Football Recruiting News
Twenty-four hours from now, most of Kentucky’s 21-man 2019 recruiting class will have officially signed with UK. That is, if everything goes according to plan.
The final 24 hours before signing day is a marathon for UK football coaches. They’ll be on the phones with dozens of prospects as other programs try to pry them away from UK. Last year, they could not do enough to keep Meechi Harris in the fold. In 2016, Auburn and Georgia fought like hell to flip Jordan Griffin, but Stoops stayed on the phone with his family until the opposing pressure past.
It’s a ruthless final few hours on the recruiting calendar, but publicly it will be pretty quiet. A few four-stars, Jammie Robinson and Devonta Lee, officially visited over the weekend, but they aren’t expected to sign until February. There are a few potential late additions, most notably if JUCO cornerback Kelvin Clemmons. UK was the favorite for Clemmons after a December 7 official visit. That may have changed after the Tampa-native officially visited USF last weekend. Clemmons will make his final decision tomorrow. Another corner, Taj Dodson, could be another pleasant signing day surprise for Kentucky.
There’s one potential surprise that could put a damper on signing day. Defensive tackle Cavon Butler will sign tomorrow afternoon, and two recruiting analysts recently flipped Crystal Ball picks for the UK commit to Michigan State. I heard Butler’s official visit to Lexington went well, but it’s something to keep an eye on in the final hours of the recruiting season.
Before KSR’s early morning signing day coverage begins on Wednesday, you’ll see plenty of film study, interviews and more on the website throughout the day. The football recruiting world isn’t the only part of the BBN that’s buzzing.
Back to Bowl Practice
The action on the Kentucky football practice fields continues this afternoon. Eddie Gran, Matt House, Josh Allen and a few other players will brief the media one more time before they break for the holidays this weekend.
Now that final exams are over, the players have quite a bit of time on their hands. Yesterday they spent some of that time playing games at Malibu Jack’s. After getting lit up with AirSoft guns a year ago, Stoops opted for a much safer team bonding activity in 2019.
— Kentucky Football (@UKFootball) December 18, 2018
The KSR Football Podcast Returns
We’re back, back in the podcasting groove. Drew, Austin, Chuck and I will be at KSBar this evening around 6:30 for the KSR Football Podcast’s Citrus Bowl Extravaganza. Is there a better way to prepare for a UK upset of Penn State? I think not.
If you’re too busy to stop by and listen, check your iTunes feed around 9:00. If you can’t wait that long for a new podcast, listen to Nevada head coach Eric Musselman on the latest edition of the Aaron Torres Sports Podcast.
Boca Raton Bowling
If you don’t care about our podcast, you can still try to win some money at KSBar by watching the Cheribundi Boca Raton Bowl. Whoever picks the closest score between UAB and Northern Illinois will be a finalist for The Hammer’s $5,000 prize. If you stay for the entire game, the person closest to the final score still present will get $100. Not too shabby.
UK Hoops in Action
Matthew Mitchell’s women’s basketball team will be back at Memorial Coliseum tonight at 7:00 pm to take on Western Carolina. The eighteenth-ranked Wildcats are 10-1. After tonight, you’ll only have one more opportunity to check the team out at Memorial, Friday night against Murray State, before the holiday break.
Tom Hart’s got Game
The ESPN play-by-play man doesn’t need to be at a UK game to insert a KSR reference into his call.
— Clay Suter (@claysuter) December 18, 2018
College Basketball on TV
- 6:00: Princeton at #2 Duke on ESPN2
- 6:30: App State at Georgetown on FS1
- 7:00: Xavier at Missouri on ESPNU
- 7:00: Oakland at Georgia on SEC Network
- 8:00: #14 Buffalo at Syracuse on ESPN2
- 9:00: Creighton at Oklahoma on ESPNU
Bob Wiley became a household name when the Cleveland Browns’ offensive line coach was featured on Hard Knocks. His belly became a viral sensation, jiggling for each, “Set, Hut!” Ahead of Christmas, the playoff-chasing Browns have put Wiley back in the spotlight and I absolutely love it.
Set Ho Ho Ho! ? pic.twitter.com/yiH4MI4UOX
— Cleveland Browns (@Browns) December 17, 2018
The results of an incredibly successful recruiting weekend are already starting to show for Kentucky football.
