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Jarren Williams puts L down in The Opening group photo

Jarren Williams puts L down in The Opening group photo

It’s nice to see future UK quarterback Jarren Williams already embracing the rivalry with Louisville as it appears he put his L down in the group photo from The Opening out in Oregon.

Fun fact: Louisville was the first school to offer Williams and he visited multiple times.

Tip of the hat to @K_Ferg24 for the find.


Is four-star linebacker Xavier Peters rethinking his commitment?

Yesterday, four-star linebacker Xavier Peters made everyone in the BBN’s July 4th when he committed to Kentucky; less than 24 hours later, it appears he’s rethinking that decision. Not only did Peters delete the tweets announcing his commitment, he has removed “UK Commit” from his Twitter bio. He also posted this cryptic tweet:

Hmm. Decommitments are a way of life in college football these days, but if Peters does part ways with Kentucky, that might set a new record for the fastest one yet. With programs like Alabama, Florida, USC, Georgia, Oklahoma, Oregon, and Texas after him, it’s no wonder, but hopefully Peters will wise up and reaffirm his commitment soon because with him, Kentucky has the 15th best recruiting class according to 247 Sports. Stay tuned…

 


Another Lynn Bowden update

The question of the summer when it comes to football has been, when will Lynn Bowden arrive on campus? The four-star freshman has yet to join his teammates on campus, and over the past few weeks, there’s bene a lot of speculation as to when he’ll make his way to Lexington.

Thanks to Jen Smith, we now have an official update. According to a team spokesman, Bowden has not enrolled yet, but will be ready to go at the start of training camp. When is that? UK typically starts camp the first week of August, but due to a new SEC rule change cutting back on two-a-days, fall camp will begin a week or so earlier, so probably the last week of July. Yes, believe it or not, football is just around the corner. SEC Media Days starts Monday, and we’re less than 60 days from kickoff of the season opener in Hattiesburg.

Speaking of, catch up on all things gridiron with today’s podcast featuring the KSR Football Podcast crew…or, whatever they decide to call themselves. Have a suggestion for a new name for the podcast? Send it to @DrewFranklinKSR and if the gang likes it, he’ll send you a bag of KSR swag.

Hour 1:

Hour 2:

The rest of the guest host schedule:

July 6: Mo Egger
July 7: Steve Romines and T.J. “Makes em Pay” Smith

Week Three

July 10: Rex Chapman and Josh Hopkins
July 11: Avery Williamson
July 12: Tate Frazier and Mark Titus of The Ringer
July 13: The Sklar Brothers
July 14: Laura Rutledge of the SEC Network

Week Four

July 17: Dewayne Peevy
July 18: Nick Mingione
July 19: Tim Couch
July 20: Matthew Mitchell
July 21: UK Football coaches

Week Five

July 24: Seth Greenberg
July 25: Ramel “Smooth” Bradley
July 26: Cole Cubelic of the SEC Network
July 27: Guest Hosts
July 28: KSR Crew


Wednesday’s Top 10: At least the week is already halfway over?

Wednesday’s Top 10: At least the week is already halfway over?

Good morning, friends. Everyone have a happy Fourth? Being at work sucks today, doesn’t it? Unfortunately, we can’t all be in Estes Park, Colorado like this batch of Kentucky fans, but we’ll do our best to keep you entertained on this morning after. Here’s what happening in the world of UK Sports.

1. The Fourth included a big Yahtzee

It’s only fitting that just as the KSR crew stepped away from our computers to enjoy the holiday, the football program landed a massive commitment. Four-star outside linebacker Xavier Peters chose Kentucky over offers from Alabama, USC, Florida, Georgia, LSU, Oklahoma, Oregon, Mississippi State, Tennessee, Texas, South Carolina, West Virginia, and Wisconsin, becoming the 15th commitment in the 2018 class. Per 247 Sports’ rankings, Peters is considered the eighth best outside linebacker in the class and the fourth best player from the state of Ohio, which I hear is pretty good at churning out football talent. Something tells me Vince Marrow celebrated with a big ole strawberry daiquiri.

