It was a busy weekend for Mark Stoops’ staff. The Kentucky football team hosted elite in-state visitors, lost a commitment and picked one up all over a 48-hour period.
It all began on Friday when Wandale Robinson made a trip to Lexington. The nation’s No. 9 all-purpose back from Frankfort has visited campus many times, but he told KSR this one was different, now that Vince Marrow is taking the lead in his recruitment. “It changed things a lot because he recruits hard. The stuff he tells me, it’s true whenever you sit down and look at it.”
The following day, Kentucky hosted another top in-state talent, J.J. Weaver. The 6’6″ athlete from Louisville Moore is one of the top 25 defensive ends in the country. Entering the weekend, Kentucky was behind in both recruitments. Now sources tell KSR the Cats are frontrunners for both.
It wasn’t all roses for the Cats on Mother’s Day. The day began with a de-commitment from Keontra Smith. Kentucky made an early connection with the four-star safety, one few expected to last. Considered a top 250 prospect, Smith played with five Kentucky Wildcats at Chaminade-Madonna in Hollywood, Florida, but that connection quickly eroded after Miami offered Smith.
Once the Cats lost the safety to the Hurricanes, it took about six hours to find another defensive back. Jalen Geiger of Columbia, South Carolina committed to Kentucky only a month after receiving a scholarship offer. The three-star cornerback also held offers from Cincinnati, Boston College, Rutgers and many others.
Football recruiting is more fluid than almost any other thing we cover at KSR. This weekend showed the many ups and downs, a preview of what’s to come this summer.
Bat Cats Shut Down in The Cliff’s Finale
Cliff Hagan Stadium did not get a perfect farewell.
The Bat Cats accomplished their overall goal this weekend — they won an SEC series in front of one big crowd after another. However, injuries prevented UK from finishing the series with a win. A pair of starting pitchers, Justin Lewis and Zach Haake, were sidelined with soreness in their pitching arms, forcing Nick Mingione into his bullpen early and often. It resulted in an offensive onslaught. Miss. State scored three runs in the first inning and never looked back, beating UK 18-8 in The Cliff’s regular season finale.
It did not have a pretty ending, but the game got off to an excellent start. Fifty years of Kentucky baseball coaches were represented on the mound with the first pitch of The Cliff’s final game.
50 years of Kentucky coaching on the mound prior to today’s game. pic.twitter.com/OdMQUOeqf7
— Trey Huntsman (@TreyHuntsmanKSR) May 13, 2018
Shoutout to Coach Keith Madison. The KSR Baseball Podcaster was the only who got to throw out multiple first pitches this weekend at The Cliff.
Speaking of Cliff, the real Cliff Hagan was also on hand for his stadium’s final weekend. He was a part of that first pitch and he removed the sign for the final time.
— Kentucky Athletics (@UKAthletics) May 13, 2018
Go Syd Go!
Kentucky’s freshman track phenom has done it again. Sydney McLaughlin broke another record yesterday, recording the fastest 400M hurdle time in collegiate history with 52.75. What can’t she do?
UK Softball to Host Regional Tournament
The Kentucky softball team will begin their march to the Women’s College World Series at home. Beginning this Friday, UK will host three others in a double-elimination tournament. The winner advances to a three-game Super Regional series before marching to the WCWS.
The action at John Cropp Stadium begins Friday at noon when Notre Dame takes on Michigan. UK’s opener against UIC will begin at approximately 2:30. Tickets just went on sale. You can find tickets for every session at UKathletics.com/NCAATickets.
JT is No. 1
A Kentucky native is the No. 1 golfer in the world. After finishing 11-under at The Players’ Championship, Louisville’s Justin Thomas is now the world’s top-ranked golfer. Not too shabby.
The Western Conference Finals Begin
It was a boring weekend without basketball. Sure, the Celtics got the chance to crush the Cavs in the first game of the Eastern Conference Finals, but nobody will remember that once LeBron starts trying again. We’ll see if the Warriors actually have some competition when they travel to Houston tonight at 9:00 on TNT.