Today is Thanksgiving, so I spent some time this week reflecting on the events of →
Football Recruiting News
Last night the Kentucky football coaches offered another quarterback in the 2018 recruiting class, the third since Jarren Williams’ re-decommitment.
Montgomery, Alabama quarterback James Foster announced on Twitter last night that he received a scholarship from the University of Kentucky. A three-star prospect and the No. 14 dual-threat quarterback according to the 247 Composite Rankings, Foster was committed to play for Missouri from April through October. Foster re-opened his recruitment the day after he received an offer from LSU.
Along with LSU, Foster also holds offers from Georgia, Louisville, Alabama, and most recently Florida State. All eight of Foster’s Crystal Ball predictions are for Ed Orgeron’s LSU Tigers.
Since Williams’ second decommitment from Kentucky the Cats have also offered Matthew Baldwin and former Oregon QB Terry Wilson.
Watch Foster do work:
By Nick Roush on ©November 15th, 2017 @ 11:00pm
Five weeks from today the first college football early signing period will begin. On the heels of a decommitment from a four-star All-American quarterback, you might think that Vince Marrow is flustered entering the final stretch of the recruiting season. That’s not the case.
Kentucky’s recruiting coordinator has the country’s No. 25 class, a team with a 7-3 record and is not missing a beat from one late defection.
“We found Stephen Johnson when we had a guy flip last time. If we can do that, I will take that any day. That’s for the record. I want everybody to know that,” Marrow said. “He’s going to go down as one of the winningest quarterbacks here.”
All is fair in love, war and recruiting. Marrow has already moved on to the next one.
“It’s a thing where it happened, we wish kids well, we wish their families well, but we’re right back on two, three, four, five more quarterbacks so it’s no big deal.”
One of those quarterbacks is Junior College quarterback Terry Wilson. The former Oregon Duck received a scholarship offer yesterday, shortly after Kentucky commenced communication. Things move fast for JUCO prospects.
“Coaches want you to play right away,” former JUCO quarterback Stephen Johnson said yesterday. “I think I got to school Tuesday when it started. I was on my recruiting trip Friday and Saturday. As soon as I got back home, I packed my bags and came right back here.”
Things will move fast in the final five weeks before signing day. When asked how much busier he is with the shortened recruiting season, Marrow chuckled. Even though it’s a heavier workload, he likes the new December period.
“We work 24/7 anyway, but now you can get a kid to sign in December instead of fighting that whole battle in February. In the past when we were first starting out, we had some kids that we identified — not just us, other schools — and other schools will come in January or late, close to February and pick them kids up. So signing in December I think is a good thing for a lot of people. I know a lot of coaches are for it.”
Marrow believes Kentucky will lock up most of the class in December, then give the coaches freedom to find a late surprise for the traditional NSD on the first Wednesday of February.
“Most kids want to make a pledge and go to the school they’re going to. It’s just that if you take it all the way February, you’ve got people, something may happen and people can mess with them a little bit. But I think in December, most kids know where they want to go. You figure, you’re going to be signing somewhere in two months after that.
“I think in December you’ll see about 90 percent of the class sign the papers then. And then it tells us, if they don’t sign, they must not be that serious with us. And then we’ll go out and recruit somebody else.”
This class has a few things that no other Mark Stoops class had. There are two players from the state of Michigan, including the state’s No. 1 prospect Marquan McCall. There are seven recruits from Ohio, but thanks to Eddie Gran, the 2018 class will have six recruits from the state of Florida.
“I think people are starting to see our brand and our logo more strong in the South, but you still gotta keep working. You gotta keep grinding down there. Up North we’ve been pretty good from day one. As we keep winning and beating them South schools in the SEC, they see that Kentucky is a good place to come to.”
Mark Stoops and Vince Marrow are expanding Kentucky’s recruiting territory in 2018. They plan on expanding the following list before National Signing Day on December 20.
