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University of Kentucky Basketball, Football, and Recruiting news brought to you in the most ridiculous manner possible.

Ace Wales to Western Kentucky

Taggart and the Hilltoppers will welcome Wales with open arms…

Louisville Central High School saw a senior football player break several records this year, running all over the Commonwealth’s competition en route to becoming Jefferson County’s all-time leading rusher with 8,213 career yards. That player, Anthony ‘Ace’ Wales, amassed 2,784 yards and 40 touchdowns his senior season, which he capped off by finally committing to Louisville and Coach Chuck Strong.

But National Signing Day saw a different result to this kid’s recruiting story than expected. Ace Wales signed scholarship papers to play for Willie Taggart at Western Kentucky instead of UofL. I’d like to keep the KSR coverage of NSD UK-related, but this story ends on a note that affects Kentucky. At first, you may be thinking: “OMG, yessss. A UofL commit spurned Strong. Suck it, Cards!” But that’s not exactly the case here…

When Wales committed to the Cards, he did so on the same day as Miami, FL RB Brandon Radcliff. UofL recruiting experts say that Wales sat on his scholarship offer to Louisville for two years before pulling the trigger – and it just so happened to be on the same day as another tailback. Needless to say, this forced Strong and company into the issue of ‘which kid do you really want’, which you solve by ignoring one player and giving the other lots of love. Thanks partially to a shoulder injury, Wales took a backseat to Radcliff in Coach Strong’s mind. Word on the street is that Wales no longer felt wanted at UofL. And by the street, I mean the internet. That place where all us recruiting nerds hang out and do stuff in our boxers all day like Drew Franklin.

UK once recruited Wales, but it became apparent that he was a Cards fan at heart and wanted to stay home and play for them. Unfortunately, no one wants to be somewhere they aren’t wanted, so Wales jumped ship to WKU. Several other in-state kids have apparently felt spurned by Coach Strong by his relentless pursuit of Florida players, as well. From Bridgewater to Radcliff, Louisville’s core has become full of Sunshine state boys.

It seems the high school players in Louisville are not happy about this. This is where the UK tie comes in. If Strong continues to brush off the in-state talent for the Florida players who aren’t reeled in by UF or Miami, then Strong’s reputation in the city of Louisville and state of Kentucky as a whole is going to plummet (hopefully fast). Don’t believe me? Take Wales’ word for it then:

If you want to send the Florida players here to take over Louisville, we’re going to all go to WKU to take over” – Anthony ‘Ace’ Wales (via Adam Lefkoe)

I don’t think WKU is going to take over much of anything in football, but I’m glad they are getting quality players. More importantly, I’d rather the Louisville high school players say, “We’re going to go to UK to take over”. That makes much more sense – bigger school, facilities, SEC, etc. Joker has an opportunity to take advantage of Strong’s preference for Florida. Yes, in the long run, Florida talent will continually beat Kentucky football talent. But let’s be honest – Strong will not be at UofL that long. And having a stronghold on in-state talent is absolutely necessary for UK to have lasting football success.

Okay, this post needs more blue. Too much red and black for me. So here ya go: Patrick Graffree says hi (click to follow him)

Article written by Chris Thomas

21 Comments for Ace Wales to Western Kentucky

  1. Cats are Gr8
    6:06 pm February 1, 2012 Permalink

    I am going to laugh so hard when Strong gets busted for cheating with these recruits. His recruiting coordinator is dirty dirty dirty. It will be so ironic, after hearing Card fans gloat about Cal cheating, to acutally see their program go up in flames.

  2. WKU fan
    6:10 pm February 1, 2012 Permalink

    file this one away for september 15 and we’ll see who is taking over the state

  3. UKfaninWI
    6:12 pm February 1, 2012 Permalink

    2: Score a TD on our horrid D then start talking about being the class of the Commonwealth even tho if Western has a few good years I see nothing wrong with that

  4. Kwildcat
    6:29 pm February 1, 2012 Permalink

    2 – one freshman running back doth not make a team…..Central kids often have problem with grades etc too. Go back to your big blob website!

  5. UKnowMe
    6:40 pm February 1, 2012 Permalink

    Who is the hottie with Patrick?

  6. SeoulCat
    6:55 pm February 1, 2012 Permalink

    If Graffree is 6’4”,270 lbs., the woman standing next to him must be huge…heels or no heels, that’s one large lady.

