Football Recruiting News
By Nick Roush on ©August 21st, 2019 @ 10:30am
A week before the start of the 2019 season, Kentucky picked up talented commitments in the trenches on consecutive days. Offensive tackle Deondre Buford and defensive lineman Tre’vonn Rybka are ranked as four-star prospects by at least one recruiting service.
The two additions put UK’s 2020 class back in the Top 25. Rivals ranks UK’s class No. 24 overall, while 247 Sports gives the Cats a slightly higher bump at No. 22. The Cats’ class ranks tenth in the SEC, but is sixth in the league in average star rating. Of the 16 commitments, half are considered four-star prospects by at least one of the recruiting sites.
Kentucky has room to add between seven and nine players. Here’s what the class currently looks like:
Kentucky Football Class of 2020
|Justin Rogers||DT||Oak Park, MI||6-4||315||5-star, #14 Overall|
|Samuel Anaele||DE/OLB||Miami, FL||6-4||250||4-star, #112 Overall|
|John Young||OT||Louisville, KY||6-6||295||4-star, #5 KY|
|Beau Allen||QB||Lexington, KY||6-2||200||4-star, #20 QB|
|Tre'vonn Rybka||DL||Dickson, TN||6-4`||281||4-star, #18 SDE|
|Andru Phillips||CB||Mauldin, SC||6-0||180||3-star, #5 SC|
|Torrance Davis||RB||Cleveland, OH||6-1||215||3-star, #26 RB|
|JuTahn McClain||APB||Fairfield, OH||5-9||176||3-star, #12 APB|
|Kalil Branham||WR||Columbus, OH||6-1||205||3-star, #84 WR|
|Deondre Buford||OT||Detroit, MI||6-5||270||3-star, #70 OT|
|Jordan Watkins||WR||Louisville, KY||6-0||180||3-star, #13 ATH|
|Izayah Cummings||WR||Louisville, KY||6-3||210||3-star, #11 KY|
|Earnest Sanders||WR||Flint, MI||6-2||190||3-star, #100 WR|
|D'Eryk Jackson||LB||Dexter, GA||6-2||235||3-star, #106 GA|
|Joshua Jones||OT||Phenix City, AL||6-6||300||3-star, #58 OT|
|Carrington Valentine||CB||Cincinnati, OH||6-0||2180||3-star, #28 OH|
By Nick Roush on ©August 20th, 2019 @ 10:45pm
The low-down, dirty Volunteers will watch one of their best players move across the northern border to play for the Kentucky Wildcats.
Tre’vonn Rybka is the 16th player in the Cats’ 2020 recruiting class and one of the most talented. A four-star prospect, Rivals ranks the Dickson, Tn. native as the No. 18 strong-side defensive end in America.
Recruited by defensive line coach Derrick LeBlanc, Rybka’s announcement is just a day after Michigan’s Deondre Buford joined the Big Blue Nation. The two additions have put UK back into the top 25 of the national recruiting team rankings.
Rybka packs plenty of power behind his 6-4, 280-pound frame, yet he’s also versatile enough to play in a few different alignments in UK’s 3-4 defense. See some of his best work from 2018:
By Zack Geoghegan on ©August 20th, 2019 @ 7:00pm
This past Monday, the Kentucky Wildcats gained some serious momentum for a four-star all-purpose running back out of Vince Marrow’s favorite territory.
According to 247 Sports Crystal Ball predictions, Michael Drennen II – the seventh-ranked player out of Ohio – is now trending towards choosing the Wildcats over The (trademark?) Ohio State University.
The updated predictions now swing 55 percent in favor of the Cats with only 27 percent choosing the Buckeyes followed by nine percent for the Stanford Cardinals. This comes shortly after OSU was deemed the overwhelming favorite.
247 Sports also stated that Drennen is hoping to schedule an official visit to Lexington this fall.
“(Kentucky has) two backs committed right now (Torrance Davis and Jutahn McClain) and they’re still pushing for me,” Drennen said. “I love Kentucky and I’ve been there the most of any of the out of state schools. Those coaches are my guys and we talk all the time, especially (tight ends coach and recruiting coordinator Vince Marrow).”
“I will take an official visit there for sure.”
