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Via Getty Images

No Matter What, A Kentucky Boy Will Earn A Ring Tonight

 

Via Getty Images

Via Getty Images

Many of you who are rooting for the Falcons tonight are probably doing so because you want to see Jacob Tamme with a Super Bowl ring. And that’s all well and good. But if the Patriots get the win, don’t fret too much. New England has a player with Kentucky ties, too.

Matt Lengel, Patriots tight end, is a native of Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania. After a year at Northeastern, Lengel spent the remainder of his college football career in Kentucky.

Eastern Kentucky, that is. Lengel spent the next 5 seasons at EKU, catching bombs just a few miles south of Lexington.

Lengel signed with the Bengals in 2015 after going undrafted, and after a tumultuous season, which saw him relegated to Cincinnati’s practice squad, Lengel found a spot on New England’s roster in 2016.

So if you’re completely anti-Patriots tonight, there’s a silver lining for you.


REPORT: Jimmy Brumbaugh leaving UK for Maryland

@UKStoopsTroops

@UKStoopsTroops

According to Ryan Bartow Kentucky’s defensive line coach Jimmy Brumbaugh is leaving to become the defensive coordinator at Maryland but Kentucky has yet to confirm.

If true, this is a hit to the coaching staff as Brumbaugh has done an incredible job at developing talent during his time in Lexington.


The Cats' most recent commit, Jordan Wright (@JayyDubb15).

Kentucky Football’s Five Basketball Stars

Jordan Wright (@JayyDubb15) with Stoops and Gran.

Jordan Wright (@JayyDubb15) with Stoops and Gran.

There are many things that make Mark Stoops’ 2017 football recruiting class great.  The first two words I would use to describe the class are “big” and “versatile.”  Filled with elite athletes that play multiple positions in football, they also feature multi-sport stars.

“We want athletic guys, we want versatile guys,” Stoops said on National Signing Day.  For basketball players, they develop exceptional footwork and ball skills that translate well to football.

Kentucky’s 2017 class features five basketball stars.  I’ve scoured the internet to find as much as I can on each player.  There’s not much out there on JaVonte Richardson, but there’s still plenty to share about the other four.

Lynn Bowden

The morning of National Signing Day, Bowden shared with Stoops that he dropped 33 points on Tuesday night.  This season Kentucky’s top-rated football commit averages 24.0 points, 6.0 rebounds and 7.0 assists a game, and does stuff like this:

Abule Abadi-Fitzgerald

Abule was primarily a basketball player until this year.  Transfer rules prohibited him from playing football as a junior, but on the basketball court he averaged 19.5 points and 10.0 rebounds.  This season the defensive lineman surpassed 1,000 career points.

Tyrell Ajian

A member of his school’s 1,000-point club, the 4-star athlete has been good at basketball for a long time.  Here’s a few looks from his freshman season.

There are quite a few basketball highlights here, so I’ll keep it simple and share the video of him nailing five threes back in January.

Jordan Wright

The best basketball player in the class, Wright had the opportunity to play Division I basketball.  Wright believes that’s still on the table when he arrives in Lexington.

He told the Sun-Sentinel when he committed to Kentucky, “I am going to think about playing [basketball]. Coach Cal says he has a spot for me,” he said. “We’ll see after the football season.”

Another 1,000-point performer, these are just two of the many highlight reels showing the future Wildcat outside linebacker do work.

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DClarkQB | IG

Danny Clark’s Ohio State Tattoo is Gone

Freshman quarterback Danny Clark arrived on Kentucky’s campus in January with an Ohio State tattoo on his throwing arm.  During interviews last week, he had no shame and no plans to hide it.

“It’s not a big deal.  There’s like three other guys with schools on them, so it’s not really a big deal,” Clark said.  “If it becomes such a big deal for people, it can be covered up in an hour.”

Eight days since that interview, Clark took the time to cover it up, revealing his new sleeve on Instagram.

