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Football Recruiting News

L’Christian “Blue” Smith projected to Buckeyes according to Ohio recruiting insider

Mike Noyes | Vype

Mike Noyes | Vype

“Blue” is his name, but that doesn’t mean he’ll suit up for Big Blue.

According to a recent crystal ball update on 247 Sports, Scout.com’s Ohio recruiting insider Bill Greene is predicting L’Christian “Blue” Smith – a four-star a 6-foot-6, 210-pound wide receiver from the Dayton area – will choose Ohio State over Kentucky.

Smith will announce his decision between August 25-27 and has told Greene that he has already made a decision on where he is attending school – not  a good sign for the Cats who are sitting with an 18 percent chance of landing the receiver compared to Ohio’s 82 percent.

This is quite the change from May when Smith’s fellow prospects believed he would end up at Kentucky


Update on Lynn Bowden

Friday’s update on Lynn Bowden is that there is no significant update on Lynn Bowden, although he was spotted in the Joe Craft Football Training Facility.

Prior to today’s media opportunity with the players, Bowden was seen walking in and up the stairs of the facility, which is a good sign (better than not being there at all, right?).

KSTV snapped this photo on Friday:

@KSTV

A spokesperson for the program said nothing has changed in the Bowden situation as he awaits his eligibility; however, the staff remains positive as Bowden remains in Lexington and near the team he hopes to soon join.

Go Cats.


Today on KSR: Rogers get free football tickets

Today on KSR: Rogers get free football tickets

Today’s fans of the day greet us from high atop the continental divide at Tincup Pass (elevation: 12,154 feet) in the Taylor Park area of Colorado. This group of friends hails from Knottsville, Kentucky and, as you can tell from their shirts and three goggles, love UK and KSR. Well done, guys. We salute you.

We’re trying some new things out on the site over the next month, so instead of a recap of yesterday’s stories, you’re only going to get a preview of what’s happening today in the world of UK sports, along with whatever random thoughts we come up with.

We’ll hear from Matt House and the defense

House is a man of few words, but he and select players will be available starting right about now at the football training center. We’ll have all the news from day four of camp for you in just a bit. In the meantime, please catch up on the latest episode KSR Football Podcast, which should be waiting for you in your podcast queue.

Bam Adebayo and Malik Monk will catch up with reporters

Yesterday, De’Aaron Fox, Dominique Hawkins, and Derek Willis addressed reporters on day one of John Calipari’s Pro Camp, and today, Bam Adebayo and Malik Monk will do the same. Look for quotes to start rolling out around 2:30 p.m. Yesterday, Willis told reporters that due to a mistake in his paperwork, his fiancée Keely was actually the one to get the call from the Detroit Pistons offering him a deal, which may be the most Derek Willis thing ever.

Recruiting tease of the day: Blue Smith

The four-star wide receiver was originally scheduled to announce his college decision on August 27, but last night, he teased Kentucky and Ohio State fans by tweeting that has changed:

Go on…

Marketing move of the Day: Rogers get free tickets

You probably saw the picture last night of the Kroger Field sign minus the K. Being the marketing mastermind he is, DeWayne Peevy decided to have some fun and offer all “Rogers” (first or last name) that show up to the sign before the K goes up free tickets to the home opener vs. Eastern. Get on out there, Rogers!

Video of the Day: Amanda making Ryan get his hair cut

Yesterday, Matt issued a challenge to Ryan to keep growing his hair out until basketball season. Well, Ryan’s wife Amanda wasn’t having it. Check out Amanda putting her foot down by making Ryan get his hair cut. As Ryan says several times in the Periscope, she clearly wears the pants in the family.

Charity 5K of the Day: Jennifer Colon in the West Fight On: Cycle, Run, Walk

Jennifer Colon is a huge Kentucky fan who was diagnosed with ovarian cancer back in December 2016. On September 16, she’s participating in the West Fight On: Cycle, Run, Walk charity 5K and bike race to raise money for the West Cancer Center in Germantown, Tennessee. If you’re interested in hearing more about her story, click here.

