The Cats played Yahtzee for the fourth time this weekend and this time there was some historical perspective behind the commitment. Louisville Male High School is apart of the biggest classification in the state of Kentucky and has won seven state championships (1960, 1963, 1964, 1993, 1998, 2015, 2018). Since the 6A classification was started in 2007, Male is one of only four schools to have brought home the hardware. They’re a football powerhouse in the state, but this entire time they have been a Louisville feeder program.
Former Male head coach Bob Redman won two state titles at Male and turned the school into legitimate competition for private school powers St. Xavier and Trinity. During this run, Redman’s son Chris was a blue-chip quarterback who would go onto great success at Louisville under John L. Smith and offensive coordinator Bobby Petrino. Since then, nearly every FBS prospect out of Male would continue their careers at Louisville.
Everyone knows Michael Bush, but there have been a handful of others. Montrell Jones (who ended up at Louisville after a pit stop at Tennessee), Sergio Spencer, Doug Beaumont, Dexter Heyman, Keion Wakefield, and there’s plenty more. Male has kept all of their alums in the city while Kentucky, under numerous head coaches, could never crack through and land a scholarship athlete.
That now all changes with the addition of high three-star wide receiver Izayah Cummings. The 6-foot-3 wideout led Male with 597 receiving yards on 41 grabs with 11 touchdowns despite missing five games with a leg injury. Cummings pledged on his official visit to Kentucky this weekend and had a lot of interest from surrounding schools. Both Louisville and Purdue were heavily involved in his recruitment with Ohio State having him on campus for an unofficial visit while Vanderbilt. Vince Marrow is making some moves in the city of Louisville and this may be his biggest recruiting win for a bunch of different reasons.
Cummings is at his best on vertical routes. He’s an excellent go-route runner and does his best work when he is able stop, locate the football, and make a jump grab. On his tape, you will see many plays where the quarterback short arms the throw, but that just may be by design. Similar to a basketball player, Cummings goes up for a rebound and then shows some solid run after the catch ability. This is where he is at his best.
Due to his size (6-foot-3, 212 pounds) and athletic ability, Cummings does his best work in the red zone. On the road in the quarterfinals of the playoffs, Cummings comes up with a huge touchdown reception on third-and-11 to break a tie in the fourth quarter. The wideout runs your typical fade route and despite the safety bracketing Cummings over the top, Male still decides to toss up the jump ball.
Cummings essentially boxes out the safety while the corner goes running by. He high points the football and makes a clutch catch to help Male march towards a state championship. One of the best attributes Cummings presents is a big target in the red zone and this should translate to the college level.
The biggest issue that Cummings will need to address in college will be his route running and separation ability. At The Opening regional camp, he was clocked at 4.50 in the forty and that should be good enough to create consistent separation on pass routes. However, when you watch the tape, it seems that he struggles to create that consistent separation.
On the sluggo (slant-and-g0) route, Cummings stumbles just a bit and that prevents him from creating space. Thanks to the on target throw it doesn’t matter, but these are things at the next level he will have to work on. Cummings must improve on his technique in running routes. If he is able to become a true weapon on intermediate passes, that will make his ability to go vertical even harder for opposing corners to keep in check.
Cummings will enter Lexington in the class of 2020 as the first Male alum to go to Kentucky on a football scholarship in a very long time. He possesses the attributes that the Kentucky staff has had a hard time attracting on the recruiting. He’s a big, physical receiver who resembles some guys you would see on Sundays. He’s a true weapon in the vertical game and could be very reliable in the red zone.
Cummings has a lot to work on. He has the size and physical ability to be a dominant perimeter blocker, but that is to be determined. He must polish his route running ability because right now he is just a one-trick pony. However, that is a damn strong trick and he has a ton of potential. This is a big time recruiting win for a multitude of reasons and his play on the field should excite you alone.
The dice continue to roll in Lexington with Mark Stoops and his staff picking up their 10th member in the class of 2020. The wide receiver position was a main focus for the football program this weekend with three prospects at that position taking their official visits. The Wildcats got a verbal from Jordan Watkins on Saturday evening and now they will add Earnest Sanders to the class.
Sanders will be the second Michigan pledge in this recruiting cycle joining consensus top-50 prospect Justin Rogers thanks to the recruiting work of corners coach Steve Clinkscale. The man they call Coach Clink is slowly becoming the staff’s second most valuable recruiter behind Vince Marrow and in Sanders the Wildcats are adding a high-three star recruit who had a ton of Power Five interest.
It’s time to step into the film room to breakdown Earnest Sanders’ game. In addition to being a football recruit, Sanders also has the ability to play basketball at the D-I level. He has some great athleticism and has shown some solid route running potential. He will be an outside receiver at Kentucky who will play the position at over 20o pounds.
One of the staples of the Eddie Gran offense has been teeing up deep shots after hammering opposing defenses with the running game and some quick passes. In 2016, Stephen Johnson made a bunch of big throws with the deep post and in the spring game we saw Terry Wilson make some big league throws on that same route. When you watch Earnest Sanders, it’s clear that this route is one of the best parts of his game.
The receiver is a long strider who gets to the top of his route very quickly. He makes a sharp plant step to get inside and that creates separation between the corner and the safety he ran by. He makes the big catch that results in six. This is exactly what Kentucky likes to do and Sanders fits that mold.
Speaking of those short routes to help setup the deep shot, Sanders is also a very effective receiver in the quick game. The Michigan native provides a big target to his quarterback and some impressive run after the catch ability to convert a fourth-and-short into a touchdown.
Sanders shows a little bit of wiggle to make the first two defenders miss on top of the balance to recover after reeling in the high pass. Those are nice, but the acceleration that the wideout shows is what you should be excited about. He takes off down the sideline and blitzes by the safety. The long strider can hit a high speed once he gets a few steps to pickup steam.
The deep balls are nice and the quick game is an easy way to pick up receptions, but at the end of the day a true outside receiver is going to be judged on what they do over the middle of the field. To move the chains and take advantage of the gaps in zone coverage, you need your outside guys to go across the middle and make some plays in traffic. There’s no doubt that Earnest Sanders is comfortable doing that.
On the slant he shows his numbers and makes a solid reception in between a couple of defenders. He then gets upfield and fights through a face mask grab to get to paydirt. Beecher High School asks for Sanders to go across the middle on slants and crossing routes very often and he is comfortable with making grabs in traffic. He will be asked to do the same in college.
At The Opening this spring, Sanders was clocked at 4.72 in the forty-yard dash and is listed at just six-foot tall. That’s a surprise when watching his tape. The Flint, Michigan native plays much bigger and faster than that. He appears to have a very long wingspan to give him a very large catch radius and shows plenty of acceleration to make big time plays in open space.
At the high school level, Sanders is asked to do a lot. Beecher uses him in the wildcat formation, on reverses, constantly puts him in motion, and to do just about everything for them on offense. In addition to that, he plays safety on defense and has the ability to play that in college on top of his basketball skills on the hardwood.
