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Jarren Williams’ father to KSR: Son is committed, will enroll in January

Last night, there was a bit of a drama surrounding UK quarterback commit Jarren Williams after SEC Country published an interview with his father, Anthony, that suggested his son was still listening to programs like Alabama and Ohio State because he wants to go to a school where he can win right away. This morning, Anthony Williams called into KSR to clear up the confusion.

“I understand there was an article that came that came out that had been misconstrued. I just want to clear things up,” Williams said. “Jarren is committed and he’s looking to enroll at Kentucky in January.”

Williams Sr. wanted to make it clear that his statements about Jarren wanting to win were simply a reflection of his son’s current feelings towards his high school team, NOT Kentucky.

“Just his current frustration with his current high school team right now. They’re 5-4 and he had some players on his team that weren’t being accountable and they’re supposed to be part of the leadership team and they’re not coming in, they’re not practicing. It’s just a lot of frustration on his part and he feels the team has an ability to be better but they’re not committed the way he is and he’s just frustrated about that and he wants to win. It’s his senior year and he wants to go out with a bang.”

So those comments had zero to do with Kentucky?

“Absolutely not,” Williams said. “Absolutely not. He is committed to Kentucky. We’ll be up there this weekend for the Tennessee game. He’s excited about it. They have a fantastic coaching staff and those guys have been nothing but supportive. I’m not sure how that got misconstrued.”

Glad we cleared that up.

There’s a New Twist in the Jarren Williams Saga

There’s a New Twist in the Jarren Williams Saga


A four-star quarterback who has committed to Kentucky twice, All-American quarterback Jarren Williams will be in Lexington for Saturday’s game against Tennessee as an unofficial visitor.

Ahead of the visit, SEC Country’s Joe Mussato caught up with Williams’ father to see how things are going.  He had this to say:

“I think it’s to the point right now where he wants to win, and he wants to win bad,” Anthony Williams said. “He wants to win now. I think he’s just kind of tired of being on those subpar teams that the athletes are really not committed.”

Is that a shot at 5-2 Kentucky?  Not exactly.  “He thinks that Kentucky is going in the right direction,” his father said, but Williams is learning now that he can’t win by himself.  His high school team, Central Gwinnett, dropped to 5-4 last week, even though they’re scoring more than 35 points a game.

In the interview Anthony Williams also revealed that Jarren is listening to Alabama, Ohio State and others.  It’s not a shocking new development, but the statements are striking ahead of his first trip to Lexington during the 2017 regular season.

Shortly after Jarren’s Dad spoke to SEC Country, he Tweeted this.

Read his father’s entire interview with SEC Country.

Jarren Williams will Attend the Kentucky-Tennessee Game

Kentucky’s most important recruit in the 2018 class is coming back to Lexington.  Quarterback Jarren Williams announced on Twitter he will take an unofficial visit to Kentucky this weekend to watch the Cats take on Tennessee.

For recruiting worriers, this is GREAT news.

Williams visited Alabama on September 30 to watch the Crimson Tide throttle Ole Miss.  That visit, and increased interest from Ohio State caused concern among some die-hard recruitnicks.  Saturday’s visit, his first of UK’s 2017 regular season, should put those concerns to bed for now.

It will surely be another huge football recruiting weekend.  We’ll share an extensive list later in the week; until then enjoy some of Williams’ latest highlights.

UK Tight End Commit Keaton Upshaw Killed a Guy with a Stiffarm

Keaton Upshaw is a big dude.

Last night the Kentucky tight end commit used his size (6’7″ 230) to create one spectacular highlight for Lima (Oh.) Senior High School.  Trailing by a score, he dropped the hammer on an opponent and rushed down the sideline for a 71-yard touchdown.

At the end of the night Upshaw had 107 yards on five catches.

