Football Recruiting News
By Brent Wainscott on ©May 12th, 2019 @ 1:00pm
Could Kentucky get yet ANOTHER highly touted in-state recruit?
Stoops and Marrow have been hard at work for this 2020 Kentucky class, with the commitments of four-star quarterback Beau Allen and four-star offensive lineman John Young already falling into place, the two might have themselves another one in Vito Tisdale.
Four-star bowling green native, Vito Tisdale, is listed as the second best player in the state for the 2020 class, and Kentucky is in great shape to land Tisdale according to 24/7 Sports as the 6-1 safety’s crystal ball is Kentucky blue.
Kentucky leads contenders with a 60% chance to land Tisdale. Louisville sits at 30%, and the Oklahoma Sooners have a 10% chance.
Tisdale is listed as the Nation’s ninth-best safety and Kentucky’s second best player in the 2020 Class.
In late April, John Young gave Shawn Smith of Go Big Blue Country a wishlist of players he would like to recruit to Kentucky along with him for the 2020 season. Those names included Beau Allen, Andru Phillips, Izayah Cummings, Tee Hodge and of course Vito Tisdale.
Young has already successfully helped pull in Phillips and Allen, and it appears he may be batting 1.000 with the latest news on Vito Tisdale.
John Young’s commitment is a more significant domino in the 2020 recruiting class than people realize, and if he can help pull another four-star, Mark Stoops just might have him another recruiter alongside Vince Marrow in a few years.
Tisdale has not set his commitment date.
Kentucky had all the momentum in the world in the recruitment of a five-star All-American…until Nick Saban called.
Justin Rogers, the No. 10 overall player in America according to Rivals, trimmed his list of schools to five yesterday and announced a decision date of May 20. Kentucky not only made the cut, they looked like the team to beat following an official visit to Lexington.
Along with the Cats, Rogers included his home state of Michigan, LSU, Tennessee and Georgia, where he will officially visit this weekend. Nick Saban was not happy to hear Alabama got left off the list. A day later he gave Rogers a personal pitch.
Wow… Just had an amazing conversation with Coach Saban. I officially have a new top 6. Roll Tide!! ?
— Justin Rogers (@AllAmerican52JR) May 9, 2019
To land the top-ranked recruit of the Mark Stoops era, it was going to be a dog-fight. That fight just got a lot tougher with ten days to go.
By Maggie Davis on ©May 08th, 2019 @ 7:48pm
Kentucky is officially in the mix for one of the top-10 football players in the nation. Justin Rogers, a five-star prospect, is listed as the No. 1 offensive guard in the 2020 recruiting class, and he just included the University of Kentucky in his final top-5 list. The other four? Georgia, LSU, Michigan and Tennessee.
I will be committing May 20 at Oak Park High School let me know who trying to come DM me y’all have to see this be there at 4:00 pm????? pic.twitter.com/hGJSRkyCAT
— Justin Rogers (@AllAmerican52JR) May 8, 2019
Prior to the announcement, Rivals had Kentucky listed as the favorite at 44 percent (Georgia was the runner-up with 33 percent, followed by Tennessee and Ohio State). 24/7 Sports had a similar breakdown: UK at 33 percent, followed by Tennessee at 22 percent, Ohio State at 17 percent, undecided at 17 percent and Georgia at 11 percent. The inclusion of LSU and Michigan could shake things up a bit, while Ohio State is now apparently out of the running.
Rogers, a native of Oak Park, Michigan, is listed at 6-foot-2.5 and 311 pounds. Kentucky was the first school to extend an offer all the way back in 2016 – a fact that’s not lost on Rogers.
Kentucky was the first to offer ? pic.twitter.com/fZMa0S6mco
— Justin Rogers (@AllAmerican52JR) January 27, 2019
Although there are four other schools still competing for Rogers’ talents, the Cats seem to have the recent advantage. Rivals’ Justin Rowland submitted a prediction in favor of the Wildcats on the evening of April 28. Since then, 24/7 Sports’ Allen Trieu – who has gotten 93.75 percent of his 2020 picks correct so far – predicted Kentucky last Monday. 24/7 Sports’ Director of Football Recruiting, Steve Wiltfong, also lists Kentucky as Rogers’ top choice. Wiltfong has a 90.48 percent success rate so far with the 2020 recruiting class.
