Football Recruiting News
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©July 13th, 2018 @ 12:00pm
In-state star Wandale Robinson trimmed his list of schools to six last night and Kentucky made the cut. The four-star all-purpose back from Frankfort Western Hills is down to Kentucky, Alabama, Michigan, Nebraska, Ohio State, and Purdue.
— Wandale Robinson (@robinson__era) July 13, 2018
Robinson is Kentucky’s top in-state target in the 2019 class. He took official visits to Purdue and Michigan last month and will visit Nebraska and Alabama in September. He visited Kentucky unofficially on May 11. Ohio State’s offer a few weeks later shook up his recruitment, but in an interview with Steve Wiltfong, Robinson said the pull to play for his home state school is very real.
“It’s the hometown school. It’s that place where they say we just need a guy like you. They want somebody that can come in and make plays. Really it’s me going in I can be the face of the class, the face of Kentucky and have the Randall Cobb effect, after football I come back and everyone wants me to be the face of businesses and things like that. Really the life after football could impact my life.”
Robinson is considered the fourth best all-purpose back in the country. Last year, he led the state in rushing (2,330 yards) and scoring (260 points) to earn First Team All-State honors. Robinson carried Western Hills to an 8-4 record behind 13.3 yards per carry, 13.7 yards per catch for a total of 3,276 all-purpose yards and 43 touchdowns. Most of the points came on the ground (33 to be exact), but he scored in a variety of ways with six through the air, three off kick returns and one score from a punt return.
How about a little Yahtzee on the Fourth of July? Three-star Florida wide receiver DeMarcus Harris committed to Kentucky today, becoming Mark Stoops’ 13th pledge in the 2019 class:
I am 110% committed to the University of Kentucky???? pic.twitter.com/X2Ope8aOIX
— HD? (@D_harris2121) July 4, 2018
The 6’2″ 170 lbs. Vero Beach native picked Kentucky over Indiana, Syracuse and Central Florida. He’s considered the 150th best wide receiver in the 2019 class by 247 Sports. He visited Kentucky back on June 21 and received an offer:
— HD? (@D_harris2121) June 21, 2018
Harris wrote a piece for TC Palm explaining his decision, specifically, a dream he had about this very moment.
Also, and I know that this is going to sound strange, but I had a dream about it. I had a dream of commitment day. I mapped everything out in my head. I woke up, ate breakfast, around 1 o’clock I was talking to my parents, at 2 o’clock I FaceTimed with coach Stoops and I officially committed and had my Kentucky hat on. It’s surprising that I remembered it. That’s the first time I ever had a dream about a school.
When that happened, I knew it was meant to be.
Welcome to the fam, DeMarcus. Let’s celebrate by watching your highlights:
By Nick Roush on ©June 28th, 2018 @ 4:00pm
The nation’s most talented high school football prospects will descend upon Atlanta, Georgia this weekend to compete in the Rivals Five-Star Challenge, and a handful of them are Kentucky football recruits.
The Five-Star Challenge is the top camp in the Rivals’ circuit. Equivalent to Nike’s The Opening, this adidas sponsored invitation-only event is being held at Mercedez-Benz Stadium. Four of the campers are Kentucky natives.
Jared Casey earned his invitation by winning the linebacker MVP honors at the Nashville Three Stripe Camp. The Louisville Ballard defender blew up on the recruiting scene, earned four-stars and more than a dozen offers, including one from Kentucky. Mark Stoops, Matt House and Vince Marrow have put the Cats in an excellent position.
“I love Kentucky. They’ll definitely be on my short list,” he told Rivals’ Dave Lackford shortly after arriving this morning. “I went up there like two times in three weeks. I’ve got a good feel for all of the coaches and players.”
Casey will be playing alongside Louisville Moore defensive end J.J. Weaver. Originally from Florida, Kentucky is in a good place for the four-star talent who is also considering Louisville, Miami, Purdue, Georgia and Cincinnati.
