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Recruiting update: Offense


Currently UK has nine verbal commitments for the 2012 class.  It appears the staff will sign 20-22 players in the next recruiting class.  Below is a snap shot by position of the players committed and their projected position at UK.  We will also take our best guess of the remaining needs and players most likely to become Cats.  As always, check out Bleed Blue Kentucky or follow me on Twitter for more football updates.

Quarterback (1)

Commitments: Patrick Towles (KY)

Names to remember: Adam Wing (KY), Faton Bauta (FL), LaMontiez Ivy (IL)

Discussion:  The staff is done recruiting QB’s.  It’s possible the staff may sign an athlete, but there are too many other needs in the class with Towles becoming the fourth quarterback on scholarship in 2012. Adam Wing committed to Marshall for football and then committed to Oklahoma State to play basketball. I wouldn’t rule out Wing staying in-state if the stars align. Faton Bauta is being recruited by a ton of BCS schools and recently stated UK was among his favorites. The Cats showed an early interest in LaMontiez Ivy, but have appeared to back off since the commitment of Towles.

Running Back (2)

Commitments: None

Names to remember: Anthony Wales (KY), Mike Hilton (GA), Shadrach Thornton (GA), Marcus Allen (FL), D’yshawn Mobley (TN), Miles Jones (GA)

Discussion: The staff has stated they plan to sign two running backs in the next recruiting class. Each of the names above holds offers from UK except for D’shawn Mobley. Mike Hilton is the closest to making a decision and could pick the Cats. If so, Wales may have lost his offer. Based on feedback, the Cats would like to sign a smaller back and a bigger back. Some feel Thornton will not leave the state of Georgia. Allen holds a ton of offers and like Thornton, could play on either side of the ball. If Hilton gives UK his pledge, then look for the Cats key in on a “bigger body” back.

Wide Receivers (3)

Commitments: DeMarcus Sweat (GA)

Names to remember: JD Harmon (KY), MeKale McKay (KY), Monty Madaris (OH), Dwayne Stanford (OH), Corey Batey (TN), Chris Brown (TN), Drae Bowles (TN), Quintez Sutton, Blake Tibbs (GA)

Discussion: The Cats will enroll five true freshmen this summer including Josh Forrest, who appears to be on the verge of a position change. Most felt UK would be very picky in this recruiting class when it comes to receivers, but that doesn’t appear to be the case. UK has offered a ton of receivers and already have one verbal pledge. It appears Drae Bowles and Cory Batey are leaning towards Vanderbilt. Monty Madaris camped at UK this summer. Dwayne Stanford was supposed to visit Lexington at some point this summer. I think UK would like to land either Madaris or Stanford simply to build the pipeline to Cincinnati. However, it looks like the Cats will sign JD Harmon and MeKale McKay. McKay is supposed to visit Lexington soon and meet with both Joker Phillips and John Calipari. McKay holds several basketball offers too. Will Calipari take one for the team? Quintez Sutton could receive an offer, but it will likely come late in the process. Chris Brown is one of the best athletes in the entire class. He is a big time track star and holds offers from several BCS schools. Until Brown visits, he’s a long shot. UK has shown interest in Blake Tibbs who was teammates with Demarco Robinson.

Tight Ends (1)

Commitments: None

Names to remember: Zach Gordon (GA), Hunter Bowles (KY)

Discussion: This is another area the staff can afford to be picky. The Cats currently have five tight ends on scholarship with no juniors or seniors in the group. There has been a lot of talk about using more double tight end sets, using tight ends in the backfield and even flexing them out at receiver. One thing is certain, Joker Phillips likes the tight end body type. These guys can typically play multiple positions if necessary. The one guy UK would love to sign is Zach Gordon who holds about 18 offers. Gordon will take a visit to UK this fall and hopes to make his decision in October. Hunter Bowles is a very interesting in-state prospect that attended camp at UK. He is one to keep an eye on and could pick up an offer late in the process.