Elijah James, a 6-foot-4, 300-pound defensive tackle out of Iowa Western Community College, has committed to KENTUCKY!
He announced the news this afternoon on Twitter:
— Eli james (@perezejames99) December 16, 2018
With his only other offers being Chattanooga and Southern Miss, James flew under the radar enough for the Kentucky coaching staff to swoop in and seal the deal on a commitment.
In 11 games this past season at Iowa Western CC, James finished with 57 tackles, 8.5 sacks, and three forced fumbles.
He is also teammates with Kentucky wide receiver commitment JaVonte Richardson.
Out of high school, James was listed as a 6-foot-4, 263-pound defensive end. As a two-star prospect, the newest wildcat was signed on to play at Central Michigan before making the move to JUCO.
Here are his sophomore highlights:
Hopefully there’s more where that came from…
By Jack Pilgrim on ©December 16th, 2018 @ 5:00pm
Kentucky basketball head coach John Calipari has been pretty outspoken about his support of the football program this season. Yesterday afternoon, he took that support one step further.
During one of the biggest recruiting weekends of the year, Coach Cal went out of his way to spread the love to some of the elite football prospects on campus following his team’s victory over Utah.
Kentucky four-star linebacker commit Jared Casey tweeted out the following video while he was on campus:
— Jar?d Çasey 6?? (@jared_casey01) December 16, 2018
Four-star defensive back Jammie Robinson was one of the big dogs on campus, and he seemed to have a pretty great time:
— BIG 6? (@Jammierobinson6) December 15, 2018
Not too shabby when a recruit’s mother arrives on a visit wearing a customized Kentucky hoodie of her son in a Wildcat uniform…
The other uncommitted big shot in town was four-star wide receiver Devonta Lee, who said he “fell in love with Kentucky” during his official visit to Lexington:
— Devonta Lee (@DevontaleeLee) December 16, 2018
Three-star defensive back Taj Dodson posted the following image on his Instagram:
As for committed prospects (beyond Casey), Kentucky had plenty of elite talent to help secure signatures from prior to National Signing Day next week.
It starts with three-star quarterback commit Amani Gilmore, who just led his Amite Warrior squad to a Louisiana 2A State Championship last weekend:
— Amani Gilmore (@iam_maniiii) December 15, 2018
Kentucky three-star quarterback commit Nik Scalzo said he was excited to officially move in:
— Nik Scalzo (@NikScalzo) December 16, 2018
He also responded to Gilmore’s tweet, saying it was going to be “the best QB room in the nation” when they both arrive in Lexington:
About to be the best QB room in the nation? #bbn
— Nik Scalzo (@NikScalzo) December 15, 2018
Scalzo said a few days back that fans should “look out for a couple key commits this weekend.”
— Nik Scalzo (@NikScalzo) December 14, 2018
Four-star running back commit Travis Tisdale said he had a “great time” in Lexington:
— Tis6ale? (@Tisdale_6) December 16, 2018
Three-star wide receiver commit DeMarcus Harris announced his arrival on Friday night:
— HD? (@D_harris2121) December 14, 2018
Kentucky three-star defensive tackle commit Cavon Butler and offensive line commit Jake Pope were also on campus this weekend.
Though he wasn’t able to make the trip, Kentucky three-star tight end commitment Nikolas Ognenovic wanted to join in on the tweeting spree, posting about his in-home visit with Mark Stoops and Eddie Gran earlier this week:
— ? Nikolas Ognenovic ? (@N11KOLAS) December 16, 2018
Can the Kentucky Wildcats secure a few more high-profile commitments prior to National Signing Day on Wednesday?
Nik Scalzo certainly seems to think so…
By Jack Pilgrim on ©December 16th, 2018 @ 12:00pm
National Signing Day is just three days away, and the Kentucky football coaching staff is looking to bring in some elite talent to close out their 2019 recruiting class.
One of those stars? Four-star wide receiver Devonta Lee.
And judging by his most recent comments, things are looking pretty good for the Wildcats.
Lee, a 6-foot-2, 215-pound receiver out of Amite, LA, said that he “fell in love with Kentucky” during his official visit to Lexington this weekend.