Rogers took an official visit to Lexington back on April 26, and he’ll visit the University of Georgia on May 17. His decision date is set for May 20.
Until then, the UK coaching staff will be all over Rogers – and they won’t be alone. DeAndre Square, a current linebacker for Kentucky, and John Young, a recent UK commit, are also working their magic.
???? we came a long way bro all that hard work paying off https://t.co/K719LZIKzw
— DeAndre Square (@d_square10) May 8, 2019
— John Young (@the_johnyoung) May 8, 2019
T-minus 11 days until Rogers makes his announcement. Let’s do this thing.
By Drew Franklin on ©May 08th, 2019 @ 11:00am
Justin Rogers is one of the best high school football players in America. Rivals.com ranks him as the tenth-best prospect in the entire recruiting class and the No. 1 offensive guard. Numero uno at the guard position. He’s the type of player that wouldn’t even look Kentucky’s direction in the past, but times have changed and Kentucky is not only in the mix, it might be the pick. Dead serious.
Now Rogers is all set to announce his decision on Monday, May 20, per a new report from recruiting guru Josh Helmholdt. Helmholdt likes Kentucky’s chances; he wrote, “If the buzz about Kentucky’s momentum is legitimate, then the Wildcats are the leaders in the clubhouse going into the final days of this recruitment.” Kentucky also has the last four picks in Rogers’ Crystal Ball predictions.
Rogers is a former high school teammate of current UK up-and-comer Marquan McCall, and he has been close with UK’s coaching staff since his freshman season at Oak Park HS in Michigan. He’s made several trips to Lexington, most recently for an official visit the weekend of April 26, and the Cats are in great standing in the days ahead of his announcement.
However, Rogers still has an official visit to Georgia set for May 17, only a couple days before he decides. Let’s hope he has a miserable time in Athens.
By Drew Franklin on ©May 07th, 2019 @ 4:00pm
Beau Allen, defensive tackle for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, took a moment to congratulate Beau Allen, quarterback for Lexington Catholic High School, on his commitment to Kentucky.
“Shoutout to Jr for the big commitment,” the NFL Allen tweeted to his namesake. “They grow up so fast #proudpapa”.
— Beau Allen (@Beau_Allen) May 7, 2019
The NFL Beau Allen is a native of Minnetonka, Minnesota; he played for Wisconsin in college and went on to win a Super Bowl with the Philadelphia Eagles. I don’t believe he actually knows the high school Beau Allen, but it was a nice gesture.
By Drew Franklin on ©May 07th, 2019 @ 3:08pm
Mark Stoops and the Kentucky football program had a big visitor on campus this past weekend for an official visit.
Kalil Branham, a four-star wide receiver who recently decommitted from Michigan, was in Lexington for a second time in less than a month. The visit went extremely well and now Kentucky is in the driver’s seat for Branham as his recruitment moves forward.
By the looks of Branham’s social media accounts, his official UK visit included the new Jeff Ruby’s for dinner, hanging out with former UK greats like Josh Allen and Tim Couch, and a UK jersey cake. But above all that, the most important part of his time in Kentucky was his ringing endorsement of the wings at KSBar and Grille, another stop on his tour.
“KSR wings were really good,” he tweeted Sunday afternoon.
— Kalil Branham 2020 (@kbug_dash) May 5, 2019
Thank you, Kalil. We are very proud of our smoked wings.
Once he got back home to Columbus, Ohio, he tweeted a video of him playing the piano before going to bed.
I always liked school house rock. I play by ear so it might not be right. Haven't played since Thursday lil rusty. Mom sits with me playing before bed she said it helps the pressure behind her eyes. Can't have crazy stuff around her right now #branhamboys pic.twitter.com/zxCEwEDM5z
— Kalil Branham 2020 (@kbug_dash) May 6, 2019
247Sports currently ranks Branham as the No. 22 wide receiver in the country and the fourth-best prospect in the state of Ohio.