On offense the Commonwealth will be represented by Wandale Robinson, the nation’s fifth-ranked all-purpose back. A jack of all trades, everybody who is anybody is trying to pull the Frankfort native away from his home state. Alabama, Ohio State, Michigan and Nebraska have made late charges in his recruitment, but the Cats have been there since day one.
Robinson recently told 247 Sports, “They now have the quarterbacks that can throw the ball. I’ve seen them in practice. It’s the same as what coach Gran did while at Cincinnati. They are doing that at Kentucky. I can play early there as a receiver, out of the backfield, and as a punt returner. They could use me in the slot or out of the backfield.”
The fourth Kentuckian at the Rivals Five-Star Challenge is Stephen Herron, the Trinity defensive end that is committed to Michigan. One Michigan man is one of the camp’s only juniors.
Justin Rogers, a 2020 offensive lineman from Oak Park, already has a five-star ranking in the 247 Composite. When Steve Clinkscale went to the Great Lakes State, Rogers was one of the first to receive an offer. Every college football powerhouse is involved on Rogers’ recruitment, but he’s already made a handful of trips to Kentucky.
The dog days of summer aren’t so bad for the Kentucky football team.
Yesterday running back Travis Tisdale became the fourth high school football prospect to commit to Kentucky in four days, joining wide receiver TaeTae Crumes, JUCO defensive lineman Taures Payne and cornerback Jay Ward. Tisdale is an ESPN Top 300 player who had offers from USC, Penn State and LSU, just to name a few.
Normally Kentucky’s biggest recruiting headlines are made in Ohio. That’s not the case this year. Matt House has brought Kentucky football back to The Peach State. Five of the Cats’ 12 commitment are from the state of Georgia. The last time Kentucky had a presence like this in Georgia, Rich Brooks paved the way to four straight bowl berths.
It’s been a wild week on the football recruiting front. Don’t be surprised to see the class grow as Mark Stoops, Vince Marrow and Co. ride a wave of recruiting momentum. A look at UK’s current 2019 football recruiting class, ranked No. 41 overall and 11th in the SEC by the 247 Composite:
Kentucky Football 2019 Recruiting Class
|Moses Douglass||S||Springfield, Oh.||6-2||186||4-star|
|KD McDaniel||LB||Tift County, Ga.||6-2||222||3-star|
|Travis Tisdale||RB||Valdosta, Ga.||5-8||165||3-star|
|Demontae "TaeTae" Crumes||WR||Louisville, Ky.||6-1||165||3-star|
|Nik Scalzo||QB||Ft. Lauderdale, Fl.||5-11||185||3-star|
|Marquez Bembry||OLB||Atlanta, Ga. (JUCO)||6-3||225||3-star|
|Jay Ward||CB||Moultrie, Ga.||6-1||175||3-star|
|Tra Wilkins||LB||Stone Mountain, Ga.||6-2||210||3-star|
|Jalen Geiger||CB||Columbia, SC||6-1||190||3-star|
|Jake Pope||OT||Ft. Lauderdale, Fl.||6-7||275||3-star|
|Eli Cox||OG||Nicholasville, Ky.||6-4||295||3-star|
|Taures Payne||DE||Hoover, Al. (JUCO)||6-4||265||N/R (JUCO)|
Anthony Davis Misses Out in NBA Awards
The Unibrow was a finalist for a pair of awards, but Davis did not bring any hardware home. Rudy Gobert was named Defensive Player of the Year and James Harden took home MVP honors. Even though Davis didn’t leave a winner, he still got plenty of love from his coach.
“I’m so proud of Anthony Davis,” John Calipari Tweeted. “Only 25 years old and a finalist for the league’s best player. Incredible. I can remember when Derrick Rose won it at such a young age. You know what I love? Anthony was in town last week and HAS NOT CHANGED ONE BIT.”
What I love is all of the hi-jinx from the show. Bill Russell conveniently forgot the program was on live television when he flipped off Charles Barkley. “I can’t help myself. Whenever I see Charles it just is pure instinct,” he said.
