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Sunday Evening Recruiting News

James Hearns

What has now become the standard since Mark Stoops’ arrival, a slew of recruits were visiting Kentucky’s campus. Here’s a breakdown of the big news from the weekend.


James Hearns — Linebacker; 6’3″, 235 lbs.; Tallahassee, FL

Rating: 4-Star; consensus Top-10 LB in his class

Twitter: @JamesHearns21

News: There were reports that Hearns committed to UK after his visit this weekend, but that has proved to be false. Don’t take that as bad news #BBN; per Justin Rowland of Rivals, Hearns had a great visit to Lexington and now “they’re [UK] my leader” . Stoops wants Hearns to be the big man in the middle of his 4-3 defense. Based off pure size and athleticism, Hearns could find his way onto the field as a freshman. Avery Williamson saw similar time backing up Danny Trevathan as a sophomore, earning enough time to become a top-5 leading tackler for the team as a backup.


Keith Kelsey, Jr.—Inside Linebacker; 6′ 1″, 213 lbs.; Gainesville, FL

Rating: 3-star; high as #46 LB in the country

Twitter: @D1prospect6

News: Hearns may be making the most news of any linebacker prospect, but it’s a surprise that there isn’t more talk about Kelsey Jr., simply for the fact that it is basically a competition between Louisville and Kentucky for the highly touted prospect. He spent the weekend in Lexington and will announce his decision tomorrow. Kelsey Jr. may not get much playing time to start if Hearns is on board with #BBN too. It will be interesting to see where Kelsey is convinced to go.



Marcus McWilson— Safety; 6′ 0″, 195 lbs.; Youngstown, OH

Rating: 4-star as high as #16 safety in the country.

Twitter: @MMcWilson4

News: Ally reported earlier that McWilson officially decommitted to Nebraska after visiting Lexington this weekend. McWilson said via twitter, “Not an emotional decision, doing what’s best for me.” Rivals is reporting that he will likely make his decision at the end of this week, with UK as his leader. McWilson would be ANOTHER Stoops commitment from Ohio. It would make a lot of sense for the youngster to head this way: his high school Archbishop Mooney is the same high school that Mark and Bob Stoops used to call home, as well as tight ends coach Vince Marrow (a former coach at Nebraska).


Jeff Badet- Wide Receiver; 6’0″, 160 lbs.; Orlando, FL

Rating: 3-star; ranked between 105-150 in the country at his position.

Twitter: @j_badet4 (“Counting down the days I tell my mom she doesn’t have to work anymore”)

News: The former Iowa State commit is now down to Kentucky, Wisconsin, and UCLA. All 3 will be paying him an in-home visit this week. The Bruins only recently offered him a scholarship and now are hot on his path. Badet seems to be the perfect fit to play immediately in Neal Brown’s system. Not only was it the same offense as his high school, but he has the speed and playmaking ability that excels in the Air Raid.


In-State Recruiting News


Both Ryan Timmons (@Rimmons_5) and Jason Hatcher (@ROCK_NATION_6)  visited Lexington this weekend. Both players were at the basketball game yesterday (Thank sweet Jesus it wasn’t a loss). The already committed Jaleel Hytchye spent the game sitting next to Timmons and Coach Eliot. Don’t expect either to commit before signing day, however after hearing things through the grapevine I am confident that Hatcher will end up in Lexington before it is all said and done.



10 days til Signing Day! @RoushKSR


Article written by Nick Roush

"Look upon the doughnut, and not upon the hole." @RoushKSR

34 Comments for Sunday Evening Recruiting News

  1. Atlanta Blues
    6:52 pm January 27, 2013 Permalink

    No mention of JoJo Kemp even though Rivals just announced that Kemp has now made his decision and will likely announce it this week. Busch league

  2. Bird in Kentucky
    6:52 pm January 27, 2013 Permalink

    Thank you for the updates. Sounds like it went good. Would be great to get these guys.

  3. Cincinnati Wildcat
    6:57 pm January 27, 2013 Permalink

    Go Cats! Still sounds promising.

  4. imnotthefiveo
    6:58 pm January 27, 2013 Permalink

    Apparently Timmons and Randall Cobb had a nice conversation outside during the game.

  5. SexnNursinHomes
    7:20 pm January 27, 2013 Permalink

    UK bitches. Anyone know where to get a UK branding iron? I wanna iron UK into my chest.

    7:22 pm January 27, 2013 Permalink

    any news on Patterson and Lucas???

  7. SSDD
    7:22 pm January 27, 2013 Permalink

    Three stars.

    That’s why Choker went to FLA.

  8. SSDD
    7:26 pm January 27, 2013 Permalink

    #5, check with a black frat, say…Kappa Alpha fork.
    They’d prefer to brand your Johnson, bum, and mouth, arms, and legs. Just so you cain’t run none of ’em no more.

  9. Ville Cat
    7:41 pm January 27, 2013 Permalink

    I am ready for nsd to see how this all plays out. The excitement is back and building for this coaching staff, fan base and university.

