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Football Recruiting News
Former Kentucky commit Shocky Jacques-Louis announced on Twitter will play college football at the University of Tennessee.
The three-star wide receiver from Ft. Lauderdale, Florida committed to Kentucky on April 21. Less than two months later June 11, Jacques-Louis reopened his recruitment and said, “If it’s meant to be, I will still be apart of this great program.” Unfortunately for Kentucky, it was not meant to be.
The decision to look at other schools came shortly after Jacques-Louis took an unofficial visit to Tennessee. The Cats were still in the hunt, listed in his Top Five, but this Twitter profile picture he used temporarily last week all but sealed the deal for the Vols.
Even without Shocky in the 2018 recruiting class, Eddie Gran has received commitments from five talented South Florida football prospects, two of which also play receiver, Marvin Alexander and Akeem Hayes.
Top Ohio recruit Blue Smith is set to make his decision. He tweeted earlier today to announce he’d be choosing between UK, Ohio State, and Cincinnati on August 27th.
— BLUE📿 (@bluesmith_) August 20, 2017
Smith is the 115th overall prospect in the 2018 class according to 247 Sports, as well as the number 1 overall athlete in Ohio. OSU is the favorite as of now, but hopefully Vince Marrow can score another one for the Big Blue.
By Nick Roush on ©August 19th, 2017 @ 12:45pm
In eight days L’Christian “Blue” Smith will commit to either Kentucky or Ohio State prior to his nationally televised season opener. The Cats were the first team to offer Blue, but in the last two weeks many reporters and recruiting analysts have changed their predictions from UK to Ohio State.
Of all the predictions, this one from Mike Hartsock of Dayton’s WHIO-TV is my favorite. In the 1:30 VOSOT, almost a minute of it is the sports guy doing at stand-up at Wayne practice. You won’t learn anything new from the package but you might be slightly entertained.
“It would be shocking if it’s not scarlet and gray.” That package-ending sentiment is shared by everyone who has flipped their prediction to Ohio State. There’s no certainty and little substance, just “buzz” about Ohio State. Instead of a prediction, the more appropriate term is assumption.
Vince Marrow once put the fear of God in Drew Franklin, “Never doubt me.” Assuming Blue is locked in to Ohio State will make an ass out of you and everyone, so long as the Big Dog is still in the fight.
By Nick Roush on ©August 19th, 2017 @ 11:30am
A pair of Kentucky football commitments from the Peach State started their senior seasons with impressive victories.
Playing in a rivalry game between South and Central Gwinnett, Central Quarterback Jarren Williams‘ needed a fourth quarter touchdown to secure a victory. Eight plays and 60 yards later, Williams threw an 8-yard touchdown pass to put the game out of reach and give his team a 28-24 victory.
The future UK star completed 20 of 36 passes for 301 yards, three touchdowns and an interception. Williams’ touchdowns came from 8, 11 and 20 yards and his lone interception was a diving “game-changing” catch by the defense. He added 43 yards on the ground.
Not far down the road from Williams, running back Chris Rodriguez had to put the team on his back in the second half. Trailing at halftime, the three-star prospect scored immediately to give Ola High School the lead. They never gave it back. Rodriguez scored two more second half touchdowns to finish the game with four and give his team a 41-25 win.
Williams and Rodriguez were the only two UK commits in action this week. High school football in Ohio, Michigan and Florida does not begin until next week.
Closer to home, a pair of 2019 UK targets were fantastic. Western Hills wide receiver recruit Wandale Robinson failed to lead his team to a victory over Franklin County, but he did account for 198 rushing yards in 27 carries and 35 yards in three receptions. He scored every touchdown for Western Hills on rushes of 48 and 57 yards, and a 30-yard touchdown reception.
Wandale Robinson atones for his early fumble with an explosive 60-yard touchdown gallop.
Western Hills 14
Franklin County 6 pic.twitter.com/rIGE3m9MOY
— Dave Lackford (@RivalsDave) August 18, 2017
CAL athlete Milton Wright doesn’t primarily play quarterback, but he still completed 4 passes for 35 yards and a touchdown as a wildcat quarterback. Wright ran the ball three times for 21 yards and a touchdown and he caught three passes for 29 yards in a 28-14 win over South Oldham.
By Jay Winkler on ©August 18th, 2017 @ 8:00pm
Freshly painted grass. Cooler evenings. Teenagers walking around a track with their cell phones.
Football is back, at least at the local level.
While we’ve still got a few weeks left before the college and pro ranks kick off, tonight, we can whet our appetites with some good old fashioned high school football.
