As the football focus shifts to preseason camp, Vince Marrow dropped a subtle recruiting bomb at UK Football Media Day.
“We got some guys,” he told KSR. “There are some guys that are silent committed that when they announce, it’s going to blow people’s minds. It’s going to take our class way up. There’s some big time dudes that we already got silent commitments from and they just wanna announce on their mom’s birthday or their dad’s birthday. People are going to be fired up.”
The silent commitment is not a rare anomaly in the recruiting world. As Marrow said, most use it to save their public announcement for a special occasion. What’s unique in this situation is that he used the plural of “guys.” Kentucky has 14 players committed, good enough for a Top 25 ranking nationally. Who could the big stars be? Allow me to speculate for just a moment.
Rickey Hyatt Jr. — Many believed the three-star Ohio safety would pull the trigger and commit to the Cats after an unofficial visit in late July. Maybe he did tell the coaching staff he was going to be a Wildcat. A track star who lives in Ohio State’s backyard, I believe Marrow and Co. would be overjoyed if he dragged around “the school up north” for a few months, only to pull out the rug from underneath them right before signing day.
Deondre Buford — The only player who did not commit following the infamous April official visit weekend that included Justin Rogers, John Young and Beau Allen, I would not be surprised if the Michigan offensive tackle already pledged his allegiance to the Cats.
Octavious Oxendine — One of the most sought after players remaining on Kentucky’s board, the addition of the North Hardin defensive tackle would certainly “blow people’s minds.” A four-star prospect that’s considered one of the nation’s top 250 recruits, Ox is exactly what UK is looking for in the middle of the defense.
Vito Tisdale — It’s difficult to gauge exactly where the Bowling Green safety’s recruitment stands. The four-star recruit kept a low profile throughout the recruiting season until he announced yesterday that he will reveal his college decision on national TV at the All-American Game. In theory, if Tisdale wanted to enroll early, he could sign with his future school in December and ask them to keep the news quiet until the All-American Game announcement.
For now, all of that is enjoyable food for thought. Chew on it as you please. If Vince’s statement becomes a reality (and I have no reason to doubt it), 2020 will go down as the highest-ranked recruiting class in school history.
The Magic Number
Many were concerned UK could not capitalize on an excellent ten-win season with a complete recruiting class in 2020. Marrow told me they plan on taking 22 to 24 players this year. Transfers and other defections will give UK almost a complete class.
Did You Know?
UK cannot specifically ask committed players to recruit on the Cats’ behalf. It’s against NCAA rules. Marrow’s just happy this group has taken the initiative on their own.
“We do not tell guys to recruit for us,” he revealed. “They recruit on their own. Certain guys just got that passion. Why wouldn’t you recruit? Don’t you wanna play with good players? If I was coming out, I’d be trying to get all the good players. We got some very smart guys in this class.”
He cannot specifically say who is taking charge, but it’s pretty obvious that Beau Allen and John Young are the ring-leaders.
Big Dog in Louisville
Over the last two years, Kentucky has picked up seven commitments from the city of Louisville (eight if you count Dru Phillips, who grew up in the city). That swift change could not have happened without Marrow.
“We got the guys we’re supposed to get at Kentucky,” Marrow said. “Once we got a few guys committed, that didn’t sit well with people down there.”
At UK Media Day, Vince joked that when he stops at restaurants around town, people tell him to keep it moving. Well, not everyone.
“I’m so happy that he put me down there because I met a lot of good people. There’s a lot of Kentucky fans in the city of Louisville.”
If you’re wondering how Kentucky has overtaken Michigan State on the football recruiting front, take one look at these absolutely horrendous alternate uniforms.