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On the Road: Catch Up with UK Football’s Busy Recruiting Week


The Kentucky football season ended on Saturday, but this might be the busiest week of the year for the Kentucky football coaches.

On Monday morning Mark Stoops’ assistants hit the road, covering the country from Michigan to Florida and everywhere in-between.  Mark Stoops joined them on the recruiting trail on Tuesday after his call-in show.  Here’s who they’ve met with and what has happened at the start of the busy recruiting season.

New JUCO Targets

The first JUCO prospect to receive an offer is one who has a close connection to KSR.  Bryant Pirtle was a pass rusher for my DeSales Colts that led the state in sacks twice and in the process broke a little school record I used to hold.  Committed to WKU out of high school, he headed west to junior college in Arizona.  He’ll likely stay on the West Coast, but the Kentucky offer could change things.

Pirtle’s Pima C.C. teammate, defensive back Aaron Maddox, also received a scholarship offer from the Cats.  A native of North Augusta, South Carolina, the safety currently holds offers from Arizona State, Louisville, Arkansas and others.

Another new defensive back target on the board is Warren Saba.  A 3-star prospect out of Cleveland Benedictine, he does not yet have an offer from UK, but could pick up one when coaches watch Garden City C.C. this weekend.  If that school sounds familiar, it’s also the home of quarterback Terry Wilson, who plans on taking an official visit to Kentucky in two weeks.

JUCO defensive line targets have yet to emerge, but that will surely not be the case much longer.

Quarterback Recruits

As of today, Wilson is probably the quarterback that is most likely to commit to Kentucky.  The dual-threat JUCO quarterback will take an official visit to UK just before NSD with most of Kentucky’s committed 2018 class.

Today Darin Hinshaw visited another dual-threat quarterback, former Missouri commit James Foster.  The day after the Cats extended an offer, the No. 14 dual-threat QB prospect in America included UK in his top five.  LSU and Florida State are currently the favorites and this weekend he will be in Tallahassee.  If Jimbo Fisher leaves for Texas A&M, that will give Kentucky another leg up in Foster’s recruitment.

Foster isn’t the only quarterback Hinshaw has visited this week.  He also caught up with Matthew Baldwin, a Colorado State commit who is considered one of the nation’s top 25 pocket passers in the 2018 class.

Targeting Tennessee Commits

Butch Jones’ termination has created a hysterical scene in Knoxville, one that is primed for opposing coaches to pick apart the Vols’ recruiting class.

At the top of that list is former UK commit Shocky Jacques-Louis.  He has re-opened his recruitment and KSR is hearing things are trending Kentucky’s way for the Florida wide receiver.

There are a few other talented new names Kentucky is trying to pull from Tennessee.  Yesterday Matt House was in Hampton, Georgia for an in-home visit with Trey Dean.  A four-star safety and the No. 275 player overall according to the 247 Composite, Dean has tentatively planned an official visit to Kentucky for the pre-NSD recruiting weekend of December 16.

Another highly-touted Tennessee commit will take an official visit to Kentucky on that same weekend.  Nashville native Tanner Antonutti is a 3-star, 6’5″ 260-pound offensive tackle that has become a top target in the final weeks of the recruiting season for John Schlarman.

Catching up with the Commits

The first order of business for Kentucky coaches during the post-Louisville week of recruiting is paying in-home visits to Kentucky’s verbal commits.  The Twitter timeline is not filled with as many pictures with players and coaches, but Keaton Upshaw, Darrian Kinnard, Brenden Bates and Quintin Wilson have all shared snapshots from their visits.  Where Kentucky’s class stands as of today:

Kentucky Football 2018 Recruiting Class

NamePositionHometownHeightWeight 247 Composite
Marquan McCallOGOak Park, Mi.6-43204-star
Darian KinnardOTCleveland, Oh.6-73364-star
Xavier PetersOLBWest Chester, Oh.6-42254-star
Terry WilsonQBOmaha, Ne.6-21803-star
DeAndre SquareS/OLBDetroit, Mi.6-12003-star
Brenden BatesTECincinnati, Oh.6-52303-star
Stanley GarnerCBFt. Lauderdale, Fl.6-31803-star
Meechi HarrisWRXenia, Oh.6-21883-star
Quintin WilsonCCincinnati, Oh. 6-32903-star
Marvin AlexanderWRHollywood, Fl.6-31753-star
Jamari BrownCBPompano Beach, Fl.6-31803-star
Davoan HawkinsDEHollywood, Fl.6-42703-star
Akeem HayesATH/WRHollywood, Fl.5-101753-star
Keaton UpshawTELima, Oh.6-72253-star
Christopher RodriguezRBMcDonough, Ga.5-112003-star
Ashton PierreATHDeerfield Beach, Fl.6-21913-star
Domonique WilliamsJUCO CBKnoxville, Tn.5-101903-star
Chance PooreKAnderson, Sc.6-32003-star
Max DuffyPWestern Australia6-11763-star
Kenneth HorseyOTSeminole, Fl. 6-43253-star
Jerquavion “Qua” Mahone DTManchester, Ga.6-4195N/A

This week the ground work is being laid for the Cats to cash-in on a few Yahtzees prior to the first ever college football early signing day on December 20.  While all is quiet now, it’s going to get crazy in about two weeks.

