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It’s official: Davis to Illinois

The first commitment of the Joker Phillips era finally pulled the trigger today and backed out of his commitment.  Eastern’s Jon Davis, rated as a three-star prospect by Rivals, has decided to play football for Ron Zook at Illinois.  Sad?  Yes.  But, hey, at least it isn’t Louisville.

He should have talked to Justin Green first, though.

Article written by Thomas Beisner

65 Comments for It’s official: Davis to Illinois

  1. TimPRP
    1:52 pm February 2, 2011 Permalink

    atta boy Joker.

  2. Computer Blue
    1:52 pm February 2, 2011 Permalink

    Football commitments are about as strong as Pitino’s wedding vows. On both sides, school and player.

  3. Harley Wells
    1:53 pm February 2, 2011 Permalink


  4. AirForceCat
    1:54 pm February 2, 2011 Permalink

    i cant wait to see how UK sports rips my heart out and stomps on it next week too..

    1:57 pm February 2, 2011 Permalink

    Not that UK ever does anything in football, but going to another school that also never does anything, is in a worse conference and has a horrible coach? Illinois must offer a better major for his education. 😉

  6. thenif
    1:57 pm February 2, 2011 Permalink

    Joker = the next Kragthorpe. In waiting of course.

  7. TeeMartin
    1:59 pm February 2, 2011 Permalink


  8. jokester
    1:59 pm February 2, 2011 Permalink

    dude couldnt coax the shirt off of a sorority girl.

  9. ebell55
    2:00 pm February 2, 2011 Permalink

    The Zooker took two recruits from us the DT from East Saint and now Davis! I say we get them on the schedule! We still have a great class go CATS!!!!

  10. blunwhite
    2:01 pm February 2, 2011 Permalink

    I know I sound like the scorned lover, but Davis wavers and goes elsewhere because has competition at his position? Sounds kinda like a mama’s boy to me

  11. Don
    2:01 pm February 2, 2011 Permalink

    What is the BIG NEWS?!!?

  12. Hunter1249
    2:02 pm February 2, 2011 Permalink

    5) Winner Winner Chicken Dinner. My thoughts exactly.

  13. Doubting Thomas
    2:03 pm February 2, 2011 Permalink

    Joker has failed to show the ability to sign the bigge
    r t

    I feel for Joker and the boys but truth is Charlie Strong has done a better job recruiting this year and if he beats us next year it may very well be Jokers last as Head Coach. All the press about keeping Tee Martin for his recruiting prowess, where is that at? We jumped his salary but I sure don’t see any jump in the quality of the players we got this year. Oh well, we’ve always been a bottom dweller in the SEC and will continue to do so in the forseeable future. Basketball team is fast becoming a training ground for the NBA. Is the sky falling or is that snow????

  14. Mr. Knight
    2:03 pm February 2, 2011 Permalink

    #11 That’s what I want to know…

  15. Chad
    2:03 pm February 2, 2011 Permalink

    We lost him so what?? Joke didnt get anything from him so he didn’t sit around an wait
    For him he went out an got players to fill the spot… Joker will do fine it’s his 2nd season give him a break

  16. SexnNursinHomes
    2:03 pm February 2, 2011 Permalink

    at least we got Faulkner-

    suprise signings still coming?

  17. 2020
    2:03 pm February 2, 2011 Permalink

    Beis, did we win any big surprises today, or just lose some?

  18. muskyfly
    2:03 pm February 2, 2011 Permalink

    oh, come on guys… what do you expect? the team greatly underachieved last year – should have been 8-4, easily!

  19. Dan Teeman
    2:04 pm February 2, 2011 Permalink

    Went from a good class to a solid class, hope there’s an ace in the hole

  20. Funny
    2:04 pm February 2, 2011 Permalink

    When he’s going to UK, you use ESPN ratings(ESPNU Top 150) when he leaves you cold, you use Rivals(3Star). Nice

  21. Badly Need Good News!
    2:04 pm February 2, 2011 Permalink

    I’m still waiting to know Tee Martin’s huge news???????? Did it already happen and I missed it?

  22. Snake Eyes
    2:05 pm February 2, 2011 Permalink

    Sucks for you guys.

