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Kentucky Football’s Final 2019 Recruiting Targets

After a slight break in the action, Kentucky football recruiting is picking up speed.

Kentucky will host dozens of underclassmen for the annual Junior Day when the basketball team hosts Kansas this Saturday.  As the focus shifts toward the 2020 class, Mark Stoops, Vince Marrow and Co. are in the process of completing the 2019 class on National Signing Day.

The Early Signing Period has removed some of the sheen from the first Wednesday in February.  Last year there were really only two prospects, Chris Oats and Xavier Peters, to watch over the final five weeks of the UK recruiting season.  After signing 21 players in December, Kentucky does not have too many vacancies left to fill.

Kentucky Football Class of 2019

NamePositionHometownHeightWeight247 Sports
MJ DevonshireCBAliquippa, PA5-111704-star, ..8816
Jared CaseyLBLouisville, KY6-32354-star, .8958
JJ WeaverOLBLouisville, KY6-62404-star, .8937
Moses DouglassSSpringfield, OH6-22004-star, .8906
Javonte RichardsonWR (JUCO)Maple Heights, OH6-42103-star, .8838
Shawnkel Knight-GoffOLB/ATHLouisville, KY6-42153-star, .8788
KD McDanielOLB/DETifton, GA6-32503-star, .8763
Travis TisdaleRBVoldosta, GA5-81653-star, .8762
Taj DodsonCBFairburn, GA6-21803-star, .8739
Isaiah GibsonDT Springfield, OH 6-43003-star, .8722
Demontae "TaeTae" CrumesWRLouisville, KY6-11653-star, .8688
Marquez BembryOLBAtlanta, GA6-32253-star, .8669
Nik Ognenovic TEFt. Lauderdale, FL6-5`2353-star, .8668
Cavon ButlerDTToledo, OH6-32903-star, .8626
Brandin EcholsCB (JUCO)Southaven, MS6-01803-star, .8602
Tra WilkinsILBStone Mountain, GA6-22103-star, .8506
Jalen GeigerCBColumbia, SC6-01853-star, .8480
Nik ScalzoQBFt. Lauderdale, FL5-111853-star, .8475
Amani GilmoreQBAmite, LA6-21753-star, .8431
DeMarcus HarrisWRVero Beach, FL6-21703-star, .8398
Jake PopeOTFt. Lauderdale, FL6-72753-star, .8385
Eli CoxOGNicholasville, KY6-42953-star, .8323
Eli JamesDT (JUCO)Oswego, IL6-43003-star, .8217
Quandre MoselyCBBrunswick, GA6-11953-star, .89


Kentucky can sign up to 25 players in the 2019 class.  Two JUCO recruits, wide receiver JaVonte Richardson and defensive tackle Elijah James, committed to UK in December but did not sign.  I cannot get confirmation, but it’s safe to assume they are out of the picture.  Moving forward, Kentucky has prioritized defensive backs and wide receivers.  An “under the radar” prospect could commit just before February 6, but first, let’s turn our attention to the big dogs with big UK targets on their backs.

Jay Ward 
Cornerback | 6-1 | 175 lbs.
Moultrie, GA | Colquitt County
ESPN N/A Top247 No. 267 | 30 CB
Rivals 55 CB | 46 GA 247 Comp.  No. 503 | 52 CB

The four-star cornerback initially committed to Kentucky in June.  Following a visit to LSU he re-opened his recruitment in November.  Kentucky has remained in touch throughout the ups and downs and it could pay dividends on National Signing Day.  The Cats have one more chance to convince Ward to pick UK over LSU when the Georgia native takes an official visit to Lexington on the final weekend before NSD.

Jammie Robinson  
Cornerback | 5-11 | 200 lbs.
Leesburg, GA | Lee County
ESPN 42 ATH | 55 GA Top247 No. 453 | 36 S
Rivals 24 S | 28 GA 247 Comp.  No. 379 | 30 S

This four-star corner created headlines when he wore UK gloves in his state championship game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.  There was plenty of UK buzz around Robinson following his official visit, but that has shifted toward Auburn and Tennessee after visits to each respective school.  Along with South Carolina, Robinson will choose between the four SEC schools on February 6.