Kentucky Football 2018 Recruiting Class
|Marquan McCall||OG||Oak Park, Mi.||6-4||320||4-star|
|Darian Kinnard||OT||Cleveland, Oh.||6-7||336||4-star|
|Xavier Peters||OLB||West Chester, Oh.||6-4||225||4-star|
|DeAndre Square||S/OLB||Detroit, Mi.||6-1||200||3-star|
|Brenden Bates||TE||Cincinnati, Oh.||6-5||230||3-star|
|Stanley Garner||CB||Ft. Lauderdale, Fl.||6-3||180||3-star|
|Meechi Harris||WR||Xenia, Oh.||6-2||188||3-star|
|Quintin Wilson||C||Cincinnati, Oh.||6-3||290||3-star|
|Marvin Alexander||WR||Hollywood, Fl.||6-3||175||3-star|
|Jamari Brown||CB||Pompano Beach, Fl.||6-3||180||3-star|
|Davian Hawkins||DE||Hollywood, Fl.||6-4||270||3-star|
|Akeem Hayes||ATH/WR||Hollywood, Fl.||5-10||175||3-star|
|Keaton Upshaw||TE||Lima, Oh.||6-7||225||3-star|
|Tyler Bentley||DT||West Chester, Oh.||6-3||295||3-star|
|Christopher Rodriguez||RB||McDonough, Ga.||5-11||200||3-star|
|Ashton Pierre||ATH||Deerfield Beach, Fl.||6-2||191||3-star|
|Domonique Williams||JUCO CB||Knoxville, Tn.||5-10||190||3-star|
|Chance Poore||K||Anderson, Sc.||6-3||200||3-star|
By Nick Roush on ©November 15th, 2017 @ 8:00pm
Add another wrinkle to Kentucky’s pursuit of a quarterback in the class of 2018.
If there’s a weekend to seal the deal, it’s December 15-17. Most of UK’s 2018 class will be taking their official visits when the basketball team hosts Virginia Tech. It’s also the final weekend before Signing Day on December 20, the day Wilson plans on signing.
To convince the former Oregon quarterback and ESPN 300 recruit to come to Kentucky, the Cats will have to beat out Indiana. Yes, that’s right, Indiana. Normally you can easily brush off Hoosier football, but they established a relationship with Wilson before anyone else, they have a pass happy offense and Wilson will take an official to IU the week before he goes to Lexington.
Ole Miss and Baylor are Wilson’s other suitors.
If Kentucky does not land Wilson, Marrow has reached out to a few other prospects. Today a new target entered the fold, Colorado State commit Matthew Baldwin. The Austin, Texas native committed to the Rams back in July and is considered the No. 22 pocket-passer in America. Baldwin’s offer from UK came just three days after Ohio Sate extended an offer. Watch him do work:
Last night I told you about a few guys on Kentucky’s radar. Now one of them has a scholarship offer from UK.
Just two days after Jarren Williams decommitted from Kentucky, the Wildcats extended a scholarship offer to JUCO quarterback Terry Wilson. The 6’4″ athlete was the No. 8 dual-threat quarterback in the nation when he committed to play for Oregon in 2016. After one season he left the program and now attends Garden City Community College in Kansas.
Wilson brings a lot to the table, but arguably his most significant attribute is his eligibility. He still has three remaining years of college football left to play.
The back-and-forth relationship between Jarren Williams and Kentucky appears to have been ended yesterday after Williams’ official visit to Miami. An on again, off again, on again, off again relationship, theres a chance it isn’t completely over, but Kentucky must use its resources to look forward to a future without Williams.
Mark Stoops, Vince Marrow and the offensive coaches have been here before. Last year they had to change course late in the recruiting season when Mac Jones flipped to Alabama. Faced with a similar situation, here’s what the Cats could do with the 2018 recruiting class.
Kentucky could do nothing and be fine. Obviously, they will not do nothing. Vince Marrow is actively seeing what options they still have, but if Kentucky doesn’t sign a quarterback in this class they will be just fine.
Mark Stoops said today that ideally each class has a quarterback. “You’d like to. Fortunately for us, we took two last year, which is a good thing.”
There will be at least four quarterbacks taking snaps in the spring: Drew Barker, Gunnar Hoak, Luke Wright and Danny Clark. Walker Wood is another option but may not be available after undergoing shoulder surgery.
Between those five players, Kentucky could be set at quarterback for the next four years, allowing enough time to find the perfect fit who does not decommit at the eleventh hour. The Cats have established strong early relationships with a handful of talented underclassmen; Lexington Catholic’s Beau Allen, a sophomore legacy recruit; junior Paul Tyson, Bear Bryant’s great grandson who visited UK for the Florida game; and junior Hayden Wolff, a 6’5″ pocket passer from Florida.
Stephen Johnson Part 2?
When Darin Hinshaw and Eddie Gran last looked for a JUCO quarterback, they found a winner. Why not go back to that well?
Marrow recently began following a few junior college quarterbacks on Twitter, one of which the KSR crew has seen play. Lindsey Scott Jr. is East Mississippi Community College’s dual-threat quarterback. Mr. Football in the state of Louisiana, he transferred to Last Chance U after spending one season at LSU. Scott plans on graduating in December and could enroll in time for spring practice with three years of eligibility.
