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Top JUCO defensive end commits to Kentucky

Za’Darius Smith, the No. 1 junior college defensive end in America, announced today that he will sign with Mark Stoops and the University of Kentucky.  Smith recorded 6.5 sacks and forced four fumbles this past season at East Mississippi Community College on his way to being named to the NJCAA Football All-America Team.

He had offers from Florida State, Miami, Mississippi State, Missouri, Texas, Texas A&M, and West Virginia.

Let’s read that again: He had offers from Florida State, Miami, Mississippi State, Missouri, Texas, Texas A&M, and West Virginia.

Stoops gettin’ it done.

Article written by Drew Franklin

I can recite every line from Forrest Gump, blindfolded. Follow me on Twitter: @DrewFranklinKSR

62 responses to “Top JUCO defensive end commits to Kentucky”

  1. Lane Change

    and he’s only 35 yrs. old!!

  2. blue happy pappy

    Just keeps getting better!!!

  3. Tstone

    Stoops do Work!!

  4. Old Henry Man

    Great get, starter from Day 1

  5. davefromdagap

    It’s early in the game, but I sure like the way this thing is going.

  6. blue happy pappy

    Did I read tis correctly? The No. 1 junior college defensive end in America!!

  7. KYStout

    Oh hells to the yes…can he play next season? Doesn’t have to sit out?

  8. richbrookslikestomatos

    This makes me so happy

  9. Al's IndiCats

    I love the direction this is going. “Stoop’s group” are hitting the pavement HARD. Go Cats!!!!!!!

  10. Al's IndiCats

    7, NOPE he plays right away! no sitting!

  11. Incredblue

    Hatcher at the other end would be sweet!

  12. robbieh

    Like I said yesterday coach Stoops can build a winning football tradition at UK anyone who says different knows absoloutly nothing about football or is one of these ul loosers that is coward enough to make negative comments on a UK web site.

  13. Heisenberg

    A lot better then seeing he picked us over little sisters of the poor. Great job Stoops!

  14. The Word...


  15. UKani


  16. DenimJerseys

    Why are there busty 40 somethings on the ad to the right?

  17. jlove

    We might be SEC this year.

  18. southbound

    Bud Dupree and this Za’Darius Smith coming off the end may make some QBs a little scared.

    Our DLine just got a lot better if this kid works out.

  19. Sin The'

    Question is….Does he start school next semester. If so he can be a force next year.

  20. Let's be real

    It’s a good get, regardless of the circumstances. But let’s not forget that Brumbaugh was at EMCC last year. I’m happy to have the guy, but let’s not act like us beating out some of those schools for a player is ever going to be anything but out of the ordinary.

  21. Joe

    Why are there busty 40 somethings on the ad to the right? Because they live in your area and want to talk to you, RIGHT NOW. Currently I have FilipinoCupid on my advert…

    I don’t know what it says about Drew/Matt/Shannon that this is the advertising that their website draws. Or about the readers of this website.

  22. Sin The'

    Don’t you mean Smith? Brumbaugh is a coach. You make no sense fella.

  23. ads

    16 – The ads are linked to what you search on the internet…

  24. DEasy

    LOL. You guys know that the ads on the side are based on your personal internet usage right? No judging, if you like Filipino girls that’s fine with me.

  25. RichmondRob

    According to ESPN Junior College 100, this is a 4 star player, 10th overall. He also had an offer from Auburn.

  26. Jen

    Adblock Plus. Everyone should have it installed on their browsers. It’s free and blocks all ads. This site looks like garbage. I can’t believe anyone would look at it, or the rest of the internet, without blocking the ads.

  27. Greginky

    Here we go. I have always said that the only way the UK football team can win is if they can recruit good players. It seems that Mark Stoops is on his way to doing just that. He is getting a late start, so I don’t expect great things for this recruiting class but next year should be awesome. I think that this class may still end up being the best so far if Stoops can get a few more players to commit. II am checking into season tickets right now before they are all gone. The next few years are going to be exciting. I think that Kentucky can and will compete in the SEC and a conference championship may not be the pipe dream that most of us have thought it to be. It is asll a matter of recruiting and maybe keeping this staff together. Football success at any level always BEGINS with defense. Add the air raid offense and we will be competitive.