By Jack Pilgrim on ©May 06th, 2019 @ 6:00pm
Could Kentucky be landing a legitimate five-star, top-10 prospect in the class of 2020… for football?
A few fairly significant recruiting analysts seem to think so.
On Monday morning, Allen Trieu 247 Sports, who holds a career 91.18% all-time prediction record, submitted a pick in favor of Kentucky for 2020 five-star offensive lineman Justin Rogers.
Michigan State insider Sean Scherer followed not too long after.
Meanwhile, Justin Rowland of Rivals.com submitted a prediction in favor of the Wildcats back on the evening of April 28.
According to Rivals.com, Rogers is considered the No. 10 prospect in the class of 2020 and a five-star overall. At 6-foot-4, 314 pounds, the elite prospect with offers from Georgia, Ohio State, Alabama, Florida, Clemson, and Tennessee (among others) the Oak Park, MI native is listed as the No. 1 offensive guard in the nation.
Rogers has been outspoken about his love and respect for the Kentucky football program in the past, and he proved that interest was legitimate by officially visiting Lexington last weekend. UK was his very first scholarship offer back in 2016, and he has said on Twitter multiple times that he will always have a soft spot in his heart for the Wildcats based on that alone. In his eyes, they were the first to see what he was capable of, so it would only be fair to return the favor by giving them a legitimate shot when it comes time for a decision.
And according to multiple different analysts, it looks like we might be trending that direction.
Check out his junior-year highlight tape below:
Could Kentucky actually pull this one off?
By Drew Franklin on ©May 06th, 2019 @ 4:02pm
Why Kentucky for four-star quarterback Beau Allen?
He was asked on the PrepSpin live broadcast shortly after announcing his decision, to which he credited the staff for really attracting him to his hometown university.
“Really just the people that are around the program at the University of Kentucky, just what they’ve been doing ever since they got here,” he said. “I’m just really excited to be a part of it.”
The staff’s player development and the 10-win 2018 season also played a major role, he noted.
When asked about the loud roar he received from his fellow students and others in attendance at his announcement ceremony at Lexington Catholic High School, Allen said, “The Big Blue Nation is alive and strong and it definitely goes very deep, and I’m very excited to play for them.”
Now it’s time for him to join offensive line commit John Young in adding others to UK’s 2020 class.
By Nick Roush on ©May 06th, 2019 @ 3:33pm
Kentucky’s recruiting momentum has reached a crescendo. Four-star quarterback Beau Allen has committed to Kentucky.
The Lexington native and son of former Wildcat, Bill Allen, Beau chose to become Mark Stoops’ quarterback of the future over the opportunity to play in Mike Leach and Neal Brown’s air raid systems. Along with Washington State and West Virginia, he had a dozen scholarship offers from the likes of Georgia, Michigan and Michigan State. Allen is the No. 15 ranked pro-style quarterback in America according to Rivals.
Allen will see a few familiar faces at UK. His former Lexington Catholic head coach, Mark Perry, joined the coaching staff as an offensive quality control assistant this spring.
The rising star already has a few friends prepared to play at UK. Four-star offensive tackle John Young and three-star cornerback Andru Phillips committed to UK shortly after the trio officially visited campus last weekend, not too long after they posed for this picture at Kroger Field following the Blue/White Game.
Along with four-star defensive tackle Lamar Goods, UK now has four commitments in the 2020 recruiting class. Stoops and Vince Marrow have built a solid foundation for a strong finish.
Beau Allen is all set to announce his decision from his high school in Lexington. The University of Kentucky is expected to be Allen’s pick and you can watch the commitment live via our friends at PrepSpin with boots on the ground:
Allen also has offers from Cincinnati, Duke, Georgia, Michigan, Washington State and West Virginia, among others. He will pick Kentucky over all of them to stay home to lead the Cats.
This is a big moment for the UK program.
By Maggie Davis on ©May 05th, 2019 @ 11:00pm
Current Lexington Catholic quarterback Beau Allen is set to make his college decision in less than 24 hours: he’ll announce where he’s decided to spend the next four years of his football career Monday at 3:30 p.m. There’s not much time left in a recruitment that’s been ongoing for years – where does Kentucky stand now that it’s coming down to the wire?