Salad Dressing of the Day: “Ranch”

That’s how they say it in the mountains, apparently. I’ll have another fun Kash video for you later today.

Matt Vacation Story of the Day: ?

Yesterday, he told us about getting trapped in someone’s backyard in Luxembourg. What story will he tell today? Tune in an hour from now to find out.


Official scholarship offers went out to seniors today

Today, August 1, marks the first day universities can send out official scholarship offers to football prospects entering their senior season of high school. Many of those prospects have already been promised a spot, but today is the first day they can receive the real deal.

Some of Kentucky’s current commits, including Jarren Williams, shared their offers with their followers on the Twitter machine.

Here’s how the whole offer reads:

Dear (High School Athlete),

Congratulations! As the head football coach it is my pleasure to offer you the opportunity to attend the University of Kentucky on a full grant-in aid scholarship. Additionally, I’d like to extend an invitation to you and your family to make an official visit to our beautiful campus in Lexington.

We have completed a thorough evaluation of you as a student athlete. We sincerely believe that you possess the talent necessary to succeed on the football field and in the classroom. This full scholarship offer includes tuition, fees, books, room and board, and the full cost of attendance (COA) as part of a full athletics scholarship. This is the maximum aid currently permitted by NCAA rules.

This scholarship offer is contingent on your completion of the academic requirements for graduation by your high school and state. Additionally, you must meet the criteria established by the Southeastern Conference and the National Collegiate Athletics Association Eligibility Center. Prior to enrollment and once enrolled, in the event of an incapacitating football related injury, as required by the NCAA, full medical scholarship will be awarded.

Keep in mind the NCAA and the SEC have limits on the number of scholarships we can accept each year. Commitments are based on availability at your position. At Kentucky we are looking for student athletes with high character, work ethic, and great attitudes.

PLEASE DO NOT HESITATE TO CALL ME ANYTIME WITH ANY QUESTIONS.

GO CATS!

Sincerely,

Mark Stoops

Go Cats indeed.


A Florida Offensive Tackle is on YAHTZEE! Watch

Kentucky’s huge offensive line in the class of 2018 might get even bigger.

This weekend UK is hosting Nick Lewis, a 6’9″ 350-pound offensive tackle form The Bolles School in Jacksonville, Florida.  Previously a teammate of one-time UK commit Mac Jones, Lewis had just four Power Five scholarship offers before UK extended an offer last week.  Now, two 247 recruiting analysts predict Lewis will become a Wildcat.

Kentucky already has commitments from four offensive linemen in the 2018 class: Marquan McCall, Darian Kinnard, Quintin Wilson and USC transfer E.J. Price.  You can never have too many offensive linemen, especially a behemoth like Lewis.


Alex Reigelsperger Gets Feisty On Twitter, Wants Blue Smith at UK

Alex Reigelsperger Gets Feisty On Twitter, Wants Blue Smith at UK

Some salty Ohio State fans must’ve been breathing down Alex Reigelsperger’s neck on Twitter today, or else he may not have decided to retaliate, threatening to coax away another coveted Buckeye recruit:

The “blue” in this tweet, which has since been deleted, is referring to L’Christian “Blue” Smith, the 4th ranked Ohio recruit in the 2018 class, who has cozied up to Vince Marrow in spite of other offers from huge names like Ohio State, Michigan, and Alabama.

Here’s a breakdown of Smith’s game from Rivals.com:

247’s Crystal Ball currently projects Smith to stay in-state, with 73% likelihood to end up at OSU, and the remaining 27% to UK. But maybe our boy Alex can convince him that the #BBN is a bit more hospitable than our northern neighbors.

@JayWinkKSR


Final piece of 2017 class to be in Lexington in time for camp

UK Athletics

Florida cornerback Michael Nesbitt is on his way to Lexington, just in time for fall camp. He shared a photo from the Fort Lauderdale airport on Friday.