— Devonta Lee (@DevontaleeLee) December 16, 2018
The Under Armour All-American holds offers from Alabama, LSU, Auburn, Florida, Florida State, Miami, Tennessee, and Texas, among others, though most experts believe Lee’s recruitment will come down to LSU, Alabama, and Kentucky.
Rivals lists Lee as the No. 80 prospect in the nation and the No. 9 athlete overall, while 247 Sports has him at No. 177 and ESPN has him at No. 208 overall.
Lee’s high school teammate and Kentucky quarterback commit, Amani Gilmore, was also on his official visit in Lexington this weekend. After the visit, he let the Twitter world know he wanted his dynamic receiving partner to join him at Kentucky.
— Amani Gilmore (@iam_maniiii) December 16, 2018
Here they were together during the jersey photo-op part of the visit:
Kentucky’s starting running back for next season also did his part to let Lee know he was more than welcome in Lexington:
Blessings bro bro!! https://t.co/jWebHWDSgF
— Aj Rose Jr. ? (@ajrose_10) December 16, 2018
If you haven’t seen this kid play yet, stop what you’re doing and watch just a few of his highlights.
This was just from the Class 2A Championship game last week, where he finished with 191 total yards on offense, two touchdowns, one forced fumble, and one interception:
Just a day in the office for Megatron — AKA Rivals100 ATH Devonta Lee (@DevontaleeLee), who accounted for 191 yards of offense, 2 TD, a FF and an INT to help Amite to a Class 2A championship@JeritRoser @cls_empire @ChadSimmons_ @RowlandRIVALS pic.twitter.com/XkCNy00nAU
— Sam Spiegelman (@samspiegs) December 8, 2018
He doesn’t have a senior highlight tape out quite yet, but his junior film will do:
This would be one heck of a signature to pull off next week…
Bring him on home, Coach Stoops.
Since Eddie Gran’s arrival, the South Florida area has become a very fertile recruiting ground for the Kentucky football program. The last couple of recruiting classes we’ve seen Gran sign multiple prospects from Fort Lauderdale Chaminade-Madonna high school. The Lions are a powerhouse in the Sunshine State, but this year he made the trip to a different prep football stalwart.
The Cardinal Gibbons Chiefs won the state title this year in the 5A division and for the majority of that season they were led by an undersized quarterback. Nik Scalzo is clearly under six feet, but on the gridiron he brings a style of play and competitiveness that will be very contagious to his teammates and the fan base.
With any undersized quarterback, creativity needs to be a big part of their skillset. You need to play within the offense, but at times you must be able to create something out of nothing. Unlike most quarterbacks at the college level, Nik Scalzo is not going to be able to just consistently sit in the pocket. He must be a maestro at creating throwing lanes and he flashed in this regard at the high school level.
These are the plays that get you excited because of the agility and the ability to deliver the ball with accuracy on the move. In college, Nik Scalzo is going to have to make a lot of unorthodox throws to be successful. He’s shown this skill repeatedly against top notch high school competition.
Accuracy is going to be very vital to Scalzo’s success at the next level. Due to not being a dynamic athlete or having the biggest arm in the world, it’s even more important. In his senior season, the gunslinger had a completion percentage over 60 and consistently was able to move the chains for his offense.
On this pass, Nik Scalzo takes a step up in the pocket, and even without perfect footwork, he delivers the rock on time and target. Scalzo must consistently make the right decisions and be a step ahead of the defense. Mastering the playbook and being able to read defenses and coverages will determine just how successful of a quarterback he can be in the FBS.
It’s hard to watch the tape and not come away with wanting to compare Nik Scalzo to Johnny Manziel, Kyler Murray and Baker Mayfield. He fits that mold as a short quarterback who moves around in the pocket to make throws. Scalzo doesn’t have the athletic ability of Manziel or Murray and will have to prove he has anywhere close to the arm strength, accuracy, moxie, and football smarts of Mayfield.
What the young quarterback does have is a natural playmaking ability. The short quarterback is thicker in the legs than you would think and that makes him a difficult player to wrap up at all times. You add that in with his shiftiness and ability to deliver the ball from that different arm angles and that makes him an intriguing prospect.
