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Tuesday’s Top 10: Blue got into the Grand Canyon

Good morning, friends, and shoutout to this Kentucky fan for repping the Cats at the Grand Canyon. The only way that picture could get more American is if it also included John Short and a bald eagle. This Top 10’s for you, sir.

1. UK Football landed a big transfer last night

@Goaldyn

USC offensive lineman EJ Price visited Kentucky this weekend and liked it so much he decided he wanted to stay. Yesterday evening, the 6-6, 325 lbs. Price committed to Kentucky. He was the 9th best offensive tackle in the 2016 class per 247 Sports and initially chose USC over the likes of Florida State, LSU, Ohio State, and, Notre Dame. After three games at Southern Cal, he decided to transfer to be closer to home. Now, he’ll play his college ball for Mark Stoops and company after sitting out for a season. He’s ready:

For more on Price, check out Nick’s post from last night.

2. John Wall and Randall Cobb are going to the Hall of Fame

Yesterday, DeWayne Peevy broke the news on KSR that John Wall and Randall Cobb are part of the 2017 UK Athletics Hall of Fame class, which also includes Collin Cowgill (baseball), Ralph Hacker (broadcaster), Sherry Hoover Bordner (cross country/indoor track/outdoor track), and Sarah Rumely (volleyball).

The group will be inducted during Hall of Fame Weekend, Sept. 22-23, in conjunction with the football home game vs. Florida. A big weekend just got bigger.

3. This year’s Alumni Game could be the best yet

Peevy also teased that he’s working on getting the Golden State Warriors or Houston Rockets to play an All-UK dream team in this year’s Alumni Charity Game, which takes place on August 25 at Rupp Arena. If that happens (a big IF), it would be incredible. Ticket info for the game will be released later this week.

4. The team is finally all together in Lexington

During his interview with Peevy, Calipari said the team would probably go through its first practice either last night or today. In typical Cal form, he went on and on about how this will be his greatest challenge as a coach yet.

“I had a meeting, I just told them this will be the hardest thing I’ve ever done, which means it will be the hardest thing they’ve ever done. The most inexperienced team I’ve ever coached, which means maybe the most inexperienced team ever to try to do something unique and special. And if you think it’s going to be easy, there’s a magic wand, you’re in the wrong room. It’s going to be hard, everybody’s going to have to be about each other even though they’re responsible for themselves. You’ve got to be about each other or this thing doesn’t get done. Great meeting, I’m going to have a workout with them tonight or tomorrow.”

We’ll bring you scuttlebutt when it comes out.

5. If you haven’t yet, go back and listen to yesterday’s podcast

If you couldn’t tell by all the content it produced, Peevy’s turn in the hosting chair was a hit. Go back and check it out to hear his interviews with Calipari, Randall Cobb, and several more behind-the-scenes stories, including Cal’s reaction to his first ever practice at Kentucky. Spoiler: he was overwhelmed, to say the least.

6. Speaking of podcasts…

We’ve got two new ones for you this morning: Kentucky Thrones Radio with Nick and TJ Walker, and the Depth Chart Podcast with Freddie Maggard. I’m counting on KTR to get me through a humid, hot run today, so let’s hope Nick and TJ don’t spend too much time talking about that disgusting Samwell poop-shoveling montage.

7. This LSU defensive lineman totally looks like a fat Harrison Twin

Photo by Sam Spiegelman/SEC Country

Shoutout to Kyle Tucker, who first pointed out that LSU defensive lineman Rashard Lawrence totally resembles a fat Aaron Harrison. Or Andrew. Either way, can someone check on one of the two to make sure they didn’t gain 100 lbs. overnight?

8. This Texas Tech defensive back had fun with the media at Big 12 Media Days

@YahooDrSaturday

Media Days can be an exhausting process for players, coaches, and reporters, but Texas Tech defensive back Jah’Shawn Johnson had some fun with it by making Media Day Bingo in anticipation of the questions he’d receive. As someone who has asked a lot of predictable questions at these things, I think he nailed it.

9. This golden retriever is a good dog

Today in “Good Dogs,” a golden retriever noticed a fawn drowning in the Long Island Sound, so he jumped in and saved it:

Thankfully, both Storm and the fawn are okay. Storm deserves all the treats today.