2. Team USA begins the Round of 16

Calipari’s U19 team easily wrapped up pool play yesterday with a 98-65 win over Italy, clinching the top spot in Group D. PJ Washington led the way with 20 points. Calipari was very, very happy with his future forward.

“Yeah, well he’s been scoring the whole time,” Cal said of Washington. “He’s a beast and I don’t know how you guard him. If he gets an angle by you, he’s tough to stop. And he made his free throws today. He’s playing the way we need him to play.”

At 9:30 a.m., Team USA begin their run in the round of 16 with Mali. We’ll have a live stream of that for you when the time comes. And yes, that’s a potential matchup with Tai Wynyard and New Zealand on Friday.

3. Until then, enjoy Washington’s highlights

4. Calipari and his players enjoyed the 4th at the US Embassy

Being halfway across the world didn’t stop Calipari and his U19 Team from getting into the spirit of the holiday. Last night, they visited the US Embassy in Egypt, where they posed for pictures and listened to this patriotic performance of the national anthem:

5. Patrick Patterson agrees to deal with the Thunder

Late last night, some big NBA news broke when Adrian Wojnarowski reported that Patrick Patterson has agreed to a three-year $16.4 million deal with the Oklahoma City Thunder. Patterson, who has been with the Toronto Raptors since 2013, will likely step in to the starting lineup in place of Taj Gibson, who left Oklahoma City for Minnesota. After all these years, Billy Donovan will finally get to coach Patterson, won’t he?

6. More Summer League action!

Yesterday, all three Cats participating in the Orlando Summer League sat out their games to rest, but today is a new day, and both the Orlando and Utah Leagues will be hopping with activity. Here’s the schedule, with all games airing on NBATV:

  • 1:00 PM: Dallas vs. Oklahoma City (Dakari Johnson)
  • 3:00 PM: Charlotte vs. Detroit (Derek Willis)
  • 9:00 PM: Philadelphia (Alex Poythress, Aaron Harrison, Isaiah Briscoe) vs. Utah

Speaking of that last trio…

7. Alex Poythress put Aaron Harrison on blast for his golf shot

I’m horrible at golf, but even I can make fun of that shot.

8. Mohamed Bamba tried to out-do Ben Simmons

Yesterday, Simmons posted this video of a full-court, one-handed shot on Instagram:

Time to go enjoy the rest of the day

A post shared by Benjamin Simmons (@bensimmons) on

…Which Mo Bamba tried to one-up a few hours later:

@bensimmons I did it better. Tag @houseofhighlights & @bleacherreport !!

A post shared by Mohamed Bamba (@therealmobamba_) on

Who did it better, Simmons or Bamba? More importantly, which UK player should top both of them with their own video today?

9. “GLOW” is as good as everyone says

Worn out from the Thirth and early Fourth festivities, my husband and I opted to stay in last night and finish “GLOW,” and it was way better than waiting on fireworks. I’m probably the 15th person to recommend the show to you, but it’s a whole lot of fun and a fast and easy binge. I can’t wait for season two.

10. The Football Podcast crew takes over KSR

After a few days of “Best of” shows, KSR is back on the air for real today and it’ll be a fun one. The KSR Football Podcast Crew is taking over, which means plenty of football talk and plenty of non-football talk because they’ll inevitably get off topic. Tune in an hour from now to let Freddie, Nick, Jared, and Drew entertain you.


Kentucky lands star linebacker from Ohio

The University of Kentucky landed a big 4th of July Yahtzee with the commitment of Xavier Peters, a four-star outside linebacker out of Ohio.

Peters announced his commitment to the Wildcats via Twitter:

Ranked eighth at his position and No. 129 overall in his class, Peters picked Kentucky over offers from Alabama, USC, Florida, Georgia, LSU, Oklahoma, Oregon, Mississippi State, Tennessee, Texas, South Carolina, West Virginia, Wisconsin and many more.

This is an enormous pull by Mark Stoops, Vince Marrow and the UK staff.