If you’re out of the loop on who to watch this year in the Commonwealth, the Herald-Leader’s Josh Moore has compiled a list of the 50 best in-state players for 2017. If you just wanna see a stud tear it up on the gridiron, may I suggest checking out 247’s number 1 ranked in-state recruit for 2018, Trinity’s Rondale Moore, who has already committed to Texas. If you want someone to root for after they’ve gone off to college, at least if you live in the western part of the state, you can check out the highlights from Doss Magnet Career Academy’s Terez Traynor, a WKU commit and 247’s 6th ranked KY recruit. Traynor is expected to miss this season with a broken leg, but hopefully he’s fully recovered by the time he gets to Bowling Green.
Of course, feel free to cherry pick the players closest to your hometown as well. If you’d like to see a list of all 83 games going down tonight, MaxPreps has you covered.
By Nick Roush on ©August 17th, 2017 @ 1:05pm
For the second time in two days, a tall South Florida cornerback has committed to play football at the University of Kentucky. Less than 17 hours after Stanley Garner picked UK over Alabama, Jamari Brown picked UK over Auburn.
Respect my decision 🙏💯 pic.twitter.com/jKXYSVJssg
— Jamari Brown (@Brown3Jamari) August 17, 2017
A three-star prospect from Pompano Beach, Florida, Brown’s 13-school offer sheet also included the likes of Louisville, Oregon, South Carolina and Mississippi State.
Brown is Kentucky’s 18th commitment in the 2018 class. The Cats now have three cornerbacks and five Florida natives (all recruited by Eddie Gran) in the upcoming class that is ranked No. 16 in the country, one spot ahead of USC.
Gifted with South Florida speed, what makes Brown stand above the rest is that he literally stands above the rest of the crowd. At 6’3,” Brown has the length that Stoops searches for in cornerbacks.
A look at just a few of Brown’s highlights:
Good morning, friends. Can you believe we’re only 16 days from Kentucky football? It can’t come soon enough. Sadly, there’s no football availability today, but we’ve still got plenty of news from the gridiron.
Will Kentucky get another Yahtzee?
The 2018 class got a major boost last night in the form of four-star cornerback Stanley Garner, who chose Kentucky over Alabama, Clemson, Michigan, Louisville, and other ridiculously high-profile programs. Today, more good news could be on the way from the state of Florida in the form of three-star cornerback Jamari Brown. The Pompano Beach native is considered the 63rd best cornerback in the 2018 class and will choose between Kentucky, Auburn, and Temple this morning. The Cats currently lead his Crystal Ball, and should he pick Kentucky, he’ll be the 18th member of UK’s 2018 class, which already includes four players from the state of Florida. Eddie Gran’s doing work, y’all.
Drew and I unveil our 2017 UK Legends Game Mock Draft
Yesterday, we received an updated list of former UK players participating in the Legends game that will precede the main UK Alumni Game next Friday night, and for kicks and giggles, Drew and I did a draft to make two squads. Who did I choose with the first pick? You’ll have to wait until this afternoon to find out.
UNC continues to meet with the NCAA Infractions Committee
Just down the road from me here in Nashville, UNC basketball coach Roy Williams, football coach Larry Fedora, athletic director Bubba Cunningham, women’s basketball coach Sylvia Hatchell, university officials, and their lawyers are meeting with the NCAA Infractions Committee for the second straight day. This will be UNC’s chance to make their case in front of the committee, which isn’t expected to hand down a punishment for several months. That makes @DaggumRoy a must-follow this week:
Jon Rothstein Tweet of the Day
Hearing Kentucky may toy with a super long lineup that features Kevin Knox at SG. Would give Cats four guys on floor over 6-9. Zone? #BBN
— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) August 16, 2017
It think most of us already expected Cal to use Knox as a third guard just because he can, but I’d be lying if I said that didn’t get me excited to see this team play. Stay hungry and humble, Jon.
Cool Eclipse News of the Day
I’m burnt out on most of the Eclipse stuff, but I do think it’s cool that Bonnie Tyler will sing her hit song “Total Eclipse of the Heart” during the actual Eclipse on Monday. Royal Caribbean’s Total Eclipse Cruise will be positioned in the path of totality and Tyler will perform the hit for guests just as the moon travels across the sun. In a nice blending of generations, she will be backed up by DNCE, the pop-rock band helmed by Joe Jonas and made famous by their obnoxiously-addictive 2015 hit “Cake by the Ocean.” But that’s not the song I want stuck in my head today. This is:
Summer Tour Stop of the Day: Benton
Come on out to CFSB Bank on West 5th Street to enjoy the show.