DClarkQB | IG

DClarkQB | IG


The Depth Chart Podcast’s NSD Recap

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KSR put the finishing touches on National Signing Day with a LIVE podcast at Jack Kain Ford.  There were exponentially fewer technically difficulties than the first remote (but Jack Pilgrim still managed to screw it up once or twice), making this an enjoyable experience for all.  We discussed Kentucky’s next class, what happened on NSD, and…

—  Sleepers and studs.

—  We are shocked and amazed to see a car exit the showroom.

—  A story from Lynn Bowden’s recruitment.

—  The first Super Bowls we remember and why Jack and Andrew’s Pats will lose.

—  Christi Thomas joins to provide her views from NSD and what’s up with the women’s basketball team.

You can easily listen on the KSR App, available on iTunes and Google Play.  You can also get it directly to your phone by subscribing to “Kentucky Sports Radio” on iTunes, streaming on Podbayor via Android’s Podcast Addict app.


Vince Marrow: “When we first got here, we were selling a dream.”

Vince Marrow: “When we first got here, we were selling a dream.”

Photo: John Clay

Photo: John Clay

In Joker Phillips’ last year at Kentucky, it was reported just over 4,000 fans “filled” the stands for the annual UK Football Spring Game. As you can see in the photo above, even that number was a stretch.

During the Missouri game that season, I was approached at a Buffalo Wild Wings by a bystander questioning my team of choice. “It’s Kentucky football…,” he said. “Why are you watching that garbage? Do you just enjoy suffering?”

It wasn’t to poke fun or spark a heated debate. It was out of pity.

At the time, I laughed it off, but they were absolutely right. Kentucky lost that game 33-10, just one of the team’s ten losses on the year. Fan support was at an all-time low, the football facilities were among the worst in the nation, and top recruits wanted nothing to do with the Wildcats. The entire football program was in shambles.

No offense to Joker Phillips, he’s a great guy and really worked hard, but the roster he put out on the field in 2012 was on par with most FCS programs. In fact, even Western Kentucky players thought the team was an embarrassment.

(If that video doesn’t make you cringe, I don’t know what will.)

When Mark Stoops took over the following year, over 50,000 fans packed Commonwealth Stadium for the Spring Game.

For what reason? Why would 50,000 fans fill a stadium for a team they knew darn well was not competing for anything but an SEC East participation trophy that season?

There was hope.

On National Signing Day, Mark Stoops, Vince Marrow, and Eddie Gran joined Matt on KSR to discuss the day’s events and the optimism surrounding the program. Matt asked Marrow the difference between Wednesday’s National Signing Day and the one back in 2013.

His response: “When we first got here, we sold a dream.”

If you think back to Stoops’ first recruiting class, Za’Darius Smith signed with Kentucky over schools like Texas A&M, Texas, Florida State, and Auburn without even visiting campus. It came as a shock to Kentucky fans, as no one expected Mark Stoops’ first football commitment at UK to come from a four-star freak of nature defensive end standing 6’7, 250 lbs. It turned heads nationally.

That class followed up with guys like Jojo Kemp, Jeff Badet, Jason Hatcher, Marcus McWilson, and Ryan Timmons signing with UK, moving the Wildcats into the top 30 of the final recruiting rankings in 2013.

Stoops’ first team at UK went 2-10, yet the coaching staff somehow managed to sign an absolutely ridiculous class in 2014. At one point in time, they were considered the best class in the entire nation.

UK#1RecruitingClass

The class finished with 28 signees, 15 of which rated as four-stars by at least one recruiting service.

At the time, I had fans tell me “Stoops has to be paying these guys. There’s no way he can get four-stars to Kentucky like this.”

But they didn’t. They didn’t need to.

These recruits were told not to pay attention to the win/loss column in the first year, rather focus on the physical progress of the team and the momentum surrounding the program.

UK safety Mike Edwards told KSR, “When they were recruiting me, they said the team was going to struggle that first year. They understood the challenges from the start. But they said from there, progress will be made every year and we’d become competitors in the SEC. Our entire recruiting class had so much faith in the coaching staff, and they’ve followed through on their promises. We’re starting to see those rewards.”

A $126-million renovation of Commonwealth Stadium was well underway, and construction of a $45-million state-of-the-art practice facility began soon thereafter. When both projects were completed, Kentucky’s football facilities were among the best in the entire nation.

