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Jarren Williams schedules official visit to UK

The handsome and talented Joe Mussatto over at SEC Country’s Kentucky site reported on Thursday that UK quarterback commit Jarren Williams has a date set for his official visit to UK.

According to Mussatto, Williams will take his official visit on Saturday, October 7 for the Cats’ home game against Missouri.

Williams’ father, Anthony Williams, said the family has not yet made plans to visit any other schools, but they haven’t ruled out other stops. LSU and South Carolina have maintained contact since Williams’ re-commitment to UK, so those are two programs he is likely keeping in consideration for other visits.

[SECCountry.com]


Today on KSR, powered by DRAFT: Calipari meets with Zion

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John Calipari visits Zion Williamson

After Williamson canceled Monday’s visit with Calipari and raved about Duke in his USA Today HSS blog, we were all a teeny bit concerned, so it was reassuring to see Ben Roberts’ report that Calipari will see the five-star forward tonight in Spartanburg. If all goes well, I expect Zion will schedule his official visit to Lexington, likely for the weekend of Big Blue Madness, October 13.

Recruiting timeline for the rest of the week

I went over this last night in detail, but here’s who Calipari has seen and will see the rest of the week:

  • Sunday: Quentin Grimes, PG
  • Monday: Keldon Johnson, SF/SG
  • Tuesday: Simi Shittu, PF
  • Wednesday: Zion Williamson, SF
  • Friday – Saturday: Immanuel Quickley, PG & Keldon Johnson, SF/SG (OFFICIAL VISITS)
  • Sunday: Bol Bol, C

Mark Stoops will be on the SEC Coaches Teleconference

Stoops will take questions from the league’s reporters around lunch on the SEC Teleconference. ICYMI yesterday, freshman Lynn Bowden addressed reporters for the first time and said he’s ready to move past the distractions of the first few weeks and just play ball.

“It was hard, but I’m fine,” Bowden said of being ejected for targeting vs. EKU. “I’m an athlete.  I got to adjust.”

More maturity where that came from in last night’s feature from Nick:

Tired of Talking, Lynn Bowden is Ready to Show Fans What He Can Do

Last night, UK got a new preferred walk-on

Waggener High School two-way star Manny Harper committed to Kentucky last night as a preferred walk-on. With a 4.2 GPA, the Governor’s Scholar will get a full academic scholarship and also be able to play football for the Cats, a dream realized for the wide receiver/defensive back from Louisville.

“It felt great to hear coach say that I had a spot on the roster after touring the campus and facilities,” Harper told KSR after receiving his offer a few weeks ago. “UK has a lot to offer to me academically, socially and athletically. I can see myself fitting in well in all those areas at UK, it was just a really good vibe. I thank God for blessing me with opportunities and options.”

Already impressed by this kid.

I get to tour the new TopGolf in Nashville

If you’ve driven through Nashville in the past few months, you’ve seen the massive nets near downtown marking the spot of the new TopGolf, a golf entertainment mega-complex that’s popping up in cities across the nation. Nashville’s is set to open later this month and I’ve been invited to tour it with other sports media folk this evening. Between basketball, football, and everything in between, Kentucky fans love to come to Nashville to party, so I’ll share some pictures and thoughts on the facility tomorrow.

Speaking of the BBN in Nashville, the alumni group has moved its game watch location to the new Double Dogs at 4017 Charlotte Avenue, presumably because the Hillsboro Village location is absolutely insane on Saturdays.

Adorable animal video of the day

Ava the cat was abandoned in a garage in London, England and brought into an animal shelter, where she met her new best friend Barney the dog. The video of the two cuddling is the cutest thing you’ll see today:

I needed that after seeing the price tag on the new iPhone X.


Waggener HS standout joins UK’s 2018 class as preferred walk-on

Waggener HS standout joins UK’s 2018 class as preferred walk-on

One of the top seniors in Kentucky high school football has joined UK’s class as a preferred walk-on.

Manny Harper, a two-way standout at receiver and defensive back for Waggener High School in Louisville, announced on Twitter that he is committed to the University of Kentucky and accepted a preferred walk-on spot with the Wildcats for next fall.

