports Composite: 1472 | 87 DT
Rivals: —
Scout: — | 82 DT


Grant KcKinniss
6-1, 190 lbs.
Findlay, OH (Findlay)

Top247: 1821 | 4 P
247 Sports Composite: 2232 | 4 P
Rivals: —
Scout: —


Kayaune Ross
Wide Receiver (JUCO)
6-4, 220 lbs.
Phoenix, AZ (Phoenix C.C.)

Top247: 40 | 11 WR (JC)
247 Sports Composite: 71 | 16 WR (JC)
Rivals: —
Scout: —

Where Are They Now: Micah Johnson


Kentucky’s Mr. Football in 2005 chose to stay home and attend the University of Kentucky as one of the top linebackers in the nation.

As a true freshman in 2006, Micah Johnson recorded 29 tackles and later was selected to the SEC All-Freshman Team. Johnson made a surprise appearance at running back in the Music City Bowl, scoring a Kentucky’s first touchdown of the game from the one-yard line in the win over Clemson.

In his sophomore season, Johnson recorded 58 tackles and two interceptions, including one returned for a touchdown. As a junior, Johnson finished second on the team in tackles with 93, the best season of his career. Received multiple All-SEC honors, including first team by the SEC coaches, second team by and honorable mentions by the Associated Press. In his final season at Kentucky, Johnson recorded a career-high and team-leading 105 tackles and one sack. Johnson played in a total of 49 games as a Wildcat, finishing with a total of 285 tackles, 23.5 for a loss and 3.5 sacks.

Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Manuel Johnson (15) runs for yardage against the Miami Dolphins linebacker Micah Johnson (57) during the first half of an NFL preseason football game in Arlington, Texas, on Thursday, Sept. 2, 2010. (AP Photo/Mike Fuentes)

AP Photo/Mike Fuentes

The New York Giants signed Johnson as an underrated free agent following the 2010 NFL Draft. Johnson was waived on June 21, 2010. The Miami Dolphins signed Johnson in August, where he played in one game and recorded one special teams tackle. Johnson was later waived and was signed to the practice squad of the Kansas City Chiefs. Johnson also spent time on the Cincinnati Bengals and the Green Bay Packers’ practice squads.

After an unsuccessful NFL career, the Calgary Stampeders of the Canadian Football League signed Johnson as a free agent on May 27, 2013. Johnson played in 12 games in at defensive tackle in his first season. He recorded a total of 16 tackles, two sacks and an interception in Johnson started six games in second season in Calgary, totaling 19 tackles and three sacks. After injuring himself in Game 7, he was placed on the six-game injury list, where he currently stands for the 2015 season.


Johnson plays along other notable Kentucky football alumni, including DeQuin Evans and Garry Williams. The Stampeders are 1-1 in the 2015 season.




Dakari and Teague Struggle in Summer League Today


It wasn’t a great day for former Cats in the Orlando Summer League despite the Oklahoma City Thunder getting the 73-65 win over the Orlando Magic Blue team. Dakair Johnson did get the start at center for OKC but only contributed four points and six rebounds in over 21 minutes of action. Johnson wasn’t in foul trouble, having just three total fouls, but just never seemed to establish a presence on the court, getting just three shots from the field.

Marquis Teague on the other hand had the dreaded DNP-Coach’s Decision. It looks like it will be an uphill battle for Teague to make his way back in the NBA and a DNP-CD doesn’t help.

The Thunder play against the Clippers tomorrow at 5:00.

Who is Calipari’s Biggest Draft Day Win?


Over at 247Sports, Chris Fisher took a look at his 10 biggest draft day wins for John Calipari. Fisher categorizes the draft day wins as guys who flew under the radar to have success on the last Thursday in June, so that ruled out immediately John Wall and Anthony Davis who were sure-fire No. 1 overall picks. It’s hard to argue with the top of his list with Willie Cauley-Stein and Devin Booker coming in as the two biggest draft day wins.

For me though the third biggest win should have been DeAndre Liggins, who was considered nothing but a guy who didn’t listen to his coaches, couldn’t stay out of the doghouse and almost a waste of talent before his junior year when he earned Cal’s trust. The run to the Final Four with Liggins as the defensive stopper and a decent enough shooter made him the No. 53 pick in the 2011 NBA Draft.

The improvement of Liggins allows Calipari to talk to those guys who might have some baggage or trouble in their past and say ‘look what I did for DeAndre.’

The rest of Fisher’s list was – in order – Eric Bledsoe, Karl-Anthony Towns, Josh Harrellson, Patrick Patterson, Darius Miller, Trey Lyles, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Daniel Orton.

Who do you think was the biggest draft day win?

Marlana VanHoose sang the national anthem on “Fox & Friends”

Screen Shot 2015-07-06 at 3.17.41 PM

I realize it’s now July 6th, but last night’s Women’s World Cup victory still has me feeling patriotic. The good USA vibes continued this afternoon when I saw this clip of Marlana VanHoose singing the national anthem on “Fox & Friends.”