Upshaw’s future quarterback, Jarren Williams, threw for 314 yards and 3 touchdowns in a losing effort on Friday the 13th.  Future Wildcat running back Chris Rodriguez also scored three touchdowns last night.  Edge rusher Davoan Hawkins had to say this after Eddie Gran watched his Friday night game.

YAHTZEE!! Three-star WR Meechi Harris commits to KENTUCKY

We interrupt Big Blue Madness to inform you three-star wide receiver Meechi Harris has committed to KENTUCKY!

The talented Ohio native has long been rumored to favor Kentucky, but decided he couldn’t wait any longer to pull the trigger.

Here is a video of the pledge:

With the commitment, UK’s recruiting class will move to No. 18 in the nation (Rivals), ahead of schools like LSU and Louisville. Rivals lists Harris as the No. 22 prospect in the state of Ohio.

Harris held offers from 16 different schools, notably Michigan State, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Purdue before ultimately choosing the Wildcats.

Vince Marrow gave us a Yahtzee warning last night, telling the BBN to “get them dice ready.”

Welcome to the BBN, Meechi!

What Alex Reigelsperger’s Decommitment Means for UK

If you are worried that Mark Stoops has lost his recruiting ways after Alex Reigelsperger’s decommitment, don’t.  If you are worried about Kentucky’s class after losing a four-star “class leader,” don’t.

The Cats will be just fine.

First, from a talent and depth perspective the Cats are LOADED on the edge.  Even if Josh Allen and Denzil Ware enter the NFL Draft, Josh Paschal is one of just three elite edge talents from the ’17 class.  Jordan Bonner, Boogie Watson and Jaylin Bannerman can also factor into the equation, but there’s so much talent at Jack and Sam the latter two players changed positions.

It also should be noted that the class of 2018 has another edge rusher committed, Davoan Hawkins.  From Chaminade-Madonna Prep in Hollywood, Florida, a school that will send four players to UK next year, Hawkins was one of the first to commit in the 2018 class.

When Reigelsperger initially committed to Kentucky, many said the defensive end would be a “leader” in the 2018 class.  That term gets easily confused for “recruiter.”  In Reigelsperger’s case, being teammates with Blue Smith only accentuated that misconception.  When a recruit makes a lot of chatter on social media, fans take that for more than what it is.  Reigelsperger had a presence in “UK Recruiting Twitter,” but that doesn’t necessarily translate to “on the field leader.”

As the dust settles, fans should be reminded that the Kentucky football team lost a four-star recruit and it’s not a big deal.  The Cats still have a Top 25 class that features two All-Americans, a stud inside linebacker, the highest-ranked recruit in the state of Michigan (an O-lineman at that) and Kentucky’s quarterback of the future.

The Cats will be just fine.

Alex Reigelsperger decommits from Kentucky

Alex Reigelsperger decommits from Kentucky

Once thought to be one of the stars of the 2018 class, four-star defensive end Alex Reigelsperger just announced he has decommitted from Kentucky. The news, which we’re hearing was expected, was made public via this tweet from Reigelsperger this afternoon:

The 6’3″ 247 lbs. Ohio native committed to Kentucky back in February, but insisted on going through the recruiting process and taking his official visits. Sources tell KSR that when Reigelsperger informed the UK staff that he was planning to take an official visit to Minnesota on November 25, the two sides agreed to part ways. Minnesota accounts for several picks on his 247 Sports Crystal Ball this afternoon.

Best of luck to him.

Jarren Williams has Another Five Touchdown Night

Another Friday night, another five touchdown game for Kentucky quarterback commit Jarren Williams.

Jarren did everything for Central Gwinnett.  He rushed for two touchdowns, threw for three and was named Homecoming King at halftime.  Pulled in the fourth quarter of the 38-0 win, he still had a pretty impressive stat line.

  • 13-17 completions, 213 passing yards and 3 touchdowns
  • 121 rushing yards, 2 touchdowns

Williams’ highlights are always entertaining, but there’s one play he made last night that perfectly captures the essence of his playmaking ability.  Sitting in the pocket, his grip slipped and he fumbled the ball.  Instead of diving on it and losing yards, he casually picked the ball up and ran for 15 yards (1:00 mark).