Devonta Lee 
Wide Receiver | 6-2 | 215 lbs.
Amite, LA | Amite
ESPN No. 242 | 34 WR Top247 No. 177 | 7 ATH
Rivals No. 126 | 12 ATH 247 Comp.  No. 163 | 6 ATH

The most recognizable name remaining on UK’s recruiting big board, not much has come from the Top 200 player’s camp since he participated in the Under Armour All-American Game.

Lee officially visited UK with his high school quarterback, Amani Gilmore, in December.  The visit transformed UK from long shot to possibility.  Kentucky’s early playing time pitch was powerful.  Meanwhile, LSU remains the perceived leader.  Being an in-state hero is an appealing pitch, but there’s grumblings that the Tigers want him to play defense instead of offense.

Texas A&M, Auburn and Alabama are in the mix, but UK is in a position where anything is possible.  Ultimately, Lee’s decision will weigh heavily on his official visit to LSU.  If the Cats can lock up Lee, it would be the biggest recruiting win over SEC foes in a long time.

Marlin “MJ” Devonshire
Cornerback | 5-11 | 170 lbs.
Aliquippa, PA | Aliquippa
ESPN 72 ATH | 12 KY Top247 63 CB | 14 PA
Rivals 32 CB | 6 PA 247 Comp.  50 CB | 9 PA

A target that recently entered the mix, UK extended a scholarship offer to Devonshire on January 18.  The son of a coach is a four-star recruit according to Rivals.  Pitt, West Virginia, Ole Miss and Ohio State are Kentucky’s top competition.  He’s expected to officially visit UK prior to National Signing Day.

Jonathan Allen
Offensive Tackle | 6-6 | 315 lbs.
Dayton, OH | Dunbar
ESPN 93 OT | 36 OH Top247 89 OT | 49 OH
Rivals  –| 41 OH 247 Comp. 60 OT | 38 OH

Unlike the Alabama Jonathan Allen, this Dayton, Ohio native is a pass protector, not a pass rusher.  Another prospect that Kentucky began pursuing late in the game, Cincinnati’s early interest in Allen makes the Bearcats the leader.  Ohio State, Penn State and Indiana are also involved.  Marrow must convince Allen to make a visit prior to NSD to have a chance to secure a commitment.


No matter how many players sign with UK in February, there’s still a good chance Kentucky pulls a few players from the transfer portal at the end of the spring academic semester.  Finding top wide receiver prospects at this point of recruiting season is difficult, but there are a few viable options on the transfer market.

La’Michael Pettway will be eligible to play as a grad transfer immediately this fall.  Recruited by UK wide receivers coach Michael Smith at Arkansas, Pettway led the Razorbacks in receiving yards in 2018.  Juwan Johnson was on the same field as Kentucky this season.  After catching a couple of passes in the Citrus Bowl, Penn State’s No. 3 wide receiver announced his intentions to transfer.  The 6’4″ wide out has one season of eligibility remaining and can play right away.

Kentucky has plenty of options to fill its 2019 roster.  That picture will become much clearer over the next two weeks.

Kentucky Football is Heavily Investing in Georgia

If Georgia fans were sour after Eddie Gran’s denial, wait until they see how many prospects the Cats are poaching from the Peach State.

In December Kentucky signed six Georgia natives, more than any other state in UK’s 2019 recruiting class.  It’s the most players UK has signed from Georgia since Rich Brooks made it his primary recruiting ground in the mid-2000s.  The rationale for the decision was simple.

“Georgia is the number one state that produces college football players right now, and I think even pros,” Vince Marrow said on December’s signing day.  Marrow’s work in Georgia is not finished.   

One of Kentucky’s top remaining recruiting targets in 2019 is Jammie Robinson.  A four-star cornerback from Leesburg, Georgia, he wore UK gloves as he led his team to a state championship at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.  Robinson officially visited Lexington in December.  South Carolina, Auburn and Tennessee are Kentucky’s top competition.

While assistant coaches check in on Robinson, they’re fostering relationships with underclassmen around the state.  Unlike some schools where one coach has one specific territory, Kentucky is sending multiple coaches all over the state of Georgia.  This afternoon Matt House was in the southeast corner of the state.  On Monday Derrick LeBlanc was on the west side of the state.  Steve Clinkscale, Brad White and Marrow all played a part in signing the first six players of the 2019 recruiting class.

Mark Stoops earned notoriety at Kentucky for recruiting in Ohio.  After establishing back-to-back classes in Florida, Kentucky is expanding into Georgia and will not be slowing down anytime soon.