If you read this site regularly, you know Marlana’s story by now, but if you don’t, she was born blind, suffers from cerebral palsy and probably has the most beautiful voice you’ve ever heard. The Denver, Ky. native started singing national anthems at local events, becoming a regular at UK Hoops games, and recently shot to stardom when she did the honors at the NBA Finals. Little Marlana found some time a few weeks ago to stop in and see the gang at the Paintsville tour stop, and will make all of us proud when she sings the anthem at the Home Run Derby at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati on July 13.

The limestone at the new Commonwealth Stadium looks great

I continue to be impressed by the pictures coming out of the new Commonwealth Stadium, and the latest one is no exception. Check out the new ticket windows at the stadium, a nice peek at the limestone facade. Beautiful.

Meanwhile, steel work has begun at the training center:

Screen Shot 2015-07-06 at 2.06.37 PM

Not long now.

Dakari Johnson and Marquis Teague are about to tip off on NBA TV

Looking for something to do this afternoon? Dakari Johnson, Marquis Teague, and the Oklahoma City Thunders are getting ready to tip off against the Orlando Magic Blue Team in the NBA Summer League on NBA TV.

On Saturday, Dakari Johnson put up seven points, eleven rebounds, one assist and one steal in his OKC Summer League debut, and afterwards, admitted there were some first-game jitters.

“The first couple minutes, I was a little winded because it was the first time, so I was a little nervous, but as the game went on it went really well,” Dakari told reporters. “We’ve been practicing for a week together, so we were prepared and we tried to get better on the defensive end too.”

Marquis Teague is also on the OKC roster but didn’t see any game action on Saturday. Hopefully he’ll get some minutes today.

Madison at the Morganfield tour stop wants today’s podcast


There was a great crowd at today’s tour stop at the Southern States in Morganfield and it included one of our favorite regular callers: Madison. I’m sharing this picture of Madison with you because I had to see it to believe that he’s not a grizzled old man as his voice would suggest.

Madison and his dad were in the audience to hear Matt and Drew talk about Kash Daniel’s commitment, how Dakari, Andrew, and Aaron did in the Summer League games this weekend, and why they hate fireworks. How could anyone possibly hate fireworks, you ask? Hear their reasoning in today’s podcast.

Hour 1:

Hour 2:

The Kentucky Horse Park will no longer have white fences

It’s a bit of a slow news day, so forgive me for digressing from UK sports news for a minute. Nothing makes me feel more at home than driving into Lexington from the Bluegrass Parkway and seeing the iconic white fences at Calumet. The fences are as part of the region as bluegrass, bourbon, and basketball.

So, when I heard that the white fences at the Kentucky Horse Park were getting a paint job, I was honestly a little bummed. The park is painting the fences black because apparently the white fence paint costs about three times as much as the black fence paint and requires painting twice as often. They expect to save $50,000 by making the change.

I’m all about saving some money, but that will take some getting used to.


Jonathan Isaac commits to Florida State

It’s going to be a big week for 2016 recruiting, and things aren’t exactly off to a great start for John Calipari and the Cats. Five-star small forward Jonathan Isaac just committed to Florida State over Kentucky and a slew of other schools.

247 Sports considers Isaac the best small forward in the class, and he was a big target for the Cats, who will now turn their sights to Jayson Tatum, considered a Duke lean, and Miles Bridges at small forward. Both will play at the Peach Jam later this week.

EKU players involved in bar brawl have been reinstated

Here’s some news that will spice up the EKU/UK game in October: EKU officials just announced they have reinstated Colton Scurry and Patrick Graffree, the two football players involved in the Richmond bar fight with Drew Barker, Dorian Baker, and Tymere Dubose. Here’s the release from EKU:

After allowing the legal process and the Eastern Kentucky University student judicial process to run their course, student-athletes Colton Scurry and Patrick Graffree have been fully reinstated to the football team. Scurry and Graffree have met all university, athletic department and team requirements.

Scurry and Graffree were suspended back in April and during their investigation, police determined Scurry was the “primary aggressor” in the bar fight. If you’ve seen the surveillance tape of Graffree sucker punching Drew Barker, I think you will agree he was the primary aggressor in that incident as well.

Surely this news has made it to the UK locker room. October 3 will be fun.


Kentucky leads the nation in total attendance

Photo by Barry Westerman | UK Athletics

Photo by Barry Westerman | UK Athletics

Did you attend a UK basketball game in Rupp Arena this year? If so, pat yourself on the back, because you helped the Cats win another total home attendance title. 447,874 fans went to UK’s games at Rupp this past season, the most of any program in the country. Syracuse had the second most, at 429,378, followed by Louisville, with 406,338.

Kentucky led the nation in overall attendance as well, with 845,594 fans watching the Cats play at home, on the road, and in neutral sites. Because of course.

Syracuse actually edged Kentucky in average home attendance 23,854 to 23,572, but we’ll overlook that because the total attendance numbers are way more impressive, right?


Boom Williams named to the Paul Hornung list

boom ukstoopstroops

Ready for some good news on a Monday morning? Sophomore running back Boom Williams is one of 44 players on the watch list for the Paul Hornung Award, given annually to the most versatile player in college football.