— ??????? ??????? ?? ??? (@erniesands11) July 13, 2018
The receiver has been wanted by a ton of schools on the recruiting trail. Offensive gurus Neal Brown, Jeff Brohm and Mike Leach each wanted him in their offense. Big Ten powers Michigan State and Penn State have been in hot pursuit. This is another solid recruiting win for Kentucky. Earnest Sanders is a straight up football player who will find his way onto the field. Of all the tapes I have evaluated this spring, this one was the best I’ve seen in the 2020 class. Sanders has a ton of tools and is the exact type of player UK has struggled to attract. A playmaking outside receiver who can effect the passing game at all three levels. Give props to Steve Clinkscale for continuing to do damage in Michigan, but there are still some more big fish in that state remaining on Kentucky’s recruiting board.
By Jack Pilgrim on ©June 22nd, 2019 @ 11:00pm
After rolling a Yahtzee this morning in the form of 2020 three-star OL Joshua Jones, the Kentucky coaching staff rolled yet another one this evening.
Jordan Watkins, a three-star wide receiver out of Butler Traditional in Louisville, is officially a Wildcat.
The 6-foot-0, 180-pound wideout made his official announcement on Twitter.
“First I would like to thank God for the abilities he has given me!” Watkins said. “I want to give my most appreciation to my parents. Y’all have gave up more than I could ever ask for to make my dream turn into a reality and I will always be grateful for that!
“Next, I would like to give a huge shoutout to any coach who has ever helped me get to where I am now. Whether it’s a baseball, basketball or football coach y’all have helped me become a better athlete and a better man. I would also like to give a shoutout to the Butler High School community for welcoming me with open arms and making me a part of the family.
“Thank you for all the coaches that took the time to build a relationship with me and gave me the opportunity to play for their program during this process. With that being said I am blessed to announce that I am 110% committed to the University of Kentucky. BBN here I come!”
— Jordan Watkins ? (@jordantwatkins) June 22, 2019
Watkins chose Kentucky over Louisville, Rutgers, and Central Michigan, among others, though the decision was widely expected to come down to the Cats and the Cards.
Rated as the No. 7 prospect in Kentucky in the Rivals state rankings, Watkins is known for his elite agility, lateral quickness, and vertical speed. At The Opening back in May, Watkins ran a laser-timed 4.38 40-yard dash.
Watkins’ addition gives Kentucky nine commitments for the class of 2020: Five-star prospect Justin Rogers, four-star prospects Beau Allen, John Young, Torrance Davis, JuTahn McClain, and Andru Phillips, and three-star prospects Joshua Jones, D’Eryk Jackson, and Jordan Watkins.
Check out the newest Wildcat’s most recent highlights below:
The best part of it all? Kentucky might not even be done rolling the dice this weekend…
By Jack Pilgrim on ©June 22nd, 2019 @ 10:45pm
How about a huge YAHTZEE! for the Kentucky football program on this fine Saturday afternoon?
Joshua Jones, a high three-star offensive lineman in the class of 2020 from Phenix City, Alabama has committed to Kentucky, choosing the Wildcats over LSU, Florida State, and Tennessee, among others.
The 6-foot-5, 299-pound prospect made his announcement today on his Twitter page:
— Joshua Jones (@almightybugg) June 22, 2019
After the announcement, Chad Simmons of Rivals.com published an interview with the newest Wildcat, who said he is officially shutting down his recruitment.
“I am shutting my recruitment down,” said Jones. “I am not one of those guys who commits, decommits and all that. I am focused on Central football and academics now. Kentucky is the school for me. I felt comfortable there, my parents felt comfortable there, I loved the people and the vibe around Lexington and my decision has been made.”
For Jones, he made up his mind last week during his official visit to Lexington.
“That visit changed everything for me,” said Jones. “It was amazing up there. It was my first time there and I felt at home. I loved it. My family loved it. I knew a day after I got back from the visit that I was going to Kentucky.”
Watch his junior-year highlights below:
Welcome home, big fella!
The dice are rolling in Lexington with Kentucky landing three-star offensive lineman Joshua Jones out of Phenix City, Alabama. The small town is located right on the Chattahoochee River on the Alabama-Georgia state line and produces FBS talent quite frequently. Jones had a ton of interest from some big time schools and in the end decided to pick Kentucky over LSU. Also included on his list were Florida State, Ole Miss, and Tennessee. The 6-foot-5 and 298-pound offensive line prospect is absolutely a fit for what John Schlarman likes to have on the interior.
Joshua Jones plays right tackle for his Phenix City Central team, but it’s expected that Kentucky will move him to guard when he gets to Lexington. When at the college level, UK’s scheme will call on the Jones to move around and pull to pick up play side linebackers on power run plays. Here he shows a little bit of the required athletic ability.
On this counter play, the running back appears to move too fast on the hesitation fake and that puts Jones in a bad spot. The big guy gets to the run blitzing linebacker and delivers a punishing blow that puts the defender into the dirt. The play is, for the most part, blown up but you see the physical strength and power that Jones possesses.
Evaluating high school offensive linemen can be very difficult due to the fact that when they are playing football with pads against defensive players that are much, much smaller. For any high school lineman that is around 300 pounds that is going to be the case and Jones is no different. When watching them it is important to look for motor, technique, and leg drive. Jones shows some of those skills on this play.
Jones loses the battle at the beginning of the play due to hand placement. The right tackle is beat to the point of attack by the defensive end and is at first knocked back. Due to this, his hands go outside and this immediately gives the defensive player the advantage. However, that happens some and any good offensive lineman must have quality recovery skills. Jones flashes those behind some brute force. Once he is locked on with his hands it is hard for the defender to break away and create separation. Once the defender tries to get outside, Jones buries him with leg drive. He’s got some issues to iron out, but the big guy has some tools that are hard to teach.
You want power? He’s got power.
It’s pretty easy to see why UK’s staff was so enamored with Joshua Jones. He’s an athletic kid who will easily play at around 320 pounds in college. Add that solid weight on to his 6-foot-5 frame and he physically looks like a really good SEC offensive lineman. Despite playing strictly tackle in high school, he’s a scheme fit for what Kentucky likes in offensive guards. Derrick LeBlanc was his primary recruiter and this was his biggest recruiting win since joining the staff prior to the 2017 season.
Kentucky has shown they are not afraid to have tall guards and there have been many projected tackles (Luke Fortner, Logan Stenberg, Mason Wolfe) who have turned into full-time guards once they get on campus. Jones has some next level power in run blocking and is doing it all without great technique. Once he gets some seasoning and is able to play out of a three-point stance at Kentucky, that physicality should become even more powerful. He’ll have a lot to prove in pass protection, but he is exactly what UK wants in an offensive guard prospect. This was a very solid deep south recruiting win for Kentucky and it feels like the Wildcats are on their way to an excellent offensive line haul.
Who will be the next to join the 2020 class?