Scheme wise what UK is running does not seem like a great fit for Scalzo, but we’ve seen this coaching staff show the ability to adjust their playing style to their personnel. If the quarterback prospect is to succeed in college, he’ll need to be in a wide open offense that spreads the field to create a ton of throwing lanes that his unorthodox style can take advantage of.
It will be awhile until we see Nik Scalzo get any playing time and we really haven’t seen a quarterback like him since Mark Stoops arrived. The only other player they’ve had similar to him is Walker Wood and we’ve only seen him in one spring game. Scalzo has some obvious tools that can be used, but a lot of his potential success at the college level will be dependent on a specific scheme and a great knowledge of that scheme. However, he’s the type of player that could be an absolute terror to game plan for due to his playing style. He plays a fearless and reckless brand of football that is very dangerous to go against when a quarterback is playing with confidence.
After going back-and-forth for a week, J.J. Weaver is ready to sign and get it over with.
“I’m just going to sign in December,” the four-star Kentucky defensive end commit told the Courier-Journal. “Me and my mom and dad just talked about it today. I’m just going to sign in December and get it over with and just get focused. Either way I’m going to Kentucky anyway, at the end of day.”
Weaver committed to UK in an emotional ceremony at Louisville Moore High School two weeks ago. UK fans began to worry about that commitment when Weaver visited UofL’s campus last weekend. Despite reassurances, the concern only grew when Weaver revealed on Tuesday he wanted to sign with his teammates in February.
Sources tell KSR the Weaver family met with Vince Marrow last night in Louisville. That meeting ultimately persuaded the elite pass-rusher to expedite the process and put pen to paper December 19.
No reason to panic, Big Blue Nation. Weaver will officially be a Kentucky Wildcat this Wednesday.
By Nick Roush on ©December 14th, 2018 @ 5:00pm
The weekend before signing day has traditionally been the Kentucky football program’s marquee recruiting event. As the rules changed, so has the event, but there are still plenty of talented recruits in Lexington for official visits.
This weekend KSR expects about ten 2019 recruits to be on campus. Before the early signing period was adopted in 2017, at least ten commitments would wait to take their official visit on the final weekend of the recruiting calendar year. Since signing day has moved up, the official visits have as well.
“We have more kids on campus for in-season games and that’s always good and bad,” Mark Stoops said last week. “It’s nice to be able to fly parents in and the prospects in and spend time with them and see the game day atmosphere and be around here. That’s good, but it’s tough on us coaches also because our attention is on winning that game until the game is over.”
Even though the majority of the 2019 class already elected to officially visit for a game day, Stoops will still see quite a few commitments this weekend.
Three committed players from the state of Florida will be in Lexington for official visits — offensive tackle Jake Pope, wide receiver DeMarcus Harris and quarterback Nik Scalzo. Before hopping on a flight to Lexington, the rehabbing quarterback hosted his coaches for an in-home visit earlier this week.
— Nik Scalzo (@NikScalzo) December 14, 2018
Scalzo will not be the only quarterback in town. Fresh off a six-touchdown state championship performance, Amani Gilmore will officially visit UK with his four-star teammate, Devonta Lee. A Top 100 wide receiver, Kentucky will use an early playing time pitch to try to persuade him from leaving his home state. LSU is the perceived favorite for Lee. He’ll officially visit Baton Rouge in January before signing in February.
Lee is one of three uncommitted prospects expected to officially visit this weekend. The other two are cornerbacks, Jammie Robinson and Taj Dodson. Dodson is a three-star prospect from Georgia with offers from Baylor, Iowa State, Ole Miss and others. Robinson is the four-star target who wore UK gloves during his state championship victory at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta. South Carolina is UK’s top competition; Georgia, Auburn, Tennessee and Michigan are also in the mix.
Vince Marrow’s top task at hand is keeping Cavon Butler in the fold. The Toledo defensive tackle has been committed to Kentucky since August, but Ohio State has tried to change that. Butler visited Columbus a few times, including an official visit for the blowout of Michigan. However, the talented interior defensive lineman has remained loyal. Kentucky can seal the deal this weekend before he puts pen to paper in a signing ceremony on Wednesday.
