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Kentucky to host Chattanooga in Kroger Field 2021

The Kentucky football program has added the Chattanooga Mocs to its 2021 football schedule, according to Chattanooga’s 2017 football media guide and discovered by FBSchedules.com.

The Cats will host the Mocs on Saturday, November 20 during that 2021 season. It is the first non-conference game on UK’s schedule, as far as we know, and will be the first ever meeting between the two schools.

Chattanooga went 9-4 last season with a 6-2 record in the Southern Conference. It will play at LSU this season, plus trips to South Carolina and Tennessee over the next two years.


Kentucky commit teases two more commitments this week

Kentucky commit teases two more commitments this week

Will Mark Stoops add two more commitments to his Class of 2018 this week? According to a wide receiver in that class, he will.

Akeem Hayes, the Florida product who decommitted from Louisville to join the Cats back in June, teased a couple of upcoming potential Yahtzees for the program.

Lot of committing going on this week we looking forward to two new BBN members,” Hayes tweeted late Monday night.

One of those commitments may be Jamari Brown, a cornerback only 20 minutes away from Hayes in South Florida. Brown is set to announce his decision on Thursday, and Kentucky is one of his three finalists, along with Auburn and Temple.

“Kentucky is a great school and it’s in the SEC,” Brown recently told AuburnSports.com. “My mom likes Kentucky, too. When I went up there, I knew it’s a place I could see myself playing at.”

Another potential addition to Kentucky’s class is Stanley Garner, who will announce his decision tomorrow. A cornerback from the same area as Hayes and Brown, Garner will pick between Kentucky, Alabama, Clemson, Louisville, Michigan and Tennessee.

Does Hayes know something or is it wishful thinking?


CONTEST: Name the KSR Football Podcast

The KSR Football Podcast — starring former UK quarterbacks Freddie Maggard and Jared Lorenzen; KSR football writer Nick Roush; and me, a former tight end/defensive end at West Broadway Elementary School — has been going strong for a couple of years now with the best Kentucky football coverage around.

We’re already off to a good start this fall, but we still have one big problem: We don’t have a name.

I put a call out earlier in the summer for suggestions, and though we got lots of good ones, we still haven’t decided on one. Well, now our backs are against the wall and a decision MUST be made as the season is right around the corner.

So, here’s one last call for help before we tape this week’s episode later this afternoon. I will read some of my favorites during today’s taping and we’ll have a name in place soon after that.

You can click on this tweet to read the many suggestions we’ve already received:

Submit your own on Twitter or in the comments section below.

You can throw us some football questions for today’s episode, too.

HELP!


BTI’s Rants and Ramblings: Is Garrett Johnson A UK Great?

BTI’s Rants and Ramblings: Is Garrett Johnson A UK Great?

When I say the name Garrett Johnson to you, what do you think?  I’m willing to bet most of you will say things like “quality receiver”, “steady player”, “dependable”, etc.  And all of those things would be accurate.  But I seriously doubt that any UK fan would say that Juice Johnson is an all-time great receiver at the University of Kentucky.  Is he in the mold of Craig Yeast, Randall Cobb, Keenan Burton, Dicky Lyons, etc?  Would anybody really say that at this point?

Because if you don’t you are going to be faced with the almost certainty that Johnson will finish his career, statistically, with similar and/or better numbers than some of those all-time greats.

Consider that if Johnson simply matches his stats from last year (39 catches, 585 yards), he will finish the following in the all-time UK record books:

RECEPTIONS: 147 (5th all-time)
RECEIVING YARDS: 2,141 (4th all-time)

It’s going to take a serious improvement to get above 5th in receptions all-time at Kentucky but if Johnson simply matches his sophomore year production in yardage (700 yards) that would put him at 2,257 yards for his career.  That is just 119 yards shy of 2nd all-time at Kentucky.  More than every player who has played at Kentucky except for Craig Yeast.  What if Johnson has that 819 yard season in 2017?  That’s just 68 yards per game.  That is more than attainable. 

