Arden Key is a highly-touted defensive end in the 2015 recruiting class with an offer sheet full of powerhouse football programs, including Kentucky. The 6-foot-5, 200-pounder from Lithonia, Georgia recently decided to wrap up his recruitment early, at least for now, when he pledged his commitment to Steve Spurrier and the South Carolina Gamecocks. Way to go, USC-Jr. Good for you.
But Key’s commitment, though big news on the football recruiting scene, is drawing national attention for reasons away from the gridiron. Sure, it is a huge steal for Spurrier to pull a recruit out of the state of Georgia, but it’s one of the reasons Key gave for choosing South Carolina that has everyone talking.
After announcing his decision Sunday afternoon, Key told Palmetto Sports that academics drew him to Columbia. And not in a good kind of way for the university.
“The academic part, it’s like you have to try to fail,” he said.
Ummmmm… Come again?
Did this dude just suggest it’s easier to pass classes at South Carolina? And if that’s a major factor in where he goes, why didn’t he commit to North Carolina?
I bet he’d like to have the quote back.
To your News and Views…
Yahtzee! Yahtzee! Holy Yahtzee! What another great day to be a UK football fan! First, Mark Stoops and his staff locked up twin transfers from Pittsburgh, Demitrious and Chris Davis. In case you haven’t heard, the Davis brothers announced they’d be leaving the Pitt program last month to find a system that fits their playmaking abilities. They were promised the spread offense under former Pitt head coach Todd Graham, but when Graham left prior to their freshman seasons last year, new head coach Paul Chryst brought in a slower Big 10-like offense. The boys’ father, Chris Davis Sr., made it clear during their senior year of high school that they wouldn’t go anywhere in the Big 10 because the style of play doesn’t fit their faster and smaller frames, and they would only seek schools that spread it out. Insert Kentucky, the school they visited and committed to on Tuesday.
The Brothers Davis will have to sit out 2013 but they will participate in fall camp and work with the scout team throughout the season. They will have three years of eligibility beginning in 2014 and potential to earn full scholarships. They will be walk-ons this fall.
Coming out of Ohio’s Austintown Fitch High School in 2012, Demitrious and Chris were the 32nd and 33rd ranked athletes in the class, respectively. They had offers from over 20 schools at the time, including West Virginia, UCLA and Oregon.
Demitrious will play in the slot and occasionally in the backfield in Neal Brown’s Air Raid offense; Chris is expected to play cornerback.
If you thought the UK staff was done for the day with the Davises, you thought wrong. #BBN had another game of Yahtzee! to play Tuesday night. Derrick Kelly, an unranked lineman out of Florida became the 18th verbal commitment in Kentucky’s 2014 recruiting class. Kelly, like Bryan The Intern on a Saturday night out in Louisville, goes both ways, although he’s listed as an offensive tackle and expected to stay that way in Lexington. A cousin of former UK defensive back Eric Kelly, the 6-foot-5, 280-pounder picked the Cats over offers from South Florida, Central Florida, East Carolina, Marshall and others.
It’s important to note he is high school teammates with three-star cornerback JaJuan Perkins, who also has an offer from UK.
Keeping with the UK football theme, UK offensive coordinator Neal Brown spoke to a group of lunch-eaters at the Louisville Quarterback Club luncheon Tuesday afternoon. Our own Ally Tucker was not in attendance, but she has a recap of Brown’s words with a little help from the Herald-Leader’s John Clay. To summarize, Brown thinks you, the members of Big Blue Nation, are the most active fans on social media and he credits the online interaction and support for building momentum in recruiting. He also noted that the current commitments understand 2013 might be an ugly season and everyone is on board to come here and help turn it around in 2014.
Bud Dupree and Avery Williams were honored recently by being named to the 2013 College Football Performance Awards Defensive Awards Watch List. Dupree was named to the 2013 CFPA Defensive Lineman Trophy Watch List, while Williamson earned a spot on the 2013 CFPA Linebacker Trophy Watch List.
Nerlens Noel is receiving some criticism this week for his inner circle and the way they have handled the pre-draft process. How it affects his draft position remains to be seen, but he told KSR it shouldn’t be an issue and he’s surprised to hear the allegations. Noel told Matt he has just been focused on rehabbing down in Birmingham and some people (agents) could be taking it the wrong way when he declines their requests to talk. “One of the reasons I am so far ahead on my rehab is while other people have been wanting me to talk to agents, I have been down here working trying to get on the court,” he said.
Keep doing you, big fella. Make them eat they feet.
Noel is still No. 1 in Chad Ford’s mock draft, although the Alex Len talks continue to pick up from the so-called experts. It’s looking like it’ll be one of those two who hear their name called when David Stern announces Cleveland’s first overall pick next week.
Archie is No. 38 on Ford’s Top 100.
I’ll leave you with this tweet from Thaddeus Snodgrass. Go Cats.
For those who didn't know yes we are THE #1 recruiting class in the nation.. Run with us or run from us!!
— Thaddeus Snodgrass (@ThadSnod1) June 19, 2013