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Joker loses a big recruit

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Operation: Win encountered more unfriendly news this evening as three-star offensive lineman Nick Martin announced that he is switching his commitment to Notre Dame. The 6’5, 260 pound lineman chose the Cats over Michigan and Iowa, partially because his father, Keith, is a former Wildcat and a former teammate of Joker Phillips.  Instead, as of this evening, Martin has decided to join his brother Zach on the offensive line at Notre Dame after picking up an offer from the Irish in October, two months after his UK verbal.

While losing a recruit is never a good thing, this one has to sting particularly hard, not only for the timing, but for the connection to the program.  Martin’s commitment was one that brought some fanfare due to his list of big-time suitors and the apparent life-long desire to be a Cat expressed by his father.  But, in those two months, something seems to have changed and one of the big pieces of Joker Phillips’ first full class, which has faced some staff-imposed attrition lately, now departs, leaving two offensive linemen (Zach West and Darrian Miller) in the group.

Article written by Thomas Beisner

95 Comments for Joker loses a big recruit



  1. ghffdergh
    10:31 pm January 10, 2011 Permalink

    FIRST



  2. joker
    10:32 pm January 10, 2011 Permalink

    not looking good for me



  3. hersheyisabear
    10:33 pm January 10, 2011 Permalink

    A 3 star? Wow, we really lost a good one.



  4. Free Joker
    10:33 pm January 10, 2011 Permalink

    fire Joker



  5. Nuclear Minter
    10:34 pm January 10, 2011 Permalink

    after watching the bowl game–i decommited



  6. Somerset boy
    10:35 pm January 10, 2011 Permalink

    Sounds like They threw a new car in with it. Sucks but we will carry on without him!!



  7. Joker
    10:35 pm January 10, 2011 Permalink

    I’m officially on borrowed time.



  8. GoCats2010
    10:35 pm January 10, 2011 Permalink

    yeah, but the troops thing with the championship game makes me not care about a commit



  9. Thomas Beisner
    10:36 pm January 10, 2011 Permalink

    3, he’s 6’5 and 260…that’s big.



  10. hersheyisabear
    10:38 pm January 10, 2011 Permalink

    9. He is a 3 star recruit. Big and dumb.



  11. Pookie Jones
    10:45 pm January 10, 2011 Permalink

    Wow… operation win is losing momentum fast.

    Watching Matthews come off the field and blatantly disrespect and turn his back on Joker showed me that we may be in a bad situation. The last thing I want to see is another Bill Curry era… I would hate to have Mitch Barnhardt’s job.



  12. karen sypers mother
    10:46 pm January 10, 2011 Permalink

    Will never play for the Irish, very slow. A big time bench warmer,



  13. SagaciousMind
    10:46 pm January 10, 2011 Permalink

    After the shittiness that was called a bowl game, who can blame him? That does suck bad though, he was one of the prized commits. Good news, we have a fairly young O line. BTW, forget about Lamar Dawson ever being a Cat.



  14. catinhat
    10:46 pm January 10, 2011 Permalink

    Operation Whu-uuuuuuuut?



  15. BigBlueFan31
    10:48 pm January 10, 2011 Permalink

    This just goes to show not only how bad our recruiting is, but also how dumb our fans are. The guy is a 3 star that also had offers from S. Carolina, Michigan and Tennessee among many more. You know, UT, the team that has beaten us in more years than most of you posting have been alive?
    In order to get past 6 wins in a year we need as many guys like this as we can get! Losing this recruit is a big deal. But, who can blame him after watching the game vs Pitt? Who would want to waste 4 years of their football career at UK?



  16. e
    10:49 pm January 10, 2011 Permalink

    Any chance of a end of season Gidel post?



  17. Mike
    10:51 pm January 10, 2011 Permalink

    Joker hasn’t provided the most positive, inspiring situation at U.K…probably as many parents wanting to jump off as recruits. Will Joker be able to hang on to what he has commited??



  18. MikeInLex
    10:54 pm January 10, 2011 Permalink

    We are a basketball school.



  19. Sheriff Buford T. Justice
    10:56 pm January 10, 2011 Permalink

    Operation Collapse in effect



  20. catinhat
    10:57 pm January 10, 2011 Permalink

    does anyone have a live feed of the bcs game?



  21. ricky pee
    10:57 pm January 10, 2011 Permalink

    smart kid, that decision is a no brainer



  22. Mike
    10:58 pm January 10, 2011 Permalink

    IU’s new OC was supposed to be Brent Pease (ex UK OC in 01 and 02)…had been receivers coach at Boise State prior to accepting IU’s job…stayed with it for 12 days and today decided to return to Boise State as their new OC. IU now has several coaching openings…would someone please tell Joker he might want to check them out??