24/7 Sports

Kentucky offers three-star linebacker from Tennessee

24/7 Sports

While day two of the divisional round of the NFL playoffs started, the Kentucky football coaching staff extended an offer to three-star linebacker Devyn Curtis.

Curtis is 6’2 and is rated at the 25th best ILB in the nation and the 23rd best player in the state of Tennessee for the Class of 2020.

The Brentwood Academy defensive stud currently holds offers from both Vanderbilt and South Carolina as well as other Group of Five programs.

Curtis was in attendance in November for the Georgia game and mentioned how much he enjoyed the atmosphere of the game.

You can watch the linebacker work at the link below:

If the video doesn’t load, you can find it by clicking here.

Could we possibly be calling his name soon enough as a replacement for Kash Daniel? Come on down!

4-Star Enzo Jennings lists Kentucky in Top-11

4-Star Enzo Jennings lists Kentucky in Top-11

Enzo Jennings has made his first round of cuts – and Kentucky made the list. Of course, the 2020 4-star prospect left 11 schools on his radar, but it’s still positive news for the Cats.

The Michigan native is listed as a 6-foot-2, 178-pound cornerback. He comes in just inside the top-100 players in the class nationally (No. 93) and ranks as the No. 11 “athlete” in the class. According to Jennings’ 247Sports profile, the top-four contenders for his commitment are Auburn, Georgia, Tennessee and Notre Dame, and he is being recruited by Steve Clinkscale, the Cats’ defensive backs coach.

To make it even more interesting, Jennings is also teammates with 5-star offensive guard Justin Rogers. His commitment, as of now, seems to be between Georgia and Ohio State, but Kentucky is still listed as a ‘warm” school on 247Sports (along with LSU, Michigan and Tennessee). And it looks like he still needs some help deciding:

Kentucky has several young guys coming through the pipelines for both of these positions, but they are losing key seniors, so it never hurts to pick up a few more highly-touted recruits. At the cornerback position, UK will lose Derrick Baity and Lonnie Johnson; at offensive guard, they’ll lose an All-American in Bunchy Stallings.

We’re still a long way away from getting ink-to-paper for these guys, and I know there are people out there who get worn out with football commits, especially in the age of the dreaded de-commitment. But these are two talented, out-of-state ball players from up north, and it means something they’re both still interested in Kentucky. A few seasons ago, we wouldn’t have been able to say that.


Boyle County’s Reese Smith picks up an offer from West Virginia

via @reesesmith_

The Cats have some more competition. Reese Smith, a three-star 2020 prospect from Boyle County, just picked up an offer from West Virginia. Kentucky offered Smith back in October, after Tennessee extended an offer in mid-September.

Smith announced the offer on his Twitter account:

The offer comes just days after Neal Brown accepted the WVU head coaching job. Remember, Brown also played football at Boyle County High School. Smith was formerly listed as a wide receiver, but is now listed as an “athlete.” As of now, Kentucky is recruiting him as a safety, while other schools, including Duke, are recruiting him as a slot receiver.

Last season, Smith finished with 53 receptions for 1,173 yards and 20 touchdowns. At safety, he had three interceptions in 2018, returning one for a 99 yard touchdown.

Sure, Neal Brown seems like a nice guy and they share that Boyle County bond. But the Cats just went 10-3, and the BBN does tend to love a Kentucky boy a little extra… Just ask Kash Daniel.


KSR Football Podcast: 2018 Early Signing Day Special

You thought we’d only have one KSR Football Podcast for our incredible listeners this week? You thought wrong.

After our Citrus Bowl Special on Tuesday, the KSR crew decided to release yet another special edition of the podcast focused on Kentucky’s successful haul on Wednesday’s Early Signing Day.

Nick Roush, Jack Pilgrim, and Adam Luckett threw on their headsets and discussed:

  • How the KSR crew avoided a Signing Day tragedy.
  • Why is the coaching staff so confident?
  • Freddie had Josh Allen. Luckett has KD McDaniel
  • Kentucky’s massive haul in the front seven
  • Recruiting pitches
  • Versatility in the class

Get the podcast delivered to your phone by subscribing to “KSR Football Podcast” on iTunes or via Android’s Podcast Addict app. You can easily listen on the KSR App, available on iTunes and Google Play , and streaming online is simple through Pod Paradise.

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