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The Fax Machine’s Thursday News and Views

“Mama told me there’d be days like this…” When it comes to Kentucky football, she never actually told me that and had she spoken those words about Kentucky football, I certainly wouldn’t have believed her. The day started with a dream, a vision, and a fax machine. As we prepare to close the books on one of the busiest days in KSR history (unheard of for football, mind you), Big Blue Nation should sleep soundly tonight knowing that National Signing Day for Kentucky football was a huge success.

One particular piece of technology took a little bit of the spotlight today though. Even though the seemingly outdated fax machine has been the method by which schools obtain the letters of intent from players for years now, for some reason this was the year that it felt like everyone decided to talk about it. In my lifetime, I think I have used a fax machine a grand total of 3 times. I have successfully used a fax machine maybe once– but that’s probably being generous. Remembering to press 9 isn’t always as easy as it seems. With all of today’s technological advances, it does feel strange that a fax machine is still being used. With that said, there is something kind of neat and funny about imaging a coaching staff sitting around a little machine, waiting for the moment when a high schooler on the other side of the connection puts down their iPhone long enough to send the prized piece of paper.

Regardless of the sport or the school– national signing day is a very cool and memorable day for thousands upon thousands of athletes across the country. Many high schoolers make a big event of it in front of their classmates, teachers, administrators, communities, family and friends. Some may hate on the hoopla of it all, but for these kids this day is special and one in which they deserve to enjoy. How many kids who play a sport their entire life, dedicating time– sacrificing other aspects of their life in order to chase the dream– actually get to sign a collegiate scholarship? Today was a day of celebration across the nation for athletes who’s hard work has paid off, and for the people who have supported them in the stands and in life to come together and rejoice. And send faxes.

 

And now on to the news from a wonderful, wonderful day in the Bluegrass…

—– Heading into perhaps the most important day of the off-season for Kentucky football, I believe Kentucky football fans had 4 main goals/wishes:

1) Confirmation of all of the previous 21 expected verbal commitments

2) A commitment from a big time in-state player in 4-star Defensive End Jason Hatcher from Trinity

3) A pleasant surprise or 2

4) The continuation of the excitement that has been brewing since Mark Stoops’ arrival in Lexington

 

Mark Stoops and his staff made good on 3 out of the 4 goals, with a fairly strong belief that goal/wish #3 will likely come true sometime in the next week or two. 

-Goal/wish #1: Kentucky was 21 for 21 on the anticipated signings heading into this morning. All 21 players faxed their letters of intent, with only JoJo Kemp putting a slight fear in the heart of Big Blue Nation as he waited a little while longer than the rest of the class to send his letter.  Even though the verbal pledges had already come from all 21 players before today, Kentucky (as well as other schools) has been known to experience some signing day flip-flops and surprises (not the good kind either). That was not the case today.

– Goal/wish #2: Just after 3:00 p.m., Jason Hatcher put the stamp on the signing day festivities when he announced his commitment to the University of Kentucky. The general consensus, which picked up significant steam last night, was that Hatcher would in fact pick the Wildcats this afternoon. Hatcher, who originally committed to USC, backed out of that commitment yesterday before picking the Wildcats less than 24 hours later. Next to Ryan Timmons, Hatcher was the other prized in-state recruit for Stoops and his staff from Kentucky for this year’s recruiting class. The coaching staff had a big challenge in swaying Hatcher away from the Trojans, especially with only a 6 week time frame to work with. Add to that the fact that Hatcher had essentially written off Kentucky as a joke, saying that he could never pick a school like Tennessee after they lost to a team like Kentucky. “You lose to UK, you lose to everybody.” In 6 weeks, Mark Stoops and his staff walked into Trinity High School (not exactly an area of success for UK recruiting as of late) and pulled a major coup in changing Hatcher’s opinion on the program. The significance of that change in attitude simply cannot be overstated (more on that later…)

– Goal/wish #3: Jason Hatcher wasn’t necessarily a surprise by the time it was all said and done. And between Hatcher and the 21 other members of the 2013 recruiting class that we expected heading into the morning…there were not really any “surprises.” With that said, Neal Brown made it very clear in his remarks to the press today that the staff isn’t done with the 2013 class just yet. With the likes of Tevin Lawson (4-star LSU de-commit) on campus this weekend for a visit, a few slots were left open in this year’s recruiting class for a few late surprises. Don’t be shocked if the final number for the 2013 class is closer to 24.