In an interview following his offer, Harper told KSR, “It felt great to hear coach say that I had a spot on the roster after touring the campus and facilities. UK has a lot to offer to me academically, socially and athletically. I can see myself fitting in well in all those areas at UK, it was just a really good vibe. I thank God for blessing me with opportunities and options.”

Harper will be provided with a full academic scholarship, which he more than deserves as a Governor’s Scholar with a 4.2 GPA and a 25 on the ACT.


Catch Jarren Williams on the NFL Network tonight

The first episode of the Elite 11 documentary is set to air tonight at 10:30 p.m. on the NFL Network and Kentucky’s next great quarterback, Jarren Williams, is expected to be a part of the show.

The Elite 11 event was held earlier in the summer, but the documentary is just now coming out for your viewing pleasure. Williams was among the participants at the Elite 11 Finals and he played well according to reports, if my memory serves me correctly.

It’ll be fun for Kentucky fans to get a closer look their next quarterback via this show.

So tune in.


Watch Jarren Williams Score a Game-Winning Touchdown

Photo by Karl L. Moore

Every week Kentucky dual-threat quarterback commit Jarren Williams does something spectacular and this week is no exception.

After Central Gwinnett let a 17-point lead slip away, the Army All-American took control in overtime.  On third-and-goal, Williams found a way to get the ball into the end zone.

The rushing touchdown was his third score in the 23-20 victory.  Williams completed 23-of-38 passes for 263 yards and two touchdowns.

High School Scores from around the State of Kentucky

  • Trinity 22, Male 0
  • Frederick Douglass 29, Lafayette 14
  • Beechwood 36, Corbin 29
  • Ballard 30, Central 7
  • Lexington Christian 56, Lexington Catholic 36
  • Belfry 54, Newport Central Catholic 29
  • Manual 7, Western 6
  • Henry County 34, Spencer County 33 OT
  • Middlesboro 14, Harlan 12
  • Somerset 20, Hazard 9
  • South Warren 27, Central Hardin 17
  • Metcalfe County 18, Adair County 12
  • Magoffin County 18, Betsy Layne 16
  • Butler 28, Fern Creek 20

Bear Bryant’s great-grandson, a top 2019 QB, will visit Kentucky

Bear Bryant’s great-grandson, a top 2019 QB, will visit Kentucky

Back in April, Mark Stoops offered top 2019 quarterback Paul Tyson, the great-grandson of legendary Alabama and Kentucky coach Bear Bryant. Several months and major suitors later, Tyson said he plans to visit Kentucky this fall.

In an interview with Bleacher Report, Tyson, considered the 11th best pro-style quarterback in his class by Rivals, insisted that even though he spent his childhood going to Alabama games with his family, he’s not set on becoming a member of the Crimson Tide.

“It would definitely be awesome to play there,” Paul says. “I’ve watched so many games there, and playing on the same field would be really cool. But no one has put any pressure on me to play there. I want to go to the best place for me. I want to go somewhere I can win a national championship and where I’m the school’s No. 1 guy.”

One of those places could be Kentucky, where Bryant coached from 1946 to 1953. Tyson and his family have already visited Alabama, Duke and North Carolina State, and have trips to Kentucky, Florida, Georgia and Tennessee planned. That’s a very good thing, because in his first varsity start for Hewitt-Trussville on Friday, he went 19-24 for 285 yards and four touchdowns. Impressive.

If only there were a place where he could honor his great-grandfather’s memory AND be the number one guy. Hmm…

[Bleacher Report]


Darin Hinshaw tweets about phone conversation with Jarren Williams

Darin Hinshaw tweets about phone conversation with Jarren Williams

Darin Hinshaw took to Twitter to promote a phone conversation he had Tuesday night with a “big time gun slinger from the (peach emoji) state.”

It’s pretty safe to assume he is referring to Jarren Williams, Kentucky’s prized quarterback commit in the 2018 class, and it’s good to hear the relationship is still going strong.

Williams recently told Joe Mussatto over at SEC Country that he is still taking calls from other schools (LSU and South Carolina to name a couple), but his commitment to Kentucky is firm.


Blue Smith commits to Ohio State

According to @Bill_Kurelic, an Ohio State recruiting expert, Blue Smith has committed to Ohio State.