Progress didn’t stop at just eye-candy and materialistic flair. It translated onto the football field.

Stoops led Kentucky to their first seven-win season since 2009, and four SEC wins for the first time since 2006. A win over No. 9 Louisville featuring the Heisman winner at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium punched a ticket to the TaxSlayer Bowl (formerly known as the Gator Bowl) in Jacksonville, FL.

Again, the progress didn’t stop there.

On Wednesday, Mark Stoops and his staff signed the greatest recruiting class in UK football history, even better than the jaw-dropping 2014 class in the eyes of both Stoops and Marrow.

In his post-NSD presser, Stoops said, “It’s our best class. Period.”

Lynn Bowden politely declined an offer from Ohio State leading up to Signing Day. Josh Paschal had to tell Alabama, Clemson, and Penn State he wasn’t interested. JaVonte Richardson turned down schools like Michigan and Michigan State.

Some of these guys had ridiculous offer sheets, but Kentucky never flinched. It may be a “dirty business” according to Stoops, but he put up a fight against the baddest dudes in college football. In most of those fights, he won.

We can even go to the bottom of the list where you’ll find Abule Abadi-Fitzgerald. This kid was considered by many to be a “reach” and a “project” in this recruiting class for Kentucky, yet he had an offer from Florida and had schools like Florida State and Penn State sniffing around late last week.

Back in the Joker Phillips era at UK, Abadi-Fitzgerald would have been considered the gem of any recruiting class. The term “diamond in the rough” would have been thrown around, and fans would be enamored by a 6’7, 250 lbs. monster. Back then, UK’s “diamonds in the rough” had offers from schools like Toledo, Kent State, and Miami (OH). Today, Kentucky casually “takes” a guy with interest from the nation’s best.

Kentucky is in position to take on “projects” because the team is absolutely stacked with talent top to bottom. They are in position to take risks because they have dotted their I’s and crossed their T’s elsewhere at positions of need.

That’s the difference between the new era of Kentucky football and the old.

Ask Josh Paschal and his father about the difference between the old and new era of UK Football. Before, Paschal didn’t even have Kentucky listed in his final ten schools, and his father originally scoffed at the idea of his son playing at UK. After Marrow got Paschal to visit against Georgia, he called his father and said, “Dad, it’s not what you think down here. It’s not what it used to be.” That visit alone sold him.

The hump that seemed so impossible to get over at times has finally been conquered. After coming in with a bottomless pit of adversities, the UK staff has the puzzle pieces firmly in place for the program to take the next major step up.

Next season, nearly all of Kentucky’s starters are back and depth is at an all-time high. Redshirts are ready to come in the rotation and make an impact.

Eddie Gran has the offense moving the best it has in years. There will be an impressive quarterback battle this spring between Drew Barker, Stephen Johnson, and Gunnar Hoak. Benny Snell and A.J. Rose will be a dynamic duo in the backfield.

The defense showed a massive turnaround after Mark Stoops took over, and Matt House will be able to come in and continue to run the same schemes.

Etc. Etc. Etc.

For a program many thought could never reach new heights and would always take the backseat to Kentucky basketball, we’re seeing those barriers crumble down right in front of us.

Mark Stoops built this program on dreams and promises of change. In four years, he has turned those dreams and promises into reality.

“We’re just getting started, bro.”


SDS: Biggest Risers and Fallers in SEC Recruiting over last years

@UKStoopsTroops

@UKStoopsTroops

Saturday Down South has  analyzed the greatest change in recruiting class rankings from year-to-year over the past 15 years. The Cats showed up twice on the rankings. The first is a 38 place rise that occurred in Mark Stoops’ first year for the Class of 2013. That ranks 5th in the SEC for largest rise.

Kentucky also falls on the largest fallers list after dropping 35 spots during the class of 2005. The Class of 2005 followed Rich Brooks second season at Kentucky after the Cats went 2-9. Some key members of the Class of 2005 include Tim Masthay, Jeremy Jarmon and Alfonso Smith.