Marrow and Kentucky have been hot on Drennen for some time now, offering the Dublin, Ohio native a scholarship as early as his freshman season.
Kentucky currently sits at No. 22 in the 2020 recruiting standings with 16 total players after recently picking up two commitments, Deondre Buford and Tre’Vonn Rybka, and they continue to shoot up the standings with what is turning out to be an excellent class for the Cats.
If Drennen does decide to come to Kentucky, he would be the fourth four-star player in this class.
Will these Yathzees ever get boring? Let’s just test that theory with another commitment, shall we?
Check out his highlight package below.
By Nick Roush on ©August 19th, 2019 @ 9:00pm
Friends, the long summer is almost over. That is why tonight will be the last Monday night football notebook of 2019. This time one week from now we’ll have a Mark Stoops press conference under our belt as we prepare for the season-opener against Toledo. It’s been a fun ride during a summer that has flown by. Now, let’s quit wasting time and get to the football.
Two Epic Weekends
Whatever Mark Stoops and Vince Marrow are doing during official visits, it’s working. Following Deondre Buford’s announcement that he has been committed to Kentucky, UK pulled off a clean sweep on a weekend that was filled with highly-ranked recruits.
- DT Justin Rogers
- QB Beau Allen
- OL John Young
- CB Dru Phillips
- OT Deondre Buford
UK followed up the final weekend in April with an epic weekend in June, going four-for-four starting on June 22.
- OL Joshua Jones
- WR Jordan Watkins
- WR Izayah Cummings
- WR Earnest Sanders
Only those that attended the visits know exactly how the events transpired. We simply have to tip our caps to the Cats’ coaches from afar for successfully closing each deal.
There are only so many things you can factor into one’s recruiting ranking. Their 247 or Rivals profile cannot accurately capture the complete picture. Knowing how to operate within a successful program is an immeasurable intangible, one that every single future UK offensive lineman knows all to well. Last year Deondre Buford, John Young and Joshua Jones were state champions in Michigan, Kentucky and Alabama respectively.
Another Potential Addition
While some may be on their way out, another may be on his way in. Tre’Vonn Rybka, a 6-5 270-pound four-star recruit ranked by Rivals as the No. 18 strong-side defensive end in the country, is announcing his college decision tomorrow. Choosing between Kentucky and Tennessee, most believe the Dickson, Tn. native will rock Kentucky blue before the day is done.
Look Ma! One Hand
I can’t decide what’s more impressive, Josh Ali’s reception or Jamin Davis’ six-pack.
Trimming the Depth Chart
Saturday’s second UK football scrimmage of the preseason served as a final tryout for underclassmen who are trying to crack into the rotation.
“We have to get dialed in here this week starting Monday, make some decisions today or tomorrow. Not that it’s a final decision, but have some good idea of who is in the two-deep,” Stoops said Saturday afternoon.
“We’ve got to work hard and concentrate on putting one great unit out there on each side of the ball and have some guys who can go out there and play winning football as well.”
At this point, players have been informed where they stand. We will not receive a two-deep until just before Stoops’ press conference next Monday morning. As an average cryptic-Tweet reader, it looks like J.J. Weaver is starting the season on the outside looking in.
Keep fighting ??? my time will come….
— JJ Weaver (@jjtimeee) August 18, 2019
Prepare for an Exodus
Over the last two Sundays, KyWildcatsTV has released features on a pair of their talented stars, Lynn Bowden and Quinton Bohanna. Is it a coincidence they are both juniors? I think not. While some fans may already have their sights set on an outstanding 2020 season, don’t put the horse before the cart. Bohanna and Bowden are just a few of the juniors that could play their way into the NFL Draft, along with offensive tackle Landon Young, outside linebacker Boogie Watson and running back A.J. Rose.
The Secondary’s Greatest Menace
Stoops’ staff has been hesitant to single out any individual in the secondary. UK’s coaches are trying to temper expectations as much as possible by keeping things tight-lipped. However, you can’t keep everyone quiet. When Terry Wilson was asked who has caused him the most problems in the secondary, he replied, “Jordan Griffin.”
“He’s been doing really good,” said Wilson. “He’s a veteran back there for those guys. From what I’ve seen, he’s done a good job of leading those guys, making the correct calls. He’s been making some big plays too.”
