Kentucky’s top-ranked 2019 commitment has de-committed.
It stinks. There’s no other way to spin it.
A top 100 athlete and the state’s Mr. Football, Wandale Robinson was the perfect poster boy for Mark Stoops’ first class after an historic nine-win season. An affable and explosive star, Robinson was the perfect person fill a position of need as Kentucky’s offense transitioned from the Benny Snell era into Terry Touchdown’s hands.
Robinson’s decision to flip creates a void, however, the biggest impact isn’t on the field.
Wandale’s decision will hurt morale more than it will Kentucky’s roster. This is the kind of decision that will make some fans never follow football recruiting ever again. It’s not just the flip, it’s how it happened. First reports of the flip surfaced while he told reporters he still planned on signing to UK in two weeks. That’s a tough pill to swallow.
“I regret that things happened the way they did,” Wandale said. “It was never my intention to hurt or mislead anyone or play any sort of ‘game.'”
The football recruiting machine chewed up Wandale, spit him out and took fans on an unpleasant ride. De-commitments happen all the time, but this one will leave lasting scars on the Big Blue Nation.
Time to Step Up
Wandale was penciled into Kentucky’s starting “Y” position — the second slot spot that David Bouvier played in 2018 — as the heir apparent to Lynn Bowden. Lynn is still going to be Lynn in 2019, but he needs help from others in the 2017 recruiting class.
Bowden was one of five receivers in the class. JaVonte Richardson, the second-highest ranked, had to attend junior college to improve his grades. He’ll return to UK in January. Isaiah Epps and Josh Ali have a combined 25 career receptions. Each have had a good game or two, but have been inconsistent potential deep threats. Clevan Thomas showed the most early promise by catching 3 passes for 28 yards and a touchdown in the 2017 spring game as an early enrollee. Last season he redshirted. In 2019 No. 18 needs to live up to that number’s good name to make sure the Cats don’t miss a beat without Wandale.
If the 2017 class doesn’t figure it out, others are waiting for an opportunity. The 2018 class brought three players who played in four games and redshirted. The 2019 has two incredibly fast targets, TaeTae Crumes and Demarcus Harris. The talent is there. It’s time to step up.
UK still has Recruiting Momentum
Just because Kentucky lost their top-ranked recruit, doesn’t mean the class is toast.
Five days ago the Cats got a commitment from a four-star Louisville pass-rusher, J.J. Weaver. Tomorrow they’re expected to receive a commitment from another four-star Louisville linebacker (and previously an Oregon commit), Jared Casey.
Stoops and Marrow aren’t only targeting four-stars from Kentucky. Four-star South Carolina cornerback Jammie Robinson hosted Mark Stoops on an in-home visit last night. A week ago Stoops was visiting four-star Louisiana wide receiver Devonta Lee. Both will officially visit UK on the final weekend before signing day. If Kentucky lands just one they’ll finish with a top 30 class, a.k.a. one of the best in school history.
We have a great class with playmakers and future NFL players on our roster time to move on keep challenging the SEC For Champions ship. Go Big Blue.
— CoachMarrowUK (@vincemarrow) December 5, 2018
Losing Wandale Robinson is quite the buzzkill. Since Kentucky dismantled Louisville to end the regular season, everything had gone right for Kentucky football…until now. Despite the loss, Kentucky’s in position to finish the final two weeks of the recruiting season on a high note.