By Jack Pilgrim on ©June 21st, 2019 @ 11:00pm
Virginia Tech forward Kerry Blackshear Jr. is the top available graduate transfer on the market, and Kentucky is reportedly right in the thick of things in the home stretch of his recruitment.
Fresh off an official visit to Lexington, Corey Evans of Rivals.com told the Herald-Leader that the Wildcats are a frontrunner to land the 6-foot-11 big man and that a final decision could come in the next few days.
“I think Kentucky is in a great spot with him,” Evans told the Herald-Leader on Friday afternoon. “Right now, it’s Kentucky or Tennessee for him. I think a commitment is going to come within the next four or five days. That’s the vibe I’ve gotten.”
KSR reported on Thursday that Blackshear left Lexington without making a commitment, though the Kentucky coaching staff still felt very confident about their standing with the star forward.
When asked about Texas A&M, who has always been associated with Blackshear’s recruitment and was rumored to be the final visit coming off his trip to Kentucky, Evans wasn’t as optimistic about their chances. While they have never been seen as a serious favorite, it was always expected that the Virginia Tech transfer would at least listen to his former head coach’s pitch.
Now, Evans doesn’t believe that visit will be taking place and thinks the Aggies are out of the running.
“I don’t see A&M as a legitimate suitor anymore,” he said.
As far as who he does think is the leader between Kentucky and Tennessee, Evans said he wasn’t certain yet because Blackshear isn’t even certain.
“I honestly don’t know,” he said. “And that’s because the kid doesn’t know yet, I don’t think. I don’t think he knows what exactly he wants.”
Breaking down both schools in play, Evans says Tennessee is offering a premier role in the offense, while Kentucky is offering the spotlight and opportunity for improved draft status in his final year of eligibility.
“Tennessee can offer him the idea of playing more of a ‘4-5’ role and kind of expanding his game and having more of a chance to be ‘the guy,'” he said. “Compared to Kentucky, which offers, of course, the blue-blood platform and all that. They’re in the same conference, but they’re two separate opportunities. So, I think it’s whichever one that he really feels comfortable with and which one can put him in the best spot possible for the NBA.”
Sources told KSR earlier this week that even if Blackshear left campus without signing, a decision was expected before the start of next week, whether a visit to Texas A&M was on the table or not.
Now, the wait
By Adam Luckett on ©June 21st, 2019 @ 6:00pm
With the new rule that schools can now host official visits in the summer, June has become one of the most important months on recruiting calendar. Kentucky has been on a quite a roll in recent weeks, pulling in eight commits in the last two months and it could be possible that the dice will be hot again this weekend.
Louisville Wide Receiver Duo
Kentucky has been on a remarkable run recruiting in the city of Louisville. Since unleashing recruiting ace Vince Marrow on the city, the Wildcats landed four of the top six Louisville prospects in the class of 2019. If they are able to secure verbals from Izayah Cummings and Jordan Watkins this weekend, that would mean UK would have pledges from the top three Louisville seniors in the class of 2020. That’s big time.
— IC8? (@IzayahCummings) June 20, 2019
Izayah Cummings is a high three-star receiver who is likely at the top of UK’s recruiting board at the position. The 6-foot-3 prospect fits the mold of an outside receiver at the next level and the big man does his best work vertically down the field. Cummings is excellent at high pointing the football and using his big frame to create space and snatch the football. Louisville, Purdue, and West Virginia all really covet Cummings while Ohio State has kicked the tires. It would be a monstrous recruiting win for the program and would be the first time UK landed a scholarship football player from Louisville Male High School in a very long time. That’s not going to make people around the Louisville program too happy.
— Jordan Watkins ? (@jordantwatkins) June 19, 2019
Kentucky got into Butler High School last summer and scored a commitment from wide receiver Tae Tae Crumes and Jordan Watkins is built in a similar mold. The 5-foot-11 receiver ran a blazing 4.34 forty at The Opening Regional last month and has become a camp superstar this summer. The Wildcats offered the speedster back in February and he attended a UK camp two weekends ago. He’s a guy Kentucky will want to use outside to run vertical routes similar to Jeff Badet. Wrapping him up this weekend would be another big recruiting win for Vince Marrow. The big dog appears to feel good about his chances.
Man get them ? rolling. BBN if fired up.
— CoachMarrowUK (@vincemarrow) June 19, 2019
A Familiar Face
Torrance Davis committed to the Wildcats on his visit to Lexington two weeks ago and now he will be returning to campus for another visit.
I will be an Lexington Kentucky tm #BBN home sick??????
— Torrance Davis (@TorranceDavis8) June 20, 2019
The bruising tailback will likely be used to help recruit both Izayah Cummings and Jordan Watkins as it feels to be an “all hands on deck” type weekend to get the two Louisville natives to commit to Kentucky. Davis should, in theory, be able to help in that regard.
Joshua Jones is a high-three star offensive lineman from Phenix City, Alabama who is down to two schools. Both Kentucky and LSU have risen above contenders Florida State and Tennessee. The 6-foot-5, 299-pound prospect is listed as a tackle by most recruiting services, but will most likely play guard at the next level.
— Joshua Jones (@almightybugg) June 12, 2019
Kentucky currently has their right tackle of the future committed in four-star John Young, but they also must address the interior of the line. Getting Jones on board would be a substantial win in the deep south. Stay tuned to KSR on Saturday to see if Jones becomes the next member of John Schlarman’s offensive line room. Derrick LeBlanc appears to be the top recruiter for Jones and this would be his biggest recruiting win since joining the staff.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©June 21st, 2019 @ 3:00pm
DANG PAT RILEY! While telling reporters how happy he was to add another former Cat to his roster in Tyler Herro, the Miami Heat president snuck in a shot at Kentucky’s rival, Duke.
“He’s just right on with his attitude and his approach and how much he wants to be a professional. He really is excited to be here too, so we’re happy to have him,” Riley said of Herro, whom the Heat selected with the No. 13 pick.
::Extends hand to drop mic::
“It’s not a coincidence anymore that we’re drafting all the Kentucky players,” Riley continued. “Getting rid of the Duke concept. So, that’s enough of that.”
Pat Riley had high praise for Tyler Herro, and takes a shot at DUKE.
"It's not a coincidence anymore that we're drafting all the Kentucky players. Getting rid of the Duke concept." pic.twitter.com/pSzxHkg8gl
— Lee K. Howard (@HowardWKYT) June 21, 2019
This is almost as good as when he reminded a reporter that he played at Kentucky, not Duke, during Justise Winslow’s introductory presser back in 2015:
Winslow is still with the Heat, starting 52 games last season, but earlier this year, opened up earlier about some “dark times” during his early days in Miami. Hmm.
Regardless, Pat Riley for actual President.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©June 21st, 2019 @ 12:30pm
Last night, PJ Washington, Tyler Herro, and Keldon Johnson all heard their names called at the NBA Draft, taking the total number of draft picks in the John Calipari Era at Kentucky to 38.
I spent the better part of yesterday putting together a reel of each player being selected (except for DeAndre Liggins because the footage has disappeared from the internet), and it gave me great joy to add three more clips to it this morning.