 


Future Kentucky quarterback turning heads at The Opening

How good is future Cat Jarren Williams? According to reporters at The Opening, he could be one of the top five quarterback prospects in the country. Through two days, Williams has turned heads at the prestigious camp, earning Player of the Game honors for his three-touchdown performance in game two of the 7-on-7 tournament; that was enough for SEC Country’s Jeff Sentell to ask whether or not it’s time to rank him among the elite of the elite in the 2018 class:

On Thursday, 247 Sports’ Barton Simmons ranked Williams third among his Day One Top Performers.

“We like Williams a little more every time we see him. The guy does everything well. He may not do any one thing at a rare level but he’s also has no real deficiencies. During a competition period, Williams made a throw on a vertical route that was one of the better throws of the day.”

Some of Williams’ highlights for your viewing pleasure (and yes, those helmets caught me off guard the first time I saw them too):

The 7-on-7 tournament continues today, so hopefully we’ll have some more highlights from Williams to share later on.


Monday’s Top 10: Happy Thirth of July

Monday’s Top 10: Happy Thirth of July

Good morning, friends, and happy Thirth of July, aka one of the most underrated days of the year. Whether you’re at work, taking the day off, or in Spain like that Cat fan up there, I’ll be here to entertain you for the next nine hours. Let’s have some fun.

1. Team USA looks unstoppable in the FIBA World Cup so far

After a shaky start in Game 1, Team USA found its footing and has dominated the FIBA World Cup. On Saturday, Calipari’s crew blew past Iran 108-48, and yesterday, beat Angola 109-68. Here are the stats for Hamidou Diallo, PJ Washington, and UK’s recruits:

vs. Iran vs. Angola
Hamidou Diallo 17 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists 15 points, 3 rebounds, 3 steals
PJ Washington 13 points, 4 rebounds 11 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists
Immanuel Quickley 6 points, 2 rebounds 12 points, 2 assists, 2 turnovers
Cameron Reddish 14 points, 4 assists 11 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists

Romeo Langford had five points vs. Iran on Saturday, but is dealing with back spasms and hasn’t played since. He’s day to day.

2. The highlight so far is this dunk by Hamidou Diallo

My goodness. Can’t wait to see that in Rupp this fall. Team USA has the day off, but will play Italy tomorrow at 10:30 a.m.

3. Tai Wynyard’s been playing great as well

Through two games with New Zealand, Wynyard has 34 points and 11 rebounds. After barely seeing Wynyard during his time at Kentucky, it’s been fun to watch him dominate for his home country. On Saturday, he had 16 points in the fourth quarter alone:

I tried my best to watch Team USA and New Zealand’s games this weekend via the FIBA World Cup live stream, but the fact that there’s no commentary really threw me for a loop. Of course, you can still hear Calipari screaming and stomping.

4. Check out our photo gallery from Cairo

Our Cairo correspondent Sofie Tapia is doing a great job for us, so be sure to check out her photos in our Facebook gallery:

KSR's Cairo correspondent Sofie Tapia snapped these pictures in the first half before asked to leave for not having the right credential. She fought the law, but the law won.

Posted by Kentucky Sports Radio on Saturday, July 1, 2017

5. The NBA Summer League continues

Derek Willis (Detroit Pistons) , Bam Adebayo (Miami Heat), and Dakari Johnson (Oklahoma City Thunder) started their runs in the NBA Summer League this weekend. Dakari had 18 points for the Thunder on Saturday, while Bam had a double double with 14 points and 10 rebounds for the Heat yesterday. Willis turned in 8 points, 3 assists, and 1 rebound in the Piston’s win over the Knicks.

The Utah Summer League also begins today, meaning  you’ll get to see a trio of Cats play for the Philadelphia 76ers. Here’s today’s schedule, with all games airing on NBATV:

  • 1:00 PM: New York Knicks vs. Oklahoma City Thunder (Dakari Johnson)
  • 5:00 PM: Indiana Pacers vs. Miami Heat (Bam Adebayo)
  • 7:00 PM: Boston Celtics vs. Philadelphia 76ers (Alex Poythress, Aaron Harrison, Isaiah Briscoe)

6. Malik Monk signs with the Hornets

Monk may be sitting out the Summer League with a sprained ankle, but last night, he made it official with the Charlotte Hornets, signing a four-year, $15.72 million contract. Monk will make approximately $2.9 million during his rookie year.