10. Who will host today’s KSR?

UK Baseball coach Nick Mingione was scheduled to host this morning’s show but had to cancel due to a family emergency. Who will fill in for him? I’d tell you, but what’s the fun in that? Tune in an hour from now to find out.


@Goaldyn

Seven Reasons Why E.J. Price is an Excellent Pick-Up for Kentucky Football

@Goaldyn

GASP!

With all due respect, Price is one scary son of an expletive.  I don’t care how many ways you cut it, few human beings ace “The Look Test” as well as Price.  He’s not a doughy offensive tackle, nor is he ripped.  Price is in-between, or what Goldilocks would refer to as “just right.”  Price has potential and a mean reputation that makes him perfect for John Schlarman’s system.

Yes, He’s that Terrifying

Three games into his true freshman season at USC, Price decided it wasn’t the right place for him.  While USC head coach Clay Helton explained the situation amidst salacious rumors, one line reinforces the first point very well.

“I’m not a big social media guy, but I got told today about E.J. Price hitting me, which is funny. I wouldn’t be here; I’d be dead, one,” Helton said. “May make my face look better, but when it comes to E.J. — I know a lot of times when a guy doesn’t show up on the field there’s questions.

“I talked to E.J. a couple days ago. E.J. has some personal family issues that are going on — a lot of homesickness and missing family really bad. With us sitting down and visiting, really felt, mutually, that it was important for him to go find a school that is closer to home, where he can deal with his family.”

An Elite Athlete

In case you don’t get it yet, here’s more evidence: Price grew up playing quarterback.  Do not be surprised if he also played safety, punted, returned kicks and filled up the water jug.

Experience

He’ll only have three games under his belt by the time he’s eligible to play in the fall of 2018, but Price will be a 21-year old sophomore.  The most growth in strength and conditioning programs occur during those first two years.  If he doesn’t already look the part now, he definitely will then.

A Top 100 All-American

As a high school senior, Price achieved just about every accolade you can as one of the nation’s best college football prospects.  A Top Ten offensive tackle and Top 100 player overall by every recruit service (except Rivals, for whatever reason), Price played in the Under Armour All-American Game and Nike’s invite-only camp, The Opening.

Home Town Connections

Hailing from Lawrenceville, Georgia, Price’s high school career began at Central Gwinnett High School, the same school as 2018 UK quarterback commit Jarren Williams.  Williams’ father knows his son is in good hands, Tweeting after the announcement: “Huge Pickup! My favorite OT out of GA. Physical and nasty. Make a QB dad happy ☺

UK Needs Tackles

Last year’s success in the trenches wasn’t lightning in a bottle.  Built around an experienced senior at center, Schlarman rotated veterans and newcomers to create a balanced platooning system.  In order to sustain success, he needs more tackles.  This year there are three senior starters on the offensive line; two are offensive tackles, Cole Mosier and Kyle Meadows.

There’s no assurance who will play where on Schlarman’s fluid offensive line by 2018, but it could be two of the Top 10 tackles from the 2016 class: No. 10 Price and No. 7 Landon Young.

 


The Depth Chart Podcast’s First Fan Tribute

depth-chart-jack-kain-ford

For the first half of the summer, The Depth Chart Podcast focused on former players.  Now it’s the fans’ turn.  This new reoccurring segment will focus on the Big Blue Nation’s best fans, beginning with friend of the program Tom Cannon.  Just like the Wildcats, Tom is fighting Lymphoma till the battle is won.  Freddie, Andrew, Nick and Jack share his favorite Kentucky football stories before discussing…

—  Endless bulletin board material from SEC Media Days.

—  Two “fighting words” that will create chaos in a locker room.

—  UK offered an 8th grader; when Freddie was in 8th grade, he was scamming the system.

—  Are the newest members of the UK Hall of Fame deserving?

—  Freddie ends the show by laughing harder than anyone has ever heard Freddie laugh.

You can easily listen on the KSR App, available on iTunes and Google Play.  Streaming online is simple through Pod Paradise.  You can also get it directly to your phone by subscribing to “Kentucky Sports Radio” on iTunes or via Android’s Podcast Addict app.