With addition of Nesbitt (and Lynn Bowden earlier this week), Mark Stoops will have all 24 of his signees on campus and enrolled in time for preseason football.

Go Cats.


One Table that Explains why Many People Dislike Football Recruiting

The most fun part of football recruiting, via @UKAthletics.

“Blessed to receive a(n) offer from University of _______.”

If you’re on Twitter, you’ve seen those messages.  The top high school football prospects in America fill timelines with the form letter style Tweet, accompanied by a wide-shot of the school’s stadium and two more generic images of the school’s football program.

As a football recruiting reporter, I’ve learned to fight through the monotony.  I’ve numbed myself to the way the football system currently operates.  However, sometimes I do not understand how UK can extend five scholarship offers every weekend for three months.  I tried keeping up last year and it grew too tiresome. Luckily, Rivals has an easy database that automatically keeps track of each school’s offers.

@BlairRIVALS

That’s right, Kentucky has “offered” ten times the amount of prospects they will sign in the 2018 class.  That’s a lot, but seven other schools — including three from the SEC and Louisville — have extended more scholarship offers.

It’s exhausting to think about.  There is the broad term “offer.”  There are also “committable offers,” the kind that only works if somebody that plays the same position doesn’t commit first.  Teams will always offer more players than available positions, but these numbers are ridiculously high.

Football recruiting is a game of Cat-and-Mouse.  Before the Twitter timelines exhaust you, relax, and leave it up to the professionals.  KSR has all of the football recruiting that you need covered.


Wednesday’s Top 10: One day closer to football season

Wednesday’s Top 10: One day closer to football season

We’re almost halfway through the week and what better way to celebrate than a gorgeous picture? Shoutout to this Kentucky and KSR fan in Maui. Can we trade places, please?

1. The basketball team did the #DriveByDunkChallenge

Way better than Duke’s if you ask me:

I’m actually looking forward to hating Grayson Allen for another season.

2. We now know the kickoff times for the first three games of the season

Yesterday, we found out the kickoff times for the Eastern Kentucky and South Carolina games, both which will be televised on the SEC Network. It’ll be a high noon start for the home opener vs. EKU while the Cats will take on the Gamecocks under the lights at Williams-Brice Stadium. Add in the season opener vs. Southern Miss and here’s the schedule for the first three weeks of the season:

  • September 2, 4:00 PM ET: at Southern Miss, CBS Sports Network
  • September 9, 12:00 PM ET: vs. Eastern Kentucky, SEC Network
  • September 16, 7:30 PM ET: at South Carolina, SEC Network

3. What’s your ideal kickoff time in September?

I posed this question on Twitter yesterday, and, not surprisingly, most of you picked a 7:30 p.m. kickoff as your ideal game time for the first month of the season:

Who are those sick people who would vote for noon? My fellow sportswriters/bloggers. We are a selfish bunch.

4. I’m a big fan of this new hype video

The folks at KyWildcatsTV gave us a gem with this compilation of pep talks from Rich Brooks, Danny Trevathan, Jacob Tamme, Stevie Johnson, Randall Cobb, Wesley Woodyard, and Mark Stoops:

5. Brandon Knight tore his ACL

Yesterday, we got the unfortunate news that Brandon Knight tore the ACL in his left knee and could miss the entire 2017-18 season. Knight’s had a rough go of it in the league thus far, so here’s hoping he has a speedy recovery.

6. Blue Smith sets a decision date

The four-star athlete with the perfect name will announce his decision on August 27 before his team’s nationally televised game on ESPN. Ten schools are on Blue’s list, but it’s really a battle between Kentucky and Ohio State. Thankfully, he’s considering visiting Kentucky one more time before his announcement, giving Vince Marrow the opportunity he needs to make one last pitch. Read more on Blue’s recruitment in Nick’s post from last night.

Come be our boy, Blue!

7. The Joe B. Hall mural is complete

@FletcherPage

The Joe B. Hall mural in downtown Cynthiana is now complete, and last night, Joe B. got a good look at himself at the unveiling. Congrats to Portuguese artist Sergio Odeith on a job very well done. The rolled up program is a nice touch.