  23. Nawlij
    2:05 pm February 2, 2011 Permalink

    Flat out inexcusable…Mitch needs to serve joker that he is on a short leash. If any of my employees had as poor of a year as he, it would be followed by a very unflattering review. Expectations would be defined and if they are not met the following year, they employee is terminated. College football is a major business, not a social experiment

  24. Bundy
    2:05 pm February 2, 2011 Permalink

    So we didn’t get either one of the top 2 in state recruits?…not saying much for our program…

  25. Cats100222000
    2:05 pm February 2, 2011 Permalink

    If it were my kid I’d be beating some @$$…Kentucky or not you don’t give your word for over a year and back out on signing day. I know it happens all the time in football but what happened to keeping a committment?

  26. old-school
    2:06 pm February 2, 2011 Permalink

    Good afternoon folks.
    It’s Wednesday, February 2, 2011 and most of you reading this are probably over the age of 22 or 23.

    Please do not allow your mood, temperment or outlook on life be dictated by the whims of a 17-18 year-old boy and what color helmet he wants to wear next fall.

    Far too often, scouting services and recruiting gurus overhype or overlook players. We will sign a freshmen class – most if not all of whom will be given opportunities to play. In football especially, any good player out of high school has the potential to become even better, or potentially even great – if they put in the work in the weight-room, follow coaches’ instructions, perform in the classroom and stay out of trouble.

    What this class of 2011 will become depends not so much as what they are today, but how much they are willing to work over the next couple of years.


  27. lpool003
    2:07 pm February 2, 2011 Permalink

    As a whole, today, UK loses. We lose Davis and Dawson and pick up an unrated defensive end in their place. Yea that’s a C- for the day in my book (only because of the players who signed who were already committed). We still don’t have word on Collins and my bet is he is supposed to be that “big surprise” everyone is waiting on. I am happy with the class but Joker missed out on some very key guys today. Let’s wait a couple years and see just how much this day effected Joker’s career, I would bet it will turn out to be pretty significant.

  28. William Braskey
    2:07 pm February 2, 2011 Permalink

    21) He saved a bunch of money on his car insurance

  29. What do You Expect??
    2:09 pm February 2, 2011 Permalink

    Bash me all you want but i dont like to wear the blue glasses and settle for mediocrity and continue on the same path. Why would a kid come to a place that a team looked terribly coached coming down the strecth of the season showed no improvment throughout the year. Im sorry but we have people who impersonate coaches.we have a program that will not spend money to bring in a coach that is a proven coordinator or up and comming head coach. Do yourselves a favor and dont get excited and expect the worst for next year and if some surprises happen than you will be happy. Kentucky football will always play second fiddle to bball and fans will continue to be dissapointed. 6-6 will be a miracle next year but expect more of 3 to 4 wins. So what do you expect when these big time recruits go to other places and see facilities and hear better things from better coaches. Honestly if you were a big time football recruit would you really want to come to kentucky take the blue glasses off and think about it. Point proven, Louisville has built great facilities and brought in a great coach and look what happends.

  30. Don
    2:09 pm February 2, 2011 Permalink

    1st Enes, now no BIG NEWS?

  31. buckster1
    2:09 pm February 2, 2011 Permalink

    What the heck did Illinois ever do in football? Their tradition is not much better than ours.

  32. Cristoforouk
    2:12 pm February 2, 2011 Permalink

    Don’t see what the fuss is about Davis. He was not a can’t miss recruit at all. Dawson is by far the bigger loss, and you can’t really blame the kid for wanting to go to a football school. We have guys commited to this program who will be just as good as Davis in college.

  33. wow
    2:14 pm February 2, 2011 Permalink

    His little brother will be the better recruit… hopefully Illinois fires Zook after Jon’s freshman year

  34. Monty
    2:14 pm February 2, 2011 Permalink

    .…………… Today has been less then ideal

  35. Bundy
    2:14 pm February 2, 2011 Permalink

    32- I agree. Losing Davis will not hurt UK in the long run. Losing Dawson, however, I think is huge.

  36. Charlie Sheen
    2:16 pm February 2, 2011 Permalink

    Anybody wanna do some blow?

  37. Old Henry Man
    2:17 pm February 2, 2011 Permalink

    Joker does not recruit Cincinnati, I wonder why.
    Cincinnati gave UK great player when Claiborne was here.
    Joker needs to cut out the “Operation Win” and the “Big News” stuff and try to get better.

  38. Bluecalizone
    2:17 pm February 2, 2011 Permalink

    The Big News Is That Joker Just Saved A Bundle On His Car Insurance.

  39. History
    2:18 pm February 2, 2011 Permalink

    31.) Red Grange & Dick Butkus say hello

  40. ebell55
    2:19 pm February 2, 2011 Permalink

    29 go cheer for UofL then! I’m a Cat Fan and today is a good day! We have some new talented guys who want to wear the blue and white, and when we kick UofL’s arse next year don’t you come running back!!!

  41. Badly Need Good News!
    2:19 pm February 2, 2011 Permalink

    Between hoops last night and todays events I’m going into depression, but look at the bright side, at least Tee Martin has huge news comings real soon! I can’t wait, it’s the only thing keeping me from jumping off a cliff!

  42. Cristoforouk
    2:19 pm February 2, 2011 Permalink

    Losing Dawson would only be huge if he was already commited, or if he signed with Louisville. Neither happened, and we are not a football school, so I don’t see that being devastating to our program. He would have been a huge addition, but we never “lost” Dawson. Our class is still the best in awhile even without him.

    For Joke to take the next step he has to get into some states like Florida and Texas. He has a good thing going with Georgia but he needs to expand his recruitment area. Most of Louisville’s best recruits have come from Florida because of Strong’s connections. Joker needs the same. He is doing a pretty good job of recruiting around Kentucky. But for us to take the next step it has to expand beyond this region.

  43. lpool003
    2:19 pm February 2, 2011 Permalink

    I agree with you for the most part, but you did not put the Louisville comment at the end in perspective. Louisville has spent over a billion dollars in the past few years on facilities for their football and basketball programs. They got a new coach who is the hot commodity right now and they still only pulled in a class who is around the top 25. The only reason they are even that high is the fact that Randy Shannon was fired from Miami and Strong was able to go in and get their decommits. If I were a UofL fan I would expect a lot more for the money the school has spent on those programs.

  44. Don
    2:19 pm February 2, 2011 Permalink

    Why would a kid like Dawson go to a school on probation? Why would his parents allow it?

    Here’s what he walks into:
    “The NCAA wound up putting USC on four years’ probation, banning the Trojans from bowl games the next two years, docking them 30 scholarships over the next three years and allowing current players and recruits to transfer without penalty.”

    Read more:

    Really? what the hell? I don’t care if he’s a beast or not, who the hell is going to see him play?

  45. NotTheSlickistRick
    2:20 pm February 2, 2011 Permalink

    16) Faulner is a great author and is obvious that he knew several Ual Tardinal fans given his description of idiot savants. Of course the Tards gift is an enhanced sense of entitlement vis a vie a lack of personal hygiene.

  46. FYI
    2:20 pm February 2, 2011 Permalink

    Note to uk fans. You didnt lose Dawson. He was never committed to uk.

  47. Eric Gordon
    2:24 pm February 2, 2011 Permalink

    I changed my mind and all the Illwhini fans got bent out of shape. I wonder if this bothers them too.

  48. Tyrone Biggums
    2:24 pm February 2, 2011 Permalink

    Alex Smith was more heralded than Jon Davis… I saw Kendrick, Aumiller, Robinson, and Mellilo last year… no Smith.

    I understand the frustration but it doesn’t mean much because the kid was obviously looking for less competition… the SEC would have been the wrong place

  49. bluetexan
    2:29 pm February 2, 2011 Permalink

    Just as I feared…Joker’s first class is a joke…all the hoopla regarding the early commitments just helped take the heat off a poor initial season record. He proved he isn’t a SEC calibre HC – now, the comments/belief regarding his prowess as a recruiter is proven to be false. Forget the dream of winning seasons until Barnfart wakes up!

  50. Letstalkbball
    2:30 pm February 2, 2011 Permalink




    All basketball recruits in the past two years could give a rats @$$ about bringing in an eighth banner.

    Any thoughts?

  51. What do You Expect??
    2:35 pm February 2, 2011 Permalink

    40) im not a UL fan and you are the typical Blue Glasses fan who does not think about what i posted you just run with what i posted about UL i hope we beat them but dont expect it to be a blow out they actually showed signs of improvment. What improvemnet did we show?