Two other UK commits from Georgia, Travis Tisdale and KD McDaniel, could also make the trip for an official visit. As of now that remains unclear. It is clear that this weekend could take Kentucky’s class to another level. We’ll find out shortly if Stoops, Marrow and Co. can create last-minute momentum before December 19.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©December 14th, 2018 @ 10:30am
Early Signing Period for football starts Wednesday. Will Kentucky add a few more players to their class by then? Future Cat Nik Scalzo thinks so.
Scalzo, who is recovering from a torn ACL, hosted Mark Stoops and Eddie Gran at his home in Fort Lauderdale last night, and hinted that some Yahtzees are on the way this weekend.
— Nik Scalzo (@NikScalzo) December 14, 2018
Scalzo is one of many commitments and prospects who will be in Lexington this weekend. Nick Roush will be by in a bit with a preview, but until then, who do you think Scalzo is talking about? Also, what is more impressive in this picture: the Scalzos’ TV or tree?
By Jack Pilgrim on ©December 13th, 2018 @ 4:30pm
The Louisville football program is down to just three commitments, but the Big Dog is looking to make that two. Maybe even one.
Kentucky recruiting coordinator Vince Marrow was in Louisville today to see three-star athlete and Cardinal commit Aidan Robbins at Dupont Manual High School.
Robbins’ father posted the following tweet, seemingly pretty excited about Marrow making the short trek from Lexington to Louisville:
— Ron Robbins (@TheRonRobbins1) December 13, 2018
Robbins committed to Louisville back in June, but he has since visited Colorado State and BYU the last two weekends. Ole Miss also came in on an in-home visit last week.
He event went as far as to say his official visit to BYU this past weekend was “definitely the best” visit he’s been on, per Mitch Harper of 247 Sports.
“My official visit to BYU was amazing. Definitely the best official visit I’ve had thus far. The people, the coaches, the staff are great. The team is great. I received a family feel from the team and things like that. I liked the facilities and the scenery of Utah. I’ve never been to Utah and it was a very beautiful place. It was definitely somewhere I would like to spend the next point in my life,” said Robbins.
He has a visit scheduled to Louisville this weekend, but by the looks of things, we could see a flip before he signs on the dotted line.
While we’re talking about Cards flipping, the Wildcats are also making a push for Louisville offensive tackle commit Zach Williamson.
They offered the three-star out of Huntington, West Virginia back in November, and then hosted him on a visit this past weekend.
— Zach Williamson (@ZWilly32) November 26, 2018
If both players decide to decommit, that would leave just one commitment for Louisville, three-star offensive guard Ty Murray, with National Signing Day set for next week.
Go big or go home, Big Dog. Go get Murray too and leave the fax machine dry when the morning of the 19th comes around.
By Nick Roush on ©December 13th, 2018 @ 2:00pm
Hello there. Nice to see you. I hope you’re feeling well. There’s a little cold bug flying around Kentucky that bit me about a week ago and will not go away. Hopefully it’s all shook off before next week when things around the football world really kick back into gear.
Six days away from the beginning of the early signing period, there’s still quite a bit going on in the recruiting world, as well as a few football team updates. But first, a little programming alert…
The KSR Football Podcast took a brief two-week hiatus to recover and reset from Kentucky’s wildly successful football season. We’re making up for lost time with not one, but TWO podcasts before the Christmas break.
Tuesday night Chuck, Austin, Drew and I will be at KSBar for a Citrus Bowl Extravaganza. We’ll give you everything you need to prepare for Kentucky’s match-up with Penn State. For the special occasion, we’ll play the podcast over the bar’s speakers for all to hear before it hits iTunes. The show will get rolling around 6:30. Two days later, Adam Luckett and Jack Pilgrim will join me for an Early Signing Period special. We’ll recap signing day craziness, break down the game of each recruit and tell you who could make an immediate impact in 2019.
More All-SEC Honors
This week was filled with so many All-American honors, at one point I lost count. Naturally, a few All-SEC honors went by the wayside. Athlon and ESPN released their all-conference teams yesterday and five Wildcats made the cut:
- Josh Allen — First Team by Athlon and ESPN
- Bunchy Stallings — First Team by Athlon and ESPN
- Benny Snell — First Team by Athlon and ESPN
- Lynn Bowden — Athlon Second Team All-Purpose
- Mike Edwards — Athlon Third Team Defensive Back
Athlon also named Mark Stoops SEC Coach of the Year and Josh Allen Defensive Player of the Year.