“Casual awesomeness” is not something you see on a scouting report or in recruiting rankings.  It’s a trait that can’t be taught and few have.

There’s one more awesome highlight you need to see from last night.  Kentucky tight end commit Keaton Upshaw walked off the field with a one-point win, thanks to Lima Senior High kicker Cole Mericle.

Kentucky Commit Receives Army All-American Invitation


Mark Stoops now has two offensive players in the 2018 football recruiting class with invitations to the U.S. Army All-American Bowl.

Offensive tackle Darian Kinnard announced on Twitter that he has been invited to play in the prestigious postseason bowl game.  Kinnard’s future quarterback, Jarren Williams, is also an Army All-American.

Kinnard is a 6’7″ 340-pound left tackle from Cleveland powerhouse program St. Ignatius.  Unheralded when he committed to Kentucky in April, Kinnard is now considered a four-star prospect and is ranked as high as the No. 103 overall player in the 2018 class.  His soaring stock has led many local “experts” to predict a flip to Ohio State, but Kinnard said two weeks ago he’s not looking around.

If you needed another example to validate the UK coaching staff’s ability to recognize elite talent early, here ya go.

Kentucky’s Recruiting Guest List for Matchup with Florida

With the bright lights shining on Kroger Field for the Saturday night showdown against Florida, Kentucky is rolling out the blue carpet for top talent to see Kentucky potentially make history.  Most of UK’s 2018 recruiting class will be there, along with elite instate recruits, but first, the cream of the crop.

Zeke Correll — The Cincinnati native is the No. 10 offensive guard in the 2019 class and is a legacy recruit.  His grandfather Ray was an All-American for Bear Bryant, his Dad played defensive end at UK, his mother played softball and soccer at UK and his two sisters went to UK.

Chris Oats — Oats is a four-star linebacker who attends Mike Edwards’ high school, Cincinnati’s Winton Woods.  The No. 19 outside linebacker in the 2018 class has five leaders: Kentucky, Cincinnati, Ole Miss, Michigan State and Ohio State.

Meechi Harris — A 6’2″ three-star wide receiver from Xenia, Ohio, just 15 miles east of Dayton, Kentucky has a 91-9 advantage over Michigan State in the 247 Crystal Ball.

Damien Lewis — The No. 2 JUCO offensive guard from Mississippi is taking his official visit to UK this weekend.  Kentucky’s toughest competition for Lewis is from South Carolina.

Ahdarrious Gee — The three-star junior inside linebacker from Crisp County, Georgia committed to South Carolina in July, but he might be reconsidering that pledge after last Saturday.

Moses Douglass — A four-star cornerback from Springfield, Ohio, Douglass is a top 250 player in the 2019 class.  He has more than 20 offers, but the 247 Crystal Ball currently predicts a two-horse race between Kentucky and Ohio State.

Paul Tyson — The great grandson of coaching legend Bear Bryant will be in the stands on Saturday.  Tyson is a top 15 pocket passer in the 2019 class from Trussville, Alabama.  Kentucky was one of the first schools to offer Tyson, extended a scholarship offer prior to his first high school start.

Hayden Wolff —  Kentucky is the only school who has offered the 6’5″ 2019 pocket passer from South Florida.

Justin Rogers — One of the youngest recruits that will be on campus, the 2020 offensive guard is Marquan McCall’s Oak Park (Mi.) teammate.  The 6’4″ 270 pound offensive guard is one of the most talented sophomores in the nation.