You can check out where Kentucky ranks against the rest of the SEC in the greatest rise and falls over the last 15 years at the link below:

Biggest Risers and Fallers in SEC Recruiting over last years


John Kuntz Northeast Ohio Media Group

Cats Illustrated: Javonte Richardson

John Kuntz Northeast Ohio Media Group

John Kuntz Northeast Ohio Media Group

Justin Rowland from Cats Illustrated has written a fantastic profile on UK Football Signee JaVonte Richardson. Richardson is a 4-Star Wide Receiver out of Maple Heights, Ohio. KSR Football Writer Freddie Maggard analysis of Richardson says, “Competes on every snap; actively engaged as ball carrier, pass catcher, and blocker. Appears that all are equally important. Explosion play capability. Wins 50/50 situations.”

Richardson’s size and athleticism are one of the main reasons for his success.

“Now he’s 230 pounds and he’s like a man-child out there on the field. The competition has just been minimal for him,” Smith said. “Matchup wise, there’s really been no competition. A lot of the teams we played double-teamed him, triple-teamed him. But he’s physical. He’s not like the typical receiver. He blocks. He hits. He makes tackles. He tries to complete the play. If he catches a 10-yard pass he’s like, ‘I need to make this a 20-yard reception.'”

Rowland goes into what makes Richardson successful as a player and into the impact that Kentucky had on him, which was a primary reason behind his early commitment. Check out the article in its’ entirety at the link below:

ALL ABOUT ACTION: Talk is cheap for JaVonte Richardson


Watching UK Football players watch the UK Football Super Bowl ad will make you excited for the UK Football Super Bowl ad

Watching UK Football players watch the UK Football Super Bowl ad will make you excited for the UK Football Super Bowl ad

Screen Shot 2017-02-03 at 11.14.56 AM

Since Mark Stoops took over at UK, it’s become tradition for the program to put out a Super Bowl ad in local markets. This year is no exception. While you’ll have to wait until Sunday to see the ad for yourself, the players got a sneak peek of it this week, and their reactions suggest it will be awesome:

Benny certainly seems to love it.


Friday’s Top 10: Who’s healthy enough to go to Florida?

Friday’s Top 10: Who’s healthy enough to go to Florida?

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Good morning, friends. Hopefully the guy you see pictured above isn’t the only Kentucky fan in Gainesville this weekend. With several uncertainties heading into tomorrow’s matchup with the Gators, let’s roll through today’s agenda, starting with the question everyone’s asking…

1. What’s the latest on Fox, Mulder, and SKJ?

De’Aaron Fox and Sacha Killeya-Jones missed Tuesday’s game due to the flu, while Mychal Mulder remained out with an undisclosed illness (and is IS an illness, despite speculation). After the Georgia game, John Calipari was skeptical the three would be available for this weekend’s trip to Gainesville, but yesterday, sources told KSR that Fox and Mulder were moving towards being able to play. The staff is cautiously optimistic the two will be able to suit up vs. the Gators, but the deciding factor would be whether or not they practiced yesterday. Still no word on that, but we’ll get an update this afternoon when…

2. John Calipari previews Florida

Cal is scheduled to speak to the media before the team leaves for Gainesville, so check the site mid-afternoon for a live stream and shortly after, a full recap.

3. Calipari and Kenny Payne are going to see Kevin Knox

While the team heads to Gainesville, Cal and KP are going to Tampa to watch five-star small forward Kevin Knox. Knox visited UK this past weekend for the Kansas game and although he won’t announce until March, Calipari’s hoping to capitalize on momentum from that visit.

4. Maybe he’ll show him the “30 for 30” preview that came out last night?

Last night, we got a minute-long sneak peek at the documentary, which will debut Thursday, April 13. Let’s hope that final line — “You’re gonna hate me, ’cause I come to your town and we beat your team” — is a good omen for tomorrow night.

One last Calipari note, swear.

5. ICYMI, Calipari released his podcast with Ben Roethlisberger

I’m not a fan of Big Ben, but I did enjoy his appearance on Calipari’s podcast, which came out yesterday. Roethlisberger and Cal bonded over how Ben played point guard in high school, went to a football camp at UK as a junior, and how he infuses his teammates with his refuse to lose attitude. Roethlisberger even shared his Super Bowl pick (35-20 Patriots).