Before the depth chart is released next week, we should receive more clarity on where each player stands when Stoops opens practice to the media.
Joe Moorhead’s SEC Media Days Wish is Granted
Mississippi State’s head coach used the platform of the SEC Media Days’ podium to address his childhood hero, Dan Marino. The former quarterback from Pittsburgh attended the same high school as the NFL legend. Moorhead’s request was simple. All he wanted was a follow-back from Marino. One month later, Marino finally fulfilled Moorhead’s request. You can cross one off your bucket list, Joe.
— Coach Joe Moorhead (@BallCoachJoeMo) August 18, 2019
Shout Out to Somerset
The Briarjumpers might have the most beautiful football field in the Commonwealth.
On a completely unrelated note, Trinity destroyed Frederick Douglass in a scrimmage last Friday and I still can’t figure out how. Douglass has a lot of work to do or Brian Landis won’t have much to show for all of that blue chip talent.
By Nick Roush on ©August 19th, 2019 @ 4:51pm
Another one of Michigan’s top athletes will play football at the University of Kentucky.
According to 247 Sports’ Josh Edwards, offensive tackle Deondre Buford has committed to Kentucky. A four-star recruit by 247 Sports, the publication ranks Buford as the No. 24 offensive tackle in America and No. 295 prospect overall. He chose UK over Auburn, Missouri, Pitt, Purdue and Arizona. Edwards reports that Buford has been silently committed to the program since April, but wanted to wait to announce it until a meaningful day for him and his family.
— Jared Purcell (@JaredPurcellDET) August 19, 2019
A star for Martin Luther King Jr. High School in Detroit, Buford is UK’s third commitment in the 2020 class from the Great Lakes State, joining defensive tackle Justin Rogers and wide receiver Earnest Sanders. Steve Clinkscale now has pulled in five commitments from Michigan over three recruiting classes.
Buford’s official visit to Kentucky will go down as one of the most influential recruiting weekends in the history of the football program. On the final weekend of April 2019, Mark Stoops and Vince Marrow hosted Buford, Rogers, Beau Allen, Dru Phillips and John Young. All five fringe four-star players are now members of the Cats’ 2020 class. What a weekend.
A powerful 6-5 270 pound tackle, here’s a sample of what you’ll see in a Kentucky uniform in the future.
By Nick Roush on ©August 16th, 2019 @ 11:00am
You don’t have to wait one more week to watch a football game.
The week before the Florida Gators and Miami Hurricanes kick off the 150th college football season, high school programs are popping pads across the Commonwealth. They’re technically preseason games, but you can still see some high quality competition on the gridiron between UK recruits.
Beginning at 6:00 p.m. at Bowling Green High School, the Purples are hosting Louisville Male. That means future UK wide receiver Izayah Cummings will go toe-to-toe against four-star defensive back Vito Tisdale, one of the top players on UK’s board. Two of the best athletes in the state, the matchup between the two seniors should produce fireworks.
The game also features a few talented underclassmen. Bowling Green tight end Jordan Dingle is the third-ranked player from Kentucky in the 2021 class. Like Dingle, Male sophomore defensive tackle Selah Brown holds a scholarship offer from Kentucky.
For those in Central Kentucky, you can see the state’s top underclassmen clash. Frederick Douglass is hosting Trinity tonight at 7:00 p.m. Along with the top-ranked senior in the state, Walker Parks, Douglass has the top two players in the 2021 class, wide receiver Dekel Crowdus and offensive lineman Jager Burton. On the other side, Trinity linebacker Charlie Ely is a top 10 junior in the state, one of the Shamrocks many college prospects.
By Nick Roush on ©August 13th, 2019 @ 1:00pm
After watching the top prospects around the country all summer, football recruiting services are making one more update to their rankings ahead of the upcoming high school football season. You’ll find one future Wildcat in the Rivals100.
Five-star defensive tackle Justin Rogers is the fourteenth-ranked player in America according to Rivals. The Detroit native dropped two spots in the latest rankings update.
Two prospects from the Commonwealth also made the cut for the Rivals100. Lexington Frederick Douglass offensive tackle Walker Parks, a Clemson commit, is ranked No. 56 overall. Covington Catholic tight end and Notre Dame commit Michael Mayer comes in two spots after Parks at No. 58 overall.