Scott is only 5’11,” but he’s an extremely impressive athlete. Without much of an offensive line, his legs get him out of trouble and help him make explosive plays. This year he’s accounted for more than 30 touchdowns, 3,000 yards and led EMCC to a 10-1 record.
Marrow is also looking at Garden City Community College and former Oregon quarterback Terry Wilson. Another dual-threat quarterback, Wilson has thrown for more than 1,700 yards and completed 60 percent of his passes. When you watch the 6’3″ stud throw a football, it’s hard not to picture Stephen Johnson.
A Michigan Commit
Prior to zeroing in on Williams, Kentucky spent plenty of resources on Kevin Doyle. A 6’4″ pocket passer from Washington D.C., Doyle camped with the Darin Hinshaw and the Kentucky Wildcats last summer shortly after receiving a scholarship offer.
If Kentucky tries to rekindle the relationship with Doyle, it will not be easy to get him to Lexington. Doyle committed to Michigan in late September. Even though the Wolverines have struggled to meet lofty expectations this season, Doyle appears firm in his commitment, visiting Ann Arbor last month.
Back to the Ohio Pipeline
Of course Vince Marrow knows a guy who in Ohio. According to Ben Roberts, yesterday Marrow reached out to former Minnesota commit Brennan Armstrong. The lefty is the top-ranked quarterback in Ohio and the No. 15 dual-threat quarterback in the nation.
Virginia is currently the favorite to land the flip from Minnesota, but there’s a chance Vince could pull the reverse-Regielsperger and get Armstrong to Lexington at the last minute.
Outside of the realm of quarterbacks, there’s a few pieces of good football recruiting news worth sharing.
On the day Williams decommitted for the second time, a former UK commit decommitted for the second time. After Tennessee terminated Butch Jones, Shocky Jacques-Louis announced on Twitter he is no longer committed to the Vols. Even after he parted ways with the Wildcats, Kentucky has actively recruited the Florida wide receiver. Michigan and Michigan State are also in the mix but don’t be surprised to see a second recommitment in the 2018 class.
Kentucky is also in the running for a highly-coveted junior college transfer. As of right now, Kentucky is the only school that has been actively recruiting former Under Armour All-American defensive back Eric Glover-Williams, his father told 247 Sports.
A Canton, Ohio native, Glover-Williams left Ohio State two games into the season and enrolled in Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College. He’ll be eligible to enroll in January. Between Marrow’s ties to Ohio and Stoops’ success with JUCO defensive backs (A.J. Stamps and now Lonnie Johnson), there’s a lot of things going Kentucky’s way.
The writing was on the wall after the 4-star QB received offers from Auburn and Ohio State in recent weeks. Today, Jarren Williams officially decommitted from UK for the second time.
And it's now official. Jarren Williams has decommitted from Kentucky
— Matt Jones (@KySportsRadio) November 12, 2017
Williams is currently on an official visit to Miami. First word of his decision came from his Snapchat story, where he simply posted “Decommitted from The University of Kentucky”.
The U throttling Notre Dame last night 41-8 probably didn’t help UK’s cause.
3rd commitment’s a charm?
By Drew Franklin on ©November 07th, 2017 @ 9:00pm
Kentucky picked up a new commitment Tuesday night when Ashtan Pierre, a three-star athlete out of Florida, announced he will join the Cats’ incoming class.
— ASHTAN PIERRE (@PierreAshtan) November 8, 2017
Pierre picked UK over several offers from around college football, including heavy interest from South Carolina, as well as LSU, Miami, Michigan State, Oklahoma, Ole Miss and many others.
He plans to sign as an early enrollee next month.
Despite being committed to Kentucky, twice, Jarren Williams will take three official visits to other programs.
Williams’ tour will begin this weekend when he visits Miami to check out the Hurricanes’ home game against Notre Dame. Williams originally planned to be at Auburn, but he will instead check out the U.
From there, Williams will see Ohio State in its November 18 game against Illinois. Williams earned his offer from the Buckeyes earlier this month.
The four-star quarterback will then visit Auburn, which offered him yesterday, for its biggest game of the year, against Alabama.
Very blessed and honored to receive an offer from Auburn University. pic.twitter.com/TmoiphPGm8
— J D U B💰💫 (@Jarren2Williams) November 6, 2017
Williams’ tour will conclude with a trip to Lexington the weekend of December 8.
Football recruiting is frustrating, huh?