In other NBA news, Jodie Meeks signed a two-year, $7 million deal with the Washington Wizards, meaning we’ll finally get to see him team up with John Wall…even if it’s eight years too late.

7. For some reason, this poll exists and Kentucky is losing

I trust you all will fix that.

8. The 2018 class gained a tight end

On Friday morning, Vince Marrow teased the BBN that a Yahtzee could be on the way, and on Saturday morning, it came in the form of 6’7″ 230 lbs. tight end Keaton Upshaw. Upshaw is a three-star prospect out of Lima, Ohio, and chose the Cats over Cincinnati, Louisville, Pittsburgh, West Virginia, Purdue and others. He’s the 14th member of the 2018 class, the sixth from the state of Ohio. Welcome aboard, Keaton.

9. Jarren Williams impressing at The Opening

Kentucky’s future quarterback is making some major noise at The Opening in Oregon, throwing three touchdowns in the 7-on-7 scrimmage last night. I’ll have highlights from him in just a bit, but for now, enjoy this picture of Williams and highly coveted wide receiver Blue Smith:

Bring your boy to Lexington, Jarren.

10. No new KSR today

iHeart employees are enjoying a long July 4th weekend, so tune in to hear a “Best of KSR” replay at 10 a.m. Or, go back and catch up on last week’s shows featuring Dan Wolken, Pardon My Take, Evan Daniels, Aaron Torres, Jennifer Palumbo and myself. All the shows are available on our new iTunes podcast feed.

Shannon the Dude is making the most of his comp days in New York City, spending this morning outside the Today Show:

 


YAHTZEE! Tight End Keaton Upshaw Commits to Kentucky

(L to R) Keaton Upshaw (@UpshawKeaton) with Jarren Williams & Brenden Bates at UK camp in early June.

Mark Stoops just got another big, talented tight end from Ohio.

Keaton Upshaw, a 6’7″ 230-pound tight end from Lima, Ohio, has committed to Kentucky over Cincinnati, Louisville, Pittsburgh, West Virginia, Purdue and a plethora of MAC schools.  Upshaw is Vince Marrow’s sixth commitment from the state of Ohio in the 2018 class and his second tight end, joining Cincinnati Moeller’s Brenden Bates.

Now with 14 commits, UK’s 2018 class moves up seven spots to No. 20 in the 247 Composite Rankings.

Upshaw attended Kentucky’s first football camp of the summer.  There he got an opportunity to receive extensive one-on-one instruction from Vince Marrow.  Upshaw’s eagerness to learn was evident; Marrow never had to tell him to do something twice.  His size was the biggest surprise.  In pictures he looks lanky, but that’s because pictures never do his back and shoulders justice.  Built like a traditional tight end with the skills of a spread offense tight end, Upshaw and Bates give the Cats an exceptional one-two punch in the 2018 class.

Rising on the recruiting scene, UK’s Big Dog got ahold of Upshaw before the big dogs of college football could.  A player that continues to improve, Upshaw’s ceiling is the roof.


Blue Smith says Kentucky Feels Like Home

@BlueSmith_ with Jerry Rice at The Opening

It’s a two-team race for one of the best high school football athletes in the country.  Normally you’d choose Ohio State over Kentucky whenever it relates to football, but that may not be the case for L’Christian “Blue” Smith.

“Whenever I go down there, there’s just such a feeling of home,” Smith told Land of 10 at The Opening. “Coach Marrow and Coach Stoops always treat me so well and give me so much love. I love the love that they show me.”

The Cats were the early favorites for the third-ranked athlete in the 247 Composite, but the Buckeyes have gained ground over the summer.  Urban Meyer said enough at a visit to Columbus in May to give Ohio State momentum.  Smith has pushed back his decision date twice since then, except he actually never had a decision date.

“Honestly, it’s just to keep people guessing,” the 6’6″ wide receiver said. “Like I said at the beginning, when all this started, I was going to take as long as I needed. I am not going to have a date, I’m going to commit when I am ready to commit. Because you know what? It’s fun. I mean, sometimes I just want to get away because it can get overwhelming, but it’s fun for the most part.”