  23. SexnNursinHomes
    11:00 pm January 10, 2011 Permalink


  24. kwhowbky
    11:00 pm January 10, 2011 Permalink

    I think Gidel must have died in the last year or so. Lucky for him, he didn’t have to see this mess.



  25. M. Vick
    11:02 pm January 10, 2011 Permalink

    Operation: Intensive Care Unit

    Joker’s got some bad mojo working right now. Steve Brown’s Mustache is smiling in Arizona tonight…….



  26. Cal Purnell here
    11:06 pm January 10, 2011 Permalink

    Operation DeCommitment



  27. Blue in lou
    11:07 pm January 10, 2011 Permalink

    Makes me think of Sam Robey who chose Florida. Is he starting now? Haven’t heard much about him. Seemed like he got lost in the shuffle in Gainesville.



  28. Billy Curry Rocks
    11:09 pm January 10, 2011 Permalink

    This has the stench of the beginning of bad stuff. A decommittment from a kid with all these UK ties is troubling. A sign of things to come!



  29. TheWeekendUKSportsDied
    11:09 pm January 10, 2011 Permalink

    The hits just keep on coming.



  30. the fan
    11:10 pm January 10, 2011 Permalink

    Notre Dame promised free burgers.



  31. Joker
    11:12 pm January 10, 2011 Permalink

    Operation turd pipe happiness



  32. deer boss
    11:13 pm January 10, 2011 Permalink

    operation who really gives a crap.



  33. KYStout
    11:15 pm January 10, 2011 Permalink

    Downhill like a snowball headed for hell.



  34. mooseknuckles
    11:16 pm January 10, 2011 Permalink

    OPERATION WHEN



  35. bus puppies
    11:17 pm January 10, 2011 Permalink

    This is the greatest day in the history of the program



  36. Frank Sobotka
    11:18 pm January 10, 2011 Permalink

    Matt Jones said it best when he referred to college football recruits as “fool’s gold”. That’s why it is difficult to get excited about Joker’s potential incoming class as many will change their commitments between now and signing day, sign with different schools unexpectedly or end up academically ineligible and unable to play. Next year will be an absolute disaster for UK football. Better to fire Joker now and spend a little money to bring in a proven coach with experience and who knows what he’s doing.



  37. Phillips, Joker
    11:20 pm January 10, 2011 Permalink

    Tarkenton also took an indirect slam at Georgia opponents, saying:

    “For the last three years our program has been God-awful. Our schedule, we play two sisters of the poor every year. We play Kentucky and Vanderbilt that aren’t true SEC teams and then we play Georgia Tech that is not going to have the talent we have.”



  38. Done
    11:20 pm January 10, 2011 Permalink

    Operation: Fail



  39. level 9 pissed
    11:23 pm January 10, 2011 Permalink

    Is Beisner trying to be the Jerry Tipton of the football program? He seems giddy to break bad news.



  40. Sheriff Buford T. Justice
    11:23 pm January 10, 2011 Permalink

    36. Agreed. We will be lucky to even sniff a bowl win. All our playmakers are gone in the offseason (draft or graduated) and all of our decent recruits are transferring. Back to only being able to cheer about copious amounts of bourbon on a crisp fall day.



  41. Hal Mumme
    11:23 pm January 10, 2011 Permalink

    Wonder if UK wants me for the new OC. By the way, Operation When just had a Blowout.

    By the way didn’t UK just raise ticket prices? For When’s or for What?



  42. Sheriff Buford T. Justice
    11:24 pm January 10, 2011 Permalink

    I meant bowl game. Not bowl win



  43. catinhat
    11:25 pm January 10, 2011 Permalink

    A Simple Operation:

    A man was wheeling himself frantically down the hall of the hospital in his wheelchair, just before his operation. A nurse stopped him and asked, “What’s the matter?”

    He said, “I heard the nurse say, ‘It’s a very simple operation, don’t worry, I’m sure it will be all right.'”

    “She was just trying to comfort you, what’s so frightening about that?”

    “She wasn’t talking to me. She was talking to the doctor!”



  44. operation epic fail
    11:25 pm January 10, 2011 Permalink

    we will always have bourbon, tailgating, and cornhole



  45. Fig Newton
    11:25 pm January 10, 2011 Permalink

    Ya’ll watchin’ my cuz run over them Ducks!!! Tell ENES Hey.