  7. Funky Fresh
    7:01 pm February 1, 2012 Permalink

    Let’s be honest here, WKU should have beaten UK this past season. It was ridiculous that they didn’t. UK is going to be garbage again this coming season and WKU is going to be even better than before. As much as you hate to admit it, you know WKU is on the rise while UK football continues to be the smelly armpit of the SEC. At least there is basketball though

  8. BGF
    7:24 pm February 1, 2012 Permalink

    What’s funny about his comment about FL taking over UL, is that WKU and Coach Taggart are doing the same thing. Taggart is FL guy.

  9. Hatetoburstyourbubble
    7:27 pm February 1, 2012 Permalink

    @7 I hate to be the one to tell you, but your in the sun-belt. While western train the upside and this recruit is a solid pull for them, the highest they can “rise” is the R&L Carriers New Orleans bowl.. Good luck with that.

  10. HuntsVegas
    7:42 pm February 1, 2012 Permalink


  11. TheTruth
    7:46 pm February 1, 2012 Permalink

    As a uk fan, I’d rather take a bunch of florida kids every year. There are only 3 0r 4 Ky kids that deserve a look each year. Load your team full of kentucky kids and you are going to [email protected] That RB the cards got instead of Whales has a much better offer sheet.

  12. Fire joker now
    7:51 pm February 1, 2012 Permalink

    Ky recruiting class ranked higher than ul by scout in football wtf

  13. TheTruth
    8:02 pm February 1, 2012 Permalink

    12) Scout’s formula is heavily weighted toward # of signees. We signed like 26 kids. Nebraska is ranked 49 on Scout and 26 on Rivals. Nebraska only signed 17 kids. Basically, Scout is a joke.

  14. Threadee McThreadThread
    8:20 pm February 1, 2012 Permalink

    Why get caught up in a UK-UofL-WKU nerd fight or spend even one second contemplating how many “stars” a 17-year old kid has? Anthony Wales was a stud HIGH SCHOOL running back in the STATE of KENTUCKY. He was fun to watch and I’m happy he gets his chance at I-A/FBS football. Never met him, don’t know anything about him other than what his coaches say and what he showed on Wazoo Sports — but don’t be surprised if he tears it up down in Bowling Green!

  15. Mike
    8:38 pm February 1, 2012 Permalink

    Did we really do that good in FB recruiting??…most have UL ranked higher, and we finished last in the S.E.C…Vandy had 3 (4) stars to our 2????supposedly it was Vandy’s best recruiting class ever. I guess maybe we did pretty good in view of the fact that many of the signees had to have taken the plunge not knowing if Joker would survive beyond next season or not.

  16. Clam
    9:29 pm February 1, 2012 Permalink

    Well, WKU played UK to within a touchdown last season, and they had a much better game against LSU in Death Valley than UK did. It does suck that WKU will be stuck with the New Orleans bowl for as long as they are in the Sun Belt, but at least they will be going to a bowl (which will be tougher for UK now that MU and A&M are in the SEC). WKU will probably be beat by UK most years, but you are blind not to see that good things are going on in BG!

  17. Dar Helmet
    9:48 pm February 1, 2012 Permalink

    The WKU 2012 class includes Gator 5 star CB/WR transfer Johnathon Dowling, 4 star QB Demarcus Smith, Ace, FLa WR Austin Aikens, and Tyrone Pearson. UK needs to step up or they might have to compete against WKU – UL’s already blown us out of the water.

  18. WKU Hilltopper
    10:08 pm February 1, 2012 Permalink

    Here’s the deal: Yes, head-to-head UK will probably be the better overall team compared to WKU in football. But look at it this way; WKU could possibly start DOMINATING the Sun Belt. Thus, becoming bowl eligible. Which is something UK probably really struggle with. Although UK will win in the match-up, WKU’s season will be way more fun to watch. And in a few years who knows what may happen?
    3. You kind of proved his point. You said UK had a horrid D (which they did) further proving the point that WKU may have a shot at becoming the best team in the Commonwealth.
    Difference between WKU and UK: WKU has made football a major priority and UK has not.

  19. 2020
    10:49 pm February 1, 2012 Permalink

    We signed two 6’1″ WRs and a 6’3″ ATH. Is that enough to bolster a questionable receiving corps?

  20. krmcats
    7:01 am February 2, 2012 Permalink

    I would like to have his teacher on my team!

  21. mike
    11:49 am February 2, 2012 Permalink

    she is pretty tall, she was my english teacher at john hardin high. her name is betsy hobbs