Long story short, the Wildcats appear to be in a good spot with Allen. The 6-foot-2 quarterback has been showing UK (and some freshly-committed Cats) plenty of love on Twitter, and 24/7 Sports currently has his Crystal Ball set to 100% for the Wildcats.
Allen took an official visit last weekend, alongside two players who have since committed: four-star offensive lineman John Young and three-star defensive back Andru Phillips. Allen reposted both Young and Phillips’ commitment announcements. In the last few days, Allen has also “liked” Tweets by accounts such as The Stoops Era and Everything Kentucky Football.
As promised, John Young has also hit Allen’s social media pretty hard with pro-Kentucky Tweets. If this is what he’s doing on a public forum, imagine the texts he’s sending his friend.
— John Young (@the_johnyoung) May 2, 2019
When Young came on KSR following his own announcement, he promised to “bug [Allen] until he blocks my number. I’m going to be on him until his commits.”
Could Young’s final efforts be enough to seal the deal? Will the four-star quarterback be the next Kentuckian to announce a verbal commitment?
— Steve Wiltfong (@SWiltfong247) May 5, 2019
Allen also has offers from the Washington State Cougars and Neal Brown’s West Virginia Mountaineers. Allen visited the west coast the weekend before his Kentucky visit, describing his weekend with the Cougs as “really great.”
When asked about his feelings toward the University of Kentucky, Allen was very positive. Like all of UK’s recent commits, Allen cited the program’s upwards trajectory under Coach Mark Stoops. He also mentioned his close relationship with the UK staff, specifically mentioning offensive coordinator Eddie Gran, recruiting coordinator Vince Marrow, quarterbacks coach Darin Hinshaw and special teams coordinator Dean Hood.
Could Allen finalize a spectacular in-state trifecta for the 2020 Wildcat squad? We’ll have to wait until Monday afternoon to be certain, but the tea leaves certainly look good for Kentucky.
By Sam Gormley on ©May 05th, 2019 @ 10:00am
I watched the Kentucky Derby from Great American Ballpark minutes before the Reds and Giants played. My dad and I saw Maximum Security win and made our way to our seats thinking that was the end of everything. It was until I got a notification that said that Maximum Security was DQ and Country House was declared the winner.
I am the furthest thing from an expert when it comes to horse racing. Did Maximum Security “impede” the progress of another horse? I don’t even know that I would know what to look for.
To watch the stewards discuss the ruling, click the link below:
— Kentucky Derby (@KentuckyDerby) May 5, 2019
Again, I would be the first to admit that I don’t have a true understanding of the rules that go into a race. What I do know is that this will be a finish that is talked about for the next 145 Derbys.
— Kentucky Derby (@KentuckyDerby) May 4, 2019
Now onto the other news of the day:
Jalen Johnson includes Kentucky in Top Four
One of the top juniors in the class of 2020 announced yesterday that Kentucky, along with Wisconsin, Arizona and Duke, are finalists in his recruitment.
Johnson is a 6’8 forward from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He told reporters last year that the hometown Badgers had a slight lead, but his recruitment was still wide open. While their games aren’t the same, if I am John Calipari, I 100% send the five-star prospect footage of Tyler Herro. Show what Kentucky can do for a kid from Wisconsin.
— Jalen Johnson (@Jalen_J23) May 5, 2019
For more on Johnson, including his opinions on Kentucky… and Duke, click this link for a write up from KSR’s recruiting expert Jack Pilgrim.
Beau Allen talks decision
To say the last week has been good for recruiting in Kentucky would be an understatement. Tomorrow could be the cap off of a true trifecta with Lexington native Beau Allen announcing his commitment.
Allen, a four star quarterback, will make his decision between Kentucky, Washington State, West Virginia and Duke. In a recent interview with Rivals, Allen talked about what he likes about each school and his response to Kentucky is interesting. You might think the “hometown hero” card is the biggest factor, but it is something else that he likes.
To find out what that is, and his opinion on other schools, click here.