At one point in time, these honors would have been a major headline on KSR. This team has received so many accolades, they’re merely a footnote. What a wonderful year for the Kentucky football program.
Has Matt House ever Been Happier?
No. The answer is no. UK’ defensive coordinator was smiling ear-to-ear yesterday during an in-home visit with Georgia inside linebacker Tra Wilkins.
Devonta Lee Previews Visit
Four-star wide receiver Devonta Lee is one of a handful of uncommitted prospects that will officially visit Kentucky this weekend. Making the trip with his quarterback, UK commit Amani Gilmore, Lee likes what he’s heard so far from Kentucky’s coaches.
“I want to see how they are going to use me and how the education system is,” Lee told 247. “Will I be comfortable staying around there when football season is over? Those are some things I need to figure out. I know my quarterback says he loves it, so we’ll see.
“They say they don’t have receivers like me and I’ll get the ball a lot. That’s been their pitch.”
The honest pitch is one his other top school, LSU, cannot offer. We will have to wait until February to find out if that pitch is good enough to land the Top 100 player.
Jalen Geiger is in the Carolinas Shrine Bowl
The UK cornerback commit is in Spartanburg, South Carolina this week to play in one of the south’s most prestigious postseason bowl games. The Columbia native explained why he chose Kentucky.
“The coaches have been on me since day one,” he told The State. “When I first got an offer, they were calling me, texting me everyday. I just, I just felt at home.”
Geiger took his official visit in September. He will sign next week but wait to enroll until the summer. Geiger was not surprised to see Kentucky’s 2019 success.
“Being committed to Kentucky, I kind of already had a feeling from being down there and watching practices that they were due for a big year this year,” he told Rivals. “Coach Stoops really had his team prepared and they were going hard and the guys put in the work for this. They knew they were going to have a big season, they weren’t surprised because they put in the work. The offense had some struggles at times but they’re going to figure that out. We’re going to be fine.”
The Big Dog returned to Springfield Tuesday night for (at least) the third time since the season ended to watch Isaiah Gibson on the hardwood. It’s a shame that ‘fro will have to hide beneath a helmet when Gibson arrives on campus in January.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©December 12th, 2018 @ 4:45pm
J.J. Weaver got a lot of people worried earlier this week when he visited Louisville and reports surfaced he was going to wait until February to sign with Kentucky. Kent Spencer of WHAS11 spoke with the four-star defensive end, who said that he’s still 100 percent committed to Kentucky, but wants to wait to sign so he can do it with his teammates at Moore Traditional School in Louisville.
Just caught up with Moore’s JJ Weaver (@jjtimeee)
1. Says he’s 100% committed to Kentucky
2. Plans on signing in February to do it with his teammates at Moore
3. If other schools approach him he’ll listen because it’s a business decision but he plans on signing with UK.
— Kent Spencer (@WHAS11Kent) December 12, 2018
I’d like to believe J.J.’s explanation for waiting to sign, but I know better with football recruiting.
UPDATE: Weaver has spoken, tweeting that he’s not 100% percent committed to Kentucky, he’s 110% committed to Kentucky!
Check my bio, I’m not going nowhere BBN ???? I’m 110% committed
— JJ Weaver (@jjtimeee) December 12, 2018
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©December 11th, 2018 @ 11:00pm
On Sunday night, Franklin-Simpson offensive guard Jack Randolph received a call from the Louisville coaching staff saying that new head coach Scott Satterfield was pulling his scholarship offer. Now, Randolph’s high school coach Doug Preston is fighting back, tweeting that Satterfield is no longer welcome to recruit players from his school.
Coach Satterfield shouldn’t bother sending anyone down here to recruit in the future! I can’t look my players in the eyes and tell them to trust anyone @UofLFootball any longer!
— Doug Preston (@coachadp) December 10, 2018
Preston didn’t stop there, calling Satterfield out for making recruiting staffer Pete Nochta deliver the news instead of doing it himself.
@CoachSattUofL pathetic move coach! No excuse! Don’t come our way in the future. I will tell our players they can’t trust you. Then to have Pete call these kids is an even more low class move.