8. Season Two of “Last Chance U” is great so far

Any show that begins a new season with a KSR cameo is bound to be great, but I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the new episodes of “Last Chance U” on Netflix. I was worried the show would buckle underneath its popularity in season two, but through four episodes, it’s just as riveting as it was in the first season.

9. Interested in sponsoring one of KSR’s UK Football photo galleries?

KSR’s 2017 UK Football Photo Gallery packages are now on sale. We have mini season, full season, and title sponsorship options. Don’t miss your chance to have your business featured alongside the work of our award-winning photographer, Dr. Michael Huang. Email ksrads@kentuckysportsradio.com for more package info.

10. Today on KSR: Nick Mingione

Get ready to talk UK Baseball one hour from now.


Blue Smith has a Decision Date

Photo by Adam Lacy | Huber Heights Courier

Vince Marrow’s battle with Ohio Sate for Blue Smith will soon come to an end.  UK’s most sought after recruit in the state of Ohio will announce his college decision on August 27.

Smith, Rivals’ top-ranked athlete in the 2018 recruiting class, told Rivals’ Josh Helmholdt after this weekend’s camp at Ohio State he will make his college selection before Wayne High School opens the season on ESPN with a 1:30 p.m. Sunday afternoon kickoff against Pine-Richland (Pa.).  Revealing this date after visiting Ohio State should be considered coincidental; he previously said he thought the ESPN spotlight for the home-opener would be the best time to make his decision and I don’t think anyone can disagree.

There are ten schools in the running for Smith’s services.  Cincinnati, Tennessee and Michigan State are making a late push, but it’s essentially a toe-to-toe fight between Kentucky and Ohio State.  Last weekend he camped in Columbus.  The previous weekend he came to Lexington with Alex Reigelsperger, a 2018 UK commit and Wayne teammate.   Reigelsperger and the Kentucky coaches are selling UK football as a family.

“It’s just the camaraderie they have in the locker room,” Smith told Rivals. “Even if they come from different backgrounds, when they come to Kentucky and are on the football team it is like everyone is a brother. It is just a big family, so that’s why I enjoy it when I go down there.”

In the interview, Smith also noted he plans on visiting Lexington one more time before making his decision.

Considered an athlete by all of the major recruiting services, he’s a 6’5″ outside wide receiver.  Initially recruited by the Buckeyes to play tight end, Marrow made sure Smith knew he would be an outside receiver at UK.  After watching his highlights, it’s hard to see why anyone would want him to change positions.

Kentucky redshirt freshman safety Tobias “Cash” Gilliam is also a product of Wayne High School.  Today UK offered another Wayne defensive back, 2019 track athlete and cornerback Justin Harris.

[Rivals]


Former UK commit includes Cats in his top five

Shocky Jacques-Louis decommitted from Kentucky last month, but it looks like the Cats are still in the picture.

The 6’1″ 175 lbs. wide receiver from Fort Myers, Florida released his top five last night, and the Cats made the cut, along with Tennessee, Michigan, Missouri, and Pitt:

In an interview with Bill Halter of WINK last week, Jacques-Louis explained his decision to decommit from Kentucky, and said he still feels some loyalty to the Cats, his first SEC offer:

Jacques-Louis is considered the 74th best wide receiver in the 2018 class. Right now, Tennessee seems to be the overwhelming favorite, but maybe the Cats can make up some ground on an official visit this fall.


@StanleyG_9

Kentucky makes the top six for four-star cornerback

@StanleyG_9

Kentucky’s 2018 class currently ranks 20th in the country; is another four-star prospect on the way?

This afternoon, four-star cornerback Stanley Garner included Kentucky in his top six schools, along with defending national champs Clemson, Alabama, Tennessee, Michigan, and Louisville. The 6’3″ 180 lbs. Garner hails from Fort Lauderdale, Florida and is considered the 31st best cornerback in the class by Rivals. If his top six wasn’t indication enough, he’s an elite talent, and seemed to have plenty of fun on his visit to Kentucky back on July 14-15:

Can Eddie Gran and Mark Stoops convince Garner to turn down the big boys (and Louisville) and come join the movement in Lexington? I sure hope so, because his film is impressive.