Offensive Line (3)

Commitments: None

Names to remember: Joe Manley (KY), Jon Toth (IN), Darone Bailey (MS), Will Adams (GA), Donald Hawkins (MS), Jordan Watson (GA), Duaron Williams (FL), Blake Fromang (FL), Oliver Jones (SC), Hunter Holloway (KY), Joey Warburg (KY)

Discussion: Oh my, where to begin. First, there are a lot of great prospects mentioned above who hold multiple BCS offers. The real questions are how many offensive linemen will UK sign and will they sign any Juco players? I believe the Cats will sign three or four linemen and could sign as many as two Juco players. The offensive line is the biggest recruiting need for the program currently. The recruits mostly likely to make a decision in the next month are Joe Manley, Jordan Watson and Darone Bailey. Manley has been a UK lean by most accounts, but Louisville has done a great job recruiting him. Darone Bailey recently visited and is high on the Cats, but he is also hearing quite a bit from Mississippi State. Jordan Watson visited Lexington in the past week and is a former teammate of Josh Clemons. The staff extended an offer to Jon Toth following his camp performance. Will Adams and Mike Hilton (RB) are teammates and mentioned they want to play together in college. Blake Fromang visited Lexington last week and Joey Warburg camped a UK recently and picked up his second BCS offer from the Cards. Hunter Holloway caught the staff by surprise when he showed up at camp and impressed. The staff wants to evaluate him more. Most years, Holloway and Warburg would already hold offers. Both Oliver Jones and Duaron Williams continue to receive a lot of interest and would be great additions too. I’m just blow away by the number of high level recruits UK is in the mix to sign.

Article written by Aaron Cordero

17 Comments for Recruiting update: Offense

  1. barn
    4:04 pm June 29, 2011 Permalink


  2. Mags Bennett
    4:14 pm June 29, 2011 Permalink

    Thanks Aaron, I needed my football fix. I was starting to wonder if you went the ways of a few other KSR columnists and didn’t last very long.

  3. comebackcat
    4:23 pm June 29, 2011 Permalink

    we should be making a hard push for Midwest players now that Ohio State is in the doghouse. Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Michigan…thiose are all fair game and Im sure several dozen players just opened up their recruitment.

  4. Claud Bawls
    4:26 pm June 29, 2011 Permalink

    OL is the biggest recruiting need?

    I thought DL was our biggest need every single year. We’ve never had a four-man front that could control the LOS.

  5. Austin
    4:31 pm June 29, 2011 Permalink

    Adam Wing is actually committed to Oklahoma State for basketball

  6. Owen
    4:35 pm June 29, 2011 Permalink

    Love the updates, Aaron. Keep ’em coming.

  7. Jorts the BWK
    4:39 pm June 29, 2011 Permalink

    @5 Committed, shmommitted. Give him preferred walk-on at UK and a football scholarship.

  8. UK
    4:57 pm June 29, 2011 Permalink


  9. John
    5:08 pm June 29, 2011 Permalink

    Dont see the need for 2 rb’s.. could use the scholly else where

  10. Yesterdays
    5:17 pm June 29, 2011 Permalink

    I’d like to see us build depth on the lines. That is where injuries happens. I hope Joker has back-up plans in case he misses out on high-level kids who choose the big-time programs over possible immediate playing time here.

  11. snarkster
    5:19 pm June 29, 2011 Permalink

    No way they take fewer than five OL and six is not out of the question.

  12. Collier077
    6:21 pm June 29, 2011 Permalink

    Thank God! A football post! Fall camp is right around the corner.

  13. Hestkuk
    7:17 pm June 29, 2011 Permalink

    Great, sounds like we are going to lose Manley to Louisville.

  14. JohnnyRed
    8:17 pm June 29, 2011 Permalink

    “One thing is certain, Joker Phillips likes the tight end body type”. Does Joker’s wife know about this?

  15. Mooney
    9:03 pm June 29, 2011 Permalink

    I believe that Johnson Central’s J.J. Jude could get a few looks as HB…a smaller back, but is very strong and quick (UK timed him at a 4.45). He also ran for over 3,200 yards last season and the state’s all-time rushing mark is in reach with a good senior season.

  16. hawaiibillT
    9:47 pm June 29, 2011 Permalink

    Our thoughts and prayers go out to Aaron and Michelle and their family on Michelle’s mother passing away.

  17. Future
    12:01 am June 30, 2011 Permalink

    Watch out for QB Jacob Russell…he’s a transfer from EKU and has to sit out this coming year due to transfer rules but will be eligible for the 2012 season as a Sophomore. The kid’s got size, tons of talent, and crazy potential. Wouldn’t be surprised to see his name popping up a little more about a year from now.