By Nick Roush on ©November 06th, 2017 @ 6:32pm
Last week Kentucky fans developed concerns that Ohio State and Alabama could steal quarterback Jarren Williams away from UK. Now there are two more schools in the mix for the Kentucky commit.
Tonight Williams revealed on Twitter that he received a scholarship offer from Auburn. The news came shortly after we discovered that Williams will take his first official visit to Miami this weekend to watch the Canes take on Notre Dame. Miami’s Rivals site spoke with Williams’ father and Williams’ coach, Todd Wofford, who said this:
“Knowing coach (Mark) Richt as long as I’ve known him, his track record with quarterbacks specifically, I think he has a good chance, as good a chance as anybody (to land Williams). Just because what Jarren has always looked for is the best place to develop as a quarterback.
“Jarren’s not looking for a specific team, he’s looking for someone that has a record of places where they can develop him as a player on and off the field. He and his family are doing their due diligence, making sure they’re going to the right spot.”
Williams visited UK for the Tennessee game and remains committed to Kentucky. He will take an official visit to Ohio State in two weeks and Auburn the following week. He plans on taking his official to UK in mid-December with the rest of the 2018 recruiting class, but that official visit has not yet been scheduled.
The four-star quarterback will graduate in December and sign on the dotted line when the early signing period begins on December 20. The crazy race down the stretch is just beginning.
I've now heard analysts from four different schools say that they feel good about their chances with #Kentucky QB commit Jarren Williams. He's going to play for all five schools, I guess.
— Josh Edwards (@JEdwar247) November 6, 2017
By Sam Gormley on ©November 05th, 2017 @ 5:00pm
While last night was a tough loss, this has still been one of the more impressive starts to a season in UK Football history. In my opinion, the starts to seasons will only get better in the coming years. One of the main reasons? Jarren Williams. The future Kentucky quarterback is one that fans should be excited about. For one, he is an excellent passer. Second, he can extend plays with his legs, which is something that is almost turning into a necessity in college football today.
Williams finished his regular season on Friday night with an impressive performance. The Georgia native was 24/38 for 419 yards and 6 touchdowns. He also added 76 yards on 9 carries with 1 touchdown. Williams’ Central Gwinnett team fell to Parkview 69-44 despite his impressive effort. Here are his highlights from the game…
Williams finished his regular season with 3015 yards, 28 touchdowns and only 4 interceptions. He also added 554 yards on the ground with 10 touchdowns.
It is no secret that Williams is the UK Quarterback of the future. This especially shows with programs like Ohio State and Alabama showing recent interest in the 6 foot quarterback.
Go let him know how much we all want to see in Blue and White on Twitter @Jarren2Williams.
By Nick Roush on ©November 02nd, 2017 @ 10:30am
Kentucky’s next great quarterback has reportedly received an Ohio State offer. According to Steve Wiltfong, after extensive communication the Buckeyes extended a scholarship offer to UK commit Jarren Williams.
On the face, it appears to be bad news, but let me tell Kentucky fans some good news.
Normally in these situations, the news is revealed via a “Blessed to receive a scholarship offer” Tweet. That’s not the case this time. In fact, Williams’ most recent Tweet is from this weekend’s trip to Kentucky. During the Tennessee game he met and posed for a picture with former Wildcat linebacker and Depth Chart Podcast recurring guest, Jay Dortch.
All indications are that Williams’ visit to Lexington for the Tennessee game went well. Even though Ohio State and Alabama are still trying to pry Williams away from Lexington, we are just seven and a half weeks away until that door is permanently closed when the early signing period begins on December 20.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©November 02nd, 2017 @ 9:00am
Last night, the Houston Astros beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 5-1 in Game 7 to win the World Series, fulfilling Sports Illustrated’s prediction from back in 2014. Nowadays, it seems every sportswriter/blogger/reporter calls their shot or makes hot takes, but I’m still amazed that SI’s prediction, made when the Astros were one of the biggest jokes in the league, came true. Well done, Astros, and well done, SI.
Also well done, Carlos Correa. The Houston shortstop proposed to his girlfriend on television during the postgame celebration:
Good luck topping that, guys. Here’s what’s happening in UK Sports today…
Time to preview Centre
Select players and an assistant coach will preview tomorrow night’s exhibition vs. Centre College around 2 p.m. We’ll have a live stream for you on the site, along with a full recap of quotes, notes, and whatever else comes out of it.
