For the biggest game of the year at Kroger Field, Mark Stoops is hosting one of his biggest recruiting weekends of the year.
On game days, Stoops, Vince Marrow and the rest of the coaches have their hands full. While they worry about preparation, almost every committed player in the 2020 recruiting class will be on hand to talk to other recruits. To name a few — Earnest Sanders, Dru Phillips, Izayah Cummings, Jordan Watkins and Kalil Branham will be in the building.
Two in-state players will be prioritized by the 2020 class, Bowling Green safety Vito Tisdale and North Hardin defensive tackle Octavious Oxendine. Each have led low-profile recruitments thus far. Oxendine’s visit is an official visit, joining a handful of others in the 2020 class.
Michael Drennen II is a “must play right away” talent from Ohio’s Dublin Coffman High School. One of the top athletes in America, he is deadly running out of the backfield or catching passes from the slot. Even though Kentucky already has four wide receivers committed, when you can take away an elite athlete from Ohio State and Alabama, you do whatever it takes to make that happen.
R.J. Adams is currently a Penn State commitment, but the offensive guard from Virginia is joining Drennen and Co. for an official visit to Kentucky this weekend. I’m sure he’ll be reminded about what happened in the Citrus Bowl quite often.
There are a pair of elite defenders officially visiting, cornerback Brian George and defensive end Tyler Baron. George is ranked by 247 as the No. 5 overall JUCO recruit in America. Baron, a Knoxville native, is a top 100 player in the 2020 class. Many believed Baron would become a Vol, but Tennessee’s slow start and this weekend in Lexington could change his mind.
While most of the focus is on the upcoming recruiting class, this weekend is the perfect time to make an impression on underclassmen, especially those from Tennessee. DC Tabscott is a top 20 pocket passer in the 2021 class from Nashville. Zion Rucker could become UK’s next great interior defensive lineman from Tennessee. Noah Josey is one of the best players from the Volunteer State. The Brentwood offensive lineman holds offers from Alabama, Auburn, Georgia and a dozen others. Travion Ford, a four-star defensive end from St. Louis, represents Kentucky’s border state to the west.
UK is making sure the best from the Bluegrass are on hand for Saturday night’s electric atmosphere. Three of the most-talented juniors in the state will be on hand for unofficial visits — Frederick Douglass offensive guard Jager Burton, North Hardin running back Lavell Wright and Somerset quarterback Kaiya Sheron are near the top of UK’s big board.
The number of recruits on campus should double what I mentioned in this post. There’s no better time to capitalize on momentum than Saturday night.