USC Offensive Tackle will Transfer to Kentucky

@Goaldyn

The Kentucky Wildcats have picked up a four-star recruit from an unexpected place.  E.J. Price will transfer from USC to Kentucky as first reported by Josh Edwards of 247 Sports and later confirmed by Price via Twitter.

The 6’6″ 325-pounder was the ninth-best offensive tackle in the nation when he chose USC over Florida State, LSU, Ohio State and a slew of other schools in 2016.  After playing three games as a true freshman, the Georgia native chose to change locales to play a little closer to home.  Price should have three years of eligibility at UK, beginning in 2018.

Anytime you can land a Top 100 recruit, it’s great for your program.  This time it’s just coming from an atypical source.


Big-time potential football transfer now on campus

You’re looking at EJ Price, an offensive tackle looking to transfer from Southern Cal, and today, he’s touring Kentucky’s campus.

The 6-6 325 lbs. Price was considered the ninth best offensive tackle in the 2016 class by 247 Sports, picking the Trojans over offers from Florida State, LSU, Oklahoma, Ohio State, and Notre Dame. After playing three games for the Trojans, he redshirted his freshman season and decided he wanted to transfer closer to his home in Georgia. Today, he visited Kentucky and posted this picture from Kroger Field with Darin Hinshaw and John Schlarman:

Quarterback commit Jarren Williams has dice on the mind:

Did the program just snag a top transfer? Cross your fingers…


Watch: UK’s next great kicker knocks down 52-yard field goal

Watch: UK’s next great kicker knocks down 52-yard field goal

Chance Poore is the best kicker in South Carolina’s 2018 class for a reason. He does things like this:

Dude is knocking down 52-yard field goal attempts like it’s nothing and he’s only a senior in high school.

For comparisons sake, Austin MacGinnis currently holds the school record for longest field goal at 54 yards. That may not last long.

I’m a big fan of the future of UK kicking if I do say so myself. With one more year of high school remaining, Poore will be with the team for the 2018 season – UK’s current backup Miles Butler’s final season with the Cats.


@RivalsDave

Kentucky offers 13-year-old offensive tackle

@RivalsDave

With many recruits on campus for UK’s Friday Nights Camp, news of scholarships being offered was to be expected. But not this one.

According to Dave Lackford of Rivals, Kentucky has offered Kiyaunta Goodwin a 13-year-old out of Louisville.

This isn’t just your everyday, run of the mill eighth grader though. This kid is 6-foot-6, 350 pounds and looks like he could plow through a brick wall.

You see all the time teams offering players at a ridiculously young age, but I’m all for this one.

My thoughts:

  1. What are they feeding this kid?
  2. I feel real bad for whatever 13-year-olds this kid is going up against.

Mark Stoops is Recruiting in the Bluegrass

This weekend isn’t just a big deal for recruiting in basketball.  Mark Stoops is hosting a ton of talent in UK football’s final weekend of camps in the 2017 summer season.  The following recruits are either expected to be there, or they’re Tweeting pictures while wearing UK uniforms.

Blue Smith — If you don’t know Blue by now, he’s the nation’s top-ranked athlete, a teammate of Alex Reigelsperger and Vince Marrow’s most coveted recruit.

Chandler Jones — An Under Armour All-American cornerback from Hollywood, Florida, his recruitment is a battle between UofL and UK.  He plans on going to Louisville after camping in Lexington.

Bryan Hudson — The Scott County offensive tackle gets compared to Landon Young, because he beat Young in a shocking shot put upset at the state track and field meet.  John Schlarman was wise and extended Hudson an offer as a freshman.  Now he’s a four-star, Top 250 player in the class of 2019.

Terez Traynor — The athlete from Doss High School in Louisville was put on commitment watch earlier this summer.  Could he finally pull the trigger this weekend?  Stay tuned.

2018 Commits in Attendance

  • DeAndre Square
  • Alex Reigelsperger
  • Marquan McCall
  • Jarren Williams
  • Darrian Kinnard
  • Quintin Wilson

Joshua Washington — The Georgia 2018 cornerback has primarily received interest from small schools, but Auburn and Georgia are now in the mix.

