With only 43 days remaining until Kentucky kicks off the season in Nashville, the big summer recruiting season is coming to a close. This weekend Coach Stoops and Co. will be placing a cherry on top of their well prepared recruiting sundae, hosting hundreds of recruits during their Friday Night Lights camp at Commonwealth Stadium. If you didn’t get the chance to attend the last Friday Night camp at CWS the weekend of June 8th, this opportunity to see future Wildcats is even better. Drew Barker will be in town for the weekend with the majority of his Class of 2014 brethren, including: Denzel Ware, Darius West, Thaddeus Snodgrass, Dorian Hendrix, Mike Edwards and many more. The Class of 2014 is pretty strong so far, looking to flex their muscles by adding a highly touted recruit or two after this weekend.
Class of 2014 Non-Committed Visitors
5-Star DT Matt Elam
Bluegrass Boy Matt Elam will be making another trip to town this weekend to see some of his ‘bros’ in the Class of 2014. I probably don’t need to tell you Elam’s extensive credentials (#2 DT, #10 overall player), but I should remind you that unfortunately Elam will not be committing this weekend. After his last visit with his ‘bros’ in the Class of 2014, Elam was about as close to committing as a kid can be, but Elam has agreed to hold off until the Army All-American Bowl Game in January. If you aren’t a fan of John Hardin’s finest yet, come take a peek at the 5-star prospect this weekend and prepare to pick your jaw off the ground when you see just how large this 17 year old is. Elam will appreciate the love from #BBN as much as he appreciates time with his Class of 2014 bros.
4-Star WR Braxton Berrios
If you are just now hearing about Braxton ‘Honey Nut’ Berrios, then KSR has epically failed and I would personally like to apologize to you. Berrios is the freak athlete the #BBN will learn to love, with that love only being one-upped by his QB Drew Barker. Berrios has developed a pretty good relationship with Barker over the past few months, spending a lot of quality time together at ‘The Opening’ last month where Berrios posted the fastest shuttle time and one of the highest overall SPARQ ratings (translation: he can fly for a white guy). Berrios has appreciated all of the Twitter love from #BBN so far- changing his Twitter Avi to a photoshopped pic made by a UK fan- but has yet to witness the greatness of Lexington firsthand. If you can make it to the camp tonight, keep a keen eye on Mr. Berrios and let him know just how great the #BBN treats their own.
4-star WR Moral Stephans
Drew Barker doesn’t want to have just one or two 4-star wideouts to throw to during his time at UK, he wants 4 or 5. Moral Stephens would be an exceptional addition to the class, ranked as a Top 200 player nationally coming out of high school in Florida. He already has Florida speed like T.V. Williams, but what sets him apart from others is his 6’3 210 pound frame. Coach Stoops has yet to draw a lot of talent out of Florida thus far, and will have to compete with their biggest guns for Stephens’ service: Miami, Florida State, Florida, Ohio State, Louisville and many more.
4-star JUCO DT Cory Johnson
You don’t usually see JUCO kids making waves in the recruiting process during the summer, but DT Cory Johnson is proving to be ‘the real deal’. With one year left to play at Asa College in Brooklyn (Where Brooklyn at?), Johnson has already received offers from Tennessee, Syracuse, Arizona State, and Miami (along with UK of course). The coaching staff realizes they could be pretty thin at DT in 2014 with the departure of Donte Rumph and Mister Cobble; at 6’3, 300 pounds, Johnson is the perfect remedy to immediately solve their problem at DT in 2014.
4-star CB DJ Smith
I have no idea where Marietta in the state of Georgia, but the town has produced lots of UK talent in the past in both basketball (Jeff Shephard) and football (the Blaylock Twins). The next great thing from Marietta could be cornerback DJ Smith. Smith is the #8 CB in the nation- #110 overall- earning attention from all of the big SEC schools: Georgia, South Carolina, and Tennessee. Kentucky may not be at the top of his list as of now, but his first visit to KY may provide a change of heart.
4-star CB Marshon Lattimore
A name that had not yet even crossed my path until earlier today, just so happens to be one of the best damn players in the nation. The Top Prospect in the state of Ohio is ranked #45 overall, and who in the world would ever believe that after spurning Alabama, USC, and Michigan, it is essentially a two-horse race between Urban Meyer and Mark Stoops. The thought of this is so crazy that I LOLed after typing that sentence. The Cleveland native still has awhile before making his decision, but an early visit with some of his buddies from Ohio can do nothing but help Stoops snag one from under Urban’s nose.
4-star OG Marcelys Jones
Speaking of snagging recruits from under Urban’s nose, current Ohio State COMMITMENT Marcelys Jones is making the trip down I-75 this weekend. It has been rumored for the past few months that the #12 OG in the nation could possibly change his colors from Red to Blue. Since Jones committed to the Buckeyes last December, he has taken visits to UT and Bama, making his first trip to UK this weekend. Who knows if the Jones merry-go-round recruitment will eventually land in Lexington, but it is reassuring to know that the only time he will have visited Lexington, will be with many of his friends from Ohio.
Possible Class of 2014 Visitors
4-star OT Nick Richardson
Nick Richardson may not be able to make the trip to Lexington this weekend, but the Cats are still in a great position for the OTs services. The 6’4, 285 pounder is big in size, and also notoriety, ranked nationally in the Rivals250 (#202) and earning attention from the big boys, like Notre Dame, Ohio State, and Nebraska. Vince Marrow has been in the Westerville, OH native’s ear for quite some time, with an expected Yahtzee! on the horizon. Hopefully Richardson can make the short drive down I-75 this weekend; if there’s one player that could follow up the camp by pulling a Denzel Ware and committing, it’s Mr. Nick Richardson.
3-star OT Brady Taylor
The Columbus, OH native could be making his first trip to Lexington this weekend. The #57 OT in the country has UK in his Top 5, along with Ohio State, Pitt, WVU, and Virginia Tech. He hasn’t had the opportunity to witness the power of #BBN firsthand, but said yesterday on Twitter that the Cats have the “most impressive” fan base of any school that he is considering. With a great turnout this weekend, Vince Marrow could reel in another highly-touted prospect from the state of Ohio.
Class of 2015 Recruits
5-star RB Damien Harris
Madison Southern’s Damien Harris has continued to build his national notoriety this summer. ESPN recently upgraded Damien to the #3 RB in the nation in his class, #20 overall. Even though the RB may have only a short drive from Berea, the Cats have a lot of work to do. Raised a Michigan fan, they are at the top of his list along with Ohio State and Notre Dame. However Harris is not counting out his backyard school, attending UK’s camp for the second time this summer. There is still a long way to go, with Stoops and Co. doing whatever they can to keep the state’s best player home.
WR Alex Ofodile
Missouri’s best prospect in the Class of 2015 is interested in schools close to home, but UK tops his early list of favorites. The Cats are competing against SEC-counterpart Vanderbilt -along with K-State, Mizzou, and Memphis- for the tall, speedy wideout’s services. With UK at the top of an early list, it proves that Vince Marrow doesn’t have to stay in the state of Ohio to attract some of the nation’s top talent.
For fans that wish to attend the event, recruits will begin arriving to CWS and the Tim Couch Practice Field around 6. You may not be able to recognize most of the recruits, but if you arrive around7 0’clock you will be astonished to see just how many kids are eager to put on a show for the UK coaching staff.