  10. MustangCat
    7:46 pm January 27, 2013 Permalink

    What happened to Taj Williams? Any word there? Good update. Thanks. One way or the other, we know this class will be twice what Joker could have done. Stoops is fighting uphill battles for all of these guys. Well get our share.

  11. Cats
    7:52 pm January 27, 2013 Permalink

    Lets get one thin straight… Jason hatcher will unfortunately not be a cat

  12. Catlanta
    8:06 pm January 27, 2013 Permalink

    Hearing Hearns likely won’t qualify.

  13. mudcreekmark
    8:25 pm January 27, 2013 Permalink

    I love all the recruiting news. I cannot remember the last time I was so excited about UK football. There is no way it can get any worse. If Joker was allowed to stay one more year, we may have had to pay fans to come to games.

  14. Wyoming Wildcat
    8:46 pm January 27, 2013 Permalink

    I’m under the impression Samples stays with OK St, Gibson sticks with WVU, Hearns doesn’t qualify, McWilson picks the Cats, and Woulard signs with Clemson.

    That leaves a class with a bunch of 3 stars, McWilson, and a 4 star JUCO DE (DeQuin Evans was a 4 star JUCO DE, too.

    That’s a solid class, but on paper it’s not any better than anything Joker signed.

    I love the enthusiasm around the program and what Stoops is trying to build, but the fact remains that he’s going to have to win games next year before any super-class is assembled.

  15. Drew
    8:48 pm January 27, 2013 Permalink

    11 12 from what sources? Or is this your opinion? How can u say a kid isn’t going to qualify when he is only half way through his senior year of high school??? Give the kid a chance!!!!!

  16. DavidDukeforUK
    9:02 pm January 27, 2013 Permalink

    Are we recruiting any good white players?

  17. jonathan
    9:02 pm January 27, 2013 Permalink

    #14, unfortunately it didn’t take long for someone feigning UK allegiance to come in and try to cast doubt on what is patently obvious to any non-partisan observer – there is real excitement surrounding UK football because of a new coach who is passionate about the job and making UK a winner, an impending funding package to upgrade facilities, and…wait for it…upgraded recruiting to help us compete in the SEC.

    will the class be a top 25 class? perhaps not, but too soon too tell. regardless, coming in with less than 2 months to put together a class, anything in the top 40 should be viewed as a tremendous job. on top of that guys are showing interest to UK that never have before. the cynic says, “yeah but they aren’t coming”, and some may not, but some (smtih, hytche and possibly a host of others like hatcher, timmons, hearns, mcwilson, etc.) are and you do have to start somewhere, and getting visits is ‘somewhere’. what’s funny is you try to denegrate the one 4star recruit we have, not by doubting his talent which is evident considering his offers, but by equating him to another 4star DE, Evans, which didn’t pan out quite like we had hoped. how convenient, you pick out one guy who didn’t meet expectations and use that against Smith to suggest he may not either. never mind all the 3 star DE recruits we’ve had that met and exceeded expectations (burns, jarmon, jenkins), wouldn’t have suited to use those examples, huh?

    you and “fans” like you are a joke. yes, all that matters in the end are the results on the field and regardless of the class that is signed, stoops will be judged by wins and losses. but what’s sad is that people like you are trying to suggest this class is “not any better than anything joker signed” is absolute and utter nonsense. all 3 stars are not created equal, do yourself a favor and look at the actual number ranking and the schools that have offered. (hint, what you won’t see is middle tennessee st, navy, marshall, toledo, miami OH, etc…….)

  18. realist
    9:03 pm January 27, 2013 Permalink

    14. think that is a pretty accurate assessment and anything more than McWilson is gravy. Also, while enthusiasm is nice, this isn’t going to be turned around in one year and a 4 win improvement is still 6-6. It will take some 8 win, 4 SEC win seasons until you can consistently sell blue chippers on coming to UK on anything but playing time and being “the first in a new era”

  19. Ridge Runner
    9:04 pm January 27, 2013 Permalink

    15) Florida dropped him like a bad habit because they do not feel he will have the graded to ge into their school.

  20. Goforit
    9:13 pm January 27, 2013 Permalink

    Im hearing….stop with that garbage. If you are going to comment on a website, claim your source.

  21. JimmyWa11
    9:17 pm January 27, 2013 Permalink

    Roush, you’re starting to mix up basketball and football recruiting. McWilson’s high school is Cardinal Mooney. Aaron Gordon’s high school is Archbishop Mitty.

  22. UpperSectionStudent
    9:21 pm January 27, 2013 Permalink

    Damn it! I wish I owned a grapevine. Apparently people hear awesome things through them all the time!

  23. Zander
    9:26 pm January 27, 2013 Permalink

    14. Comparing Zadarius and Evans aren’t accurate. Zadarius could have went anywhere he wanted and Evans picked us over a struggling UL. We will probably only end up with a couple 4 stars, but if one of them is hatcher, it will be a miraclous job by the staff. Also, at least these 3 star recruits have other bcs offers. In the past, our classes have been a 4 star guy that doesn’t qualify or pan out, a bunch of 3 star with non-committal bcs offers, and kids that are changing positions. We somehow are always youth but never depth. Look at the 2014 class, this staff is going to be different. As a season ticket holder, I sure hope so. Because it couldn’t have got any worse.