6. What the heck is going on at Kansas

I realize the Jayhawks just beat us in Rupp Arena, but shady stuff continues to come out of Lawrence, the most recent being news that Lagerald Vick and Josh Jackson are persons of interest in a vandalism case. Between this, the alleged rape at the KU basketball dorm and Carlton Bragg’s suspension for possession of drug paraphernalia, you would think the Jayhawks would crumble under distraction, but somehow, they keep winning.

7. UK Hoops lost a tough one to South Carolina

It’s been a rough week for Matthew Mitchell’s crew, who lost at Missouri on Monday and again last night at home to #4 South Carolina. Upsetting the Gamecocks would have been huge, but the ladies just couldn’t find their shot, going 34% from the field. Hopefully they can bounce back Tuesday vs. Vanderbilt.

8. This graphic sums up the BBNBA right now

Last night, it was announced that four Cats will participate in the Taco Bell Skills Challenge during NBA All-Star Weekend (February 17-19). Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins will compete against two other posts, Kristaps Porzingis and Joel Embiid, while John Wall and Devin Booker duel with Gordon Hayward and Isaiah Thomas. Last year, Karl Towns won the Skills Challenge, but declined an invitation to defend his crown. Instead, he’ll participate in the Rising Stars Challenge that Friday night.

9. Come see Freddie and the Depth Chart podcast crew at Jack Kain Ford

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Got plans for lunch? Head on over to Jack Kain Ford in Versailles to see Freddie, Nick Roush, Jack Pilgrim, and Andrew Eaton talk all things National Signing Day on the Depth Chart Podcast. Need more incentive? There’s free pizza and a drawing for a 65″ TV. The crew will be there starting at 11:30 a.m., but they won’t start taping the podcast until noon, you don’t worry, you won’t miss a second of KSR. Speaking of…

10. KSR is live from Lancaster this morning

If you’re in Garrard County, come on out to the First Southern National Bank to hear the show. Sounds like a perfect excuse to start the weekend early if you ask me.


Join the Depth Chart Podcast Tomorrow at Jack Kain Ford

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After Kentucky Sports Radio wraps up their show in Lancaster, the Depth Chart Podcast will be LIVE at Jack Kain Ford.  Freddie and the crew will discuss National Signing Day, the upcoming Super Bowl and much, much more.

Even if you don’t want to hang out with us, the lunch is on Jack Kain, starting around 11:30.  While you’re there, you can shop their excellent selection of automobiles or heckle us for not knowing what we’re talking about.

Tomorrow’s podcast will be a fun way to end the National Signing Day hysteria.  We hope to see you there!


Kentucky got A WHOLE LOTTA MONEY from the SEC this year

Kentucky got A WHOLE LOTTA MONEY from the SEC this year

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A lot of fans often ask why Kentucky stays in the SEC. Today, they have 40.4 million reasons why. This afternoon, SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey announced the league divvied up $584.2 million of revenue to its 14 institutions, an average of slightly over $40.4 million per school. That’s an insane amount of money, and doesn’t even include bowl revenue.

The $584.2 million of revenue distributed is for the 2015-16 fiscal year and is the highest in SEC history. Last year, the league distributed $475.8 million for the 2014-15 fiscal year, an average of $32.7 million per school. The total distribution amount is comprised of revenue generated from television agreements, post-season bowl games, the College Football Playoff, the SEC Football Championship, the SEC Men’s Basketball Tournament, NCAA Championships and a supplemental surplus distribution. For comparison’s sake, the Big 10 distributes around $32.4 million to its members, while ACC schools annually receive anywhere from $24 million to $27.6 million.

Overall, the SEC made a record $639 million in 2016, which you know means Commissioner Sankey is strutting around his office like…

 


Lamar Jackson wins Herald-Leader Kentucky Sports Figure of the Year

Lamar Jackson wins Herald-Leader Kentucky Sports Figure of the Year

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This shouldn’t come as a surprise, but Lamar Jackson was voted the Herald-Leader’s 2016 Kentucky Sports Figure of the Year. Jackson was by far the most popular #1 pick, accounting for 114 of the 157 first-place votes, including all of the KSR crew’s, I believe. It’s not every year a Louisville player both wins the Heisman and gives Kentucky fans a win for the ages, right? Tyler Ulis came in at number two, Karl Towns number four, Kendra Harrison number five, and Mark Stoops number seven.