Also consider the fact that in his 3 years at Kentucky, Johnson has had Patrick Towles, Drew Barker, and Stephen Johnson throwing to him.  Hopefully Johnson has improved his throwing this year but Juice has never had a consistent quarterback throwing him the ball and yet, he has still produced these numbers.

Let’s say Garrett Johnson reaches that 819 yard plateau this year.  What will this fanbase think of his legacy at Kentucky?  Is he an all-time great player?  Would his name go next to Yeast, Cobb, and Burton?


Bagley to Duke: What It Means

Bagley to Duke: What It Means

Superstar-in-waiting Marvin Bagley shook up college basketball late Monday night when he announced his commitment to Duke during the 11 pm edition of SportsCenter out on the west coast. Bagley’s commitment to the Blue Devils also came with the news that he plans to forego his senior season of high school and enroll in college this fall.

What the blockbuster announcement means:

 

Duke is the No. 1 team entering the season, favorite to win the NCAA title.

I wrote about this at lunch yesterday: the addition of Bagley gives Duke the best starting five (on paper) this upcoming season. Coach K adds the best player in the country to a lineup that already had three five-star, top-10 signees from the ESPN100, plus a fourth-year Grayson Allen.

Bagley will make Duke the No. 1 team, favorite to win title — and that sucks

Bagley would make any team a Final Four contender, so adding him to the team that was already 7-to-1 to win it all, is dangerous for everyone else.

Coach K canceled Duke’s international trip for this.

The Blue Devils are supposed to be leaving for the Dominican Republic this week for two exhibition games against the Dominican national team, but the trip was canceled so Coach K could recover from knee surgery. If you think that’s the real reason Duke canceled the trip, you’re not staying woke.

The Bagley situation had everything to do with Duke pulling out of the DR at the last minute, not Coach K’s surgery, which he could’ve gotten anytime. That trip had been planned for months and it would be extremely beneficial for a team that lost all five starters from the end of the year, and you’re telling me Coach K just decided to have surgery on the Sunday before the team left?

Stay woke, people.

The days of criticizing the one-and-done system are officially over.

Most one-and-done critics went ghost when Duke won the title in 2014, but this move officially silenced what was left of them. We have an elite university working diligently behind the scenes to bend the rules so its basketball team can benefit by signing a star, and nobody will say a word about it because it’s Duke.

Do I have a problem with that? No, of course not. Do you, Duke. But save the “right way” talk when talking about the Duke basketball program in the future. I’m just noting that Coach K stooping to this level marks the end of any criticism of the system because nobody will talk negatively about Coach K.

Poor Marques Bolden.

Bagley still has to gain eligibility. 

Bagley announced his intentions to reclassify to the Class of 2017, but he still needs his eligibility granted by the NCAA. That can be a seamless transition when a prospect plans ahead and takes the necessary coursework along the way; in Bagley’s case, however, his three years of high school are a complete mess.

Bagley attended three different high schools across two states in his freshman, sophomore and junior years. He began at Corona Del Sol High in Tempe his freshman year; then transferred to Hillcrest Hoops, a prep school in Phoenix; and spent the last year and a half at Sierra Canyon in California, where he was ruled ineligible his sophomore season due to transfer rules.

So, you’re telling me a kid that went to three different schools, was ineligible for competition at one of those schools, and spent the whole summer traveling for basketball, is going to skip his senior year and enroll in college (and not just any college) in mid-August?

I gotta see this!


Marvin Bagley III reclassifies to 2017, commits to Duke

The No. 1 player in the class of 2018 has reclassified to 2017 and will play for Duke.

Marvin Bagley III chose Duke over UCLA, USC, and Kentucky, among other schools.

The Wildcats always seemed to be on the outside looking in with Bagley, and all confidence in reeling in the star forward faded when rumors spread of his reclassification. Calipari would have loved to have him, but with so many forwards on the 2017 roster, it just wasn’t realistic to think he would end up in Lexington.