How many more will I get to add next year?
By Jack Pilgrim on ©June 20th, 2019 @ 8:51pm
Former Kentucky power forward PJ Washington is officially a member of the Charlotte Hornets.
Selected No. 12 overall, Washington is set to join former Wildcats Malik Monk and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist in Charlotte.
“Without it, I don’t think I would have been a first-round pick,” the former Wildcat said on ESPN after getting drafted. “I definitely credit Coach Cal and the Kentucky program for getting me to this point.”
In 35 games this past year, the 6-foot-7 forward averaged 15.2 points, 7.5 rebounds, 1.8 assists, and 1.2 blocks per contest.
While this is the first time in the John Calipari era Kentucky hasn’t had a top-10 pick, Washington’s selection at No. 12 gives the UK head coach his 20th lottery pick during his time in Lexington.
By Adam Luckett on ©June 20th, 2019 @ 12:00pm
Mark Stoops has collected seven full recruiting classes since arriving in Lexington in December 2012 and since then has led the Kentucky program to some historical success on the recruiting trail. The Wildcats have reeled in multiple blue-chip prospects in every class with an average class recruiting ranking of 32.7. UK has been very consistent with six of the seven classes landing in the thirties.
It started with Za’Darius Smith in 2013, continued with Boom Williams in 2014. We saw UK land three in-state blue-chippers in 2016 (Kash Daniel, Drake Jackson, Landon Young) and score two big coups at the end of the 2017 haul by landing Lynn Bowden, Jr. and Joshua Paschal. It has continued in the last two classes where Kentucky has gone into Michigan to land Marquan McCall and made some noise in the city of Louisville by scooping up front seven prospects Jared Casey and JJ Weaver.
Kentucky has done a very good job attracting the blue-chips they can and getting them on the field to make an impact as quickly as possible. To win in the SEC, you need that to happen. However, where Kentucky’s bread is always going to be buttered is leaning heavily on development and evaluations. Kentucky must find some diamonds in the rough and to smooth out some rough edges on players who need some seasoning before they’re ready to contribute on the college level. Entering the 2019 season, UK’s starting 22 is full of players that fit these descriptions.
This fall this football program has a lot going for them, but there is also some major star power that needs to be replaced. One of the mottos around the team is “recruit and develop” and it’s clear that is not just some cheap cliche. The Wildcats have found pieces that will fill the gaps and allow them to once again make some noise in the SEC East.
Let’s start with the backfield on offense. Gone is the program’s all-time leading rusher and one of the biggest stars to play in this program. Benny Snell arrived to Lexington as a mid three-star recruit and eventually became one of the most productive backs in SEC history. Stepping in his shoes to replace him will be another back in that class of 2016.
A.J. Rose was a mid three-star recruit from Cleveland who played quarterback for his Garfield Heights High School team. Despite putting up some monster rushing numbers with a bunch of explosive plays as a dual-threat quarterback, there was not a bunch of Power Five interest. After two years of development, he became a legit RB2 for Kentucky last fall and will have a chance to be a 1,ooo yard rusher this fall.
In the spring game, Bryce Oliver came from seemingly out of nowhere to record 105 yards on eight receptions with multiple contested catches against some press coverage. The Fort Lauderdale native was a late addition to the class of 2018 and was the lowest rated of the four receivers added in that recruiting haul. Oliver had a handful of Power Five offers, but it appears UK may have found a gem in the 6-foot-1 wideout.
Oliver doesn’t have the top notch speed and separation ability you would like to have in an alpha outside receiver, but it’s clear he’s a good route runner with a solid catch radius. Outside of Lynn Bowden, Kentucky is in a desperate need for another slot option to emerge and I have a feeling that Oliver will become that guy in 2019.
At tight end, C.J. Conrad leaves some big shoes to fill after the four-star recruit became a full-time starter during true freshman season. However, low three-star prospect Justin Rigg has proven to be a very good blocker who is a reliable pass catcher. The redshirt sophomore has next level size for the position and UK is in really good shape with him seeing an increased workload. Vince Marrow is on the record stating there will be no drop off at the tight end position.
Just on offense there are plenty of three-star guys set for big roles, but it doesn’t stop there. Kentucky has done a great job with evaluations on the defensive side of the ball including a defensive line player who wasn’t even ranked by most major recruiting services.
Calvin Taylor, Jr. was a late addition to the 2015 recruiting class and was what most would consider an after thought. The Augusta, Georgia native was unranked in the 247 Sports Composite and chose Kentucky over offers from Charlotte and Temple. After some years of development in the program, he became UK’s best defensive lineman last fall.
The 6-foot-9 player has played both end and tackle for the Wildcats and is coming off a career year. The redshirt junior started nine games in 2018 and was second on the team with 9.5 run stuffs. Kentucky’s front seven will lead the way for the 2019 season and Taylor is a big reason why.
Taylor has been the most productive, but Quinton Bohanna may be the most talented player in UK’s defensive line room. The junior nose tackle was a low three-star prospect in the class of 2017 despite collecting 91 tackles and 19 sacks in his senior year of high school. He picked the Wildcats over Ole Miss and started the last five games of his true freshman season. He’s battled some injuries, but when healthy he is an excellent nose man who will be a catalyst in Brad White’s defense.
On the edge, Kentucky loses Josh Allen and his 17 sacks but they return a solid secondary piece. Boogie Watson was a low three-star or two-star prospect depending on your preferred recruiting service in the class of 2016. After redshirting, the Sam linebacker has produced seven sacks in the last two seasons with seven starts under his belt. He’ll become UK’s go-to edge rusher this season and needs just 10 sacks to break into the top-5 in program history.
In the secondary, Kentucky is replacing all four starters from last season and one guy expected to start was a bit of an afterthought in the 2017 recruiting class who picked Kentucky over Cincinnati. Cedrick Dort, Jr. is a 6-foot-1 corner who will step into the boundary corner spot filled by Lonnie Johnson and Chris Westry last season. Despite his stature, he was a really good tackler coming out of Dwyer High School in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. Kentucky is retooling the back of its defense and the coaches are hoping they’ll hit gold with another undervalued recruit.
The front seven will be getting all of the attention, but the best player entering 2019 will be safety Davonte Robinson. The Henry Clay alum was a mid three-star recruit in the class of 2016, but it hasn’t taken him long to contribute at the college level. The redshirt junior played a ton during his junior season recording 42 tackles while playing both safety and slot corner. He will be an integral part of UK’s defense and will have a great shot at All-SEC honors.
It wouldn’t be a surprise to see Robinson become an NFL Draft prospect this season. Despite his low ranking, Kentucky’s staff was able to get the 2016 prospect to commit in 2014 and totally shut down his recruitment. If he didn’t do that, there’s no doubt he would’ve became a blue-chip prospect.
Heading towards the month of July, 13 of Kentucky’s projected 22 starters were ranked a mid three-star prospect or lower. Even with the Wildcats improving their chops on the recruiting trail, this is still a developmental program and will likely stay that way as long as they’re playing college football.