Kentucky’s 2020 recruiting class is just inside the top 25, ranked by Rivals as the No. 24 class in America, with four players ranked four-star or better by the recruiting service.
By Nick Roush on ©August 10th, 2019 @ 5:00pm
One of the best pass rushers in America is seriously considering the Kentucky Wildcats.
Ranked by Rivals as the No. 6 strong-side defensive end in the 2020 recruiting class, four-star prospect Tyler Baron released a list of five finalists Friday afternoon. Baron will choose between Kentucky, Oklahoma, Ohio State, Oregon and Tennessee.
Tennessee is the prohibitive favorite for the 6-5, 240-pound defensive lineman. There are six predictions apiece by 247 and Rivals; all 12 believe Baron will be a Vol. After all, he is from Knoxville.
Plenty of things can change between now and Baron’s decision date. Until that time comes, enjoy the best of Baron’s work on the gridiron.
By Nick Roush on ©August 05th, 2019 @ 10:04pm
As the football focus shifts to preseason camp, Vince Marrow dropped a subtle recruiting bomb at UK Football Media Day.
“We got some guys,” he told KSR. “There are some guys that are silent committed that when they announce, it’s going to blow people’s minds. It’s going to take our class way up. There’s some big time dudes that we already got silent commitments from and they just wanna announce on their mom’s birthday or their dad’s birthday. People are going to be fired up.”
The silent commitment is not a rare anomaly in the recruiting world. As Marrow said, most use it to save their public announcement for a special occasion. What’s unique in this situation is that he used the plural of “guys.” Kentucky has 14 players committed, good enough for a Top 25 ranking nationally. Who could the big stars be? Allow me to speculate for just a moment.
Rickey Hyatt Jr. — Many believed the three-star Ohio safety would pull the trigger and commit to the Cats after an unofficial visit in late July. Maybe he did tell the coaching staff he was going to be a Wildcat. A track star who lives in Ohio State’s backyard, I believe Marrow and Co. would be overjoyed if he dragged around “the school up north” for a few months, only to pull out the rug from underneath them right before signing day.
Deondre Buford — The only player who did not commit following the infamous April official visit weekend that included Justin Rogers, John Young and Beau Allen, I would not be surprised if the Michigan offensive tackle already pledged his allegiance to the Cats.
Octavious Oxendine — One of the most sought after players remaining on Kentucky’s board, the addition of the North Hardin defensive tackle would certainly “blow people’s minds.” A four-star prospect that’s considered one of the nation’s top 250 recruits, Ox is exactly what UK is looking for in the middle of the defense.
Vito Tisdale — It’s difficult to gauge exactly where the Bowling Green safety’s recruitment stands. The four-star recruit kept a low profile throughout the recruiting season until he announced yesterday that he will reveal his college decision on national TV at the All-American Game. In theory, if Tisdale wanted to enroll early, he could sign with his future school in December and ask them to keep the news quiet until the All-American Game announcement.
For now, all of that is enjoyable food for thought. Chew on it as you please. If Vince’s statement becomes a reality (and I have no reason to doubt it), 2020 will go down as the highest-ranked recruiting class in school history.
The Magic Number
Many were concerned UK could not capitalize on an excellent ten-win season with a complete recruiting class in 2020. Marrow told me they plan on taking 22 to 24 players this year. Transfers and other defections will give UK almost a complete class.
Did You Know?
UK cannot specifically ask committed players to recruit on the Cats’ behalf. It’s against NCAA rules. Marrow’s just happy this group has taken the initiative on their own.
“We do not tell guys to recruit for us,” he revealed. “They recruit on their own. Certain guys just got that passion. Why wouldn’t you recruit? Don’t you wanna play with good players? If I was coming out, I’d be trying to get all the good players. We got some very smart guys in this class.”
He cannot specifically say who is taking charge, but it’s pretty obvious that Beau Allen and John Young are the ring-leaders.
Big Dog in Louisville
Over the last two years, Kentucky has picked up seven commitments from the city of Louisville (eight if you count Dru Phillips, who grew up in the city). That swift change could not have happened without Marrow.