Duke now takes the No. 1 spot in the 2017 recruiting rankings over the Wildcats, making it even funnier when the Blue Devils lose in the opening weekend next March.

Carry on with your night.

Go Cats.


ColeMosier71 | IG

What Cole Mosier’s Loss Means to Kentucky

ColeMosier71 | IG

The first preseason football scrimmage has not been kind to Mark Stoops’ Cats the previous two years.

Last year they lost starting safety Darius West.  This year they lost starting left tackle Cole Mosier.  Without West, the UK secondary still posted the fifth-best pass defense in the SEC and ranked No. 35 nationally.  He was missed, but they were able to move on and have success.  The same can happen for the 2017 Kentucky offensive line.

Here’s what they’re missing and how they will respond to Mosier’s absence.

A Consistent Mauler

The former walk-on grew into the offensive line’s most powerful weapon.  The second-largest player on the team at 6’6″ 335-pounds, Mosier was an above-average pass blocker and an excellent run blocker at left tackle.  A former walk-on, he fought to earn a scholarship, a prized intangible for an offensive lineman.

We can toot his horn all day.  It isn’t a perspective only seen through blue-tinted shades.  The SEC Network’s Cole Cubelic, arguably the nation’s top offensive line analyst, ranked Mosier as one of the best overall linemen in the SEC in 2016.  It’s difficult to mitigate Mosier’s loss, but there’s one person who can.

Landon Young

Anytime there’s an injury, the motto “next man up” must be invoked.  In Kentucky’s case, the next man up is rarely a five-star All-American, but that’s what John Schlarman is working with now that Mosier is unavailable.

Uncertain if Young would play the difficult left tackle position as a true freshman, his services were needed in the second game of the season against Florida.  He initially struggled in Gainesville and even caused his quarterback to fumble, but once comfortable, Young fit in just fine.  From that point on, he was a part of the regular offensive line rotation at left tackle.

In Young’s true freshman season he recorded 27 knock-down blocks for an offensive line that led the way for two 1,000-yard rushers.  That’s great at every level of football.

The experience he received as a true freshman is unquantifiable.  Even if he only played a little, there would be reason to worry about the person charged with protecting the quarterback’s blind side.  There’s no reason to worry about Young’s ability to step in and play right away.  Young was able to get comfortable and find a rhythm against the speed of the SEC as a true freshman. He doesn’t need reps to know what to expect this fall.  He’ll be prepared to step in and take on full-time duties as UK’s starting left tackle.

The Next, Next Man Up

Before the injury, Schlarman had a solid two-deep at every position, with some spots good three, even four spots deep.  At left tackle there are fewer options.  Unlike interior linemen, tackles are not so easily moved around.  Tasked with stopping SEC edge rushers, playing left tackle is arguably the toughest challenge on the offensive line.

Young was poised to see significant snaps in a rotating role with Mosier.  As Young fills Mosier’s role as the primary option at left tackle, is there another player who can step into Young’s role?

The most likely candidate is Mason Wolfe, but the Henderson native was just moved down to guard and is even seeing reps at center.  Stout in the interior, don’t be surprised to see Wolfe move back outside, unless Schlarman likes what he sees from redshirt freshman Luke Fortner.

Injuries Suck

As much as we love the game of football, it’s a game of give and take.  It gave Mosier a scholarship to attend college.  Now it’s temporarily taking away the use of his right knee, an injury that will provide painful reminders for the rest of his life.  His football career may not be over, but his time playing for Kentucky is.  That’s gut-wrenching.

A message Mosier shared on Instagram alongside the picture at the top of the page:

“It was extremely hard for me to hear I tore my ACL in the scrimmage this past Saturday. I think it is even harder to write this… I want to thank all the coaches and staff members especially Coach Schlarman for everything y’all have done for me these past 5 years. I also want to thank all of the BBN for the endless support throughout the years. Lastly want to thank all my brothers on the field for all the memories these years especially us Redshirt Seniors. Y’all are my family and always will be. I will still be with the team this following season as much as I can with rehab as I prepare to train for the NFL pro day in March. This team is going to be special this year and will do big things! I’m excited to see us have one of the best seasons in school history this year! Thank you all for your time. #BBN “

This one hits home even more for me.  My younger brother Nathan, another walk-on who fought to earn a scholarship, did not make it through two weeks of WKU preseason camp before tearing his ACL.