UK 2018 Commits

  • Jarren Williams, Four-Star Quarterback, Central Gwinnett (Ga.)
  • Brenden Bates, Four-Star Tight End, Cincinnati Moeller
  • Keaton Upshaw, Three-Star Tight End, Lima (Oh.) Senior
  • Tyler Bentley, Three-Star Defensive Tackle, Lakota West (Oh.)
  • Alex Reigelsperger, Four-Star Defensive End, Dayton Wayne (Oh.)
  • Xavier Peters, Four-Star Linebacker, Lakota West (Oh.)
  • DeAndre Square, Three-Star Outside Linebacker, Cass Technical (Mi.)
  • Marquan McCall, Four-Star Offensive Guard, Oak Park (Mi.)
  • Chance Poore, Three-Star Kicker, Westside (SC)
  • Manny Harper, Unranked Wide Receiver, Louisville Waggener

Instate Recruits

Wandale Robinson — What he lacks in size, the Western Hills all-purpose back makes up for in explosiveness.  The 5’8″ three-star 2019 prospect posts stupid stats on a regular basis, drawing comparisons to one of Frankfort’s finest, Ryan Timmons.

Bryan Hudson — The four-star offensive tackle from Scott County is one of the best at his position in the 2019 class.  Kentucky was the first to offer the multi-sport athlete who draws comparisons to Landon Young.

Tanner Bowles — The 6’5″ 280 pound offensive tackle from Glasgow is a four-star prospect in the 2019 class. LSU, Ole Miss and Louisville have shown a ton of interest, but John Schlarman is in the driver’s seat in Bowles’ recruitment.

JJ Weaver — A four-star edge rusher from Louisville Moore, UofL was one of the first to show interest in the 2019 prospect.

Beau Allen —  A member of the 2020 class, the Kentucky legacy recruit is in his first year as Lexington Catholic’s starting quarterback.

Jarren Williams schedules official visit to UK

The handsome and talented Joe Mussatto over at SEC Country’s Kentucky site reported on Thursday that UK quarterback commit Jarren Williams has a date set for his official visit to UK.

According to Mussatto, Williams will take his official visit on Saturday, October 7 for the Cats’ home game against Missouri.

Williams’ father, Anthony Williams, said the family has not yet made plans to visit any other schools, but they haven’t ruled out other stops. LSU and South Carolina have maintained contact since Williams’ re-commitment to UK, so those are two programs he is likely keeping in consideration for other visits.


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John Calipari visits Zion Williamson

After Williamson canceled Monday’s visit with Calipari and raved about Duke in his USA Today HSS blog, we were all a teeny bit concerned, so it was reassuring to see Ben Roberts’ report that Calipari will see the five-star forward tonight in Spartanburg. If all goes well, I expect Zion will schedule his official visit to Lexington, likely for the weekend of Big Blue Madness, October 13.

Recruiting timeline for the rest of the week

I went over this last night in detail, but here’s who Calipari has seen and will see the rest of the week:

  • Sunday: Quentin Grimes, PG
  • Monday: Keldon Johnson, SF/SG
  • Tuesday: Simi Shittu, PF
  • Wednesday: Zion Williamson, SF
  • Friday – Saturday: Immanuel Quickley, PG & Keldon Johnson, SF/SG (OFFICIAL VISITS)
  • Sunday: Bol Bol, C

Mark Stoops will be on the SEC Coaches Teleconference

Stoops will take questions from the league’s reporters around lunch on the SEC Teleconference. ICYMI yesterday, freshman Lynn Bowden addressed reporters for the first time and said he’s ready to move past the distractions of the first few weeks and just play ball.

“It was hard, but I’m fine,” Bowden said of being ejected for targeting vs. EKU. “I’m an athlete.  I got to adjust.”

More maturity where that came from in last night’s feature from Nick:

Tired of Talking, Lynn Bowden is Ready to Show Fans What He Can Do

Last night, UK got a new preferred walk-on

Waggener High School two-way star Manny Harper committed to Kentucky last night as a preferred walk-on. With a 4.2 GPA, the Governor’s Scholar will get a full academic scholarship and also be able to play football for the Cats, a dream realized for the wide receiver/defensive back from Louisville.