Smith’s honesty is refreshing.  I was already a fan of his game and his name, but now he’s just messing with people?  Fantastic.

Smith did not set a decision date in the interview but he did provide an excellent tease in the Land of 10 article.


Jarren Williams named top performer on Day 1 of The Opening

Future Kentucky quarterback Jarren Williams is off to a great start at The Opening Finals out in Oregon, if we’re to believe 247Sports recruiting analyst Barton Simmons. Simmons is in Beaverton for the high profile Nike event and he named Williams one of his top performers from Day 1.

From 247Sports.com:

Jarren Williams – We like Williams a little more every time we see him. The guy does everything well. He may not do any one thing at a rare level but he’s also has no real deficiencies. During a competition period, Williams made a throw on a vertical route that was one of the better throws of the day.

The Opening Finals 2017 lasts through July 3rd at the Nike World Headquarters. Hopefully we hear more about Williams standing out amongst his peers in the QB competitions.

Go Cats.


Vince Marrow teases a possible commitment this weekend

Kentucky recruiting coordinator Vince Marrow made a special guest appearance on today’s KSR and he dropped a bomb as the show went off the air.

When asked by guest hosts Mrs. Tyler Thompson and Jennifer Palumbo if the Cats have any Yahtzees coming up in the near future, Marrow told Big Blue Nation to be ready for a possible commitment this weekend.

Ohio tight end Keaton Upshaw, perhaps?

Get those dice ready.


UK Football got some very big news today

Things are looking up for the UK Football program, which just got some very good news about one of its top playmakers. Lynn Bowden, one of the most anticipated incoming freshmen, has yet to join his peers in Lexington, but according to various reports, that’s about to change. As first reported by Justin Rowland, Bowden will arrive on campus soon after obtaining a score he needed to enroll. SEC Country’s Joe Mussatto spoke to Bowden’s high school coach, who confirmed that Bowden could be on campus as early as next week. That is very, very good news, because Bowden is very, very good.

In his senior season, Bowden had 2,277 rushing yards, 1,366 passing yards and 57 total touchdowns. He finished his career with 4,178 rushing yards and broke almost every school record held by Ohio State’s National Championship-winning running back Maurice Clarett. On Signing Day, Vince Marrow called him the best player in the state of Ohio.

“I will go on the record as saying this: we signed the best player in Ohio,” Marrow said. “Lynn Bowden is the best player in Ohio. And if you ask probably 30 reporters that cover Ohio football, they’ll all say he’s the best player in Ohio.”

If you’re looking for a football fix, enjoy 15 minutes of Lynn Bowden highlights below:

 


Louisville’s Bobby Petrino Does Not Recruit Top 50 Players from Louisville

Getty Images

Louisville football fans sold their soul to a man they consider a college football coaching mastermind, yet this genius isn’t wise enough to recruit the best kids in his own city.

Rondale Moore and Stephen Herron aren’t just the best kids in the city of Louisville, they’re a pair of Top 50 players and future high school All-Americans.  Moore is a 2018 slot receiver and Herron is a 2019 defensive end, but their finalists share one thing in common: Louisville was not there, but Kentucky was.  Why?

“Louisville is 10 minutes away and they never even showed up at school,” Herron told Jon Hale of The Courier-Journal. “They never did anything. I don’t know if it was just the fact they thought they were so close they didn’t have to work as hard, but whatever it is, UK came up a few times and I went down for the spring game.”

The best football program in the state, who is just six years removed from a national championship, is ten minutes away from Petrino’s office, and he won’t even stop by the school to show his face.

It gets better.

“For me, my position coach (at Louisville) and I just didn’t have that relationship,” Moore said before committing to Texas on Sunday. “I camped twice, and I just felt like I hadn’t got that respect that I believed I deserved. … I felt like they just recruited out-of-state guys more than the guys 10 minutes away from their home. That was just kind of disrespectful to me. Louisville was always kind of like a dream school of mine, you’d say, if I had one.”

