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Football Recruiting News
A player I was hoping Neal Brown could keep home, Ashland Blazer’s Quinton Baker has committed to the Wildcats. A 247 Composite 4-star running back, Baker is one of the best prospects in Kentucky’s deep Class of 2016 and the son of former Wildcat Al Baker. With 4.49 speed, Baker is a playmaker that has hardly reached his potential.
— SchoolboyQ (@Qbaker5) October 26, 2014
Watch his highlights, they’re pretty good.
By Nick Roush on ©October 25th, 2014 @ 8:50pm
Tonight was rough, but the Cats’ performance gives plenty of hope for the future. It isn’t just the BBN that is seeing the progress. The 16th-ranked linebacker in the class of 2016, Roland Walder, announced his commitment to Kentucky shortly after tonight’s game. The Dayton, OH native runs a 4.5 40-yard-dash and ensures that tonight wasn’t a total wash.
— Roland Walder (@Roland_9x) October 26, 2014
You know you wanna watch his highlights.
Stay tuned. Rivals’ Justin Rowland believes there is more to come…
By Andrew Cassady on ©October 25th, 2014 @ 1:00pm
When you have an opportunity to knock off the number one team in the country then you want all of your top recruits there to witness the moment. The parents of this coaching staff certainly didn’t raise any fools and that is exactly what they are doing with just two home games left on the schedule. Just who are some of the visitors? Let’s take a look:
Class of 2015
Damien Harris will once again be visiting for his fifth game of the season. Harris has become a stalwart in the stands this season and the Cats are undefeated when has attended games in 2014. That’s the sort of mojo we need on campus. Commit CJ Conrad will also be visiting the Cats today for his official visit. Conrad has already submitted his financial aid papers and expects to enroll for next semester.
We told you yesterday about the visit of Pitt commit Davon Hamilton visiting today but there are two more committed men making the trip as well. Tyree Kinnel, a four-star safety currently pledged to Michigan, and 6-foot-7 receiver Ahmad Wagner who is committed to play basketball at Iowa. I wouldn’t wish four years of school in Iowa on my worst enemy. Wagner has become a football target as well this fall with his play on the field. Both guys attended high school with Dorian Hendrix and Vince Marrow is working hard to open the pipeline and flip these two to Kentucky.
Kentucky has begun locking up the state’s highly touted junior class with commitments from McCracken County’s Zy’Aire Hughes, Henry Clay’s Davonte Robinson and Lafayette’s Landon Young. Today they’ll be looking to sway a couple more guys when they host Woodford County offensive lineman Drake Jackson and Ashland running back Quinton Baker.
Mark Stoops was in Woodford County last night to watch Jackson work and the talented center is back on campus for his third unofficial visit of the season. Drake previously attended the Ohio and South Carolina games.
Quinton Baker, the son of 80s Kentucky running back Al Baker, will be visiting for the third time this season as well. Baker is currently a four star recruit and the third ranked in-state player for 2014. He holds an offer from the Cats already and it’d be great to see the kid follow in his father’s footsteps.
Messiah deWeaver is a four-star quarterback out of Ohio and one who committed to Michigan back in June. With Brady Hoke all but finished as coach of the Wolverines you have to wonder just how firm the commitment is. The coaching staff has taken over our neighbor to the North and deWeaver could be another top get from the Buckeye State. Time will tell.
Another all-name team candidate joining Messiah is three-star wide receiver Randrecous Davis from Georgia. So far it’s been Louisville and Kentucky duking it out for the kid’s services but Auburn, Clemson, and Florida have also shown interest. This is his first unofficial visit to the Bluegrass state.
Its a big day not just for the game being played but for the future as well. How well the Cats are able to hang with the Bulldogs could help sway a lot of guys to suit up in the blue and white for years to come.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©October 24th, 2014 @ 11:15am
DaVon Hamilton is a three-star defensive tackle from Pickerington, Ohio that’s committed to Pitt, but according to 247 Sports’ Josh Edwards, he’ll be taking an official visit to Kentucky this weekend. Hamilton, considered the 49th best DT in the 2015 class, gave his verbal commitment to Pitt back in June, but Vince Marrow has managed to get him to Lexington for an official. Hmm…
Current UK commit CJ Conrad will also take his official visit to Kentucky this weekend, along with Damien Harris, who will attend fifth UK game. This won’t be an official visit for Harris, but having him on campus yet again is another great opportunity for the staff. It doesn’t hurt that he’s buddies with CJ Conrad, whom he played alongside at The Opening.
Three-star defensive end Kengera Daniel became the 16th member of Kentucky’s 2015 football recruiting class Wednesday night when he sat down between his parents and announced his decision via video on Bleacher Report. The product of Raleigh, North Carolina chose the Cats over several major programs, citing a number of reasons why UK stood out, from the feel of Lexington to the upward trend under Mark Stoops.