By Nick Roush on ©August 16th, 2017 @ 9:00pm
Moments after Stanley Garner committed to Kentucky, the four-star cornerback from Dillard High School in Ft. Lauderdale FaceTimed another four-star Dillard football player, UK freshman Jordan Wright.
Wright, a pass-rusher who’s impressed the Kentucky coaches in the early stages of training camp, played alongside Garner on the football and basketball teams. The most success the multi-sport stars shared was actually on the basketball court. Wright and Garner helped Dillard win state championships the last two seasons.
Once Garner was able to put down the FaceTime to get to Twitter, he released this statement:
In less than two years, Eddie Gran has picked up 11 commitments from South Florida, five of which have come from one powerhouse, Chaminade-Madonna Prep.
By Nick Roush on ©August 16th, 2017 @ 1:00pm
Tonight at around 8:00 p.m. UK cornerback recruit Stanley Garner will make his college decision. Before the Cats (potentially) roll the Yahtzee! dice, here’s what you need to know about Garner.
The Tale of the Tape
Cornerback | 6-3 | 180 lbs.
Ft. Lauderdale, Fl. | Dillard
|ESPN||No. 52 CB||Top247||No. 44 CB|
|Rivals||No. 31 CB||Scout||No. 61 CB|
Finalists: Kentucky, Louisville, Clemson, Michigan, Alabama and Tennessee.
Garner’s most recent college visit was to a UK camp on July 23, his second trip to UK this summer. Two days prior to his July trip to Lexington, he stopped for a visit on UofL’s campus. Garner also camped at Alabama, Oregon, Miami, FAU and FIU.
Garner was extended a scholarship offer on December 22, 2016, the day after his Dillard High School teammate, outside linebacker Jordan Wright, committed to UK. The two didn’t just play on the same defense. Garner and Wright won back-to-back state championships in basketball.
Eddie Gran’s South Florida connections have paid off in just two years of recruiting. Last year Gran received seven commitments and if Garner commits tonight, he’ll have four in the class of 2018. Even if his ties to Dillard don’t get him a commitment tonight, it’s safe to say Gran is UK’s second-best recruiter.
A Crystal Clear Kentucky Prediction
A Vague Prediction from a UK Commit
It’s not just the recruiting experts who are predicting Garner to Kentucky. Florida wide receiver and UK commit Akeem Hayes hinted that two more Florida kids may soon join him in the 2018 class. It’s easy to infer that one of them is Garner.
Lot of committing going on this week we looking forward to two new BBN members 🤞🏽🔵⚪️
— Akeem Hayes9️⃣ (@9GoLive) August 15, 2017
Athleticism is usually the first thing you notice when watching a highlight. A two-way player in 6A Florida high school football, Garner has that, but it’s not the most impressive part of his game.
Discipline is hard to find in young football recruits, but Garner has it in his junior highlight reel. No matter how many fancy lures the offense throws at him, he remains in the correct position to foil the play. Even in run support, Garner always keeps his outside shoulder free, a tenet of containment football.
By Drew Franklin on ©August 15th, 2017 @ 11:00am
Will Mark Stoops add two more commitments to his Class of 2018 this week? According to a wide receiver in that class, he will.
Akeem Hayes, the Florida product who decommitted from Louisville to join the Cats back in June, teased a couple of upcoming potential Yahtzees for the program.
“Lot of committing going on this week we looking forward to two new BBN members,” Hayes tweeted late Monday night.
Lot of committing going on this week we looking forward to two new BBN members 🤞🏽🔵⚪️
— Akeem Hayes9️⃣ (@9GoLive) August 15, 2017
One of those commitments may be Jamari Brown, a cornerback only 20 minutes away from Hayes in South Florida. Brown is set to announce his decision on Thursday, and Kentucky is one of his three finalists, along with Auburn and Temple.
“Kentucky is a great school and it’s in the SEC,” Brown recently told AuburnSports.com. “My mom likes Kentucky, too. When I went up there, I knew it’s a place I could see myself playing at.”
Another potential addition to Kentucky’s class is Stanley Garner, who will announce his decision tomorrow. A cornerback from the same area as Hayes and Brown, Garner will pick between Kentucky, Alabama, Clemson, Louisville, Michigan and Tennessee.
Does Hayes know something or is it wishful thinking?
Kentucky is trending in the wrong direction for its top football target: four-star athlete and wide receiver, L’Christian “Blue” Smith.
One of the top prospects in the state of Ohio, Smith is considering Ohio State and Kentucky for his college football career. The Dayton product will announce his commitment to one of those two schools sometime during the weekend of his Wayne High School’s season opener, which will be televised on ESPN, at the end of August.