Here’s the top ten, with first-place votes in parentheses and total points:

1. Lamar Jackson, football (114): 1,680
2. Tyler Ulis, basketball (3): 639
3. Whitney Creech, basketball (14): 601
4. Karl-Anthony Towns, basketball (2): 435
5. Kendra Harrison, track & field (3): 423
6. Kelsi Worrell, swimming (1): 420
7. Mark Stoops, football (4): 402
8. Jeff Brohm, football: 348
9. Erin Boley, basketball (1): 223
10. Adam Duvall, baseball (1): 214

Check out the complete voting results over at the Herald-Leader, along with various quotes from the media on their selections, including one from yours truly about Tyler Ulis.

[Herald-Leader]


Calipari tries to recruit Ben Roethlisberger on his latest podcast

Just because Kentucky lost two of its last three games doesn’t mean John Calipari’s taking a week off his podcast! This week, Cal interviews Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, and the podcast is now available for your listening pleasure. The two covered all the expected topics, like Ben’s career, the Steelers, and Sunday’s Super Bowl, but did you know Roethlisberger was a point guard in high school? Big Ben averaged 26.5 points, 9 rebounds, and 5 assists, but had to give up his hoop dreams to focus on football; that didn’t stop Calipari from trying to retroactively recruit him, of course.

“Let me ask you this, what if I were at Kentucky, and I said, ‘I’ve gotta have this guy,'” Calipari said. “And I’d sit you down, and tell your family, ‘Look, your kid is special. He’s a big guard, and I love big guards, you know.’ What would you have done? Would you have dropped the football and come to Kentucky?”

“It would have been a tough one for me,” Roethlisberger said. “I went to Kentucky football camp back in the day when I was a junior. Went there and was a part of that. But, you know Coach, I’ve got a lot of love and respect for you, so I probably would have went. I would have stayed longer than a year too. I would have given you my best and I promise you, I would have passed the ball a lot.”

So Big Ben was at UK Football camp in the late ’90s, which is when Hal Mumme was coach. We had some pretty amazing quarterbacks back then, but can you imagine if he had come to Kentucky?

To listen, subscribe to the Cal Cast on iTunes, Podbay, Stitcher, or Soundcloud.


Thursday’s Top 10: Groundhog Day, Signing Day wrap-up, ServPro at the Lodge

Thursday’s Top 10: Groundhog Day, Signing Day wrap-up, ServPro at the Lodge

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Okay, campers, rise and shine, and don’t forget your booties ’cause it’s coooold out there today! Actually, it could be colder for the second day in February, but because it’s Groundhog Day, I had to steal a line from Bill Murray’s 1993 classic. If you believe in the bizarre tradition, don’t put away your flannel and sweaters just yet; this morning, Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow, meaning we’ve got six weeks of winter left. Considering it was 65 degrees here in Nashville Tuesday, I’m skeptical, but hey, who am I to argue with a groundhog?

Let’s go over today’s agenda…

1. Stoops signed his best class yet yesterday

Yesterday was quite the day for the UK Football program, which pulled in what Mark Stoops called his best class ever. Although the class may not rank as high as Stoops’ 2014 group, he raved about the character and leadership of his 24 new players.

“I’d say it’s by far best class, period, but by athletes as well. I just feel so good about this class top to bottom. The biggest thing, and I may be a bit redundant when I talk about this, but it is about their character, about their leadership. You look at these guys and a bunch of these guys are captains on their football team, they’re very, very good students. They’re competitors, they’re winners. You just look at the two quarterbacks that we have in this class, and if I’m talking about one, I’m talking about both of them. They are unbelievable leaders. They’re winners, they’re competitors and you could say that about the whole group.”