On Ohio State, Smith has this to say:

“I just felt like it was home. When I was at the camp (in June) it was the place to be. I felt comfortable in my decision and the opportunity they give players outside of football after they leave college.”

Kurelic has more from Smith at this link.

Smith was long a UK target as he visited the Cats seven times over his recruitment with the most recent being on May 27th. Over the past few weeks, Smith has gone from a possible UK lean to his inevitable commitment to Urban Meyer. As I mentioned in a earlier post, while Smith’s commitment is a disappointment, but it is not the end of the road for the Class of 2018. This class is still looking to be the best in Mark Stoops’ time at Kentucky.

To have even been in the conversation for a player of Blue’s caliber was unheard of 5 years ago and it is proof as to how far this program has come. Instead, we were used to following announcements of whether a recruit would choose Kentucky or a MAC/AAC school. This program has come a long way and while we didn’t win today, there will be a lot more opportunities to win next time.

Good luck to Blue in his future!

 


UPDATE: Blue Smith to announce at 11:30 on ESPN

The day we have been waiting for has finally arrived. Blue Smith, the number 4 athlete in the country, will be announcing his college plans at 1:30pm on ESPN. Smith has long been thought to be a strong possibility for the Cats with show caller Dawson being adamant that Blue would be in Blue. Over the past few weeks, national writers have become more and more confident in the Kentucky target staying close to home to play for Ohio State. In fact, last night was the first time that his Crystal Ball reached 100% to Ohio State.

While the media isn’t feeling confident about Kentucky’s chances, UK commit Jarren Williams is. In an interview with SEC Country, Williams said, “I feel pretty good. I talked a lot to Blue at The Opening. He really does like Kentucky. I’m feeling pretty good about it.” Williams and SEC Country talked more about the commitment, you can see that here.

Overall, it is hard not to be worried about Kentucky’s chances, but if there was a coaching staff to get a recruit even when the Crystal Ball was at 100% for a team like Ohio State, it definitely would be Mark Stoops and Vince Marrow. What does it mean if Smith does decide to go to Ohio State? Well, it would be a disappointment for Kentucky fans, but the Cats already have two commitments from Athletes in the Class of 2018 in Smith’s teammate Alex Reigelsperger and Florida native Akeem Hayes, so in the long run Kentucky will be okay. With that being said, Smith is an explosive player who would do wonders for the Kentucky offense.

Note: If Blue Smith commits to Ohio State, please do not tweet hateful things at him. If you have to tweet at him, wish him luck and leave it at that. There is not a worse look for a fanbase than people tweeting at a high school senior when he doesn’t pick their school.

———————UPDATE————————-

Smith has tweeted that his announcement will come at 11:30 today, not 1:30 PM as previously reported.

Prepare accordingly, it’s show time.


Today on KSR: Blue Smith Decides, R.J. Barrett Deliberates

After a few days of collecting syllabuses (syllabi?), the “real” semester starts this week at UK, with students hitting the books hard enough to free up their weekends for football. And the football couldn’t come any sooner.

Countdown to Southern Miss

We’ve now officially entered prep week for Southern Miss this Saturday, and for those of you who’ve forgotten the unfortunate loss from last season, and I’m sure there aren’t many of you, here’s a bit of a recap:

The team can brush this weekend’s rematch off all they want as “just another game”, but I think most of us are out for a little revenge.

Blue Smith to Commit Today

Had Smith decided to commit two months ago, there is a better than average chance he would’ve wound up in Lexington. But Urban Meyer has seemingly more than closed the gap in the race for one of Ohio’s top 2018 stars. 247’s Crystal Ball gives OSU the nod with a 94% chance of landing Smith, with UK getting the remaining 6%.

“So you’re telling me there’s a chance?”

It’s a long shot, but I’ll take that over no shot.

Smith plays at 1:30 today on ESPN.

R.J. Barrett Plans His Visits

The newly minted 2018 star forward has laid out his schedule for visiting five top schools. Among them are Duke, Arizona, Oregon, and Michigan.

But it’s Kentucky that gets first crack at Barrett, as he’ll be visiting UK next weekend, September 1-3.

Barrett followed in the footsteps of Marvin Bagley III, who reclassified to 2017 and promptly committed to Duke less than two weeks ago. Hopefully Barrett decides to go another route.