If Kentucky is to continue their winning ways in 2019, the Wildcats will have a bunch of three-stars making plays.
By Drew Franklin on ©June 20th, 2019 @ 8:40am
Justin Rogers sent out a tweet early this morning that should ease some of Big Blue Nation’s worries about a potential decommitment.
The tweet was simple: a blue heart emoji with a fancy of graphic of him wearing Kentucky gear.
— Justin rogers (@Justinr96389662) June 20, 2019
Rogers of course took a visit to Alabama last weekend and got a lot of one-on-one time with Nick Saban, who reportedly made a similar pitch as Kentucky in that he sees Rogers as a defensive lineman, Rogers’ ideal position.
But today’s tweet suggests Rogers is still loyal to the Bluegrass. He even added “university of Kentucky” back to his bio.
By Drew Franklin on ©June 19th, 2019 @ 2:45pm
Fresh off an official visit to Florida, four-star defensive tackle Lamar Goods has rescinded his commitment to the University of Kentucky. Crap.
Goods, who is ranked as the 30th-best defensive tackle in the Class of 2020 in the 247Sports Composite Rankings, announced his decision via Twitter with this statement Wednesday afternoon:
“After long and thought out conversations with my mom and I we have made the decision that it is in our best interests to open my recruitment and announce that I have decommited from the university of Kentucky.thank you for all that the staff and coaches that have been amazing during this process.”
The Canadian, now a Connecticuter (?), had originally pledged his commitment to Kentucky back on April 8 after being recruited by new defensive coordinator Brad White. When he committed, Goods said, “I’m a big believer of going with your gut and knowing that it’s the right place if you truly feel it is.”
I guess that gut feeling wore off.
It is unclear at this time if he will still consider the Cats as he reopens his recruitment to welcome new suitors like stupid Florida.
By Jack Pilgrim on ©June 18th, 2019 @ 2:30pm
Today is the big day, Big Blue Nation. Virginia Tech graduate transfer Kerry Blackshear Jr. is headed to Lexington on an official visit, and if he signs on the dotted line as hoped, Kentucky will likely have the No. 1 team in all of college basketball going into the season.
In this edition of Pilgrim’s Insider Notes, we will dive into the big decision, how other schools feel about this recruitment, Kentucky’s pitch, and a timeline on when we should find out his final destination.
After breaking down Blackshear, I’ll also be touching on the class of 2020 and some of the rumblings I heard at the NBPA Top 100 Camp in Charlottesville, VA this past weekend.
Let’s dive right in.
Kerry Blackshear Jr.
On Sunday evening, Kentucky fans were treated to news of Kerry Blackshear Jr. visiting Kentucky starting on Tuesday evening, with Jake Weingarten of Stockrisers.com first breaking the story, followed by KSR and recruiting insider Evan Daniels of 247Sports also confirming the report.
And then on Monday, Weingarten followed it up with even more breaking news that left the BBN salivating, saying that there was “major” mutual interest between Blackshear and Kentucky.
More on my Kentucky-KBJ report yesterday: Hearing the major interest between the two sides are mutual, UK is extremely hopeful they could land Blackshear on this visit. Texas A&M still vying for a visit. https://t.co/jNQnKwGqBC
— Jake (@jakeweingarten) June 17, 2019
I wrote in my notes back in April when Blackshear originally put his name in the transfer portal that not only was Kentucky one of the first schools to reach out to the 6-foot-11 big man, they also wanted to make sure they met with their family face-to-face before he got into the grind of the NBA Draft process. Not long after, multiple outlets reported that contact was made and an in-home visit was held at the family’s home in Orlando, FL.
For whatever reason, though, those reports were originally denied by Kerry Blackshear Sr. before he eventually backtracked and admitted both parts of the story were true. Why was he so open about other schools reaching out but wanted to keep Kentucky’s interest hidden? At the time, many assumed it had to do with Nick Richards and EJ Montgomery still being undecided on their futures, but it has always been a bit odd to me that the Blackshear family was willing to keep things quiet for the UK coaching staff.
To take it a step further, I also reported in my notes back in April that one source told KSR that if Blackshear were to withdraw from the NBA Draft, Kentucky would be the likely option. At the time, the original plan for the 6-foot-11 forward was to keep his name in the draft and continue to explore his professional options even if he went undrafted, so this source essentially brushed off the idea. Now that he’s absolutely playing college basketball next season, that conversation lingers with me.
In terms of the visits he has taken – Florida, Arkansas, and Tennessee – there are conflicting reports about each school’s confidence in landing the prized big man. For starters, I’ve seen a few reports that Florida is out of the running completely, but I genuinely don’t believe that is true. I talked to one source down in Gainesville that feels that while they aren’t necessarily the favorite they once thought they were, they definitely feel they still have a shot. They wished they could have sealed the deal during the visit, but they are confident if Blackshear goes home after his visit to Lexington uncommitted, they are still right in the thick of things.
After Florida, Blackshear made a surprise visit to Arkansas, with several recruiting analysts saying they felt the Razorbacks actually had a strong shot to land him. While I trusted some of the individuals who made these reports, I just didn’t buy it then and I don’t buy it now. Eric Musselman has a strong history with graduate transfers and I have also heard there are strong family ties between Blackshear and the Arkansas coaching staff, which could have been a big part of the original rumors. But to spend one final year in Fayetteville before heading off to play professionally? I’ll eat my hat if it happens.
As for Tennessee, I have heard that there is not much confidence in Knoxville right now that Blackshear will end up playing there, especially after he left campus without committing. They felt their pitch was strong during the visit and there is playing time to be had with Grant Williams now headed off to the NBA, but with a visit to Kentucky coming and another potential one to Texas A&M afterward, they aren’t happy they couldn’t lock things up this past weekend. The staff hasn’t shut down the possibility completely – again, the visit did go well – but I am told that they aren’t very optimistic that the talented transfer will be in Knoxville next season.
With the other schools that have been mentioned in this recruitment – Texas A&M, Gonzaga, and Memphis – I don’t see any of them being serious contenders. The latter two likely won’t even get a visit before a decision is made. When it comes to the Aggies, I am told that Blackshear and his family has incredible respect for Buzz Williams and they were hoping to give him a visit out of pure courtesy. Evan Daniels says that still might happen, but I think it all depends on how it goes with Kentucky over the next two days. At first, I thought it was a close race between Kentucky, Florida, and Texas A&M, but after putting together all of the conversations I’ve had over the last week or so, I don’t think they will be the final landing spot. Blackshear wants one final run at a championship while building his NBA Draft stock as much as he can, and he realizes the best two places to make that happen are Kentucky and Florida.
Which brings us to our final topic of conversation: the Kentucky visit.
The Kentucky coaching staff has been up-front from the start about their overall interest and desire to get him on campus at some point. I’m told that Blackshear and his family made it clear that the plan all along was to visit Lexington once the recruiting process got going.