Injuries suck.  There’s a sense of helplessness that sweeps over the player and their loved ones.  Even though you may not think it’s much, any kind words can go a long way.  You can reach out to Cole and thank him for his time in Kentucky blue on Twitter at @ColeMosier71 or on Instagram.


KSR Top 10 Tweets of the Day

The one and only Big Mick is a meaty masterpiece in its own right. Composed of two quarter-pound patties* of never-fresh, frozen, mostly beef raised close to the processing plant. Only McDowell’s has the frosted beef and processed cheese to give you a major reason for the afternoon trip to the secret bathroom only you and Debra know about on the 9th floor that is under construction.


You can be a part of McDowell’s KSR Top 10 Tweets by using hashtags like #KSR #BBN or #KSRtop10. You can also nominate tweets by mentioning them with the hashtag. If we like what we see, it could be posted the next day.

If you are interested in sponsoring KSR’s Top 10 Tweets, please contact us at Via Email.

#10 Nick Beasmore

Yeah, it’s been a rough day.

#9 Ghova13

Preseason smmeseason.

#8 Wes Ledford

I think most people would prefer the trumpet.

#7 Ray Bratcher

It’s the fight of the season.

#6 Anita Biles

Uncle Matt’s advice is gold.

#5 Jared

Time to redecorate!

#4 Chris Adams

#KSRgoestoJosephines

#3 Philip Grigson

A little R&R and Matt’s better than ever.

#2 Braden Nevius

BBN is behind you and sending you well wishes!

#1 SJ23

Most of BBN today.


Grammy award-winning artist Chris Stapleton covers “Rhinestone Cowboy” in tribute to Glen Campbell

Last week, country music legend and Glen Campbell passed away after a hard-fought battle with Alzheimer’s disease at the age of 81.

Campbell, a Kentucky athletics fan and friend of former football coach Fran Curci, was famous for songs such as Galveston, Rhinestone Cowboy, Gentle on My Mind, and Southern Nights, among countless others.

In a concert last Thursday, Grammy award-winning artist and Kentuckian Chris Stapleton covered the famous Campbell song “Rhinestone Cowboy” in tribute to the late music star.

Watch the outstanding performance below:

In case you missed it, read Mrs. Tyler Thompson’s feature on Campbell’s unique connection to UK athletics and his passion for the state of Kentucky here:

http://kentuckysportsradio.com/football-2/glen-campbells-connection-to-kentucky-football-and-basketball/


WATCH: Take an inside look at John Wall’s ridiculous offseason training regimen

BallIsLife.com has been rooming with John Wall this summer, filming a documentary on the former Kentucky star’s ridiculous offseason training regimen.

(The term “offseason” is certainly used loosely here.)

BallIsLife caught up with some of the trainers, Washington team personnel, and Wall himself on how he prepares for the NBA season.

See what it’s like to be John Wall for a summer in part one of the documentary:

Basketball, cardio, boxing, repeat.

Could you keep up with Wall’s schedule?


Joker Phillips says he “didn’t have time” to implement program at Kentucky

It’s been five years since he’s been at Kentucky, but after four different coaching stops, Joker Phillips has finally found a home in Cincinnati.

In an interview with Cincinnati.com, Phillips discussed his time in Lexington, recent coaching moves, and the development he’s seeing as the wide receivers coach for the Bearcats.

Phillips said he has no regrets and appreciates the opportunity he had with the program, but mentioned he didn’t have enough time to implement the program in Kentucky.

“It was a great opportunity,” Phillips said. “A lot of things have to be lined up at a place like that, similar to this. You’ve got to have time to implement your program. We just didn’t have that, and I get that. The opportunity was a great opportunity for me, my family and the staff I put together. We’ve moved on from that and tried to help other places out.”