  24. g-unit
    9:54 pm January 27, 2013 Permalink

    UK will wind up with this, mark my words:

    QB (1) – Reese Phillips

    RB (2) – Jojo Kemp / Khalid Thomas

    WR (4) – Javess Blue / Jeff Badet / Alex Montgomery / Ryan Timmons

    TE (1) – Steven Borden

    OL (3) – Ramsey Meyers / Justin Day / Kyle Meadows

    K (1) – Austin MacGinnis

    DL (7) – Jacob Hyde / Alvonte Bell / Za’Darius Smith / Regie Meant / Jason Hatcher / Jarran Reed / Corey Smith

    LB (2) – James Hearns / Kevin Kelsey

    DB (4) – Blake McClain / Jaleel Hytchye / Nate Willis / Marcus McWilson

  25. uk3k
    10:15 pm January 27, 2013 Permalink

    #17—- BRAVO couldn’t have said it better myself im with you there 100%

  26. Jason
    10:17 pm January 27, 2013 Permalink


    Even under that projection, which, at this point, seems to be the bare bones minimum, it’d still be more than Joker ever did. I believe Joker nailed down a whopping 2 4-star recruits in his tenure. Two. We’ve got two sure-fire 4 stars, and then a handful of guys like Blue, Timmons, and Hytchye who are all ranked as 4-stars by one of the big boys, so it could be closer to 3-4 4-star players all in one class. And that’s ignoring that we flipped one kid, battled UF and OSU for Timmons, and had another top-200 recruit lost due to grades that had offers from a lot of the big boys.

    There’s still a good chance that Hearns is eligible and we hit on Hatcher, which would be four 4-star recruits + the handful of guys who are 4-stars by someone. That’d mean we’d have doubled the amount of 4-star recruits in the timespan of about 60 days worth of recruiting.

    Plus, Stoops has only jumped our rankings from the low 70’s to at the very least, a near top-25 class. And a very good chance at a top-25 class. Yeah, that’s more than Joker ever did.

  27. JBR
    10:22 pm January 27, 2013 Permalink

    G-unit, I trust you more than any other poster OR writer on here when it comes to football. You give good insight that is normally more correct than anyone else, so either you have a good connection or are simply incredibly lucky. I think your list looks pretty spot on…the only omission that I see is that Maka kid from California…I thought he was pretty strong on us.

  28. Blue Bull
    10:35 pm January 27, 2013 Permalink

    Two weeks ago all KSR could do was drool over Asiantii Woulard and a couple other recruits. What happened to them? Woulard is down to UCLA or Clemson. No mention of UK. Now KSR is drooling over lesser players. Does anyone else see a pattern here? A pattern of BS.

  29. Richard P
    10:36 pm January 27, 2013 Permalink

    Dat one dude look like Hootie from Hootie and da blowfish

  30. Drew
    11:02 pm January 27, 2013 Permalink

    12. 19? Like i said there is plenty of school left this year and he can take classes in the summer!!!! Can he not??? Maybe UF was looking at other linebackers. And I looked at some boards and their fans seem a little disappointed to lose him. So let’s see where his grades are come August!!!

  31. Drew
    11:08 pm January 27, 2013 Permalink

    28. McWilson is a lesser player???? Hearns is a lesser player???? Hatcher is a lesser player??? Or how about JoJo,Badet, or Timmons??? But hey whatever the hell you say!!! Your smoking better sh+t than i got!!!!

  32. g-unit
    11:12 pm January 27, 2013 Permalink

    28- lesser players…. Woulard would’ve been a good get but if you ask me who I would take over Woulard I would take mcwilson, hatcher, hearns and jarran reed over him without a doubt. Our QB for next year is already on the roster and we are hott on 2 more 4-star QB’s for 2014…. We aren’t in the pac-12…. In this league, you ALWAYS take an extra DL or DB over a QB… Especially if they are quality athletes…

    27- Maka is still on the board but he is slow balling us, so our staff is returning the favor.

  33. completely agree
    11:47 pm January 27, 2013 Permalink

    G UNIT: I completely agree with your assessment of who is going to commit. I strongly believe we will get Hearns, Timmons, McWilson, and Hatcher. I think Hatcher is very drawn to Stoops’ success with DE’s in the past, and I think Randall Cobb may have sealed the deal for us with Timmons. I can’t wait for NSD! 10 days, folks, 10 days. I also believe that when its all said and done this will be no less than a top 30 class, pretty unbelievable in such a short time. Stoops is the PERFECT fit for this job. Go Cats!

  34. UKsportsbigMarv
    8:59 am January 28, 2013 Permalink

    Rumors are Kelsey has selected UL. Leaked per his coach. Official annoucement 9:30.