And now that the trip is finally happening, Kentucky is confident they can make it his last.
I’m told that the UK coaching staff feels strongly about their chances and that their pitch is the strongest among all contenders. With PJ Washington off to the NBA, they are set to show him that he can replace his production and consistency in the frontcourt en route to a Final Four run. Blackshear wants one last chance at a national title and to build his draft stock a bit in the process. He’s not going to magically become a lottery pick in just a year, but if any coach can help him become a sure-fire draft selection, it’s Coach Cal. And he knows that.
Take it for what it’s worth, but I’ve also been told from one individual that Blackshear may have already told his family that he wanted to go to Kentucky and has planned on signing on this visit all along, but he wanted to take some of these other trips to keep his options open and make a complete decision. I’m not sure if this was at the request of his family or if it was a joint decision, but I think there is legitimacy to that rumor.
Based on everything I know, I believe Kentucky gets a signature from Blackshear before he leaves campus. And if not, I feel he will go home, talk things over with his family, and still ultimately decide to commit to Kentucky.
If we don’t hear news of a trip to Texas A&M, I believe a decision will come as early as Wednesday in favor of the Wildcats. If he does visit College Station, I expect that to take place this weekend with a decision coming not long after.
Regardless, I expect Blackshear Jr. to join Kentucky’s 2019-20 roster sooner rather than later.
2020 recruiting class
I spent the latter part of last week and into the weekend in Charlottesville, VA at the NBPA Top 100 Camp where I got the chance to talk to several of Kentucky’s top recruiting targets for both 2020 and 2021.
Because I couldn’t get around to a notes post last week while I was covering the event, I’ll be posting a few quick updates today and then posting a bigger recruiting update on Thursday evening.
Makur Maker, the No. 2 prospect in the class of 2020, has seen his stock rise exponentially over the last several months.
As a result, all eyes are on his recruitment to see which college program will land the 7-foot center with elite guard skills.
While just about every school in the nation will be recruiting Maker, sources tell KSR that there is a bit of uncertainty regarding his basketball future. On one point, I have been told that there is definitely a pull for the five-star forward to go professional right out of high school, following in the footsteps of his cousins Thon and Matur.
“Zero percent chance [his guardian] lets Makur play college hoops,” one source said.
On the flip side, I have also heard that those close to Maker want him to play basketball at the college level because they saw the struggles Thon has had adjusting to the NBA and feel he needs to mature a bit physically.
In fact, in an interview with Ben Roberts of the Herald-Leader, Maker’s guardian, Ed Smith, touched on that specifically and said Makur will absolutely be playing college basketball next year.
“Everybody thinks he’s not going to college,” he said. “They’re like, ‘Ah, Ed’s going to send him pro.’ That’s how it is. … But [those schools] are going to be trying to come in late when they figure it out. Then they’ll be behind the game.”
If he goes to college, I think Kentucky has a very good shot to land the skilled center. Maker told KSR that he will be visiting Lexington soon and that he is highly interested in the Wildcats.
BJ Boston/Daishen Nix
Early on in the week at the NBPA Top 100, I was told that two of the top guards in the class of 2020, BJ Boston and Daishen Nix, had genuine interest in playing with one another in college, and that would likely be at Kentucky. They had been developing chemistry together from the moment they arrived on campus together, and sources tell KSR that they had those discussions with one another not long after.
Later on in the week, I asked them both about the rumors, and they said there is definitely truth to the speculation.
“It’s up to him, I don’t know where I want to go right now. I probably won’t be making my decision until later,” Boston said. “But for me, I need a passer to join me where I decide to go to school.”
For Nix, he said he would be happy being that passer Boston is looking for.
“He’s a scorer, he can score from wherever he wants, get wherever he wants on the floor,” he said. “And I like that. If I get him the ball, he can do his thing.”
And he hopes it happens.
“Hopefully,” the No. 1 point guard in America said. “I’m not sure yet, but hopefully.”
After talking to more people this week close to both of their recruitments, I feel that Kentucky is the strong favorite to land Boston right now, and they are definitely trending for Nix. The star point guard told KSR that he feels an offer is coming and that he can’t wait to meet a “legend” like John Calipari. He says he’s nowhere near a decision, but I believe the UK coaching staff is ready to put on the full-court press for the top passing guard in the nation.
If I were a betting man, I’d say Kentucky’s starting backcourt in 2020-21 consists of both Nix and Boston.
I’ll be back with more on Thursday.
Until then, follow me on Twitter: @JackPilgrimKSR
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©June 18th, 2019 @ 1:00pm
Over the past several years, we’ve seen how Kentucky’s coaching staff and players have used low expectations from the media as fuel to reach new heights. Even though Kentucky won ten games last year and went to a New Year’s Day bowl, the “disrespect” continues, with many college football writers predicting the Cats will slide back to the SEC cellar. As you might expect, recruiting coordinator Vince Marrow had plenty to say about that on today’s Kentucky Sports Radio.
“I’m knocking down doors to national media because these guys are really pissing me off,” Marrow said. “It’s pissing me off.”
The most recent example of this is Phil Steele not including Kentucky on his list of SEC teams he expects to go bowling this year, but Marrow’s anger was directed towards another media member, ESPN Radio Nashville’s Braden Gall, who ranked Terry Wilson as the worst quarterback in the SEC.
“I was listening to Tom Leach and, those guys — I should stop listening to radio. I guess they said Terry was the last rated QB in the preseason? We should start a poll, and I’m going to talk to the BBN, just like coaches get fired for wins and losses, when all these reporters come out and say, hey, this team is going 4-8 and this team ain’t gonna do that. If they’re wrong, they should get fired.”
Hoo-boy. Lynn Bowden said those articles have made their way around the locker room as well.
“I see a lot of things that are going to be overturned, opening people’s eyes. We’re not even ranked, I think. That’s crazy…Some people do [use it as motivation]. I kind of look at it like, dang, they really just don’t like us. It’s just got to be because we’ve got Kentucky on the front of our uniforms or something. It’s like, why hate us?”
Marrow has a fun theory.
“Don’t get it twisted; I think our head dog is pissing them off too,” Marrow said of his boss and lifelong friend Mark Stoops. “I think people think — I’ve known Mark for years. I think people think because he’s a fun-loving, jovial guy that there ain’t no toughness in him. He’s more tougher than — look, he’s from Youngstown, man. He’s from Youngstown. Trust me. When it’s time to be tough, he’s going to be tough. When it’s time to be something else, he’s going to be something else.”
Listen to Big Dog host Hour 1 of today’s show below:
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©June 18th, 2019 @ 11:00am
As Kentucky Football continues to change the narrative with a ten-win season, a New Year’s Day Bowl, and big recruiting gains, it’s worth remembering how important Lynn Bowden’s commitment was. A four-star recruit and top five athlete in the 2017 class, Bowden turned down plenty of big name schools to come to Lexington. This morning on KSR, Bowden told the story of how he faked being sick to avoid meeting with Ohio State the day after he committed to Kentucky.