Before the awards were handed out, the stupid Rookie of the Year #EmbraceDebate re-entered Louisville Twitter, thanks to the Cards’ athletic director. Vince Tyra tried to hold onto UofL’s 15 seconds of NBA fame in the Donovan Mitchell/Ben Simmons Rookie of the Year debate by showing a little thigh.
Dwane Casey Did NOT get Snubbed
The Kentucky National Champion may have gotten a raw deal from his former employers, but real still recognizes real. Casey was named NBA Coach of the Year for his record-setting season with the Toronto Raptors. The Detroit Pistons got themselves a good one.
A Wild World Cup
The World Cup has entered the final portion of the group stage and lost its collective mind. Group B concluded with a pair of goals decided by video review in stoppage time to help Portugal and Spain advance to the round of 16. It was pure insanity, and there’s more on the way today.
- 10:00 am — Denmark vs. France on Fox
- 10:00 am — Australia vs. Peru on FS1
- 2:00 pm — Nigeria vs. Argentina on Fox
- 2:00 pm — Iceland vs. Croatia on FS1
KSR is Invaded by Pardon My Take
It’s a Pardon my Takeover of Kentucky Sports Radio with Barstool’s Big Cat and PFT Commenter. After putting Coach Cal on the hot seat and proclaiming Brooklyn bourbon as America’s No. 1 spirit, what will they do this year?
By Nick Roush on ©June 25th, 2018 @ 11:10pm
Kentucky’s hot football recruiting streak isn’t ending anytime soon.
Valdosta, Georgia running back Travis Tisdale announced on Twitter that he has committed to Kentucky over USC, Penn State, LSU, TCU, Minnesota and Nebraska among others. The three-star running back is UK’s fourth commit in four days. Recruited by Matt House, he is the fifth player from the state of Georgia to join Kentucky’s 2019 recruiting class.
The 12th member of the Cats’ 2019 recruiting class is an ESPN Top 300 prospect, ranked the 16th-best running back and No. 256 player overall by the four-letter network. He rushed for more than 1,000 yards as a sophomore and has posted a 10.83 100m dash. Watch Tisdale fly:
By Nick Roush on ©June 25th, 2018 @ 2:00pm
The Kentucky football team ended an exciting recruiting weekend with an exclamation point.
It all began Friday night, when a pair of talented recruits from the south pledged their allegiance to the Big Blue Nation. Three-star cornerback Jay Ward, an athlete from Sihiem King’s alma mater of Colquitt County, Georgia, got things rolling. Shortly after, the Cats picked up an important defensive line commitment from the Mississippi JUCO ranks, Taures Payne, a Hoover High alum who will have two years of eligibility at Kentucky.
Two commits in one night is quite exciting, but the best surprise was saved for Sunday night. Demontae “TaeTae” Crumes, a wide receiver from Louisville Butler High School, made waves around the city of Louisville by committing to Kentucky. There are a few reasons why you should be excited to see one of the state’s best athletes in Kentucky blue.
1. A Deep Threat
What was Kentucky’s offense missing last year? A deep threat at wide receiver. What will Kentucky have with TaeTae Crumes on the roster? A deep threat at wide receiver.
The first thing a deep threat must have is top-end speed. Crumes has that, but there’s another more under-appreciated ability Crumes has in his arsenal that sets him apart from the pack. When the ball is in mid-flight, TaeTae does a fantastic job of tracking the ball, adjusting his route and attacking the pass at its highest point. It takes exceptional body control and he makes it look easy before shifting into a second gear and bursting toward the end zone.
Normally you have to go to Florida to find a receiver like TaeTae Crumes. Vince Marrow just had to make an 80-mile drive on I-64.
2. Stole One from Louisville
Kentucky went into the city of Louisville and plucked one of the city’s most talented athletes from under Bobby Petrino’s nose. Crumes initially committed to the Cards back in February. Ten days later, he received a scholarship offer from UK. It only took two months for Crumes to reopen his recruitment, and two more months for him to commit to Kentucky.