When a four-star receiver who runs a legitimate 4.3 and squats more than 500-pounds calls your school his “dream school,” you turn that dream into a reality.  Charlie Strong made it happen for All-American and Kentucky Mr. Football James Quick when he was Louisville’s head coach, but Bobby does not seem to care much about local talent.

“I feel like Louisville right now is very focused on these Florida boys and these Southern dudes and are not really even giving in-state a look unless you’re a top dog,” Herron said. “Right now, I don’t really understand it, but that was Louisville’s problem: Just the fact that Grantham left and they didn’t really even make an effort to come see me, any contact. … They never came out to the school. It just seemed like they were recruiting out-of-state dudes better than they were recruiting me and Rondale, two big athletes, 10 minutes away.”

Not only does Petrino not care, his coaching staff is so disorganized, they forget to keep recruiting players once other assistants leave.

The statements from Moore and Herron should be music to Kentucky fans’ ears.  Since Petrino returned to Louisville, only his first class was ranked higher than UK’s.  We’ll see if his new bold strategy to surpass UK on the recruiting trail — ignore all of the best players that live close to your school — will produce results on National Signing Day.

[The Courier-Journal]


Cats Still in the Hunt for Instate Football Star

Scout

On Sunday Louisville Trinity four-star wide receiver and UK target Rondale Moore announced he will attend the University of Texas.  One of his Trinity teammates, five-star defensive end Stephen Herron Jr., was visiting Texas when Moore pulled the trigger, but he’s not quite ready to follow in his footsteps.

A year behind Moore in the class of 2019, Herron is a consensus Top 50 player and a five-star prospect.  The junior to-be has cut his list of schools to ten: Texas, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio State, Alabama, Stanford, Ole Miss, Miss. State, Georgia and Tennessee.  He told The Courier-Journal he will begin visiting one finalist per weekend once the dead period ends.

“I am taking a visit to all of my schools on my top 10, so I can give them all an equal chance no matter where I have them at right now in my mind,” Herron said. “Everybody is going to get an equal chance.”

The Cats have a clear advantage if Herron chooses to stay in his home state.  Mississippi State replaced Louisville once Todd Grantham left Herron’s hometown for Starkville.  Still, it may be too difficult to keep him home.

“Texas is definitely going to be a big school for me right now just considering the fact that I came down here, they showed me the world and not even all the coaches are in right now,” Herron said. “Definitely it’s going to be a hard decision when it comes to decision day … As far as Texas goes, it’s definitely a nice place out here, nice fan base. Without a doubt, they definitely showed me the most love. I’ve got some close friends of the family out here, so it’s a pretty good place.”

An edge rusher that would play outside linebacker in UK’s 3/4, Herron’s top priorities when picking a school are playing time, academics and his relationship with the coaching staff.   If Kentucky can’t keep Herron home, they’re still in good shape with the best prospects in Herron’s junior class.

Kentucky was the first to offer Scott County offensive lineman Bryan Hudson, an elite multi-sport athlete that draws comparisons to Landon Young.  John Schlarman was also one of the firsts to offer another elite offensive tackle, Glasgow’s Tanner Bowles.  Milton Wright, a do-it-all athlete for Stefan LaFors at CAL, has offers from UK and UofL and will be a top candidate for Mr. Football in the near future.  On the other side of the ball, South Warren defensive tackle Jacob Lacey already has 12 major offers and will be considered a Top 300 player in his class.

In 2018, they have some ground to make up with Waggener four-star cornerback Jairus Brents, but they’re in good shape with two other elite athletes.  The Cats are in a duel with Tennessee for Bowling Green linebacker Justice Dingle, while Doss athlete Terez Traynor is on the verge of committing to UK.

[The Courier-Journal]


Kentucky makes Final Seven of 3-Star Offensive Lineman

Kentucky makes Final Seven of 3-Star Offensive Lineman

Kentucky has made the top seven for Samuel Baker, a three-star offensive guard from Saint Petersburg, Florida. Baker received an offer from the Cats on May 2nd and currently holds other offers from Rutgers and Indiana.

You can watch Baker work below: