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Gary Henderson making noise on the recruiting trail

When you mention top-15 recruits committing to Kentucky, most people would assume you’re talking about a young basketball star looking to enter John Calipari’s system. It’s another player; another cog in his dribble-drive offense wanting a fast track to the NBA. But baseball coach Gary Henderson is hot on Cal’s coat tails in recruiting the best of the best.

Considered one of the top pitching coaches in college baseball, Coach Henderson is stocking up on arms for his 2013 class. He has experience recruiting on the big SEC stage, and his hard work is finally starting to pay off. Henderson spent five years at Kentucky as the recruiting coordinator and pitching coach before becoming the head coach in 2009. Judging by the results of his 2013 class thus far, young players know that Henderson is the man.

It has flown under the radar in the mainstream Lexington media that we have a top-five baseball prospect right here in our own backyard. Woodford County’s Clinton Hollon is the best pitching prospect available for 2013, according to ESPN and the No. 3 overall recruit in the class. Back in late May he gave Kentucky a verbal commitment. Hollon has blown Major League scouts away with his fastball that has been clocked as high as 97 mph. It is going to be tough to keep the MLB dollar signs from making his decision on whether to play in college for three seasons, or begin his professional career.

Potentially joining Hollon in Lexington will be Trevor Clifton, a 6-foot-4, 180 pound senior at Heritage High School in Maryville, Tennessee. He committed to Kentucky Tuesday, giving the Cats their second top right-handed pitching prospect. Clifton has been clocked with a fastball in the upper 90’s and struck out 57 batters in just 33 innings of work during his junior season. He is rated the sixth-best pitching prospect for 2013 and No. 11 overall in the class.

His commitment means the Cats now have two of the best arms available in their next recruiting class, and if they both decide to develop their mechanics under one of the best pitching-minded coaches in Gary Henderson rather than head to the MLB farm systems early, Kentucky baseball is setting up to be an SEC regular in the post season.

Article written by Stuart Hammer

B.S. Broadcast Journalism from the University of Kentucky. @StuartHammerKSR

27 Comments for Gary Henderson making noise on the recruiting trail

  1. Bob Sugar
    1:16 pm August 8, 2012 Permalink

    Baseball? you can’t be serious. What is this 1922? Baseball is a relic of a pre television America. Thanks to that marvelous invention, we now have exciting games to watch and enjoy. The days of this boring sport are over, especially college baseball which is right up there with women’s basketball as an insult to athletic programs everywhere. Collapse the baseball program, sink the money we would have spent stringing that ancient “sport” along into a real football program that will put us on top of the sports world.

  2. Cat In The ATL
    1:20 pm August 8, 2012 Permalink

    If you don’t like it, don’t read it. There are some of us who care about all of the Kentucky sports teams.

  3. Bob Sugar
    1:26 pm August 8, 2012 Permalink

    2. Cat in the ATL sounds like Matt Jones’ loyal terrier.. it has nothing to do with reading it or about a free site mumbo jumbo.. it;s about not giving this peripheral sport any more attention or publicity than it deserves because it detracts from the sports that actually matter.

  4. BillDozer
    1:32 pm August 8, 2012 Permalink

    Bob…baseball does matter.

  5. BobSugarIsGod!
    1:36 pm August 8, 2012 Permalink

    Yes! Listen to ME! I am the only one who MATTERS! My opinion is pretty much it folks. My superiority complex will crush your stupid little minds. I win.

  6. TylerL
    1:43 pm August 8, 2012 Permalink

    Kid from Woodford is foing in the 1st round next year. If Henderson gets him on campus it will be a miracle.

  7. kdh2011
    1:44 pm August 8, 2012 Permalink

    Awesome news. I love the atmosphere at Cliff Hagan. Free for students, cheap for families. All around a wonderful way to spend a spring day.

  8. trueblue8
    1:53 pm August 8, 2012 Permalink

    uk baseball is a great program with great fan support. Bob you sure do think you’re smarter than everyone else. you’re wrong on this one buddy

  9. Andrew
    1:57 pm August 8, 2012 Permalink

    Hollon will go pro. He deleted his twitter but some of the tweets on there were way worse than anything any Louisville has ever tweeted. He’s also an idiot in the classroom and wouldn’t qualify for a scholarship. He was ineligible almost all year. A kid like him will never go to college

  10. tonydelksarms
    1:58 pm August 8, 2012 Permalink

    Im blown away that the #3 prospect in ALL of HS baseball is from Woodford Co!!! Take that south east and south lexington youth baseball, Suck it! Yea thats right grown man wearing youth baseball gear eating at chuys, yea im talking to you lol

  11. lexbaseball
    2:03 pm August 8, 2012 Permalink

    Hollon is from Lexington, not Woodford County. He originally played at Lafayette. He’ll never step foot on Kentucky’s campus. Most of the top high school prospects sign pro contracts right out of high school, otherwise they have to go to college for three years or until they’re 21.

  12. Andrew
    2:03 pm August 8, 2012 Permalink

    Tonydelksarms he played at south Lexington was at Lafayette freshman year and transferred to woodford sophomore year. I played him. Get Yor facts straight idiot

  13. Brow Down
    2:04 pm August 8, 2012 Permalink

    Hollon is a head case and self-centered. However, he is so good that he will go very high in the draft and not attend UK.

    11- he is from lexington. 1 parent lives in Woodford Co. He actually transfered to Lafayette but would have to sit out a year. Btw, his other psrent lives right by Shilito.

  14. Matt
    2:15 pm August 8, 2012 Permalink

    With how high these two are on scouts radars, don’t expect them to be wearing UK blue for the 2014 season. And to Bob who says baseball is like women’s bball….Suck a fat one

  15. Youth Baseball
    2:23 pm August 8, 2012 Permalink

    Clinton was a South Lexington youth baseball product and plays Summer ball with a lot of the current South Lexington kids. He has an excellent high school coach (who also happens to be a Lexington youth baseball standout) who will work with him mentally as well as physically. I don’t think he will ever step foot on the UK campus, but the point of the article is that Coach Henderson is able to get the better high school players to look at Kentucky. There is very good baseball played in the Lexington area and if Coach Henderson can keep the in-state kids at Kentucky, we can have a very good baseball program.

  16. Coach Henderson
    2:23 pm August 8, 2012 Permalink

    15- You’re correct, both of these guys will probably be first rounders, sign contracts and get whatever money they ask for. But on the off chance that the teams that draft them can’t get a deal done, I’m glad they’re committed to here. Also, you have to think that with recruits like that committing to play at UK, other talented guys will see that and say I wanna play there too.

  17. matt
    2:41 pm August 8, 2012 Permalink

    17-Maybe so, but even if a deal can’t be done, they better not have signed an agent. Most times with ppl that will get drafted as high as these kids will, they will hire an agent to try and work out a deal. I’m sure wofo’s coach will be helping hollan out since he played some in the bigs and knows a thing or two. and to 16-it is nice to see local talent go to uk, i know when cohen was there he basically refused to even look at in state kids let alone city kids. 2007 had a wealth of talent and not a single local player was getting looked at by uk (next year was cohen’s last year anyway)

  18. what the what
    2:50 pm August 8, 2012 Permalink

    Sounds like most of you do/need to live on kentucky preps.

  19. Coach Henderson
    3:24 pm August 8, 2012 Permalink

    18- All of these highly touted prospects already have agents, but they are called advisors and it’s completely within the rules. If these recruits can’t get a deal done with their drafted teams, they are gonna be wildcat, its cut and dry.

  20. Random Nibbler
    3:45 pm August 8, 2012 Permalink

    #1 is wrong and yes, I love UK Baseball.

  21. Matt
    3:45 pm August 8, 2012 Permalink

    20-I know they have “advisors” i played college baseball, so i know that. I was speaking strictly in terms of hiring an agent, who helps with the negotiating of a contract. there is a difference in having an agent as an advisor and actually hiring an agent

  22. I know him
    4:42 pm August 8, 2012 Permalink

    I know the kid very well. Rode the bus with him, played ball with him, lived 10 houses from him, went to school with him for 9 years. I watched this guy get his tooth knocked out by a dodgeball in 2nd grade… Haha. Take my word for it hes going pro. Not the brightest guy ever and actually fairly weird person. And one of the reasons he transfered to woodford was because at lafayette (where i just graduated) is because point blank our baseball coach sucks. Had my best friend transfer to woodford for the same reason. Lafayettes coach said he wasnt good enough to play there. He just left yesterday for virginia on a baseball scholly

  23. I Know What I'm Talking About
    5:08 pm August 8, 2012 Permalink

    Clinton will never play at UK and will sign after the draft next year (Unless he gets hurt). He struggles in the class room and may or may not be eligible the whole season for his senior year next year. His HS coach is one of the best and is trying to get him to understand his potential…but you never know.
    Based on this kids track record he’ll sign pro and get in trouble within a year or two and will be a waste of talent like about 10-20 Lexington Players during the past 10 -15 years. I see it too much and it makes me sick to see talent wasted because they have a 10 cent brain!
    Don’t argue with me on this…….this is a fact and I hope he proves me wrong but the percentages are on my side.

  24. Hartline
    5:35 pm August 8, 2012 Permalink

    Wow #3 you are a prick. Detracting from the sports that matter? I love all things UK and its great to see Gary Henderson doing well. Baseball is the 3rd-4th biggest sport at UK. Its the second biggest sport in the SEC to some programs. I hope you never post a comment again because you sir are an idiot.

  25. mores
    10:50 pm August 8, 2012 Permalink

    #1 it doesn’t detract from sports that matter at all. At this point, self-harm is probably your best alternative.

  26. Matt
    8:22 am August 9, 2012 Permalink

    24—-10-20 players in the past 10-15 years huh? like who? cause i know a lot of talent in the last 10 years that have gone on to have very successful college careers and some have even been fortunate enough to play minor league ball (past and present) and 2 currently in the bigs…I’ve heard this kid is a little rough around the edges, but only time will tell.