Cats visit five-star guard Daishen Nix
The recruiting didn’t end for the Kentucky coaching staff as Joel Justus was in to see Alaska native Daishen Nix. I admittedly don’t know a lot about Nix, but the minute I saw Alaska native, I knew exactly why the Cats were recruiting him. While he now plays in Las Vegas, you never know if an in-home visit could happen in Alaska and isn’t that Coach Cal’s dream to go there? I kid…
Nix is the #13 player in the class of 2020 and holds offers from most of the major west coast programs.
From yesterday’s KSR article, “Josh Gershon of 247 Sports says Nix is an ‘outstanding facilitator’ with ‘elite vision’ and ‘strong natural instincts.’
Good size for position with strong, sturdy frame. Elite vision; outstanding facilitator who is creative as a distributor. High basketball IQ with strong natural instincts for position. Improving shooter with range to perimeter although he is more efficient as he get closer to basket. Quick hands and impressive instincts on defense. Could improve as a shooter but it’s an area he’s shown progress and in general has been on a high trajectory since arriving in Nevada from Alaska prior to his freshman season. Projects as a successful college point guard with NBA upside.
This seems like a good guy to get to join Ramon Harris as Cats from Alaska.
Baseball DH at home this afternoon
If you are looking for a good way to spend your Saturday, make your way to Kentucky Proud Park where the Kentucky Baseball team will take on Arkansas in a DH beginning at 1pm.
I have heard nothing but good things about the new stadium and with the rain gone, I can’t think of a much better way to spend a Sunday.
By Jack Pilgrim on ©May 04th, 2019 @ 1:00pm
Momentum is rolling for the Kentucky football program on the recruiting trail, and things could get even better on Monday afternoon when 2020 four-star quarterback prospect Beau Allen makes his decision.
Allen, a 6-foot-2 pro-style quarterback out of Lexington, KY, is down to four schools: Kentucky, Washington State, West Virginia, and Duke.
In an interview with Woody Wommack of Rivals.com, Allen broke down each of those schools and why they might have a shot when he makes it official in just two days.
For Kentucky, it’s not so much about being from Lexington as to why he’s interested. It’s about the program’s recent success under Mark Stoops and how they would open up the offense a bit more with him under center.
“With Kentucky, their recent success has definitely a lot and being from the hometown probably doesn’t have that huge of a play into it as I’m looking for the type of people and the school and the offense,” he said. “And they have showed me how they are spreading out their offense more and throwing it more and going down field.”
As for Washington State, he’s comfortable with head coach Mike Leach and the style of play his teams always play with.
“With WSU, I really had a great visit and I really think coach Leach is a great coach and also a great person,” he said. “He talks with me about how I would be throwing the ball so much in his offense.”
With West Virginia, former Kentucky Wildcat Neal Brown is selling the uptempo offense he’s bringing to Morgantown with him.
“Coach Brown’s main message to me is that I would go great with their offense and their program,” he said. “I really like the people around the program and the fans and the offense.”
And finally with Duke, Allen says that he sees what the Blue Devils with quarterback Daniel Jones and thinks he could follow in his footsteps.
“With Duke, Coach Cutcliffe says that he really likes how I am a very accurate quarterback that can do anything in a game,” he said. “It’s great to see how well Daniel Jones is doing and how successful he is. Their main message for me is to play in a great offense at a great school and to be around great people which they have.”
Allen will make his final decision on Monday at 3:30 pm ET at Lexington Catholic High School.
PrepSpin will have a live stream of the event, which we will have available to watch right here on KSR.
Until then, check out his highlights below:
come stay home, Beau.
By Nick Roush on ©May 02nd, 2019 @ 4:15pm
Thirty years after he completed his college football career in Lexington, Carlos Phillips’ son committed to play football for Mark Stoops at the University of Kentucky.
Monday night Andru Phillips rolled the dice, becoming the third member of UK’s 2020 recruiting class. After playing high school football in Mauldin, South Carolina, the three-star cornerback decided to return to his home state of Kentucky to play for his father’s alma mater.
In a conversation with KSR, Carlos Phillips said he never pushed his son to choose UK.
“First and foremost, he’s my son. He’s not a football player to me. He’s my son and I wanted him to go somewhere I thought he was going to have a good support network and his best chance of achieving his goals. The University of Kentucky certainly fits that bill,” the elder Phillips said.