  46. cardinalweak
    11:30 pm January 10, 2011 Permalink

    wow, who seen louisvilles recruiting class coming in at number 23 bad news for us cats.



  47. BPsycho
    11:30 pm January 10, 2011 Permalink

    #43 Lol



  48. BigBlueFan31
    11:30 pm January 10, 2011 Permalink

    Now Josh Forrest is 50/50. We can’t even get a kid from Paducah Tilghman to commit? Why go to UK when you can go to UCF, a team that beat Georgia in a bowl game?



  49. joker's pink slip
    11:31 pm January 10, 2011 Permalink

    it’s all good. got the #18 recruiting class coming in…oh wait, that’s loserville. F my life!



  50. BPsycho
    11:31 pm January 10, 2011 Permalink

    That ref is soo old I can smell the bengay and aspercream from here…



  51. QUICKIE RICKEY
    11:38 pm January 10, 2011 Permalink

    looks like LSU will be hiring. Should we be worried we might lose Joker? GOD I hope so.



  52. Oliver Simmons
    11:40 pm January 10, 2011 Permalink

    Horse caca.



  53. sec domination
    11:46 pm January 10, 2011 Permalink

    oregon who? we know how to play some football



  54. Horses Ass
    11:50 pm January 10, 2011 Permalink

    Urban Meyer doesn’t have a job right now.



  55. quack attack
    11:50 pm January 10, 2011 Permalink

    look out suckas, we coming back yo



  56. Bleedblue36
    11:52 pm January 10, 2011 Permalink

    This is a huge deal. Lineman are often underrated in the stupid star system…many of you have forgotten how many stars Cobb was out of high school. Martin should have been a lock for UK. His family, not only his dad, but uncles, cousins, etc. have huge ties to UK football program. This should have been a no brainer for Nick, but instead, we lose him to ND. He may not be the best guy on our commitment list, but when 1 starts to decommit, others wonder why and sometimes follow suit. That bowl game, or the entire year, may have just set our program back a few years. Joker better get things together quick, or he may be out faster than he was put in.



  57. urban meyer
    11:54 pm January 10, 2011 Permalink

    i heard the bluegrass is good for a bad heart. maybe, just maybe…



  58. BPsycho
    11:54 pm January 10, 2011 Permalink

    #56 Aybody be jumpin ship mAn lol



  59. BPsycho
    11:55 pm January 10, 2011 Permalink

    #57 LMFAO Funniest post in months.



  60. pipe dream
    11:57 pm January 10, 2011 Permalink

    i could envision an annual urban’s cats vs. saban’s tide in the sec championship game



  61. BPsycho
    11:59 pm January 10, 2011 Permalink

    Where’s that Jesus poster? Who do I have to sell my soul to for an Oregon win?



  62. easy there burnout
    11:59 pm January 10, 2011 Permalink

    slow down there pipe dream, put down the peace pipe and come back to earth stoner



  63. homer
    12:01 am January 11, 2011 Permalink

    mmmmmmm oregon cheerleaders



  64. BPsycho
    12:02 am January 11, 2011 Permalink

    #63 For real, talk about a “pipe” dream……



  65. cecil newton
    12:04 am January 11, 2011 Permalink

    61-give me about 200k and i can guarantee an oregon win



  66. BPsycho
    12:06 am January 11, 2011 Permalink

    Oh well, I was bluffin anyways. I don’t have a soul.. Buuuuuzing!

    Free Enes



  67. BPsycho
    12:11 am January 11, 2011 Permalink

    And Cam Newton “kicks” the game winning feild goal, and the crowd goes wiiiiild” ahhhhahahah



  68. pipe dream
    12:12 am January 11, 2011 Permalink

    someone pass that bong bro



  69. BPsycho
    12:13 am January 11, 2011 Permalink

    Money well spent Auburn, money, well, spent.



  70. myblueheaven
    12:28 am January 11, 2011 Permalink

    Bad loss for UK. Good kid great football player. Cant blame him though going to be with his brother who is a future NFLer. Id say Notre Dame will develope him better. We’ll wish we had him in a couple years



  71. Done
    12:30 am January 11, 2011 Permalink

    Why would you dumb asses want an Oregon win? Pull for the SEC or take your allegiance to the Big East or PAC-10. For all of you hating on Cam, have you never heard the phrase “don’t hate the playa hate the game”? Don’t hate on Cam and Auburn because the NCAA runs a crooked game. Cam and his crew may have broken rules, but blame The NCAA committee for making him eligible. You wouldn’t put down Kanter if he had been declared eligible. SEC rules, NCAA sucks, death to Mark Emmert.



