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Kentucky Vs LSU’s Saturday News and Views

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.

 

 

 

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.

 

 


Is Kentucky now the leader for Damien Harris?

damienharris

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.


Kengera Daniel will announce his decision in eight days

@WYWH_Daniel22

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?


Next Man Up: WR Targets To Replace Stump

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.

Ryan Davis

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.

Darrion Landry

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.

Tavin Richardson

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.

 


Your Compulsory Damien Harris at Commonwealth Post

Your Compulsory Damien Harris at Commonwealth Post

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@cbeast21

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.

That bae needs to wear blue..

Update:

http://instagram.com/p/uCCEMMNMiM/


Damien Harris coming to yet another UK game tomorrow

damienharris

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:

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#BBN Coach Stoops even gave me the look 😉 best game I’ve been to! #BadBoyz

View on Instagram

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.


YAHTZEE! Lexington standout is staying home to play at UK

YAHTZEE! Lexington standout is staying home to play at UK

d-robinson

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.

YAHTZEE!


Damien Harris’ view as the players came onto the field

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#BBN Coach Stoops even gave me the look 😉 best game I've been to! #BadBoyz

View on Instagram

Nice little head nod there by Stoops.


YAHTZEE! 4-star cornerback Jordan Griffin commits to Kentucky

YAHTZEE!!!! According to Scouts’ Patrick Loney, 4-star cornerback Jordan Griffin has committed to Kentucky. Griffin, considered the 25th best cornerback in the 2016 class by 247 Sports, had offers from UK, Ole Miss, NC State, Clemson, Cincinnati, and Wake Forest, but his visit to Kentucky on this awesome night was enough for him to make the call for the Cats.

Griffin earlier today:

Keep those dice warm…


Damien Harris enjoyed it

@edgehollow

Damien Harris once again visited UK today, and I’m not sure the Cats could have drafted a better game for him to see. Although on crutches from an injury during his game last night, Harris was hyped for UK’s win:

Come on, Damien. Why not?


Andrew Miller/Cleveland Sun News

Stoops and Marrow’s recruits are too much for their alma mater

Andrew Miller/Cleveland Sun News

David Dowell takes it to the house.  (Andrew Miller/The Plain Dealer)

It’s no secret that Mark Stoops and Vince Marrow have turned Ohio into a Kentucky recruiting pipeline.  Products of Cardinal Mooney High School in Youngstown, they’ve gone home to their old connections to roll the Yahtzee! dice.

They keep winning over recruits, but last night the recruits won.

Twins David and Andrew Dowell of St Edward (Lakewood) took down Cardinal Mooney, 34-6.  David Dowell’s 16-yard yard touchdown off a screen pass put the game out of reach for Mooney.  St. Edwards was the #1 team in the nation just a few weeks ago.  They lost back-to-back heading into last night’s game.

Alex Stump committed to the Cats in May, but an Ohio State offer has him thinking twice.  He did not play last night after season-ending foot surgery earlier this week.

The Dowell Twins will get the chance to rub their victory in Mark Stoops’ face tonight when they travel to Lexington for the Cats and the Gamecocks.  Vince Marrow has been hinting at a Yahtzee! this week.  A win amidst the Blackout could help the Cats double their pleasure.

The Cats could end the day with a win over Spurrier and three players committed from the former #1 high school team in the nation.  Not a bad Caturday.


2015 recruit Kengera Daniel lands in Lexington

You night know him best from his fling with Kim K, according to Wake Forest Football, but Kengera Daniel is best known for his skills on the field. The three-star 24/7 recruit cut down his list to five last week to Kentucky, Alabama, Lousiville, N.C. State and Virgina.

Today he joins Damien Harris and the Dowell twins on his official Kentucky visit and he is fresh off the plane:

Time to work some Yahtzee magic.

@Sealey_KSR


Damien Harris: Just a minor set back

damienharris

ICYMI last night, Damien Harris was taken out of the Madison Southern game with an injury. After beating Shaun Alexander’s career rushing mark and 120 yards and 3 touchdowns in the game, Harris left the game in the second quarter with an injury to his right leg.

 

 

Ultimately Madison Southern lost the game. Harris reached out to concerned fans last night, ,however with this tweet.

 

It’s hard to see such a great kid on and off the field get hurt. I think I speak for all of Big Blue Nation when I say ‘Get well soon, Damien’.


Four-star linebacker committed to Ohio State wants a closer look at Kentucky

Last night I told you Nick Conner will likely visit Kentucky this weekend for the South Carolina game. Let me elaborate on that this morning with confirmation from ElevenWarriors.com, an Ohio State website that is a little worried about the Buckeyes’ prized recruit making a flip to UK blue.