“We got the guys we’re supposed to get at Kentucky,” Marrow said. “Once we got a few guys committed, that didn’t sit well with people down there.”
At UK Media Day, Vince joked that when he stops at restaurants around town, people tell him to keep it moving. Well, not everyone.
“I’m so happy that he put me down there because I met a lot of good people. There’s a lot of Kentucky fans in the city of Louisville.”
If you’re wondering how Kentucky has overtaken Michigan State on the football recruiting front, take one look at these absolutely horrendous alternate uniforms.
By Zack Geoghegan on ©August 04th, 2019 @ 7:30pm
I don’t want to get ahead of myself, but Kentucky football could kick off the year 2020 with another Citrus Bowl bid and a four-star homegrown recruit.
Okay so maybe I’m getting ahead of myself with visualizing another January bowl game, but the Cats very well could add that four-star safety.
Vito Tisdale, 2020’s No. 3 overall prospect in the state of Kentucky, announced via Twitter on Sunday that he will announce his decision at the All American Bowl on Jan. 4.
I will be committing January 4th, 2020 at the All American Bowl ..
— V7?? (@vitotisdale7) August 4, 2019
The Crystal Ball from 24/7 Sports has the Wildcats at 70 percent with Lousiville (20 percent) and Oklahoma (10 percent) trailing behind. Back in May, Kentucky was already the trendy pick for Tisdale and that wave was continued since then. With a decision date now looming, the chances are looking good for the Cats.
The All American Bowl is an event in San Antonio, Texas that showcases the top high school football talent from across the country with teams split up by eastern and western regions of the country. It will be broadcast on NBC at 1 p.m.
Tisdale currently attends Bowling Green high school and is ranked as the 24th best safety in the country.
By Nick Roush on ©August 01st, 2019 @ 11:00am
August 1 marks the beginning of Kentucky football camp and the start of a new recruiting calendar year.
Football Subdivision Schools can now officially extend scholarship offers to prospective recruits. It’s not the first time a team will verbally offer a scholarship to an athlete, but it’s the first time they can put it on the record. Throughout the day UK football recruits will be sharing the photoshopped messages they’ve received from the school. Four-star wide receiver commit Kalil Branham was the first to share his on Twitter.
Louisville wide receiver Jordan Watkins also got in on the action.
In the month of August, Kentucky cannot contact recruits in-person, except for the 48 hours leading into the Cats’ first game of the season August 31. Once the calendar turns to September, things heat up in the class of 2021. Coaches will then be able to call or text recruits like Dekel Crowdus and Jager Burton.
Kentucky’s been on a recruiting roll this summer, but they weren’t able to pry a four-star safety from his home state school.
Makari Paige, the No. 22 safety in the 2020 class, committed to Michigan tonight, which isn’t terribly surprising considering he visited the Wolverines for their BBQ at the Big House event this past weekend. Kentucky was in his top four, along with Ohio State and Penn State.
— MAKARI PAIGE ¹? (@makaripaige) July 30, 2019
The Cats have other irons in the fire at safety, namely Vito Tisdale from Bowling Green and Rickey Hyatt Jr. from Westerville, Ohio; in fact, all three picks in Hyatt’s Crystal Ball are for Kentucky, a very promising sign.
By Nick Roush on ©July 29th, 2019 @ 11:00pm
If Beau Allen contributes as much for Kentucky on the field as he has already off the field, the future of the program is bright.
This weekend 2020 commits Justin Rogers and Earnest Sanders made the trip from Michigan to Lexington. Since it was an unofficial visit, they had to find a place to stay. Instead of shacking up at a hotel, the Allen family opened their doors to Beau’s future teammates. Throw the rankings out the door. The brightest star is Georgie the Bulldog.
He’s so flipping tiny! How can you not love this guy?
In almost every football recruiting class, there’s a guy who commits early that tries to recruit others to join him. Often times that is the quarterback. In this rare instance, the guy is a quarterback who also lives right down the road from the school. Whenever high-profile players visit UK, Allen can make the short drive to campus. If one of the guys needs a place to stay, the Allens can take care of them.