  72. markp
    12:40 am January 11, 2011 Permalink

    Free Joker



  73. Stickman
    12:41 am January 11, 2011 Permalink

    Boy, hiring a guy with no head coaching experience to resurrect a perennial bottom feeder in the SEC was a brilliant plan Barnhart….maybe you can find the Billy Clyde of football to take Joker’s place when he finally gets tired of this place in 10 years or so and moves on to coach Minnesota’s football team.



  74. Stickman
    12:42 am January 11, 2011 Permalink

    By the way I don’t know a whole helluva lot about linemen, but I thought all the good ones were around 280-290 lbs?



  75. myblueheaven
    12:45 am January 11, 2011 Permalink

    ive seen this kid. He’s more 270-275 now. then you redshirt him and can put 10-15 lbs on easy



  76. BPsycho
    12:46 am January 11, 2011 Permalink

    #71 I didn’t really care who won tbch lol I agree I should have been ranting at the NCAA tho… I don’t root for any other team besides the cats “just because we’re in the south doesn’t mean I pledge allegiance to it” I just wanted to see Oregon pull off the upset is all.



  77. grannyshot
    12:52 am January 11, 2011 Permalink

    Operation Whiff



  78. joke
    1:14 am January 11, 2011 Permalink

    barnhardt and joker dont let the door hit you on the way out



  79. uk9698
    1:24 am January 11, 2011 Permalink

    Wow best move of his life. Why come to UK? The bowl trips are going to be in the past soon and UK back to the cellar like always. Cobb would be crazy to stay. ITs Over.



  80. gcat4496
    6:53 am January 11, 2011 Permalink

    This class was already ranked #43 in the top 50 and 11th in the SEC and now way behind UL. That means only our 3 cupcakes and Vandy will have weaker classes. 4-8 record unless Joker can coach them up.



  81. UkGrad83
    7:56 am January 11, 2011 Permalink

    Heard on the radio that Kentucky was “only” supposed to win 5 games this year anyway, so some people might consider this a successful season. Horse sh*t. Auburn was picked no better than 4th in their OWN division by some people. Joker has got to go, along with the rest of the staff. They do NOT have what it takes to get Kentucky to the next level. Right now it appears they don’t even have what it takes to keep Kentucky at the mediocre level attained by the previous staff.



  82. Al's IndiCats
    8:11 am January 11, 2011 Permalink

    ….This was the year we were supposed to have a breakout year…..other than the S.Carolina win it was closer to a breakDOWN year. We had a ton of chances to pull games out, and we were quicker than Ricky P for the play calling to absolutly suck half way thru the first quarter. I’m afraid once these kids start decommitting it’s going go as fast as a Jurich News conference about how much he likes Porcini’s Buffet table.



  83. Hermes
    8:26 am January 11, 2011 Permalink

    I like Joker Phillips. I was in school when he played. He’s a good guy but…he is just not going to get it done as the head football coach. The Tennessee game and the bowl game were simply painful to watch. KY was weak and predictable in every way. KY got worse as the year went on rather than better. KY is losing recruits like a leaky ship. There will be more to decommit in the coming weeks. Unfortunately, Joker will be around for two more years and the program will be back to where it was when Bill Curry left. It is a sad time to be a UK football fan but then again, it’s always a sad time to be a UK football fan. Oh well.



  84. ebell55
    8:28 am January 11, 2011 Permalink

    We lost to the National Champs on a last second field goal people! The season was a disapointment but we competed in every game but UF! Your negative attitudes do not help! Also the ducks ran screen passes all night long and you guys critizes joker anytime he calls one!



  85. markp
    8:41 am January 11, 2011 Permalink

    The ducks didn’t throw 3 yard passes on third and 8 as frequently as UK does. No one does! But what are you going to do when a MAC QB is your man and can’t throw down the field.



  86. Al's IndiCats
    8:42 am January 11, 2011 Permalink

    Maybe next year Joker will come out with a NATO uniform on instead of camos. His motto will be Operation Keep the Peace……The Same!