Smith has already made up his mind, he told Scout.com’s Bill Greene, but he won’t give any clues as to which way he is going, only saying several factors went into the decision:
If you’re to believe the experts who make up his Crystal Ball predictions, Ohio State is in the best position to add Smith to its passing game in the 2018 college football season. The last thirteen predictions have Smith becoming a Buckeye, giving Urban Meyer’s program an 82 to 18 percent advantage in the poll.
Kentucky Sports Radio radio listeners have an “expert” of their own in caller Dawson, a Madison Central High School student who befriended Smith and Smith’s teammate, UK commit Alex Reigelsperger, on social media. Dawson insists Smith will commit to Kentucky, but his credibility is definitely in question.
So who do we trust? The analysts and bloggers who predict Smith to Ohio State? Or do we trust Dawson and his online friendship with Smith and Reigelsperger? Dawson stuck to his guns on Monday when he called in to the show to say, “It might be a ‘me against the world’… but I’ll stick with it.”
I won’t pretend to know either way because I have had zero meaningful conversations about Smith with anyone. But as a Kentucky football fan, I’m concerned by the latest chatter I’ve read online, specifically the prediction from Greene.
That being said, Greene admitted to the Herald-Leader he simply made an educated guess with no definitive inside information. “He told me nothing, and his dad told me nothing,” Greene said of his conversation with Smith. “So I got no inside info there.”
The best we can do now is play the “If” game until Smith goes public or any new info leaks out.
If he picks Kentucky…
… Mark Stoops and Vince Marrow can thank Smith’s relationships with current and future Wildcats. Alex Reigelsperger (H.S. teammate), Tobias Gilliam (cousin) and Jarren Williams (friend and UK QB of the future) are among the Cats’ best player-recruiters. Then there is the opportunity to play wide receiver, the position Smith wants to play in college; as well as Big Blue Nation’s relentless support and recruitment of Smith online. He has often mentioned BBN and feeling at home in Lexington in past interviews.
If he picks Ohio State…
… it’s because it’s Ohio State. When you look at the two programs and the two coaches who run them, they’re not even in the same conversation. Ohio State is a perennial title contender with a Hall of Fame head coach, and it’s only an hour-drive east of his hometown. It helps that Urban Meyer recently told him he is a wide receiver as of now, which wasn’t always the case in past conversations throughout Smith’s recruitment.
Regardless of which way Smith goes at the end of the month, it is pretty amazing that the University of Kentucky is in this situation in the first place. Mark Stoops and his staff are in a battle with The Ohio State University for one of the most sought-after playmakers in the entire country.
Win or lose, it is uncharted territory for the Kentucky program.
But let’s hope it is a win and Smith has a long career catchings touchdowns in Lexington.
By Haley Simpson on ©August 13th, 2017 @ 8:00pm
“Blue” is his name, but that doesn’t mean he’ll suit up for Big Blue.
According to a recent crystal ball update on 247 Sports, Scout.com’s Ohio recruiting insider Bill Greene is predicting L’Christian “Blue” Smith – a four-star a 6-foot-6, 210-pound wide receiver from the Dayton area – will choose Ohio State over Kentucky.
Smith will announce his decision between August 25-27 and has told Greene that he has already made a decision on where he is attending school – not a good sign for the Cats who are sitting with an 18 percent chance of landing the receiver compared to Ohio’s 82 percent.
This is quite the change from May when Smith’s fellow prospects believed he would end up at Kentucky.
Friday’s update on Lynn Bowden is that there is no significant update on Lynn Bowden, although he was spotted in the Joe Craft Football Training Facility.
Prior to today’s media opportunity with the players, Bowden was seen walking in and up the stairs of the facility, which is a good sign (better than not being there at all, right?).
KSTV snapped this photo on Friday:
A spokesperson for the program said nothing has changed in the Bowden situation as he awaits his eligibility; however, the staff remains positive as Bowden remains in Lexington and near the team he hopes to soon join.
Today’s fans of the day greet us from high atop the continental divide at Tincup Pass (elevation: 12,154 feet) in the Taylor Park area of Colorado. This group of friends hails from Knottsville, Kentucky and, as you can tell from their shirts and three goggles, love UK and KSR. Well done, guys. We salute you.
We’re trying some new things out on the site over the next month, so instead of a recap of yesterday’s stories, you’re only going to get a preview of what’s happening today in the world of UK sports, along with whatever random thoughts we come up with.
We’ll hear from Matt House and the defense
House is a man of few words, but he and select players will be available starting right about now at the football training center. We’ll have all the news from day four of camp for you in just a bit. In the meantime, please catch up on the latest episode KSR Football Podcast, which should be waiting for you in your podcast queue.