Phillips became the Bearcats’ WR coach back in January, and he believes it’s been nothing but positive in his first seven months on the job.

“It’s been a great experience,” Phillips said. “Coming back and seeing all the improvements that the program has made facility-wise and that the city has made, and also the university.”

Phillips was on the Cincinnati staff back in 1997 and 1998, but the former Kentucky coach says it’s a whole new ball game being there now.

“It’s a different job than it was 20 years ago,” Phillips said. “Being with coach Fickell, I’m not chasing any goals and I’m not chasing bigger money. I’m chasing good people, and I’m with a good person. I’m happy to be here with him.”

For Cincinnati coach Luke Fickell, Phillips brings the experience necessary to take the next big steps to building a program.

“You need those guys on your staff that have obviously been in this situation, been in this position, been a head coach,” Fickell said.

You can hear everything Fickell had to say about Phillips being on the Bearcat staff here:

Above all else, it’s great to see Phillips taking a break from the creepy recruiting tactics he created at Florida:


Immanuel Quickley’s AAU director: “I do believe Kentucky is the leader,” decision expected in September

adidas

It’s not a secret five-star point guard Immanuel Quickley is a big fan of the Kentucky Wildcats, and most experts believe it’d be a massive upset for him to end up anywhere other than UK.

Quickley has cut his list to Kansas, Miami (FL), Maryland, and Kentucky, and he told KSR in June a final decision is expected before his senior year begins.

SEC Country caught up with Jide Sodipo, executive director of Team BBC and advisor for Quickley, on the star point guard’s recruitment, play style, potential future teammates, and what he knows about the decision date.

When asked about Quickley’s experience playing for Coach Calipari in Egypt, Sodipo said it was Cal’s coaching intensity that intrigued his star guard the most.

“I think he enjoyed it, because he’s the kind of kid who loves to be pushed,” Sodipo said. “That’s one thing he took away from it: Cal coaches tough and likes to push you. He’s going to push you to the limit and sometimes you’re going to love him and sometimes you’re not going to like him, but at the end of the day, you’re getting better.

“He really liked that experience, because he’s a kid that likes to learn. He’s like a sponge; he soaks in everything.”

Most people know about Quickley’s desire to play with high school phenom Zion Williamson, but Sodipo mentioned another name that may be of interest to Kentucky fans.

“I know him and Zion have been roommates [on AAU trips] and that’s something they talk about, and I know he’s played with some other guys like (Cam) Reddish with USA Basketball, and those guys like to play with him,” said Sodipo.

Williamson, Reddish, and several other top prospects in the nation have raved about Quickley in the past and have expressed their desire to play with the Maryland native. But why?

“The kind of young man he is, it’s very easy for a lot of people to want to play with him. He’s so unselfish,” Sodipo said. “He doesn’t mind sacrificing all the points if someone else is doing well. He’s going to make the right basketball play every time, so that attracts a lot of people.”

So when does he plan on making a decision? According to Sodipo, we’re just a month away.

“(After taking his official visits, Quickley will) sit down with me and his family and make a decision,” said Sodipo. “I expect him to make a decision in September.

As far as favorite schools go, Sodipo says the Wildcats are the team to beat for the 6’3 guard.

“In recruiting, anything can happen, but I do believe Kentucky is the leader,” Sodipo said.

Similar to Quade Green last year, Quickley could start quite the domino effect of five-star recruits wanting to join in on the fun at Kentucky.

Read the rest of Sodipo’s interview with SEC Country here.


Mayor Jim Gray discusses Confederate Statue removal in Lexington on Hey Kentucky!

Mayor Jim Gray discusses Confederate Statue removal in Lexington on Hey Kentucky!

Lexington Mayor Jim Gray joined Matt Jones on Hey Kentucky! following the recent events in Charlottesville, Virginia to discuss a big change coming to Lexington.

Gray expressed his desire to remove the Confederate statues of John Breckinridge and John Hunt Morgan in Lexington.