“It felt great to hear coach say that I had a spot on the roster after touring the campus and facilities,” Harper told KSR after receiving his offer a few weeks ago. “UK has a lot to offer to me academically, socially and athletically. I can see myself fitting in well in all those areas at UK, it was just a really good vibe. I thank God for blessing me with opportunities and options.”

Already impressed by this kid.

I get to tour the new TopGolf in Nashville

If you’ve driven through Nashville in the past few months, you’ve seen the massive nets near downtown marking the spot of the new TopGolf, a golf entertainment mega-complex that’s popping up in cities across the nation. Nashville’s is set to open later this month and I’ve been invited to tour it with other sports media folk this evening. Between basketball, football, and everything in between, Kentucky fans love to come to Nashville to party, so I’ll share some pictures and thoughts on the facility tomorrow.

Speaking of the BBN in Nashville, the alumni group has moved its game watch location to the new Double Dogs at 4017 Charlotte Avenue, presumably because the Hillsboro Village location is absolutely insane on Saturdays.

Adorable animal video of the day

Ava the cat was abandoned in a garage in London, England and brought into an animal shelter, where she met her new best friend Barney the dog. The video of the two cuddling is the cutest thing you’ll see today:

I needed that after seeing the price tag on the new iPhone X.

Waggener HS standout joins UK’s 2018 class as preferred walk-on

Waggener HS standout joins UK’s 2018 class as preferred walk-on

One of the top seniors in Kentucky high school football has joined UK’s class as a preferred walk-on.

Manny Harper, a two-way standout at receiver and defensive back for Waggener High School in Louisville, announced on Twitter that he is committed to the University of Kentucky and accepted a preferred walk-on spot with the Wildcats for next fall.

In an interview following his offer, Harper told KSR, “It felt great to hear coach say that I had a spot on the roster after touring the campus and facilities. UK has a lot to offer to me academically, socially and athletically. I can see myself fitting in well in all those areas at UK, it was just a really good vibe. I thank God for blessing me with opportunities and options.”

Harper will be provided with a full academic scholarship, which he more than deserves as a Governor’s Scholar with a 4.2 GPA and a 25 on the ACT.

Catch Jarren Williams on the NFL Network tonight

The first episode of the Elite 11 documentary is set to air tonight at 10:30 p.m. on the NFL Network and Kentucky’s next great quarterback, Jarren Williams, is expected to be a part of the show.

The Elite 11 event was held earlier in the summer, but the documentary is just now coming out for your viewing pleasure. Williams was among the participants at the Elite 11 Finals and he played well according to reports, if my memory serves me correctly.

It’ll be fun for Kentucky fans to get a closer look their next quarterback via this show.

So tune in.

Watch Jarren Williams Score a Game-Winning Touchdown

Photo by Karl L. Moore

Every week Kentucky dual-threat quarterback commit Jarren Williams does something spectacular and this week is no exception.

After Central Gwinnett let a 17-point lead slip away, the Army All-American took control in overtime.  On third-and-goal, Williams found a way to get the ball into the end zone.

The rushing touchdown was his third score in the 23-20 victory.  Williams completed 23-of-38 passes for 263 yards and two touchdowns.

High School Scores from around the State of Kentucky

  • Trinity 22, Male 0
  • Frederick Douglass 29, Lafayette 14
  • Beechwood 36, Corbin 29
  • Ballard 30, Central 7
  • Lexington Christian 56, Lexington Catholic 36
  • Belfry 54, Newport Central Catholic 29
  • Manual 7, Western 6
  • Henry County 34, Spencer County 33 OT
  • Middlesboro 14, Harlan 12
  • Somerset 20, Hazard 9
  • South Warren 27, Central Hardin 17
  • Metcalfe County 18, Adair County 12
  • Magoffin County 18, Betsy Layne 16
  • Butler 28, Fern Creek 20