UK Fans of the Day Want Friday at 5 p.m. Notes

UK Fans of the Day Want Friday at 5 p.m. Notes

Well, friends, we did it. It’s Friday at 5 p.m., which means that for most of us, the work week is over and it’s time to get our weekend on. Before I peel myself off my office chair for the first time since Monday morning, I thought I’d share some leftovers that have been floating around.

Kyrie Irving wants out of Cleveland

The biggest sports news of the day is that Kyrie Irving reportedly wants out of Cleveland. ESPN is reporting that last week, Irving met with Cavs owner Dan Gilbert and requested a trade because he doesn’t want to play alongside LeBron James anymore. Whoa. As you might expect, LeBron was reportedly “blindsided” by the news and disappointed, per ESPN’s sources.

Where is Kyrie headed? Per Chris Haynes, he told the Cavs his four preferred landing spots were New York, Miami, San Antonio, and Minnesota. Even though Kyrie’s a Dukie, that would make the Timberwolves a contender, so I’m all in.

Kent Bulle tied for 10th at The British Open

Bulle was on the course early this morning, which turned out to be a blessing as conditions at the Royal Birkdale deteriorated throughout the day. Bulle shot a 72 in round two, which takes him to even. He’s now tied for 10th, and will certainly make the cut. Former Cat JB Holmes isn’t far behind, tied for 35th at +3.

The 13-year-old UK offered last week just picked up another SEC offer

Remember Keyaunta Goodwin, the 6-6 350 lbs. 13-year-old UK offered last week? Georgia just offered him today as well. If you can’t tell, he’s the big one:

He also likes pancakes?

Here are some more highlights from Zion Williamson’s game today

As you can see, Calipari had a front row seat. Speaking of recruiting…

Darius Garland will announce his top six in one hour

UK offered the 2018 point guard last weekend, and barring a disaster, the Cats should make his top six, which will drop around 6 p.m. While Kentucky is still prioritizing Immanuel Quickley at point guard in 2018, Calipari has clearly proved he’s not afraid to have multiple point guards on his roster.

Malik Monk is coming back to Kentucky

Monk will be back in the Bluegrass to help out with the Big Blue Basketball ProCamp next week, and while in town, he’s doing a mini autograph tour. Here’s where you can see Monk next weekend:

Have a great weekend, folks. I’ll see you bright and early Monday morning.


Vince Marrow confirms Lynn Bowden will be on campus this weekend

Lynn Bowden may be the most highly anticipated incoming freshmen on UK’s roster, and this morning on KSR, Vince Marrow confirmed that he will arrive on campus this weekend. (Some reports suggest he’s already on campus.)

“He will be here,” Marrow said. “I think he’s coming this weekend. Lynn is a special player.”

Marrow explained that Bowden finally got the score he needed to qualify.

“I’m glad Lynn took care of his academics. He had to get that test score. He’s got a couple more days to finish up the class because when he transferred, the class didn’t go to the right school.”

And even though the four-star athlete is considered a special talent, Marrow asked fans to be patient given his late start.

“I think people need to realize he needs to get here and learn the offense,” Marrow warned.

Once he does, here’s a little bit of what Bowden can do:

 


Thursday’s Top 10: John Calipari goes to Washington

Thursday’s Top 10: John Calipari goes to Washington

Where in the world is John Calipari? Washington D.C., apparently. This morning, Cal took a Twitter video from a hotel lobby, telling fans he’s headed to the Capitol to do some “special things”:

What are those special things? One of them is watching his friend Kelly Knight Craft be confirmed as the US Ambassador to Canada:

Congrats, Kelly. I’m sure Cal will post plenty more from his trip to Washington, so stay tuned. In the meantime, here’s today’s Top 10.