Ohio State just offered Jarren Williams
How committed is Jarren Williams to Kentucky? We’re about to find out. Steve Wilftong is reporting that Ohio State just offered Williams, giving us something to keep an eye on moving forward:
— Steve Wiltfong (@SWiltfong247) November 2, 2017
Mark Stoops will give us one last update before the Ole Miss game
Stoops will take the podium after practice to give reporters one final update on his squad before they take on Ole Miss on Saturday.
ICYMI, here’s last night’s practice report:
Don’t forget that Saturday is the “Salute to Veterans Game”
Veterans can pick up two free tickets to the game (with valid ID) at the Joe Craft Center ticket office this week from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. daily or on game day beginning at noon at the Kroger Field ticket office, located between gates 9 and 10.
The Volleyball team lost to Florida 3-0
Sadly, the No. 6 Cats lost to the No. 4 Gators last night 3-0 (25-19, 25-23, 25-22), snapping Kentucky’s 14-match winning streak and evening the series after Kentucky’s win in Gainesville last month. The result was disappointing, but came in front of a record crowd at Memorial Coliseum. 5,329 fans came out to see the game, the largest crowd of the Craig Skinner era. UK returns to action on Sunday in a 1:30 p.m. ET tilt with South Carolina. The Gators assume a 0.5 match lead on the Wildcats in the league standings with tonight’s result, although they have played one more match than Kentucky within league competition.
Malik Monk went nuts last night
— Charlotte Hornets (@hornets) November 2, 2017
Monk hit five threes on his way to a season-high 25 points in Charlotte’s win over the Bucks last night. He’s the first Charlotte rookie to score 25+ points in a game since…Michael Kidd-Gilchrist back in December 2012.
The NBA Cats had a huge night in the league, so stay tuned for the BBNBA roundup later this morning.
Want to advertise on KSR?
Want your business to be featured on KSR’s website? Now is the perfect time to deliver your brand to our large KSR audience. We have openings for game day sponsorships, KSR’s top tweets, and many other great spots. To learn more, email firstname.lastname@example.org
The Kentucky Wildcats may have just found their kicker for the class of 2021.
Boyle County 8th grader Jackson Smith absolutely crushed a 51-yard field goal attempt in the Rebels’ last game.
Watch the tape below:
Sign him up, Stoops.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©October 27th, 2017 @ 11:27am
Last night, there was a bit of a drama surrounding UK quarterback commit Jarren Williams after SEC Country published an interview with his father, Anthony, that suggested his son was still listening to programs like Alabama and Ohio State because he wants to go to a school where he can win right away. This morning, Anthony Williams called into KSR to clear up the confusion.
“I understand there was an article that came that came out that had been misconstrued. I just want to clear things up,” Williams said. “Jarren is committed and he’s looking to enroll at Kentucky in January.”
Williams Sr. wanted to make it clear that his statements about Jarren wanting to win were simply a reflection of his son’s current feelings towards his high school team, NOT Kentucky.
“Just his current frustration with his current high school team right now. They’re 5-4 and he had some players on his team that weren’t being accountable and they’re supposed to be part of the leadership team and they’re not coming in, they’re not practicing. It’s just a lot of frustration on his part and he feels the team has an ability to be better but they’re not committed the way he is and he’s just frustrated about that and he wants to win. It’s his senior year and he wants to go out with a bang.”
So those comments had zero to do with Kentucky?
“Absolutely not,” Williams said. “Absolutely not. He is committed to Kentucky. We’ll be up there this weekend for the Tennessee game. He’s excited about it. They have a fantastic coaching staff and those guys have been nothing but supportive. I’m not sure how that got misconstrued.”
Glad we cleared that up.
A four-star quarterback who has committed to Kentucky twice, All-American quarterback Jarren Williams will be in Lexington for Saturday’s game against Tennessee as an unofficial visitor.
Ahead of the visit, SEC Country’s Joe Mussato caught up with Williams’ father to see how things are going. He had this to say:
“I think it’s to the point right now where he wants to win, and he wants to win bad,” Anthony Williams said. “He wants to win now. I think he’s just kind of tired of being on those subpar teams that the athletes are really not committed.”
Is that a shot at 5-2 Kentucky? Not exactly. “He thinks that Kentucky is going in the right direction,” his father said, but Williams is learning now that he can’t win by himself. His high school team, Central Gwinnett, dropped to 5-4 last week, even though they’re scoring more than 35 points a game.
In the interview Anthony Williams also revealed that Jarren is listening to Alabama, Ohio State and others. It’s not a shocking new development, but the statements are striking ahead of his first trip to Lexington during the 2017 regular season.
Shortly after Jarren’s Dad spoke to SEC Country, he Tweeted this.
Read his father’s entire interview with SEC Country.