Watch the conversation below:

You can watch the rest of the episode after the jump:

(more…)


Kentucky Thrones Radio: Season 7, Episode 5

 

The KTR crew has a lot to discuss after an extremely eventful Game of Thrones episode.  “Eastwatch” picked up after a battle of fire and left off in the icy tundra north of The Wall.  Nick and T.J. talk about everything that happened, starting with…

—  Is the show moving too fast?

—  Gilly’s shocking revelation and its implications.

—  The confusing connections between Bran and the Night King and a bold theory.

—  The Baratheons are back and T.J. can’t contain his emotions.

—  It’s a cat-and-mouse game between Littlefinger and Arya, but who is in control?

—  Two BOLD predictions from Nick for next week’s episode.

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.


Blue Smith: Ohio State or Kentucky?

Blue Smith: Ohio State or Kentucky?

Kentucky is trending in the wrong direction for its top football target: four-star athlete and wide receiver, L’Christian “Blue” Smith.

One of the top prospects in the state of Ohio, Smith is considering Ohio State and Kentucky for his college football career. The Dayton product will announce his commitment to one of those two schools sometime during the weekend of his Wayne High School’s season opener, which will be televised on ESPN, at the end of August.

Smith has already made up his mind, he told Scout.com’s Bill Greene, but he won’t give any clues as to which way he is going, only saying several factors went into the decision:

If you’re to believe the experts who make up his Crystal Ball predictions, Ohio State is in the best position to add Smith to its passing game in the 2018 college football season. The last thirteen predictions have Smith becoming a Buckeye, giving Urban Meyer’s program an 82 to 18 percent advantage in the poll.

Kentucky Sports Radio radio listeners have an “expert” of their own in caller Dawson, a Madison Central High School student who befriended Smith and Smith’s teammate, UK commit Alex Reigelsperger, on social media. Dawson insists Smith will commit to Kentucky, but his credibility is definitely in question.

So who do we trust? The analysts and bloggers who predict Smith to Ohio State? Or do we trust Dawson and his online friendship with Smith and Reigelsperger? Dawson stuck to his guns on Monday when he called in to the show to say, “It might be a ‘me against the world’… but I’ll stick with it.”

I won’t pretend to know either way because I have had zero meaningful conversations about Smith with anyone. But as a Kentucky football fan, I’m concerned by the latest chatter I’ve read online, specifically the prediction from Greene.

That being said, Greene admitted to the Herald-Leader he simply made an educated guess with no definitive inside information. “He told me nothing, and his dad told me nothing,” Greene said of his conversation with Smith. “So I got no inside info there.”

The best we can do now is play the “If” game until Smith goes public or any new info leaks out.


If he picks Kentucky

… Mark Stoops and Vince Marrow can thank Smith’s relationships with current and future Wildcats. Alex Reigelsperger (H.S. teammate), Tobias Gilliam (cousin) and Jarren Williams (friend and UK QB of the future) are among the Cats’ best player-recruiters. Then there is the opportunity to play wide receiver, the position Smith wants to play in college; as well as Big Blue Nation’s relentless support and recruitment of Smith online. He has often mentioned BBN and feeling at home in Lexington in past interviews.


If he picks Ohio State…

… it’s because it’s Ohio State. When you look at the two programs and the two coaches who run them, they’re not even in the same conversation. Ohio State is a perennial title contender with a Hall of Fame head coach, and it’s only an hour-drive east of his hometown. It helps that Urban Meyer recently told him he is a wide receiver as of now, which wasn’t always the case in past conversations throughout Smith’s recruitment.


Regardless of which way Smith goes at the end of the month, it is pretty amazing that the University of Kentucky is in this situation in the first place. Mark Stoops and his staff are in a battle with The Ohio State University for one of the most sought-after playmakers in the entire country.

Win or lose, it is uncharted territory for the Kentucky program.

But let’s hope it is a win and Smith has a long career catchings touchdowns in Lexington.

@bluesmith_