“I wanted Andru to play and go to school where ever he thought would be the best fit for him. He knows where my heart is, but I really tried to step back and just be a guide more so than a director in this whole process. He’s been a UK fan for quite some time and that was his first offer. He looked at other places but I think he really settled on where he could go and felt like he could take the team to the next level, and also a place where it felt like family. Kentucky fit both of those for him and without much if any encouragement from me.”
Originally from Owensboro, Phillips played with Mark Higgs on the Red Devils’ team that fell to Trinity in the 1983 4A State Championship. Phillips agreed to play for Jerry Claiborne’s Wildcats in 1986. At UK he changed positions each year, bouncing from one linebacker position to another.
He did not push his son to UK, but the former Wildcat will be proud to see his son in blue and white.
“Oh yeah, for a few reasons. A, I’m convinced that he’ll have more of an impact on the football field there than I did. I’m anxious to see that. Also, the school, the education I received there has served me well and I think he could benefit from that similarly. I think Coach Stoops has just rebuilt the culture there on the football team and about football in Kentucky. That’s great. And we have a lot of friends and family back there at home so he’s got a good support network as well.”
One of those friends is former teammate Bill Allen. Since the Cats started recruiting Andru, he befriended Allen’s son, Beau.
“It’s pretty neat now as our sons are being recruited, we would see each other at camps and things like that and catch up. Now I’m hoping that Beau decides to come to UK.”
If Beau commits to Kentucky, he’ll have a hard-hitting friend on the other side of the line of scrimmage. Andru Phillips enjoys popping people in the mouth.
“It’s as though he likes doing that,” said the somewhat concerned father. “I think sometimes he’s too aggressive because he’s not the biggest guy out there. But he doesn’t mind the contact. I think what makes him unique, he can cover you. He’s pretty versatile and he’s a bit of an athletic freak as well.”
Carlos does not take credit for Andru’s athleticism. That all goes to his mother, LaTonya, a former state champion sprinter at Danville High School.
“He’s got an athleticism I was never blessed with, and very few people are,” said Carlos. “I gave him the smarts and the Denzel-esque good looks. I guess the athleticism came from his mom.”
on who I don’t got no bounce… pic.twitter.com/lLM9GneYHw
— dru (@AndruPhillips) February 27, 2019
Andru Phillips has enough athleticism to be an SEC defensive back, but he has plenty of room to grow as a player. Stoops’ reputation as a talent developer, especially in the secondary, was one significant reason why the Phillips family was happy to send their son to Kentucky.
“The defensive backfield last year was all about development. I don’t know how many of those guys were four-star or five-star guys, but that was a heck of a defensive backfield. He did the some thing at Florida State and he’s done it throughout his coaching career,” Carlos Phillips said.
“That was a factor, but again, I just think the culture that Coach Stoops is building there, the culture of accountability. He’s bringing in better athletes and he’s working their tail off. Those kids, you get tired watching them practice. Combine all that with the culture and it made the University fo Kentucky a very attractive choice. Andru had close to 20 offers and more were going to come in, but he feels really good and really excited about the future at the University of Kentucky and he wants to play a role in helping to not only sustain the current level of success, but he wants to help them win an SEC Championship.”
Throughout Andru’s time at UK, Carlos will be smiling from the Kroger Field stands.
“It’s like a brotherhood. When you practice and go through trials and successes with these guys, it becomes family.”
By Nick Roush on ©May 02nd, 2019 @ 10:30am
Andru Phillips can get up.
When the hard-hitting cornerback isn’t wearing football pads, he’s competing in track and field events. The future Wildcat runs the 100m, 4×100 relay, competes in the long jump and triple jump, his best event. Last year he was ranked nationally in the triple jump and finished second in the state of South Carolina.
Phillips should consider the high jump. Unlike Blake Griffin, who only jumped over the hood of a Kia in the 2011 Slam Dunk Contest, Phillips completely cleared the roof a Nissan Altima.
on who I don’t got no bounce… pic.twitter.com/lLM9GneYHw
— dru (@AndruPhillips) February 27, 2019
Wow. Just, wow.