  28. Common Sense

    what a huge get. considering he had offers from those schools, he must have talent. anyone know what year he would be?

  29. Mattcat68

    I am officially stoopified!

  30. will

    19, he’ll have 3 years to play 2 seasons as is the rule with JUCO transfers. he’s immediately eligible for next season. will be interesting to see how he performs in the spring game.

  31. GO4ward

    stoops is not re-building a program, he’s constructing a bigger, better, faster one. is this a baby step?

    Ht: 6-6 | Wt: 250 | 40: 4.70 (thanks to:

    don’t hurt ’em Za’Darius

  32. DEasy

    28. Nice analysis Greg. Good players=Good team. Really in depth stuff here.

  33. Amaze Pants

    I’ve got O and I’m sitting on s#^t. Oh s#^t!

  34. Blueneck

    I was so tired of reading “so and so picked UK over EKU, Middle Tenn St, Central Mich” etc

    Go Stoops!

  35. mike

    Am I the only one concerned that we are signing top flight football talent the same week the mayans say the world will end. Just sayin.

  36. catfanatic

    smart way to get this program going in the right direction using juco players. the new recruits will see the impact of the new coaching system immediatly and will want to come to kentucky too. lets get this train rolling

  37. DenimJerseys

    I’m actually on my work computer. While I may search for such things in the privacy of my home, never at work. Must be the damn government tracking me down again. If I dont post again, you all know what happened.

  38. Ads - Actually

    There are default ads for those that clear history & cookies automatically – I see the Bad Idea T-Shirts also the guys above are mentioning. Its not because I’ve been there. Can’t even go to those sites where I’m at.

  39. DEasy

    39. Whatever helps you sleep at night man..

  40. Lets be real

    22 – No, I mean Brumbaugh. He coached at EMCC last year, where Smith was a player. I thought the fact that Smith was at EMCC last year was a given, considering it says that in the post.

  41. justafish2002

    39, It seems that way. Sometimes I get Great Wolf Lodge, and sometimes i get bad t shirt ideas. Other times I get Victorias secret or norton ads, all on the same computer

  42. Auburn J

    Do we know anything about Lauren Jackson, DT at the same school?

  43. Rick

    Watch out Cal, here comes footballllllllll.

  44. Behind Enemy Lines

    Now that we’re talking about older women in the comment thread… the add is showing up on my browser at work. Thanks guys.

  45. Behind Enemy Lines

    Now that we’re talking about older women in the comment thread… the ad is showing up on my browser at work. Thanks guys.

  46. Buckets

    Stoops there it, I thought you knew.

  47. Defense

    Video Footage… He’s # 94 in red

  48. Sin The'

    I’m Rick James Beyotch!

  49. dub c

    Bring Back Joker…

  50. Diaper Fillers

    Sad that he was not recruited by Alabama or Notre Dame. Until we get those players, we suck.

  51. CatsFans2

    cut and paste this kids name and check out the sites that write ups on him. he reports Jan. 13th. He’s the real deal 6’6″ 250

  52. bdown

    Great get for Stoops and his staff!!! This is a kid we never would have gotten with Joker

  53. Laker Cat 18

    Wow. This is impressive.

  54. 46

    I want those ads. “No boss, im not looking at busty mature blondes. I’m just wasting time on KSR til its time to go. “

  55. UKNeal7

    Smith on weakside and Dupree on strongside. Watch out Teddy, you’re going to be tired from running away from these guys all day

  56. kyle heavy

    So what does our commitment list look like?

  57. Photoshop

    That pic looks like someone mixed Stevie Johnson and Greg Oden.

  58. Al's IndiCats

    Fellow UK fans……I think Hell’s starting to get a bit nippy.

  59. Tom Sim

    So who broke this story, Kige? I WANT TO KNOW WHAT KIGE HAS TO SAY ABOUT THIS.

  60. fatkidineastky
  61. plowboy

    #51 Are you a ul or iu fan? You havn’t seen the boy take one play at the college level and you come down on him. You know more than coach Stoop. Of course you may be a middle school kid trying to act big. Easy to take pot shots behind a computer.