See, Conner grew up in Dublin, Ohio and is a lifelong fan of Ohio State football. He committed during a camp over the summer and has visited the campus at least three times since, without checking out anywhere else except Kentucky, two days after his commitment. His recent decision to take an official visit to Lexington has Urban Meyer and the OSU staff concerned, and according to Eleven Warriors, they’re doing all they can do to prevent it from happening:

First, Ohio State does not want this visit to take place, and they’ve been working to convince Conner, the country’s 6th-ranked inside linebacker, to cancel it. He’s a player they took their time evaluating and got to know very well, and absolutely want in their recruiting class. There is no tightening of numbers or any Buckeye “squeeze” in play, they’re not in anyway pushing him towards any other situation. They want Conner. [Source]

But word is Conner wants to take a closer look at what Mark Stoops is cooking up in Kentucky. If he sticks to his gut and takes that peek, it could really open up a huge window for the Cats to steal him away.

It’s also worth noting: Vince Marrow is the lead recruiter, and if I know one thing about Vince Marrow, it’s to never count him out in the recruitment of a prospect from Ohio.

Good luck to ya, Urban.


Get To Know The Dowell Twins

Get To Know The Dowell Twins

dowell-twins

The University of Kentucky football program has a ton of visitors scheduled to attend Saturday’s game, coming from all over this side of the United States. Several four and five-star prospects will be in Lexington to take in the sights and sounds of a night game in Commonwealth Stadium against a quality SEC opponent in South Carolina.

Each and every one of the guests is important, but one carload from the Cleveland area may be worth keeping a closer eye on. I’m talking about the car that will carry Andrew and David Dowell, the highly-touted twin brothers UK has been all over lately. Interest has been warming up from both parties and an impressive October weekend visit could be just what Kentucky needs to seal the deal.

Tonight, let’s get to know the Dowell twins so they feel a little more welcome around Big Blue Nation this weekend. If any of you find yourself near them on Saturday, I’m not telling you to say hello but you should say hello. Make them feel at home in Lexington in the sea of blue.

So here they are, Brothers Dowell…


ANDREW DOWELL
Running Back
Lakewood, OH
6-1 | 211

Ranking: 
247Composite: 26 RB | 304 OVR
247Sports: 44 RB
Rivals: 29 RB
ESPN: 99 RB
Scout: 22 RB | 164 OVR


DAVID DOWELL
Safety/Wide Receiver
Lakewood, OH
6-1 | 180

Ranking: 
247Composite: 16 S | 243
247Sports: 13 S
Rivals: 14 ATH
ESPN: 34 ATH
Scout: 19 WR | 158


WHAT TO KNOW

They were committed to Northwestern.

The four-star twins originally committed to Northwestern University on April 13 of this year, but reopened their recruitment in late July. Northwestern head coach Pat Fitzgerald has a strict rule for his verbal commits: If you visit other schools, your scholarship offer is rescinded. Well, the Dowells got curious about life outside of Northwestern, and Fitzgerald followed through with his policy.

Their high school was ranked No. 1 in the nation earlier this season.

Before losing back-to-back games in its last two outings, the Dowell’s St. Edward High School football team was ranked No. 1 nationally in the MaxPreps.com rankings. The team will travel to Youngstown this Friday night to try to get back in the win column against Cardinal Mooney, the former high school of Mark Stoops and Vince Marrow.

@ShowTime_Stump

They are teammates of Alex Stump, a current Kentucky football commit.

Stump, a four-star wide receiver, committed to the University of Kentucky back in early May. He suits up with the Dowells for St. Edward High in Lakewood, Ohio.

Stump recently picked up an offer from Ohio State and will visit the Buckeyes this weekend. He admitted to rethinking his commitment to UK recently, saying, “I would say at this point I don’t know.”

Another St. Edward teammate, 2016 athlete Tony Butler, also has an offer from Kentucky.

Stoops and Marrow watched them during UK’s bye week.

The two Kentucky coaches traveled an hour north to watch the Dowells, Stump and Butler against Elder in Cincinnati during the weekend off after the Florida game.

The Dowells visited Lexington on August 2.

They’re also considering Vanderbilt and Wisconsin.

Vanderbilt once led with over 70 percent of the Crystal Ball votes for each player, but Kentucky has since taken the lead in the last month. Wisconsin is also in the picture, though chances are slim they’ll become Badgers.

Andrew will likely play safety, David at corner.

Listed as a running back and safety by most recruiting services, the Dowell twins are being recruited as football players. The belief is they will both end up on the defensive side of the ball in college, with Andrew playing safety and David playing corner. That’s far from a sure thing, though.  They have the talent to play anywhere. With Andrew’s size, he could even move closer to the line and play linebacker. They are so versatile.

They recreated the Manning brothers’ ‘This Is SportsCenter’ commercial.

They’re fans of Tim Couch.

David Dowell retweeted a photo of Tim Couch in a Browns uniform and the caption,”RE2PECT.” As natives of the Cleveland area and presumed UK leans, I assume the retweet was an endorsement of the original poster’s respect for Couch.

They sure would look good in a Kentucky uniform.

@ddowell8