— Doug Preston (@coachadp) December 10, 2018
I’ve known Pete since he was a kid and played high school ball for his dad. Trust me he isn’t to blame. This coach dumped the dirty work in his lap. Another gutless move by Satterfield.
— Doug Preston (@coachadp) December 10, 2018
Football recruiting isn’t always pleasant and transitions between staffs are tough, but this could have been handled better. Preston tweets that Randolph, a three-star player, had the grades to qualify for full academic scholarships to some prestigious schools, but passed because he had an offer from Louisville. Now, with just over a week until Early Signing Day, he and his family are scrambling for options, while Louisville is scrambling to get commitments for the 2019 class, which currently consists of only three players.
Nice move, Scott.
As all of the attention is on Kentucky’s with high school recruiting efforts, one former commit has entered the transfer market.
Wide receiver Meechi Harris recently announced he will transfer from the University of Cincinnati.
Thank you for all those who have helped me. I’m sure God will be answering my prayers. ?????? pic.twitter.com/zpR4AT4esh
— Meech1 (@king_dj_sosa14) December 10, 2018
The three-star high school prospect from Dayton, Ohio was a Top 100 receiver prospect in 2017. He committed to UK on his senior night, but made a last-minute decision to flip to Cincinnati the night before the December signing day.
Could Harris be the transfer Matt has been hinting at for a few weeks? Only time will tell.
By Nick Roush on ©December 11th, 2018 @ 12:15pm
With only eight days left until the college football early signing period begins, the football recruiting world is ablaze with twists and turns. The most recent shockwave through the Big Blue Nation started over there weekend when J.J. Weaver met with Scott Satterfield on Louisville’s campus.
Since the visit, there have been a few developments. The most recent report is that Weaver will wait to sign in February. Kentucky coaches will do their best to make sure that’s not the case.
The recent memory of Wandale Robinson has incited even more Kentucky fan fear for another de-commitment. If Weaver does eventually flip to Louisville it would be even more shocking, because logically speaking, it’s UK all the way.
1. Family Connection
Playing close to home has always been a priority for Weaver. Originally from Miami, almost all of his extended family still resides in South Florida. He wants to play close to his mother in Louisville. While UofL is obviously closer than Lexington, he does have a UK connection.
One of the few members off his extended family that isn’t in South Florida is Jordan Wright, a UK outside linebacker. Weaver said at his announcement that he’s always wanted to play with his cousin. “We’ve been talking about this since we were kids.”
— Jordan Wright (@JayyDubb15) November 30, 2018
Weaver does not share a family connection with Jared Casey, but the two are close friends. Casey attended Weaver’s commitment ceremony at Moore. The potential for each to play either side of UK’s defense is just one more logical draw to UK.
2. Josh Allen
J.J. Weaver witnessed firsthand what Kentucky pass rushers can do to opposing quarterbacks. He saw Mark Stoops coach an All-American, Bednarik, Nagurski and Lott Trophy winner. The National Defensive Player of the Year told Weaver, “You can be better than me. You got this.”
Allen isn’t Stoops’ only award-winning NFL talent either. Freddie Satterfield can pitch early playing time, but he cannot compete with Stoops’ resumé.
3. It’s Been All UK for a Long Time
In the case of Wandale Robinson, Nebraska had been the overwhelming leader for quite some time. When he initially announced his commitment to UK, it felt more like retribution toward the Cornhuskers for breaking a promise, rather than an eagerness to become a home state hero. Kentucky clawed back into the picture and was at the right place at the right time…until Nebraska coaches sent an olive branch and mended the relationship.
In Weaver’s case, many believed he would pick Kentucky as early as September. Up until this week, his recruitment was quiet because it’s been an assumption that he was a UK lock. Vince Marrow played a big role in creating a solid foundation in UK’s relationship with Weaver.
“He’s the realest person I’ve ever met,” Weaver said after his announcement. “He kept it real, he kept 100 with me and told me everything I needed to know.” All the while, Weaver has known Satterfield and his defensive coordinator for only a handful of days.
In spite of the 500 previous words that lay out the logical case for Weaver to remain with Kentucky, if we’ve learned anything about Kentucky football recruiting is that it is illogical. Keeping up with the constant changes can be exhausting.
Weaver could change his mind and remain in his hometown. Until he does that, I’ve given you at least three reasons why you should not waste your time worrying.