Throw out the recruiting ramifications for just a moment. Remember when you were in high school? The two most exciting things on your calendar were taking a road trip and staying the night at a friend’s house. Those experiences take relationships to another level by creating lasting bonds.
Each and every single one of the kids that has committed to Kentucky in the 2020 class has talked about how it “felt like family” at UK. That’s not by accident. Sure, the coaches and current players all treat them well while they’re on campus, but that happens everywhere. In UK’s 2020 class they have already developed friendships with their future teammates, relationships that will only continue to grow each and every time one makes a weekend trip to Lexington.
Hear from Beau
The gun-slinger loosened up his arm by throwing some foosball with
Uncle Rico LEX-18’s Charlie Walter.
Caught up with Beau Allen for the first time since he decided he will stay home and play for Kentucky. We talked his recruitment and how the program that he's been cheering for his whole life has changed . pic.twitter.com/O5MCqvJ9DH
— Charlie Walter (@CharlieWalterTV) July 28, 2019
Playing the Waiting Game with Rickey Hyatt Jr.
Many folks believed Kentucky could convince the three-star safety to commit to UK during an unofficial visit to Lexington this weekend. That’s much easier said than done.
Throughout Benny Snell’s career, he talked about how getting spurned by Ohio State fueled him to be great. Hyatt Jr. has not had that same problem at Westerville Central High. Hyatt holds an offer from the Buckeyes. Vince Marrow has won his fair share of recruiting battles against Ohio State, but it took a lot of energy and effort over an extended amount of time. Hyatt may not wait until just before NSD like Chris Oats and Lynn Bowden, but I would not be surprised if we’re still having this conversation three months from now.
Michael Drennen Visits Florida Schools
This weekend one of the highest-ranked players still on UK’s board paid visits to a pair of Florida schools. It started Friday night in Gainesville where the four-star athlete from Dublin, Oh. worked out in front of Dan Mullen’s coaching staff.
“I like everything, I like the facilities,” Drennen told Gator Country. “I like how everyone here makes you feel like you belong here, they make you feel like a family. Their pitch to me was pretty good.”
In that interview, Tennessee and Kentucky were the first two schools mentioned aside from Florida. He plans on officially visiting all three, along with Arizona State and possibly LSU. Before leaving the Sunshine State, he made his way down the panhandle to Florida State. The Seminoles did not initially make Drennen’s top ten. Maybe he’s reconsidering the Seminoles?
Florida’s Finest???? pic.twitter.com/s6uWpA5UQK
— Mike Drennen II (@UhhMyNameDonut) July 28, 2019
Two Names from UK Football Camp Commit Elsewhere
Morven Joseph, a three-star defensive end from Florida, camped with his teammates in Lexington earlier this summer and gave a few positive reviews of his experience. On the same night Richie Leonard committed to Florida, Joseph backed of his pledge to the Gators. Even though I hoped it was to achieve some sort of revenge on Dan Mullen on behalf of the Cats, it turns out he was more of a Seminole. Sunday afternoon Joseph committed to Florida State.
A few days earlier, Pikeville product Jackson Hensley committed to Harvard. The incredibly fast wide receiver was one of the better campers in Lexington all summer, but it wasn’t enough to earn an offer from UK. Even so, Hensley is setup to succeed by taking his talents to the Ivy League.
Changes Coming to UK’s Weight Room
Even though it’s practically brand new, they’re tearing up the floor before players report for training camp.
One of the top commitments in Mark Stoops’ Class of 2020 recruiting haul has already made plans to get to Lexington early.
Kalil Branham, a four-star prospect in the 247Sports rankings, announced via Twitter on Monday his plans to graduate high school early. “Im eligible to Graduate this summer but i will wait until next year,” Branham tweeted. “However i will be leaving HS in December.”
Branham did not say that he will be enrolling at Kentucky for the spring semester, but I think we are safe in assuming that his early graduation from Northland High in Columbus, Ohio, means he intends to arrive on UK’s campus ahead of his classmates.
Branham committed to Kentucky on July 1 and he is currently the fifth-highest rated player of the 14 in UK’s class. For more on Branham the football player, read his KSR Film Room evaluation.
This is great news.
By Nick Roush on ©July 26th, 2019 @ 10:30am
Kentucky could receive commitments from two talented Ohio defensive backs in one week.