  52. Don
    2:35 pm February 2, 2011 Permalink

    Nice to see we haven’t cracked the Rivals top 50 classes yet, and Tard U is sitting at #27. This is a foul joke, just like everything that is UK football.

  53. Cristoforouk
    2:41 pm February 2, 2011 Permalink

    All you negative Nancy’s are entirely unrealistic. At a BASKETBALL SCHOOL all you can ask for is improvement each year. And this is an improvement over last year. You all expect way too much. I am just as critical as anyone of this coaching staff when it comes to their on the field performance, but any negative reactions to our recruiting is way off base. You need to separate the two.

  54. Morgan Not Mossakowski
    2:44 pm February 2, 2011 Permalink

    48) I think Smith redshirted. Don’t forget Josh Forrest from Tilghman. He has the size and the frame. Let’s not forget that the best tight end we have had the last few years played WR (and was classified that way for recruiting purposes) in High School and converted @ UK. Aumiller, Kendrick & Smith are solid. Robinson could easily move to tackle ala Zipp Duncan or stay at tight end as a blocking option only.

  55. Harold
    2:45 pm February 2, 2011 Permalink

    What a fkin joke! I thought Joker was a known recruiting guru? He certainly is not a play calling guru. As always we will be last in the SEC in recruiting. When will we shell out the money to hire a coach with some mojo and appeal? Just make Tee Martin the damn coach.

  56. Justin G.
    2:46 pm February 2, 2011 Permalink

    Im sorry, but when Joker loses out on 2 of the best players in our back-yard then there is a problem! Dawson goes to USC, which is a great program, but is also a program that is 2500 miles away, and is about to undergo NCAA sanctions. Davis on the other hand backs out of his UK commitment to go play for Illinois, who is a bad team in the Big Ten, which does not hold anything on the SEC.
    What is the 1 thing that UK never has done well? Stop The RUN! We miss out on a great run stopper in Dawson in our own backyard! We have the same gotten the same type of players we have always gotten, and when you compare those to the rest of the SEC classes, then you can see that we are going to remain in the cellar. Operation win is going to become operation dud! Just a fact of life. These other team just get much better all-around players. We might get a couple surprises, but they get all-around QUALITY.

  57. Pookie Jones
    2:49 pm February 2, 2011 Permalink

    Davis isn’t that good

  58. Justin G.
    2:55 pm February 2, 2011 Permalink

    The funny thing is that we easily have the fanbase, and the facilities to compete with many of these great programs. I mean the Nutter-field-house is great and our practice facilities are quite nice, when you compare them to our actual performances. I have been to many facilities in the SEC and ours are pretty nice. The truth of the matter is that we lost these players because we had such an underachieving/poor season last year, and got blown out of the of our bowl game without Heartline. Shoot, we have even lost our back-up QB Mossakowski, who was a highly rated 4 star in his class. I wanted to see him play, because I actually thought that he would be a dang good QB. You would think that with Joker being one of the few African American coaches in the SEC, that we would of had some recruits buy into that.

  59. SexnNursinHomes
    3:02 pm February 2, 2011 Permalink

    45- hahaha- damn you crack me up! funny ish there.

  60. Swamp, not Florida
    3:19 pm February 2, 2011 Permalink

    Might as well move Calipari to football coach too… He could recruit a top class and get all of the good in state players, except for Jon Hood!!!

  61. Mr Wrestling II
    3:41 pm February 2, 2011 Permalink

    I am sure glad we whisked that one dude away from the football powerhouses NC A & T and South Carolina State, I worried about that one all night . . . maybe that was Tee Martin’s surpise.

  62. Kanter Banter
    4:18 pm February 2, 2011 Permalink

    He’ll go to Ill and watch them run the ball.

  63. Jimmy Buffett
    4:53 pm February 2, 2011 Permalink


  64. secretagent0014
    5:19 pm February 2, 2011 Permalink

    Wow perspective. UK losing a football recruit to USC is like…UK picking up a bball commit over Northwestern. It should happen that way. The only bad part is that Kiffin is the coach. I does suck that we lost two guys to Illinois and Zookenstein.

  65. will
    7:27 pm February 2, 2011 Permalink

    I feel bubba will be an awsome name