“It was literally, I had committed to Kentucky that day. They wanted to come see me the next day. I told my mom, ‘I don’t want to go. I don’t want to go to school.'”
Bowden has blossomed into a star since then, leading the team in catches (67), receiving yards (745), and touchdown catches (5) last season. He’s also matured into a leader, posting a 3.8 GPA last semester and taking other receivers under his wing in summer workouts, a transformation he attributed to becoming a father.
“I really want to be able to take care of my family. I’m really the first one that ever went to college to play sports and change my family’s life.”
As for his fellow wide receivers, Bowden is pleased with what he’s seen so far this summer.
“One that really sticks out is Josh Ali,” Bowden said of the junior, who had ten catches for 115 yards and a touchdown last year. “From his freshman year to now, if you took a picture and compared it, he’s way bigger than what he’s been.”
Bowden echoed Marrow’s praise of junior Isaiah Epps, who had eight passes for 76 yards last season.
“He’s coming along. It’s been a long journey for all of us receivers as a group, but I think we’re putting it together.”
How about Terry Wilson? Bowden said he’s been impressed by his quarterback so far this summer.
“We went out and did 7-on-7s yesterday and all the receivers look good, the quarterbacks were on time,” Bowden said. “Terry’s good. We’re going through some hard training right now so he’s a little sore but he’s fighting through. He’s throwing the ball well and he’s even better than he was last year.”
As for Bowden’s individual goals, don’t worry; he’s still got that chip on his shoulder.
“I saw something someone tagged me in, the top 30 receivers or something and I wasn’t even in it. I thought I was top three receiver in the SEC so I guess I’ve gotta get myself back into that. I just want to push my teammates around me. I want go back to another ten-win season.”
By Jack Pilgrim on ©June 17th, 2019 @ 10:55pm
John Calipari and the UK coaching staff is focused on reeling in some of the elite prospects in the class of 2020, but there are two rising juniors that have been so impressive that they’ve already earned scholarship offers from Kentucky.
Those individuals? Consensus top-three prospects in the class of 2021 Jonathan Kuminga and Terrence Clarke.
While the former wasn’t able to participate in the NBPA Top 100 Camp in Charlottesville, VA this weekend, KSR was able to catch up with the latter at the prestigious event about his recruitment and what he thinks of Kentucky’s early offer.
Clarke, a 6-foot-7 shooting guard out of Boston, MA, has received nine offers over the last week to add to his list of 26 overall. The No. 3 prospect in the nation says he has no idea where the recent spike in interest came from, but he’s certainly appreciative of it all.
“I got a couple [new offers] this week, yeah,” he said. “To be honest, I have no clue [where it came from]. I’ve been hearing of a lot of offers coming in, coaches wanting to talk to me. But I always like hearing of new offers and interest.”
During the Nike EYBL regular season this year, the Brewster Academy guard averaged 17.0 points, 5.7 rebounds, 4.3 assists, and 1.1 steals per game. Playing against the best rising seniors in the nation, Clarke proved to be not only one of the best players in his class, but all of high school basketball.
As a result, the question being asked about Clarke isn’t necessarily where he’ll going to college quite, but when.
Like we’ve seen time and time again with elite prospects over the last several years, there are rumblings that Clarke is a serious reclassification candidate for 2020. And after seeing him this past weekend in Charlottesville, it’s obvious why, as there isn’t much doubt that he’ll be ready to play college basketball in a year from a physical standpoint. He could probably play this year, if we’re being totally honest.
When asked about the rumors, Clarke said it’s not something college coaches have been asking about quite yet, and he honestly hasn’t thought too much about the idea of it.
“Coaches haven’t really been talking to me about [reclassifying] and I haven’t focused on it much either,” he said. “It’s not really popping up that much yet.”
That being said, the 6-foot-7 five-star says the discussions are coming soon.
“I’ll probably explore it soon, most likely,” he said. “Just to see if I can, see if it’s a possibility that’s in my favor. If it’s not the situation that’s not good for me, I probably won’t do it, but I’ll definitely go over it with my coaches.”
After talking to a source very close to Clarke this weekend, while the 6-foot-7 star is confident he could thrive at the college level a year early physically, there are concerns that he would not be able to meet graduation and NCAA requirements from an academic standpoint in just three years. While other reclassification candidates in the past were held back a year when they were younger, Clarke is true to his class and age. To put it simply, while his grades are in great shape, it would be a tight squeeze to fit in two years of school work over the next year, even including potential summer classes.
Nonetheless, it’s noteworthy that he will at least attempt to explore the possibility.
Moving on to specific schools of interest, Kentucky, who offered back in May, has always been associated with Clarke as a possible destination. He’s visited the school, the UK coaching staff has already visited him personally on two separate occasions, and they go out of their way to watch him play on a regular basis.
When asked about his interest in the Wildcats, the elite wing said his interest with the blue blood program is serious and he will “definitely be staying in contact” with the coaching staff.
“I’ve talked to a lot of [guys at Kentucky] like Kenny Payne, I talked to Coach Cal before,” he said. “Just having them offering me, it’s fabulous. With them being a blue blood school, a ton of pros going there, I’m just honored, blessed, everything. I definitely talk to them here and there, and I’ll definitely be staying in contact with them.”
Clarke, who visited Lexington for Big Blue Madness back in October of 2018, said his recent trip was “crazy.”
“It was great. Kentucky’s Midnight Madness, it was just crazy,” he said. “Just the atmosphere, seeing those guys out there competing, even if it was just like an All-Star scrimmage, it was just a great experience.”
So what will it take to win out in the end for the five-star prospect? What is he looking for in a school?
Go figure, he hit a Calipari buzzword.
“Just seeing how I’d fit in that system,” he said. “Basically, since it’s a positionless game now, I just want to go out there and be able to show I can play any position. Show my versatility, my skill, be a playmaker. Just be the best player I can.”
In terms of what he brings to the table, Clarke says he love showing his versatility and playmaking ability.
“I think when I’m out on the floor, I’m a playmaker,” he said. “I can go out there and score, but I love to get other people involved. Everybody says I’m a wing, but I think I’m a guard because I can definitely help other people get open and stuff like that. Me driving into the lane, people come to me, I can kick it. I think I’m a good passer, I just like getting everybody else better.”
This past weekend at the NBPA Top 100 Camp, college coaches and NBA scouts filled the sidelines and stands to see the participants in action. For Clarke, it was an opportunity for him to show what he is capable of not only in the college ranks, but how he projects as a professional basketball player.
“First impression is the best impression,” he said. “I just wanted to go out there and show them everything I’ve got. I wanted to show off my skill, highlight my playmaking ability, everything I can do on the court. That’s the main thing, I just wanted to show them what I can do [at the college level] and when I get to the league.”
So what’s next for Clarke in terms of his recruitment? Does he plan on cutting his list anytime soon?
“Right now, I’m just listening to all the offers I’m getting,” he said. “But I’m sure sooner or later I’m going to want to cut my list, but I don’t really know yet. I’m just really focused on getting better.”
