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Football Recruiting News


Today on KSR: 24 Hours till Signing Day

Nik Ognenovic’s family is ready for the tight end to become a Wildcat (@N11KOLAS).

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.

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.

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

Santa Bob

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.

Previewing Kentucky’s 2019 Football Recruiting Season Finale

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.

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.

Coach calls out Louisville’s Scott Satterfield for pulling scholarship offer

Coach calls out Louisville’s Scott Satterfield for pulling scholarship offer

Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

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.

Preston didn’t stop there, calling Satterfield out for making recruiting staffer Pete Nochta deliver the news instead of doing it himself.

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.

Former Kentucky Commit is on the Transfer Market

Former Kentucky Commit is on the Transfer Market

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.

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.