2. Jedrick Wills and Danny Davis went elsewhere

There was hope Kentucky would be able to flip five-star Lafayette lineman Jedrick Wills, but Wills decided to stay with Alabama. He called Stoops late Tuesday night to inform him of his decision, which he admitted was very difficult.

“It wasn’t something I wanted to do, but it’s something you have to do because I have respect for him,” Wills told SEC Country’s Joe Mussatto. “UK’s been on me since about 8th grade so I respect them a lot and I thank them for what they’ve done for me.”

Best of luck to Wills and Danny Davis, a four-star receiver who opted for Wisconsin instead of Kentucky Wednesday afternoon.

3. Lamar Thomas continues to enjoy the win over Louisville

We all loved Kentucky’s upset over Louisville, but I’d argue few people have enjoyed it as much as Lamar Thomas, who wore a “Mr. 41-28” nametag around the football facility yesterday:

During his press conference yesterday, Vince Marrow said the win over Louisville gave the program huge momentum with the 2017 class:

“When we first got here we were selling the dream and what it was going to become with the facilities and all that. We still were able to sell the SEC but eventually we had to win that signature game to make them say ‘whoa, everything they are selling is coming true.’ I know when our coaches went out in December I had a lot of people telling me our coaches were walking in those schools with a swag. Everyone was talking about the Louisville game. To me that win was huge for us.”

4. The entire roster of 2017 signees

Before we close the book on Signing Day and shift back to basketball, here’s one last look at the 24 newest Kentucky Wildcats:

Screen Shot 2017-02-02 at 7.32.47 AM

5. What’s the latest on Fox, Mulder, and Killeya-Jones?

De’Aaron Fox and Sacha Killeya-Jones missed Tuesday night’s game vs. Georgia due to the flu, along with Mychal Mulder, who sat out his fourth game due to an undisclosed illness. Will they be back in time for Saturday’s game at Florida? On Tuesday, Calipari said Fox and SKJ will probably be game-time decisions, while Mulder would be out another week to ten days. I doubt we’ll get an official update before Calipari’s presser on Friday, but we have our ear to the ground and will bring you any news that comes along. In the meantime, send healing vibes to the Wildcat Coal Lodge, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY 40526.

6. A ServPro truck was spotted at the Lodge yesterday

@troydrobertson

@troydrobertson

If you listen to KSR, you know ServPro can handle any disaster, small or large, and one of their trucks was spotted outside the Lodge yesterday. Coincidence or did Calipari call in the pros to help sanitize the place? His tweet last night suggests the latter:

7. Zion Williamson met with Calipari last night

Fresh off his “indescribable” and “ridiculous” visit for the Kansas game, the second best player in the junior class hosted John Calipari in his home in South Carolina yesterday. Williamson, a 6’7″ five-star power forward, didn’t have an offer from Kentucky before yesterday; did something change on that visit? You’ll hope so after watching Williamson dunk so hard the scoreboard just gave up Tuesday night:

@zionlw10 Simply amazing.

A video posted by JBGolf (@jbgolf18) on

Phew. Give that kid an offer, Cal. Speaking of recruiting…

8. Kentucky’s trending up for Mohamed Bamba

Two more picks went in Kentucky’s direction this week from Duke writers, furthering the buzz that the 7-footer will end up in Lexington:

9. Calipari’s podcast with Ben Roethlisberger is scheduled to drop today

This week’s Cal Cast guest is Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, and even though Calipari avoided his first three-game losing streak at Kentucky with Tuesday’s overtime win, I bet some people will still grumble about how he NEEDS TO STOP DOING THAT PODCAST AND START COACHING MORE ZONE. Regardless, I’ll bring you the highlights whenever it comes out (even though I really, really don’t like Big Ben).

10. College basketball on TV tonight

  • 7:00 PM: Missouri at #24 Florida, ESPN2
  • 9:00 PM: #5 Arizona at Oregon State, ESPN2
  • 11:00 PM: Arizona State at #13 Oregon, FS1
  • 11:00 PM: #1 Gonzaga at BYU, ESPN2
  • 11:00 PM: #18 Saint Mary’s at Pacific, ESPNU

Radio in an hour…