  87. Real Cat Fan
    8:46 am January 11, 2011 Permalink

    I like Joker, and I know that he is true blue and was very well liked by the players and people around UK football. However, I had a bad feeling about this all along. How can you say that UK is serious about college football when they bring in a guy with NO head coaching experience to lead a team back to respectability. We had a good foundation built by Brooks, with the chance to make a major step forward with the hiring of a good head coach. Barnhart should have anted up the money to make a “wow” hire. Instead, we got a “who?” hire. That opportunity may be lost now. I actually had a UL fan talking smack last night saying Joker will be UK’s Kragthorpe, and I couldn’t muster up much of an argument against him. Please don’t make us suffer through 3+ years of moving the program backward without correcting your mistake.



  88. JEREMY
    9:07 am January 11, 2011 Permalink

    Hey #3 get off the board, we don’t need fans sayn stuff like that. Fans sayn stuff like that is prob why he decommitted.
    Plus it shows how much you really know about football.
    It doesn’t matter if he was a one star or five star. You never know until they play. (ex:w woodyard,lindley etc) I do know he is alot better football player than what the rankings say, and this is a huge loss for UK and the offensive line.



  89. UKfoosball
    9:21 am January 11, 2011 Permalink

    Haha, this is why UK football will never amount to anything good. If people are worried over the loss of a 3 star recruit that’s sad. While the rest of the SEC signs 4, 5 star talent this team collects the bottom feeders…can’t win big doing that.



  90. Hoss
    10:25 am January 11, 2011 Permalink

    #89…watch this vid…then run your ignorant mouth. Martin has skills and the best motor I’ve ever seen on an incoming O-lineman for UK. How many HS linemen do you EVER see holding blocks 20 yards down field? Yet you spew your tripe like you have a single clue as to WTF you’re even talking about. Losing this kid is MASSIVE.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7TuFyEI43m4



  91. bluetexan
    11:07 am January 11, 2011 Permalink

    Barnfart’s annointed HC just lost ‘nother one? How’s that ‘greatest recruiter’ doing now? FREE MIKE LEACH!!!!!!!!!



  92. john4uk
    11:27 am January 11, 2011 Permalink

    Joker had opportunities to some pretty good things with his team this year,but for whatever reason,it did’nt work out.Looks like his new hires were’nt so great after all,and with the teams inept performance agaist Pitt there is little wonder why kids may be having second thoughts on coming to UK.



  93. Not ready to hit the panic button yet
    12:01 pm January 11, 2011 Permalink

    I am as disappointed in this season as anyone but I agree that we were in every game but UF and should have been 8-4. I am not as mad about losing the last two as I am in the way we lost where I don’t think we played to win. But Joker had the endorsement of RB and I trust that Rich knew what he was doing.

    Lot’s of D-1 schools hire coordinators as coaches (Mullens @ MSU, Musschamp at UF), otherwise, the same head coaches would just re-circulate. But hiring HC’s all the time is not always the right answer. Ask Michigan how Rich Rodriguez (HC at WVU) worked out for them and U-Smell how Kragthorpe (HC at Tulsa) worked for them.

    But if we are to compete for the better players, we need to put a more exciting product on the field. I don’t think Oregon had an overpowering offense, but their offense kept people off guard and put points on the board. I would like to see Joker and Saunders open things up, try no-huddle (like we often did with Woodson) and have the type of offense that attracts skill players (like Petrino). We suffer from lack of imagination and from my lay opinion are too precictable.

    I think you have to give Joker more time, however if we are sitting at 3-9 or 4-8 at the end of next year then I will feel different. I think he knows that this is his only opportunity to be a big-time head coach and is not afraid to make big decisions, ie. bringing in Minter, Pardue etc. I understand the disappointment from BBN, but I hope we will rally around Joker and the players in 2011.



  94. ukfoosball
    12:14 pm January 11, 2011 Permalink

    90…WTF do I know?!? Your talking trash to me in the comment section of a blog? LOL, pathetic. Are you a scout or recruiting analyst? Then I don’t need your insight about this kid. My point was that Kentucky will need to recruit at an even higher level to compete with the elite programs (Florida, Alabama, LSU, etc.).



  95. SagaciousMind
    9:23 pm January 11, 2011 Permalink

    84, you’re crazy if you think we were competitive in the UF, MSU, UGA, UT, and Pitt games. This coaching staff is making it hard to be competitive. And when you only give Cobb 8 touches and let Newton run it repeatedly, that’s just stupid football. It’s also stupid to fake a punt on 4th and 7. I’ve been for Joker all season, but to have over a month to prepare and play a game like that is just flat out embarrassing. And now a top O line decommitting…I’d say Joker’s leash just got a little tighter. Another disappointing season next year (and I dont mean just close loses, I mean games like against Pitt) then a change may occur. He’s not rebuilding a program like Brooks was having to do, he has no excuse.