While the basketball world was buzzing about the latest in the FBI scandal, Mark Stoops was preparing for one of his biggest recruiting weekends of the year.
This weekend is Kentucky football’s annual Junior Day. UK will open its doors to hundreds of the most talented prospects in the 2019 football recruiting class. For many, it’s Stoops and Vince Marrow’s first chance to WOW the next class. The recruits will come in droves from top high schools across the country. Even if it’s a longshot, getting the best of the best on campus this weekend is the first big step in the recruiting process.
The visiting recruits will receive an academic presentation, a tour of the weight room and athletic facilities, a photoshoot with UK equipment and three tickets to the basketball game vs. Missouri at Rupp Arena.
The following list is most certainly incomplete, but it paints a picture where Kentucky is recruiting and what type of player they’re looking for, starting with quarterbacks.
Kentucky can only rely on the JUCO route for so long at quarterback. They must return to the high school ranks and land at least one in the upcoming class.
Hayden Wolff — Darin Hinshaw spotted Wolff early in the recruiting process. The Cats are the early favorite for the Englewood, Florida pocket-passer.
Paul Tyson — This will not be the first time Bear Bryant’s Grandson has visited Kentucky. The No. 7 pocket-passer and No. 223 player overall in the 2019 class, UK’s early offer put the Cats in a good position for the four-star prospect. The biggest thing in UK’s way — Tyson now has an Alabama offer.
Nik Scalzo — A 6-foot tall running quarterback from Ft. Lauderdale, his size has kept most big schools away. He has an offer from Illinois as Kentucky takes a closer look at the dual-threat quarterback.
Travis Mumphrey — The other dual-threat quarterback on campus this weekend hails from Louisiana. Considered a three-star prospect and the No. 23 dual-threat in the country, he picked up an offer from the Vols this week and will head to Knoxville after his UK visit.
Michael Smith has been extremely busy during his first few weeks on Kentucky’s staff. After extending a dozen or so offers, the new wide receivers coach convinced a few from The Pelican State to attend Junior Day.
Donald Clay — A three-star defensive back from New Orleans, Clay has almost 20 offers, most notably Arkansas, Arizona State and Kentucky.
Kash Foley — The unranked wide receiver picked up a UK offer last week.
Ahmad Bradley — A 6’2 325-pound offensive guard, he protects quarterback Travis Mumphrey at John Ehret High School in Marrero.
Chad Alexander — The shifty New Orleans running back is only 5’5, but is big enough to catch Smith’s eye.
Yes, Kentucky is recruiting in Missouri now. Where this came from, I don’t know, but it appears Kentucky will be setting up shop in St. Louis and the surrounding areas for the foreseeable future.
Shammond Cooper — A four-star inside linebacker that is considered one of the Top 250 players in the 2019 class will bring a large contingency from St. Louis’ Trinity Catholic High School with him to UK. Oklahoma is the early leader for Cooper, but Clemson and Notre Dame are also in the mix.
C.J. Boone — The 6’3 wide receiver from St. Louis also has a scholarship offer from Missouri.
Conrad Rowley — The 6’4 interior offensive lineman is being pursued by Northwestern, Minnesota and Kansas.
Steve Clinkscale has already hosted a few talented kids from Michigan this spring. This weekend he’s bringing more in from The Great Lakes State.
Michael Fletcher — Considered one of the 25 best defensive ends in the 2019 class, the four-star prospect hails from Flint, Michigan. Jim Harbaugh’s Wolverines are currently the favorite in his recruitment, but Fletcher plans on visiting Georgia next week after recently picking up an offer from Kirby Smart.
Jalen Graham — The three-star athlete hails from early enrollee DeAndre Square’s alma mater, Cass Tech.
Spencer Holstege — A 6’5″ 260-pound offensive tackle from Grand Rapids, Holstege does not yet have a UK scholarship offer.
Josh DeBerry — Kentucky was the first SEC school to offer the three-star cornerback from Warren, Michigan.
Other Top Prospects
Everybody else that didn’t fall in an easy category you will find below.
Moses Douglass — A four-star safety from Springfield, Ohio, he’s coached by his Dad, former Kentucky Wildcat safety and 11-year NFL veteran Moe Douglass. One of the Top 300 players in his class, Wisconsin, Tennessee and Michigan are all in on Douglass.
Jashon Watkins — A four-star athlete from East Nashville, Tennessee, Kentucky was just the second school to offer Watkins. He now holds offers from Oklahoma, Florida, South Carolina and others.
Richie Hagarty — Hagarty is a 6’3, 215-pound outside linebacker from Cathedral High School in Indianapolis. He’s received some early interest from Notre Dame.
Jammie Robinson — The four-star athlete from Crisp County, Georgia already holds offers from Alabama, Auburn, Clemson, South Carolina, Michigan, and of course, Kentucky.
Paris Johnson Jr. — Junior Day isn’t just for Juniors. The 6’7 offensive tackle from Cincinnati St. X is considered the No. 116 player in the 2020 recruiting class by 247 Sports. Ohio State has extended the early offer. Notre Dame, Auburn, Tennessee Michigan State have also offered Johnson. He received an offer from Kentucky earlier this week.