Brayden Ingraham — The junior defensive end has already received offers from most of the SEC.  Kentucky stands apart because his former Dillard High School mentor on the defensive line, Jordan Wright, will be a freshman in Lexington this fall.

Stanley Garner —  Another elite athlete from Dillard, the three-star cornerback has offers from Alabama and Auburn, but Eddie Gran has UK in the driver’s seat.

Kristian Pechac —  A four-star 2018 running back from Bloomington (In.) South High School, Vince Marrow is doing what he can to make sure the powerful back does not become a Hoosier.

Hayden Wolff — A 2019 pocket-passer from Englewood, Florida, the 6’5″ gunslinger has received early interest from Florida, Ohio State and many others.


Future UK QB Jarren Williams makes a huge jump in the rankings

After an impressive showing at The Opening last week in Oregon, future Kentucky quarterback Jarren Williams’ stock is rising. Today, 247 Sports moved the Kentucky commit up 111 spots to 145th in the 2018 class. He’s now considered the 13th best quarterback and the 7th best dual threat quarterback. Most impressively, he’s the highest ranked quarterback committed to an SEC school.

Other UK commits in the rankings: four-star offensive tackle Darian Kinnard (#100), four-star offensive guard Marquan McCall (#122), and four-star outside linebacker Xavier Peters (#141). Four-star athlete Blue Smith, one of Kentucky’s biggest remaining recruits, is ranked 189th.

You can check out the entire rankings here. Or, just watch these highlights of Williams at The Opening last week:

 


Blue Smith will Visit Kentucky Next Week

Photo Via rivals.com

According to Justin Rowland at CatsIllusrated, 2018 wide receiver recruit, L’Christian “Blue” Smith is unofficially visiting Kentucky next Friday.

The 6-foot-5, 215-pound star is Kentucky’s top priority for 2018 right now. Smith is teammates with notable Kentucky commit Alex Reigelsperger who started the twitter hashtag #GetBlueinBlue where he and UK’s other 2018 recruits have been campaigning to get the player.

According to Rowland, Smith is visiting for Kentucky’s Friday Night Lights Camp. Other recruits like Chandler Jones, Terez Traynor, Chris Oats and commit Darian Kinnard are expected to visit for the camp as well.

 

[CatsIllustrated: Blue Smith will visit Kentucky again next week]


UK’s top target made the No. 1 play at The Opening

UK’s top target made the No. 1 play at The Opening

Hudl named the Top 10 Plays from The Opening Finals out in Oregon and Kentucky’s top target in the 2018 class stole the show with the top play on the list.

Blue Smith, the 31st ranked player in the Rivals100, earned the No. 1 spot for his stretch-grab of a touchdown pass in the corner of the end zone. Labeled as an athlete by most recruiting services, Smith is one of the best wide receivers in the entire class, and he likes Kentucky.

See his catch in the top 10 video below. UK QB commit Jarren Williams also makes an appearance on the list at No. 8.

Go Cats.

Get in here, Blue.


UK Makes Top Six for Four-Star Defensive End, Grandson of Basketball Hall of Famer

The Kentucky Wildcats are finalists for one of the nation’s best defensive ends, whose last name carries legendary status.

Tyler Baylor is considered the No. 14 defensive end in the country by Rivals.  He’s also the grandson of Elgin Baylor, a Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Famer and one of the greatest to ever play the game of basketball.  Today the elite pass rusher from Olney, Maryland announced on Twitter his six finalists: Kentucky, Maryland, Pitt, Louisville, Tennessee and Georgia.

The 247 Crystal Ball is currently split 50-50 between Kentucky and Baylor’s home state school.

Recruited by Vince Marrow out of Good Counsel High School, Baylor could be the third from the national powerhouse to be signed by Mark Stoops.  Two of his teammates from a year ago, offensive tackle Naasir Watkins and outside linebacker Josh Paschal, will be UK freshmen this fall.

An elite athlete on the outside, the 6’5″ 225-pounder terrifies opposing quarterbacks.

You can never recruit too many elite pass rushers.  Baylor’s lineage is nice bonus.


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