Bam Adebayo and Malik Monk will catch up with reporters
Yesterday, De’Aaron Fox, Dominique Hawkins, and Derek Willis addressed reporters on day one of John Calipari’s Pro Camp, and today, Bam Adebayo and Malik Monk will do the same. Look for quotes to start rolling out around 2:30 p.m. Yesterday, Willis told reporters that due to a mistake in his paperwork, his fiancée Keely was actually the one to get the call from the Detroit Pistons offering him a deal, which may be the most Derek Willis thing ever.
Recruiting tease of the day: Blue Smith
The four-star wide receiver was originally scheduled to announce his college decision on August 27, but last night, he teased Kentucky and Ohio State fans by tweeting that has changed:
There has been a change in my commitment date…
— BLUE📿 (@bluesmith_) August 1, 2017
Marketing move of the Day: Rogers get free tickets
Calling all Rogers! Stop by Gate 7 at Kroger Field now before the K goes up and present your ID to get 2 free tickets to UK vs EKU on 9/9! pic.twitter.com/9dOTEKYWtc
— DeWayne Peevy (@UKDeWaynePeevy) August 2, 2017
You probably saw the picture last night of the Kroger Field sign minus the K. Being the marketing mastermind he is, DeWayne Peevy decided to have some fun and offer all “Rogers” (first or last name) that show up to the sign before the K goes up free tickets to the home opener vs. Eastern. Get on out there, Rogers!
Video of the Day: Amanda making Ryan get his hair cut
ryan gets a mandatory haircut https://t.co/IjtGsUvEVE
— Ryan Lemond (@ryanlemond) August 1, 2017
Yesterday, Matt issued a challenge to Ryan to keep growing his hair out until basketball season. Well, Ryan’s wife Amanda wasn’t having it. Check out Amanda putting her foot down by making Ryan get his hair cut. As Ryan says several times in the Periscope, she clearly wears the pants in the family.
Charity 5K of the Day: Jennifer Colon in the West Fight On: Cycle, Run, Walk
Jennifer Colon is a huge Kentucky fan who was diagnosed with ovarian cancer back in December 2016. On September 16, she’s participating in the West Fight On: Cycle, Run, Walk charity 5K and bike race to raise money for the West Cancer Center in Germantown, Tennessee. If you’re interested in hearing more about her story, click here.
Salad Dressing of the Day: “Ranch”
— Tyler Thompson (@MrsTylerKSR) August 1, 2017
That’s how they say it in the mountains, apparently. I’ll have another fun Kash video for you later today.
Matt Vacation Story of the Day: ?
Yesterday, he told us about getting trapped in someone’s backyard in Luxembourg. What story will he tell today? Tune in an hour from now to find out.
By Drew Franklin on ©August 01st, 2017 @ 3:00pm
Today, August 1, marks the first day universities can send out official scholarship offers to football prospects entering their senior season of high school. Many of those prospects have already been promised a spot, but today is the first day they can receive the real deal.
Some of Kentucky’s current commits, including Jarren Williams, shared their offers with their followers on the Twitter machine.
— J D U B💰💫 (@Jarren2Williams) August 1, 2017
— Alex Reigelsperger (@a_reigelsperger) August 1, 2017
Here’s how the whole offer reads:
Dear (High School Athlete),
Congratulations! As the head football coach it is my pleasure to offer you the opportunity to attend the University of Kentucky on a full grant-in aid scholarship. Additionally, I’d like to extend an invitation to you and your family to make an official visit to our beautiful campus in Lexington.
We have completed a thorough evaluation of you as a student athlete. We sincerely believe that you possess the talent necessary to succeed on the football field and in the classroom. This full scholarship offer includes tuition, fees, books, room and board, and the full cost of attendance (COA) as part of a full athletics scholarship. This is the maximum aid currently permitted by NCAA rules.
This scholarship offer is contingent on your completion of the academic requirements for graduation by your high school and state. Additionally, you must meet the criteria established by the Southeastern Conference and the National Collegiate Athletics Association Eligibility Center. Prior to enrollment and once enrolled, in the event of an incapacitating football related injury, as required by the NCAA, full medical scholarship will be awarded.
Keep in mind the NCAA and the SEC have limits on the number of scholarships we can accept each year. Commitments are based on availability at your position. At Kentucky we are looking for student athletes with high character, work ethic, and great attitudes.
PLEASE DO NOT HESITATE TO CALL ME ANYTIME WITH ANY QUESTIONS.
Go Cats indeed.