Two days after Cincinnati Moeller’s Carrington Valentine committed to Kentucky, Rivals reports Westerville Central’s Rickey Hyatt Jr. will be on UK’s campus.
A three-star prospect ranked by Rivals as the No. 32 safety in the state of Ohio, Hyatt grew up in the shadow of the Horseshoe. Aside from Kentucky and Ohio State, Hyatt is also considering Michigan State, North Carolina and Cincinnati.
When Benny Snell attended Westerville Central, he did not receive the time of the day from Ohio State. That’s not the case for this track star. Many folks believe Hyatt could roll the dice before the visit to Kentucky concludes. If he does commit to Kentucky, it would be a huge win over Ohio State in the Buckeyes’ backyard.
By Nick Roush on ©July 24th, 2019 @ 4:27pm
Mark Stoops just added another player to the 2020 recruiting class. Three-Star defensive back Carrington Valentine announced on his Instagram page that he has committed to Kentucky.
View this post on Instagram
The 6-foot, 180-pound cornerback from Cincinnati, Ohio will join his former Moeller High School teammate, tight end Brenden Bates, in Lexington. Valentine chose Kentucky over Michigan State, Pitt, Iowa State, Louisville, Purdue, Cincinnati and Duke.
Valentine is the second cornerback to commit to UK in the 2020 class, joining Louisville native Dru Phillips. Kentucky now has 14 commitments in the class, which ranks No. 19 in America according to Rivals. He is not just a football player. He’s also pretty good at finishing near the rim on the hardwood.
— Carrington Valentine (@run_carri7) July 21, 2018
Valentine can save that for the Johnson Center. See his best work on the gridiron:
By Jack Pilgrim on ©July 23rd, 2019 @ 1:00pm
Is it time to get the dice rolling again?
Tomorrow afternoon, 2020 three-star cornerback and Kentucky football target Carrington Valentine is set to make his college decision. On his Twitter page today, the 6-foot-0 defensive back out of Cincinnati, OH said the announcement will come at 3:00 p.m. ET.
Committing tomorrow at 3pm!!
— Carrington Valentine (@run_carri7) July 23, 2019
And why is this important for the Big Blue Nation? On Valentine’s Crystal Ball over at 247Sports, Kentucky has 100% of all predictions, including picks in favor of the Wildcats from 247Sports director of football recruiting Steve Wiltfong, Ohio recruiting analyst Bill Greene, and Kentucky football insider Josh Edwards.
Valentine, an Archbishop Moeller product, currently holds offers from Michigan State, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Louisville, Minnesota, Purdue, Rutgers, and West Virginia, among several others. 247Sports lists him as the No. 959 recruit in the nation, the No. 81 cornerback overall, and the No. 35 player in Ohio.
The three-star cornerback prospect visited Lexington on June 21, his most recent recruiting trip.
With his commitment, Kentucky’s class of 2020 would jump from No. 24 in the nation to No. 22 overall, moving from a score of 192.14 to 196.10.
Valentine would become the 14th member of UK’s 2020 recruiting class, joining Justin Rogers, Samuel Anaele, John Young, JuhTahn McClain, Kalil Branham, Beau Allen, Earnest Sanders, Izayah Cummings, Torrance Davis, Andru Phillips, Jordan Watkins, Joshua Jones, and D’Eryk Jackson.
Check out his junior-year highlight reel below:
Come on down, Mr. Valentine.
This week marks the beginning of high school football practices across the state of Kentucky. Before Izayah Cummings took the practice field at Louisville Male High School, the UK wide receiver commit caught up with Rivals’ Woody Wommack. Since his commitment, Cummings has grown even closer to Kentucky’s coaching staff.
“It’s been great,” Cummings said. “The relationship I have with the coaches has only gotten stronger since I committed. They’re always hitting me up and not just one or two, guys from the whole staff just to see how I’m doing. It’s pretty good.”
He added, “I feel more comfortable with them and with the program as a whole. I’m trying to get there for visits every time I can.”
One of four wide receivers in Kentucky’s 2020 recruiting class, Cummings said he’s still receiving letters from other schools, but conversations have been cut off with coaches and he doesn’t plan on taking any other visits. Instead, he’s spending his time preparing for the upcoming football season and recruiting others to join the class.