While it’s to be determined when he’ll be playing college basketball, it’s evident that Kentucky will have a decent shot when it comes time for a decision.
By Drew Franklin on ©June 17th, 2019 @ 11:00am
John Calipari made a special guest appearance on this morning’s edition of Get Up!, ESPN’s morning talk show. Calipari called in to the show to give his honest thoughts on Anthony Davis’ move to Los Angeles and what it will do for Davis’ career.
Cal began by calling Davis a generational player. “He’s a player that can play with anybody, play for anybody. He has one thing: he wants to win,” Cal said.
He then dropped a little-known stat from Davis’ time at Kentucky: that Davis took the fourth-most shots on that championship team in 2011-12.
“He was our fourth-leading shot taker. Think about that,” Cal said. “And that tells you I’m not very smart, but it also tells you he’s willing to do whatever. In the championship game, he was 1-for-10 from the floor and won Most Outstanding Player. He’s going to the Lakers. Whoever got him, I said give up whatever you have to get up to get him. The Lakers — I think it’s a good deal — they kept Kuzma, but I also think David Griffin was a heck of a poker player to get what he got for New Orleans.”
Cal also said he didn’t have much contact with Davis throughout the process and admitted he didn’t love how Davis handled his exit from New Orleans, but he understands why it had to happen for his legacy.
“I’ve texted him a couple times just to say ‘Are you OK?’ The way this broke, I didn’t like it but I understand that players in the NBA when they become established like he is — he won a gold medal, won a national championship — he wants to win a championship. That’s all the great ones in the NBA. When you see guys crying after winning a world championship, that’s why. Their career in their mind is validated by that. And he’s at that stage.”
Hear all of Calipari’s comments about Davis below, which ends with him asking why any young big man would pick anywhere but Kentucky.
By Hayden Hooper on ©June 16th, 2019 @ 7:48pm
The top graduate transfer in the nation will visit the University of Kentucky this week.
According to Jake Weingarten of Stockrisers.com, Virginia Tech forward Kerry Blackshear Jr. will officially visit Kentucky starting on Tuesday.
Breaking: Highly-coveted Virginia Tech transfer Kerry Blackshear Jr. will take an official visit to Kentucky beginning Tuesday night, a source told @Stockrisers.
Has visited Arkansas, Florida, and Tennessee.
— Jake (@jakeweingarten) June 16, 2019
KSR’s own Matt Jones also confirmed the news:
Not sure if this out there as I have been away, but Kerry Blackshear will visit Kentucky on Tuesday
H/t to anyone that has already put it out
— Matt Jones (@KySportsRadio) June 16, 2019
Blackshear, listed at 6-foot-11 and 250 pounds, was a second team All-ACC selection last season, averaging 14.9 points and 7.5 rebounds per game. He also led the Hokies with 28 blocked shots and ranked third with 83 assists.
Before his visit to Kentucky, Blackshear has already visited Florida, Arkansas, and Tennessee.
By Brent Wainscott on ©June 16th, 2019 @ 7:00pm
Father’s Day is about to come to an end, and these people have yet to wish their fathers a happy Father’s Day. So before it’s too late, I decided to help them out a little bit and do it for them as a nice father’s day gesture.
Mississippi State to Benny Snell
We might give Mississippi State a pass on forgetting to wish their father of one year, Benny Snell a happy father’s day, but then again, how could one forget the night Mississippi State found out who their daddy was? After a full week on denial and refusal that Benny Snell would run through any defense, the results turned out that Benny Snell was indeed their father.
Sometimes, Fathers and their sons’ quarrel. So after a pregame scuffle, Benny Snell made sure to teach them a valuable lesson. Rushing for 165 yards and four touchdowns to break Randall Cobb’s record for touchdowns scored in a career at Kentucky, Benny Snell shut up the Bulldogs while launching himself and the Wildcats into the national spotlight as a legitimate football team in 2018.
Remember Kylin Hill, you a clown in real life.
Benny Snell on behalf of Mississippi State, Happy Father’s Day!
South Carolina to Mark Stoops
Do you guys remember the time when South Carolina just seemed always to beat the Cats? No? Me either, it feels like forever ago. Nearly six years, in fact, because Mark Stoops has completely owned the Gamecocks in his tenure at UK.
After losing the first go around to South Carolina with essentially Joker Phillips’ team, Stoops has beaten the Gamecocks on five straight occasions. Over those years, these games have given us some of the best moments in the Stoops era. The first time he beat South Carolina, birthed Grove Street Party as the Kentucky football anthem while JoJo Kemp put the Wildcats on his back in a 45-38 victory at a ruckus Commonwealth Stadium decked in all black.
“We’re just getting started bro,” Stoops told Matt Jones on the post-game show, and he was right.
Beating South Carolina next year in Columbia which ran Steve Spurrier out of town, then again in 2016 with his career at UK on thin ice, Stoops once again toppled South Carolina with the emergence of Benny snell.
How could we forget the year after that with the second straight victory in Columbia that was won on fourth down-goalline stands and an iconic picture?
Then, of course, Stoops once again got the victory over the Gamecocks en route to a 10-win season last year.
Mark Stoops, on behalf of South Carolina, Happy Father’s Day!
Lonzo Ball to De’Aaron Fox
Poor Lonzo Ball. If there’s anyone who knows what it’s like to have their father in the spotlight at all times, it is Lonzo Ball especially after his father, De’Aaron Fox, dropped 39 points in a Sweet 16 game two years ago in Las Vegas.
Since then, Fox just won’t leave the spotlight. After a stellar Sophmore season in the NBA, Fox has earned himself a shoe deal with Nike, while being in plenty of commercials and being heralded as one of the NBA’s young bright stars.
It’s so bad Ball tries to stay away from Fox. Seemingly coming down with an injury or a reason not to play every time Fox is in town, Ball just doesn’t want to be associated with Fox. Maybe it’s just a phase. I’m sure getting traded by the team that drafted you while your father is still proving to be a worthy pick will help open your eyes, Lonzo.
I hope these two can patch it up. So, on behalf of Lonzo Ball, Happy Father’s Day De’aaron!
Louisville to Coach Cal
If we want to get technical, John Calipari has only lost to Louisville once at Kentucky. (Thank you, Andre McGee) So with a record of 10-1 and an average margin of victory of nine points, Cal has OWNED the Cardinals at Kentucky. Some of Kentucky’s best moments came from the Louisville games in the Cal era. Here’s some, for example.
Pictures are worth a thousand words.
Coach Cal, on behalf of Louisville, Happy Father’s Day!
Tennesse Fans to Matt Jones
You know what, Matt’s on vacation, we probably shouldn’t go into to details on this one. But, as a little KSR secret just for today, we all know it’s free real estate on Vol twitter.
Sincerely though, happy Father’s Day to all the Dads out there, especially mine! We wouldn’t be possible without you all and if you’re able to and haven’t called your pops up yet to tell him happy father’s day, don’t be like these guys on the list and do it.