The commitment is huge for Kentucky, especially considering the recent loss of defensive end commit Darius Fullwood. At an athletic 6-foot-6, almost 250 pounds, Daniel is more than a serviceable replacement on the defensive line. He has the potential to be a star under the current staff once he gets on campus and gets to work.
Let’s celebrate the addition of Kengera to the family by learning a little more about him and how he get here.
Can I get a Yahtzee?
Raleigh, NC (Millbrook)
6-6 | 245
247Composite: 23 WDE | 507 OVR
247Sports: 28 WDE
Rivals: 16 WDE
ESPN: 34 DE
Scout: 90 DE
The atmosphere and coaching staff set UK apart.
When asked why Kentucky, Daniel first gave credit to the atmosphere at Commonwealth Stadium and the Kentucky coaching staff. He’s also grown close to several of the current players on the UK roster. “I just felt like it’s the place I need to be,” he said.
He took his official visit to Kentucky for the South Carolina game.
Talk about great timing for Stoops: Daniel’s official visit to Lexington was the October 4th weekend, when the Cats upset South Carolina. Daniel was on the field after the game and celebrated with the players later that night.
His final five included Alabama, Louisville, NC State and Virginia.
He also had offers from Michigan, Tennessee, Miami and Wake Forest, and heavy interest from Florida State, Ohio State, South Carolina and Virginia Tech.
He wants to major in Biomedical Engineering.
UK sent him this…
While Wake Forest sent him this…
Good job, good effort.
“Just be ready. I’m coming. It’s going to be something special.”
His message to Big Blue Nation.
Welcome aboard, Kengera.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©October 22nd, 2014 @ 5:00pm
Last night, four-star cornerback Marcus Lewis announced he will take an official visit to Kentucky on December 13, the same weekend many of the current UK commits are taking their officials, including his teammate Jabari Greenwood. The 6’1″, 187 lbs. Lewis is considered the 7th best cornerback and the 90th overall player in the 2015 class by Rivals, and has offers from Michigan, Miami, Georgia, and others. He was committed to Florida until late this summer.
Lewis spoke to Rivals’ Adam Friedman about Kentucky and said he’s become “very close” with Mark Stoops and the rest of the coaching staff, whom he believes have the Cats on the rise.
“I definitely see them as a program on the rise,” he said. “They have really good players and really good coaches. I think coach Stoops is one of the most underrated coaches out there. He’s always fired up and I like that. I think they could compete for an SEC championship next year. Even this year they’ve had some close games and they’re a good team.”
More good stuff where that came from over at Rivals. Right now, Kentucky certainly seems to be in a good position.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©October 21st, 2014 @ 9:22pm
Marcus Lewis is a 4-star cornerback formerly committed to Florida, and according to Rivals’ Adam Friedman, he will take an official visit to Kentucky on December 13, the same weekend as his teammate and current UK commit Jabari Greenwood. That’s also the same weekend Damien Harris will announce his decision.
Rivals’ Mike Farrell says he believes UK is the team to beat for Lewis, followed by Georgia and Miami.
Kengera Daniel, a three-star defensive end out of North Carolina, will go public with his college decision on Wednesday. Ranked as the 23rd best weakside defensive end in the country by the 247Sports Composite, Daniel has offers from big time programs like Alabama, Miami, Michigan and Tennessee. However, it will likely come down to either Kentucky or NC State in the end.
UK currently leads his Crystal Ball predictions with 91 percent of the vote, followed by Florida State and Wake Forest with one outdated vote apiece. Daniel took his official visit to Lexington on October 4th for the South Carolina game.
Yahtzee on the way?
Wildcats. Tigers. It has been a long week since the Cats picked up win number five and set their sights on a road trip to Baton Rouge. For both teams the game is a chance to become bowl eligible and enter the back half of the season looking to move up the SEC ladder. With games against three ranked teams and a trip to Arkansas left on the schedule Louisiana State could need to beat the Cats in order to get to six. For Kentucky it’s yet another no-pressure situation, it’s a game which nobody expected them to win but one that would be another foundation builder if they pull it out. The young gridiron Cats have proven their not going to be afraid of any name or environment and will be expecting to win.
Regardless of the outcome, this weekend is primed to be an all time great one in the lore of Kentucky sports. The football team has unprecedented momentum for the future and beyond. The basketball team… We’ll let’s dive right in.
Big Blue Madness Was Awesome
Since Cal arrived in 2009 he’s seemingly made it his mission to make each year’s celebration of Kentucky basketball bigger and better than the last. This year was no different. The show opened with the mascots repelling out of the rafters like Sting heading for a showdown with the NWO. The Cats hung high above the floor as they paused for some selfies and the traditional amount of mascot antics. It was new. It was different. It set the tone for what was going to be a fun night.