Needless to say, I think he’s worth rolling out the blue carpet for:

Floyd Mayweather defeated Conor McGregor via 10th Round TKO

So now we can all stop hearing about it. From what I gather, if you bought the PPV, you saw a good fight. If you didn’t, congrats on saving $100.

@JayWinkKSR


Is there a chance Blue Smith Picks Kentucky Tomorrow?

I’m telling you there’s a chance Blue Smith picks Kentucky over Ohio State, but the odds are not in the Wildcats’ favor.

For a long time, the Cats were the favorite to land the nation’s top-ranked athlete.  The 6’6″ wide receiver from Dayton, Ohio received his first scholarship offer from Kentucky.  Once his teammate, four-star defensive end Alex Reigelsperger, committed to UK, the Cats had another recruiter on the Wayne High School football team.  Smith visited Lexington frequently throughout the spring and summer, and things were trending toward UK until about a month ago.

Things changed after Smith took a visit to Columbus on July 21.  Urban Meyer initially wanted Smith to play tight end for the Buckeyes, which gave UK an advantage, but in that visit Meyer changed his tune and laid out a plan for Smith to play receiver.

Since then, every recruiting analyst has picked Smith to Ohio State.  The Buckeyes currently have a 94-6 advantage in the 247 Crystal Ball.  As Rivals’ Josh Helmholdt explained to Ben Roberts, there’s no certainty Smith picks Ohio State, it’s just hard to convince an in-state prospect to turn down the perennial powerhouse.

“If you think about it in horse racing terms: Ohio State is a closer.  They close down the stretch, and it’s tough for kids in their own backyard to say no.”

 Helmholdt added: “I don’t have enough intel to tell me he’s for sure going to Ohio State.  It’s certainly been nip and tuck. Even Ohio State people aren’t going to say that, over the last five months, it’s been all Ohio State.

“It’s been a back and forth battle. So, it would not surprise me if he went with (UK) on Sunday. I don’t expect it. But, it wouldn’t surprise me.”

There’s a chance Kentucky fans will receive a spectacular surprise during Smith’s 1:30 game on ESPN, but don’t count on it.

[Herald-Leader]


Watch Jarren Williams Score Five Touchdowns in a Narrow Victory

Prepare to see crazy stats from future Kentucky quarterback Jarren Williams each Saturday morning. Last week he had more than 300 passings yards and 3 touchdowns.  This week he upped the ante.

Williams completed 20 of 31 passes for 320 yards and 3 touchdowns, with one score from 63 yards.  On the ground, he ran the ball 15 times for 63 yards and two more scores.  Simply put, Williams was money.

After the game, Central Gwinnett’s head coach could not stop praising the passer.

“I know there’s a couple quarterbacks they say are better, but I want to see them do that stuff against the competition we play,” Todd Wofford told Gwinnett Prep Sports. “These teams we play week in and week out are the best teams in the state of Georgia and he’s doing this stuff against them. There’s no cupcakes on the schedule. … This guy is putting the team on his back. It’s a group effort, but he’s doing stuff when we’re on offense that you can’t coach.

“We don’t coach that. Those two spin moves, that’s the C-button. That’s the video game C-button he’s doing out there. It makes you laugh some times when you see the things he does just natural by instinct.”

You’ll see Williams mash that C-button many times in the full replay of last night’s 36-33 win.

w


Shocky Jacques-Louis Commits to Tennessee

@ShockyMVP

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.

@ShockyMVP

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.


Blue Smith to Announce 1 Week from Today

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.

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.

@JayWinkKSR


TV News Reporter Thinks Blue Smith is Going to Ohio State

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.


Georgia UK Football Commits Star in Season Openers

Chris Rodriguez via Henry Herald

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.

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.


Here’s 50 KY High School Football Players to Follow This Season

(Photo by Paul Gray)

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.

@JayWinkKSR


@Brown3Jamari

YAHTZEE: Florida Cornerback Jamari Brown Commits to Kentucky

@Brown3Jamari

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.

@Brown3Jamari

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:


Today on KSR: Another Yahtzee on the way?

Today on KSR: Another Yahtzee on the way?

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

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.


Garner Celebrates Kentucky Commitment with Past and Future Teammate

@SleeperAthletes

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:

@StanleyG_9

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.