Salty UofL fans will try to make you believe they’re better off without him. Don’t believe their lies.
3. Momentum in Louisville
Since Mark Stoops tasked Vince Marrow to recruit the Commonwealth, prospects have given rave reviews, but up until this point, their words have not been reinforced with actions. Crumes’ commitment validates Kentucky’s presence in the city of Louisville.
Kentucky now has a commitment from the state’s ninth-ranked recruit according to the 247 Composite Rankings. There are four more uncommitted top ten prospects from the state of Kentucky, and the Cats are in pretty good shape with all of them. If Shawnkel Knight-Goff recommits to UK, don’t be surprised. Kentucky is in a great position with Jared Casey, the four-star linebacker who has been a frequent flyer to Lexington. J.J. Weaver might be the best of the best and he’s close with TaeTae Crumes.
Mark Stoops brought in the Big Dog to put Kentucky’s best high school football prospects in UK uniforms. Even though Marrow prefers to roll dice, TaeTae Crumes could be the first of many dominos to fall.
When Mark Stoops and Vince Marrow began recruiting at a rate unequaled by their predecessors, only the big dogs — namely Ohio State and Alabama — stood in the way of Kentucky’s Big Dog. Now there’s a new kid on the block raising hell in the recruiting world: Purdue.
The artist formally known as “Purdude” has turned into a recruiting nightmare for Kentucky.
In his first season as the Boilermakers’ head coach, Jeff Brohm compiled a seven-win season that ended with a thrilling bowl victory over Arizona. Riding a wave of momentum, Brohm has made quite a few splashes on the recruiting midwestern scene.
It began with Rondale Moore. A four-star Army All-American, the Trinity slot receiver flipped from Texas to Purdue just ahead of National Signing Day. At the time it was perceived as a miraculous flip. It actually was just the beginning of a blazing hot recruiting season.
Brohm has deep-rooted connections within the state of Kentucky that could pay dividends at the right time. For the most talented in-state recruits, it’s always been a battle between UK and UofL. Now it’s a fatal three-way with Purdue in the 2019 class, the most talented group the Commonwealth has produced in years. J.J. Weaver and Wandale Robinson have already been to West Lafayette for official visits. Milton Wright has taken almost zero visits, but he’s been to Purdue.
It does not take a wise man to presume Brohm — a former Mr. Kentucky Football, UofL starting quarterback and WKU head coach — could recruit well in Kentucky, especially with a new facility and a ton of on-field momentum. However, a few recent recruiting decisions have sent a shockwave through the midwest.
In two weeks, Purdue has landed a pair of commitments that were perceived to be heavy-leans to Kentucky. The Boilermakers went to Detroit, a territory where UK has recently made a lot of noise, and picked up a commitment from four-star safety Marvin Grant. It happened only a few weeks after Grant was expected to announce a commitment to Kentucky. Last weekend Ohio defensive end Dontay Hunter, Benny Snell’s former high school teammate, picked Purdue over UK. Huh? Since Hunter’s decision, six others have committed to Purdue, increasing the Boilermakers’ total to FIFTEEN commitment in the month of June.
Purdue is riding a wave of recruiting momentum that resembles Mark Stoops’ meteoric rise in the midwestern recruiting scene. Each program sold a new facility with a rising, innovative coach where players can leave a lasting legacy by turning around a program. In the interim, Kentucky has adjusted by investing more in the deep south, picking up three commitments from the area in the last week.
As West Lafayette has transformed into a popular destination, Kentucky has taken some lumps. UK football can’t afford to take too many more.
*** If you’ve ever listened to a KSR Football Podcast, you’ll know that the Brohms are my cousins. That doesn’t change what’s happening on the recruiting scene in the Midwest.
It was quite a busy night in the Bluegrass for the Kentucky football team. The Cats picked up not one, but two commitments for Mark Stoops’ defense.