Next up was women’s coach Matthew Mitchell who has taken the one-upsmanship to new heights:
The above video features several nods to KSR radio fans and has Matthew Mitchell choking out Ryan Lemond which makes it worth a view alone. Mitchell topped some of his moves from over the years by mimicking Bruno Mars with a song and a dance. He changed “Girl, you’re amazing” to Big Blue Nation and serenaded the audience with his dulcet tones. How Mitchell will top this one is almost impossible to fathom. Luckily, he’ll have another year to think about it. The girls did their thing and then the cheerleaders put on an awesome show. We were on to the main event.
“He’s The George Clooney of the Hardwood”
After coming out with a lint roller, fixing up his warm-up, and absolutely blowing the roof off of Rupp Arena, Drake introduced the man himself John Calipari. Drake said he was honored to be in Rupp for what he believes will be one of the most exciting years in Kentucky basketball history. Drake spoke of family and called Coach Cal the Godfather of Kentucky basketball with the line, “I wanna introduce a man who is one of the most important people in my life.”. Cal’s music hit.
He was in full Swaggy Cal mode as he introduced a clip of his speech at his first Big Blue Madness. When it was over all he had to say was “Enough talk, let’s ball.” Then he literally dropped the mic!! After so many stump speeches and state of the commonwealth addresses over the years the mic drop spoke volumes. This team is going to do their talking on the court.
Between the Bahamas trip, the UK combine, and the bevy of returning players this year’s Big Blue Madness didn’t have the added appeal of seeing Cal’s Cats debut in Blue for the first time. Still, the player intro’s were as fun as ever and Sam Malone killed it in his final appearance. Dominique Hawkins also lit up the crowd as the local kid took his turn at the John Wall dance. As for the game, White defeated Blue in a close game with no defense on display which is about what you’d expect for BBM.
What was on display was the undeniable amount of talent and depth that is on this team. Andrew Harrison looked so much more comfortable in year two and appeared ready to be the leader of this team. Dakari Johnson showcased his slimmer figure. Tyler Ulis buried a triple. The team got up and down the floor. It was an awesome night and the recruits responded.
Big Blue Madness was Crazy!!!’ Loved It! pic.twitter.com/F65u44Pxo3
— Team Matthews (@nichole0335) October 18, 2014
Drake at Kentucky BBN… I should’ve went lol
— Jayson Tatum (@Im_that_dude22) October 18, 2014
Basketball is here folks. It’s going to be an awesome ride.
Meanwhile, at Texas Tech
Tubby Smith did not have an awesome ride tonight. The former Cat coach rolled into Texas Tech’s Madness event on a chopper dressed as pop culture icon Shaft. (We can dig it) However, Orlando ran into some issues stopping on the waxed court and turned the bike over as he tried to bring the hog to a halt. Tubby was apparently okay and even cracked a joke immediately after. It’s a video I couldn’t have made up if I tried.
Big Football Saturday
Well, back to LSU. Tomorrow the Tigers will try to take on the Cats with a pro-style offense fueled by elite talent and a raucous stadium. Kentucky will need to find a way to slow Kenny Hillard and Leonard Fournette and not let wideout Travin Dural kill them. Against Florida, DeMarcus Robinson made catch after catch and proved to be the difference in the game. If Kentucky can avoid giving up a similar effort or jump out to an early lead they just might find a way to leave Death Valley with a W.
Win or lose you can’t go to bed tonight without being giddy about the weeks to come. It’s a great time to be a wildcat fan.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©October 15th, 2014 @ 11:00am
Is the tide turning with Damien Harris? Ohio State has been the perceived favorite for Harris for months, but now, the Buckeyes have offered another 2015 running back, Ke’Shawn Vaughn. Is offering Vaughn a sign Ohio State isn’t feeling confident about landing Harris?
“They didn’t really tell me about the running back situation but they were late to offer to see what another running back was going to do,” Vaughn told Barton Simmons. “They kept it real with me about why they hadn’t offer.”
Harris, the top running back in the nation, has attended four of UK’s five home games this season and plans to take his official to UK for the Mississippi State game next weekend. That has Rivals.com’s national recruiting analyst Mike Farrell thinking the Cats are in the driver’s seat.
“I think they’re going to get him. I really do,” Farrell told the Herald-Leader. “I feel confident with the ties he has to the program. Last year, I hunched that Matt Elam wouldn’t leave (Kentucky). … It was just a feeling that there’s really no way he’s going to spurn his home-state program after all the efforts they’d put into him. And I think it’s the same thing for Damien.”
Right now, Harris’ 247 Crystal Ball is 47% Ohio State, 45% Kentucky, with the last 14 picks going in Kentucky’s direction. Harris says he’ll announce his decision on December 12.