1. Last night, Cal was in Philadelphia

This is another big recruiting weekend and Cal started things off in Philadelphia at the UAA All-American Camp, where he watched 2018 big men Moses Brown and Naz Reid and 2019 stars Scottie Lewis and Bryan Antoine. Cal has yet to extend an offer to Brown, but could soon should things not go well with UK’s primary target at center, Bol Bol.

2. Naz Reid says he wants to take an official visit to Kentucky

Adam Zagoria spoke to Reid last night, and even though the 6’9″ power forward doesn’t have an offer from Kentucky yet, he said he’s been in touch with Tony Barbee and hopes to land one soon. He also wants to visit Lexington.

“They just definitely want me to be the best version of me,” Reid said of the Kentucky coaching staff. “If I can keep that consistent 110 [percent] battle effort, then the sky’s the limit.”

Want more recruiting talk? Check out Nick’s extensive update from last night.

3. I can’t stop watching this video of Jonny David playing “Basketball Hero”

You know Guitar Hero? This is Basketball Hero with Jonny David.

A post shared by Kentucky Men's Basketball (@kentuckymbb) on

Back at home, the current team is hard at work in summer workouts, and I can’t stop watching this video of Jonny David playing with the “Basketball Hero” machine last night (nicknamed so because it’s like Guitar Hero). It’s oddly fascinating.

4. More #HorseWithTheCats is on the way

Yesterday, Rex Chapman squared off against PJ Washington and Quade Green for the latest installment of the #HorseWithTheCats series. KyWildcatsTV should release the final versions of the videos soon, but here’s a sneak peek from @KentuckyMBB:

5. The new deal between UofL and the Yum Center will be announced today

Last night, we first got word of a new deal between the University of Louisville and the Yum Center, which should apparently loosen the stronghold the university has over the arena’s finances. Under the amended lease, UofL will pay the arena authority $2.5 million each year for debt payments. Most interestingly, the deal was apparently made behind Tom Jurich’s back in what is being called a “shift in power” from the athletics department to the president’s office. As you might imagine, that didn’t go over well:

Right now, the UofL Athletics Association is learning about the deal, which will then go to the Board of Trustees for approval. Should it pass, the arena authority will announce all of the details to the public. In the meantime, feel free to laugh at this:

6. Details on Rajon Rondo’s deal with the Pelicans

Word that Rondo is headed to the Pelicans broke last week, but yesterday, Shams Charania reported that Rondo’s one-year deal is worth $3.3 million. With DeMarcus Cousins set to be an unrestricted free agent next summer, this is a make it or break it year for the Pels. Will Rondo help or hurt?

7. I love this interview with UK’s 13-year-old football recruit

Over the weekend, you may have seen the picture of the 13-year-old 6-6 350 lbs. football recruit at one of UK’s camps. KSTV caught up with him, and it turns out he’s probably the most likable 13-year-old ever.

Speaking of KSTV, major congrats to TJ Beisner and his son, Tyler. Tyler, a wide receiver at North Oldham High School, just got an offer to walk on at UK in 2018. Simply awesome. If you don’t know Tyler’s story, I suggest you take some time and read this today.

8. The Open begins

The British Open (aka The Open) begins today at the Royal Birkdale and action is already underway. You can watch live on the Golf Channel and see all of the tee times here, but the only thing you really need to know is Kent Bulle tees off at 10:54 a.m. alongside Haotong Li and Haydn McCullen. His cheering section is ready:

Go get ’em, Kent!

9. Interested in sponsoring one of KSR’s UK Football photo galleries?

KSR’s 2017 UK Football Photo Gallery packages are now on sale. We have mini season, full season, and title sponsorship options. Don’t miss your chance to have your business featured alongside the work of our award-winning photographer, Dr. Michael Huang. Email ksrads@kentuckysportsradio.com for more package info.

10. Today on KSR: Matthew Mitchell

Cue up the Kelly Clarkson! One of our favorite guest hosts takes over the mics in one hour.