The first of the night came from a Jay Ward, a three-star cornerback who chose UK over West Virginia, UCF, Iowa State and others. The third commitment from the state of Georgia in the 2019 recruiting class, Rich Brooks’ old recruiting stomping grounds are bringing elite athletes back to the Commonwealth. Ward attends Colquitt County High School, the former home of running back Sihiem King, and is coached by Rush Probst, the man who became famous leading Hoover High on MTV’s “Two a Days.”
Speaking of Hoover High, that’s where Kentucky (kinda) found the second commitment of the night. Defensive lineman Taures Payne completed high school football in Hoover before transferring to Northwest Mississippi C.C. A 6’4″ 265-pound defensive lineman from Hoover and a Mississippi JUCO is all you need to know that he will be a stud (because Miss. JUCO defensive linemen are the best and most reliable recruits from the JUCO ranks).
The Cats’ 2019 football class now features ten commitments. That number should continue to grow in the coming weeks.
Relive Draft Night
The dust is still settling after a wild and crazy NBA Draft. Wenyen found a Summer League home in Sacramento, Kevin Knox was introduced to the New York media, Jarred Vanderbilt was riding a scooter in Denver and much more.
We do what we do to win championships. But it's also about nights like these. Take a few minutes and watch this and see why. To see a young man and his family's dreams come true, it makes us work a little harder and dream a little bigger. #DreamBig #NBADraft #WhoWantsToBeNext pic.twitter.com/1sNNDyp30F
— Kentucky Basketball (@KentuckyMBB) June 22, 2018
One of Cal’s Best is in Town
Kentucky Wildcats never hesitate to return to reunite with their coaches on UK’s campus. That rule is not exclusive to UK players. Dejuan Wagner, Calipari’s first “one and done” who averaged 20 points per game at Memphis, is in Lexington this weekend for Cal’s Father-Son Camp.
A Name from UofL’s Past Resurfaces
And no, it’s actually not a scandalous woman. Remember Akoy Agau? He was a forward at the end of Rick Pitino’s bench four years ago that opted to transfer to Georgetown. After a few years there and at SMU, he is returning to UofL as a grad transfer to play for Chris Mack. There are unorthodox college basketball paths, and then there’s this.
Who Won, Skip or Skip?
Skip contradicts himself so much you can make a video of skip debating with himself ??? pic.twitter.com/FkYJ14HC2Z
— Rashid™ (@Bettyx2_) June 21, 2018
How about a Yahtzee to start the weekend? 2019 three-star cornerback Jay Ward just committed to Kentucky.
— JAY WARD (@JWARD_4) June 22, 2018
The 6’2″ 180 lbs. Moultrie, Georgia native held offers from Iowa State, Marshall, Southern Miss, UCF, West Virginia, Western Kentucky, and several others. He received an offer from Kentucky back on January 23, and visited unofficially on February 24.
Ward is Kentucky’s ninth commitment in the 2019 class, joining safety Moses Douglass, outside linebacker Kadarius McDaniel, dual quarterback Nik Scalzo, athlete Marquez Bembry, outside linebacker Tra Wilkins, cornerback Jalen Geiger, offensive tackle Jake Pope, and offensive guard Eli Cox.
Watch him work:
By Nick Roush on ©June 20th, 2018 @ 8:30pm
Kentucky is still in the hunt for one of the top remaining in-state recruits.
One month ago, the Cats landed a commitment from three-star defensive end/outside linebacker Shawnkel Knight-Goff. Two weeks later, the athlete from Louisville Doss backtracked and reopened his recruitment. After the decision, most people chalked it up as a loss to UofL. Most people were wrong.
Three weeks later, Knight-Goff is on Kentucky’s campus for an official visit. The ninth-ranked player in the state of Kentucky might not be a lost cause after all.
We learned long ago to never count out Vince Marrow. The Big Dog still has plenty of new tricks left for Kentucky’s 2019 recruiting class.