By Drew Franklin on ©October 14th, 2014 @ 11:28am
Three-star defensive end Kengera Daniel is ready to go public with his decision. Ranked as the nation’s No. 24 weakside defensive end by 247Sports, Daniel took to Twitter this morning to announce that he will announce on Wednesday, October 22. He is also considering Alabama, Louisville, NC State and Virginia.
Daniel most recently visited Kentucky for the South Carolina game and the Cats are believed to be in the lead for his services at this time. UK currently leads his Crystal Ball voting with 87 percent of the picks.
I’m a small part of that 87 percent and my pick for UK is based solely on the fact he went to Keeneland before Commonwealth for the doubleheader.
Yahtzee on the way?
I have set a Commitment Date of Oct. 22. 👌
— Kengera Daniel (@WYWH_Daniel22) October 14, 2014
It’s a rare day in the land of Kentucky football when a 4-star commitment can flip to another BCS school without panic and terror filling the streets of Lexington. But with a stable of young wide outs like Timmons, Montgomery, Bone, Baker, Johnson, and Badet along with some recruits committed and in the pipeline the loss doesn’t hurt the short term future.
Davis is a 4-star athlete out of St. Petersberg, Florida who is ranked as a top-25 athlete in the class. At 5-9 and a half he doesn’t have the God-given size that Stump possesses but he make up for it with speed and athleticism. As a Florida kid it will be hard to wrestle him away from Florida or Florida State but you can never count out Coach Stoops and Chad Scott in Florida. The Seminoles have yet to make on offer to the talented senior and if Muschamp is out of Gainesville at the end of the year all bets are off. The key will be getting Davis on campus sometime before signing day.
One of the biggest factor’s in Kentucky’s year two leap to SEC contention has been the impact of JUCO transfers into the program. All over the field names like Za’Darius Smith, Steven Borden, Nate Willis, and Javess Blue are making their play known and Darrion Landry could be next on that list. Landry is a 3-star WR with offers from UK, UAB, Illinois, and North Texas. At 6’2 he’s a bigger receiver like Stump but would only be on campus for two years. Tommy Mainord is leading the charge for this kid and you have to like the Cats’ chances.
Before the season started Tavin Richardson announced Kentucky as his leader with Central Florida, Louisville, Nebraska, and Virginia Tech following in that order. Since then Kentucky has beaten his home state school, South Carolina, and found themselves 5-1 to start the season. Meanwhile, UCF and Louisvlle have losses to Penn State, Missouri, Clemson, and Virginia. At 6’3 Tavin seems like the perfect fit to join the class of 2015.
In the new age of Kentucky football, guys are going to flip to other top schools like Virginia Tech and Ohio State. It’s pretty unfathomable to even be in that position considering where we were just a few short years ago. What Stoops has done here in such a short time has me confident to not even worry when a player decides to flip. Stoops and the staff got it all under control.
By Brennan English on ©October 11th, 2014 @ 7:30pm
Without the aid of the #1 running back in the land, the Madison Southern Eagles fell at Pulaski County, 27-0, last night, but Harris took in a win for “his” (can we say his?) team today in Commonwealth.
And here’s your mandatory game tweet+response from Boom Williams.
@Damien_D1Harris stay up bruh the sky the limit for you fr 💯
— Stanley Williams (@boom_that_guy) October 11, 2014
— S♍️OK3⃣Y (@NJ_Kavanaugh22) October 11, 2014
That bae needs to wear blue..
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©October 10th, 2014 @ 12:30pm
So far this season, Damien Harris has attended three of Kentucky’s home games. Tomorrow, he’ll add another to the list. Harris says he’ll be in Commonwealth Stadium for the third straight Saturday to see the Cats take on Louisiana Monroe. Word is he’ll be also attend the Mississippi State game on October 25 for his official visit.
Although Harris maintains he has no favorites, his frequent trips to watch UK play during an extremely exciting time for the program certainly help our chances against Ohio State, Alabama, Florida, and Texas A&M. UK has been gaining momentum in his Crystal Ball, with the last eight predictions going in the Cats’ favor.
Harris has made himself right at home on the front row of the Cat Walk and on the field. In case you missed it earlier this week, Mark Stoops gave him a head nod that spoke volumes as the Cats took the field against South Carolina:
#BBN Coach Stoops even gave me the look 😉 best game I’ve been to! #BadBoyz
By the way, Harris is doubtful for Madison Southern’s game against Pulaski County, which will still be televised on ESPNU tonight at 6:30 p.m.
By Drew Franklin on ©October 08th, 2014 @ 7:47pm
Henry Clay’s Davonte Robinson just committed to play football for the University of Kentucky. The junior cornerback called UK assistant Derrick Ansley this evening to pledge his commitment, says Ben Roberts of the Herald-Leader, and UK gladly accepted.
Robinson is currently unranked in the 2016 class but the staff loves his size and athleticism in the secondary. He’ll stay home in Lexington to be a Cat.