Last season, Boom did it all for the Cats, leading the team in rushing at 486 yards and five touchdowns to go along with 17 catches for 162 yards and one touchdown receiving. He also led the team in kick returns with 19 for 511 yards, an average of 26.9 yards per return.

Here’s the entire watch list:

  • Ishmael Adams, UCLA
  • Budda Baker, Washington
  • V’Angelo Bentley, Illinois
  • Rashon Ceaser, Louisiana Monroe
  • Pharoh Cooper, South Carolina
  • Trevor Davis, California
  • Matt Dayes, N.C. State
  • Cameron Echols-Luper, TCU
  • DeVon Edwards, Duke
  • Tyler Ervin, San Jose State
  • Leonard Fournette, LSU
  • Autrey Golden, UTEP
  • Jamal Golden, Georgia Tech
  • Jakeem Grant, Texas Tech
  • Janarion Grant, Rutgers
  • Carlos Harris, North Texas
  • Carlos Henderson, Louisiana Tech
  • Myles Jack, UCLA
  • Adoree’ Jackson, USC
  • Corey Jones, Toledo
  • Isaiah Jones, East Carolina
  • William Likely, Maryland
  • T.J. Logan, North Carolina
  • Byron Marshall, Oregon
  • Jalin Marshall, Ohio State
  • Christian McCaffrey, Stanford
  • Elijah McGuire, Louisiana Lafayette
  • Isaiah McKenzie, Georgia
  • Ronnie Moore, Bowling Green
  • Teldrick Morgan, New Mexico State
  • Charles Nelson, Oregon
  • Speedy Noil, Texas A&M
  • Daz’Mond Patterson, Ohio
  • De’Mornay Pierson-El, Nebraska
  • James Quick, Louisville
  • Alex Ross, Oklahoma
  • R.J. Shelton, Michigan State
  • Ryan Switzer, North Carolina
  • Jahad Thomas, Temple
  • Jaylen Walton, Ole Miss
  • Shane Williams- Rhodes, Boise State
  • Stanley Williams, Kentucky
  • Myles Willis, Boston College
  • Dontre Wilson, Ohio State

And some Boom highlights for good measure:

Aaron Harrison “sure looks like a keeper” after impressive weekend


If we learned anything about Aaron Harrison during his career at Kentucky, it was not to count him out. Aaron was the only Kentucky player who declared for the draft to not hear his name called a few weeks back, but he’s already making teams regret passing on him, turning in a pair of impressive performances for the Charlotte Hornets this weekend. Aaron scored 10 and 16 points on Saturday and Sunday respectively and nearly brought the Hornets back from a 19-point deficit against his brother Andrew and the Memphis Grizzlies. It was enough to make Hornets beat writer Rick Bonnell call Aaron a keeper:

Aaron Harrison sure looks like a keeper based on what he has done so far at the Orlando summer league.

Harrison, a 6-6 guard out of Kentucky, went undrafted last month. The Charlotte Hornets added him to their summer-league roster and based on his performance in the first two games, plenty of teams missed by not selecting Harrison among the draft’s 60 picks.

Teammate Frank Kaminsky told Bonnell he’s already a fan.

“He’s been able to get to the rim, get some shots off ball screens or kick it back to me,” Kaminsky said. “I like playing with people who like playing off screens. He’s definitely one of them.”

Aaron and the Hornets will be back in action Tuesday and Wednesday in the Summer League. Hopefully he’ll give us more reasons to post articles like this one.

[Undrafted Aaron Harrison making an impression with Charlotte Hornets]

KSR is at the Southern States in Morganfield (Monday Show Thread)

Good morning, friends, and welcome to the Monday edition of Kentucky Sports Radio. Today, Matt and Drew are at the Southern States in Morganfield (2746 Us Hwy 60 East) to recap a busy July 4th weekend, which included a commitment from Kash Daniel, the US Women’s National Team’s thrilling win over Japan, Dakari and the Harrison Twins in the Summer League, and 2016 recruits in the FIBA World Cup. Also, probably some July 4th shenanigans.

If you’re in the area, come on out to say hello to the guys and register for the chance to win tickets from


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

Listen to Kentucky Sports Radio

Here’s an updated list of tour stops. We’re still finalizing a few, so be sure to check back as the week goes on.


July 6: Morganfield – Southern States
July 7: Grayson – Simply The Best Bar & Grill
July 8: Pikeville – Bank 253
July 9: Williamson – Appalachian Wireless at South Side Mall
July 10: KY Speedway

July 13: Cynthiana – Cynthiana County Club
July 14: Whitley City – McCreary County Public Library
July 15: London – Sleep Outfitters
July 16-17: TBD

July 20: Whitesburg – Pine Mountain Grill
July 21: Manchester – Clay County Middle School
July 22: Somerset – Sleep Outfitters
July 23: Harlan – Core Fitness
July 24: Fort Wright – Dickmann’s Sports Bar

July 27: Campbellsville – Mr. Gatti’s
July 28: Owensboro – Don Moore GM Center
July 29: Benton – Kennedy’s Fan Shop
July 30: Paducah – Buffalo Wild Wings
July 31: Fancy Farm

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!