“I’m working on a lot of guys like (four-star defensive back) Devito Tisdale. He’s from Bowling Green and we are scrimmaging each other and I keep telling him we should be playing together.”
You can watch Cummings and Tisdale go toe-to-toe at Bowling Green High School August 16 at 6:00 p.m.
Earlier today, ESPN released its Top 300 player rankings for the 2020 class, and two Kentucky commits made the cut. Four-star defensive tackle Justin Rogers came in at No. 113, and four-star defensive end Samuel Anaele is No. 186.
By now, you know all about Rogers, but Anaele is another star on the rise. He’s ranked as high as No. 96 in the country by Rivals, making him one of Kentucky’s highest ranked commits in the Stoops era, alongside Rogers and Landon Young. That’s pretty impressive considering he’s only played football for three years.
Other names to keep an eye on:
- No. 232: Makari Paige – The four-star safety has Kentucky in his top four, along with Michigan, Ohio State, and Penn State
- No. 279: Desmond Tisdol – The four-star inside linebacker has Kentucky in his top five, along with Auburn, Florida, Georgia Tech, and South Carolina.
- No. 283: Vito Tisdale – Kentucky is considered the favorite for the four-star safety from Bowling Green
- No. 290: Caziah Holmes – The four-star athlete has Kentucky in his top seven, along with Florida, Florida State, Penn State, Tennessee, Miami and Auburn.
Check out the entire list below.
By Nick Roush on ©July 13th, 2019 @ 4:00pm
It seems so far away, but Kentucky football season will be here before you know it. Before we get into the meat and potatoes, there are still a few football things happening around the Big Blue Nation.
Izayah Cummings is Back in Action
Sidelined for most of the spring and early summer with a tweaked hamstring, the future University of Kentucky Wildcat has taken his talents back to the gridiron. Before the talented wide receiver starts preseason practice at Louisville Male High School, he showed off his skills at the Powerade National 7-on-7 Invitational in North Carolina. If you have ESPN+, you can watch Cummings go to work this weekend.
— Blazing 7 on 7 (@Blazing7on7) July 12, 2019
Good Looking Crystal Ball Picks
The 247 Crystal Ball and Rivals Forecast are useful tools in football recruiting. By no means does their status indicate where a prospect will eventually land, but they do give you a good idea as to where things stand in prospect’s recruitment.
Two talented prospects are starting to trend toward Kentucky. Steve Wiltfong, 247’s expert in the Midwest, recently changed his Crystal Ball pick for four-star all-purpose back Michael Drennen to Kentucky. An incredible athlete from Dublin (Oh.) Coffman High School, Drennen can receive handoffs or catch passes out of the slot. He has offers from everywhere, but Vince Marrow is working his magic to bring Drennen to Lexington.
The Cats are also gaining momentum in the recruitment of Rickey Hyatt Jr. A three-star safety from Westerville Central, Benny Snell’s alma mater, 247’s Ohio recruiting reporter Bill Greene put in a pick for UK. Also considering Michigan State and Ohio State, Hyatt will officially visit Kentucky at the end of the month.
UK Players go Camping at Frederick Douglass
Almost a dozen Kentucky Wildcats spent their Friday evening coaching up kids at Frederick Douglass’ football camp. The Broncos are coached by Brian Landis, a former quality control coordinator for Mark Stoops at UK.
Speaking on behalf of his teammates, Terry Wilson was happy to give back to the community that has treated the Wildcats so well.
[WATCH]: "These kids are having fun out here, spending a lot of time. We just wanted to show our appreciation."@TerryTouchdown3, @LynnBowden_1 and several other members of @UKFootball helped out @CoachLandis22 for @FDouglassFB's Annual Friday Night Lights Football Camp. pic.twitter.com/sLijRk7dWK
— Bryan Kennedy (@BKennedyTV) July 13, 2019
49 Days till Football Season
The wait is almost over. There are only six more Saturdays without Kentucky football. If you aren’t hyped for the season to start, the folks at KyWildcatsTV are here to help.
Oh man, we can’t wait. #50Days
— Kentucky Football (@UKFootball) July 12, 2019