Article written by Nick Roush

"Look upon the doughnut, and not upon the hole." @RoushKSR

22 responses to “On the Road: Catch Up with UK Football’s Busy Recruiting Week”

  1. timewilltell

    Wish Barnhart was out recruiting a coach. Stop the bleeding!!!!

  2. maximumscott

    1 DT… sheesh.

    1. kjd

      Yep. We’re going to continue to build and work and get better.
      We have to improve our defense. One d-line player is going to get the job done.
      Don’t understand their recruiting. Also where is the speed!?

  3. StevieGotLoose

    16 3 stars, won’t get you very far up the ladder in SEC

    1. UK Big Board Update

      Benny was a 3 star.

    2. dismore

      Sure every once and a while a 3 star becomes a premier player. But as a whole 3 stars will not elevate a program towards the top of the SEC. Especially when we are towards the bottom of the SEC annual. Yes even under Stoops we are towards the bottom.

    3. callitlikeiseeit

      Fatt Elam was a 4 star I believe, I’ll take 3 stars over him everyday unless we are talking Nathan’s hotdog eating contest

    4. UK Big Board Update

      “Fatt Elam”…. thats cute. I bet you wouldn’t say that to his face.

  4. cats646

    Bud Dupree- 2 star
    Josh Allen- 2 star
    Just 2 off the top of my head. Stars mean nothing. Determination and willingness to give everything to be the best. That is what matters. Do you all not understand that a negative fan base makes it harder or actually near impossible to recruit. If these kids see all of this crap y’all post about not having a good coach and wanting to get rid of him then there not gonna come play for him. And just for the record we could’ve handed nick saiben this program after the joker years and he wouldn’t even have a 9 or 10 win season yet. Hell he might not even be doing this good. It takes time to build something out of nothing

    1. timewilltell

      Go tell the top programs that Stars don’t matter.

    2. bigb

      Preach cats646!!!

    3. My Dixie Wrecked

      Keep recruiting all the 3-stars, see where this gets you.

  5. cats646

    Directing that mainly at time will tell and everyone who agrees with him. How idiotic

  6. cats646

    😂. Yea what’s there number I’ll call them right up. The point I’m trying to make is that these stars are based purely on how they play in high school. A lot of kids transform into totally different people in college. Take Damien Harris. #1 coming out of high school and I wouldn’t have him over Benny snell. I’d actually take a lot of running backs in the sec over him. Therefore stars don’t always matter.

  7. Alleykat16

    With the right coaching and strength coach you can make 3 star players into really good players its done at other programs so why not at UK

  8. cats646

    I agree alleycat

  9. kycats13

    I hope they are good now because as history shows they won’t get any better. Of course we can get back to work.

  10. cats646

    In history we never had coach stoops or all this talent. I just hope they can break this curse on uk football🙄

  11. dfleming

    Ranking high school football players is really hard, outside of QBs. Unlike basketball where a 5-year-old could rank the players on the floor after watching a few plays, attributing a team’s success to a singular player on the football field is hard. There are too many variables in football to say accurately, this guy is a 4 star and this guy is a 3 star. That being said, I think Stoops has recruited well (remember when Joker would get 1 crummy 4 star a year?) but UK makes too many bone headed mistakes when the game is on the line and that’s about coaching.

    1. dfleming

      Also, to piggyback on my original comment, a better way to look at recruits is to see which other schools have offered him.

  12. cats646

    Good point dfleming but not all those mistakes are on the coaches. I don’t blame stoops at all for the second open receiver against Florida. The first one might have been his fault but the second one he called an audible and 2 guys ran off the field instead of one. Not his fault. Also he saw that and was jumping up and down yelling for a timeout but the ref wouldn’t give him the time of day. He might have waited to late to try and call a timeout, idk. But it’s just funny how the refs are usually the best players on Floridas team🤔

  13. cats646

    And ole miss was just poor execution in the third when we tried to build on our lead and had 3 3 and outs. And on the final drive we all knew they were gonna throw a touchdown. Our backs can’t cover anything. That is on coaching. Clincksdale should be fired immediately