– Goal/wish #4: Matt shed some light on this with his 9:30 p.m. post, but the buzz around the Kentucky football program in the last few months since the announcement of Mark Stoops has been intense and ever-present. The excitement, interest and amount of attention paid to the happenings of signing day today for Kentucky by the fans was like nothing we’ve ever seen before. The hype leading up to this morning, along with the confirmation of a top 30 nationally ranked recruiting class, capped off by a “home run” press conference filled with great quotes from the coaches… made for yet another exciting and buzzworthy moment for the Kentucky football program. Kentucky football matters right now. Kentucky football is exciting right now. I repeat, it’s February and Kentucky football really matters to people.

Here’s another look at the 2013 recruiting class as it stands after National Signing Day:

Jeff Badet (WR)

Alvonte Bell (DE)

Javess Blue (WR)

Steve Borden (TE)

Justin Day (OT)

Jason Hatcher (DE)

Nick Haynes (OL)

Jacob Hyde (OL)

Jaleel Hytchye (CB)

JoJo Kemp (RB)

Austin MacGinnis (K)

Blake McClain (DB)

Marcus McWilson (S)

Kyle Meadows (OL)

Regie Meant (DT)

Ramsey Meyers (OL)

Alex Montgomery (WR)

Reese Phillips (QB)

Za’Darius Smith (DE)

Khalid Thomas (RB)

Ryan Timmons (WR)

Nate Willis (CB)

—–  The 2013 class includes 11 players from the state of Florida and 3 from the state of Ohio. Both of these states will clearly be targets moving forward due to the previous connections with the coaching staff.

—– The commitments of both Jason Hatcher and Ryan Timmons represent much more than simply adding two additional 4-stars to the 2013 class. After beating out schools like Ohio State, Florida, USC and Louisville for these two in-state players, it’s clear that Kentucky is no longer a “long shot” for these talented local kids. Kentucky has proven with these two talented young players that Stoops and his staff can not only go to bat, but can also succeed in the battles with bigger and more prominent out of state programs who have interest in Kentucky kids.

—– In my mind, Kentucky just completed the 1st of 5 phases.

*Phase 1 was to use the small time frame given to them to salvage a top 30 recruiting class in the nation. Even though the class still ranks near the bottom of the SEC, Stoops and his staff secured a number of talented players who are of a much higher caliber than Kentucky is used to getting. The number of 3 and 4 star players the staff was able to secure in just 6 weeks time is impressive to say the least. They did in 6 weeks what Kentucky has not been able to do in the last 10 years. As of right now, Kentucky’s recruiting class ranks as the 28th best in the country. 6 weeks folks. 6 weeks.

“We did this in six weeks. Give us a whole year. It’s going to be good.”- UK assistant Vince Marrow

*Phase 2: The staff has to strike while the iron is hot and ride the wave of a strong 2013 class, in addition to the current level of excitement surrounding the program under the new staff. Kentucky has to hit the 2014 recruiting trail hard. According to Vince Marrow (see quote below), the plan is already in motion. Kentucky will be hosting a “Junior Day” later this month to get next year’s recruits on campus early. Immediately building on the success of this year’s class will be crucial. The staff will have plenty of time this time around though.

Marrow said he’s already all over the top 15 recruits in Ohio for 2014. “We’ll get the top guys. We’re not taking third-tier guys. We’re going to get five-star, four-star guys.”

Stoops on the message sent to the 2014 class today: “If anything, it says to the 2014 class these guys are serious. They know what they’re doing. We’ve been on the phone this morning talking with the top prospect in the 2014 class.”

Assistant Bradley Dale Peveto: “We never really have an end to recruiting season. Nobody in the country wins with average or bad players.” Peveto went on to call the 2013 UK class “difference-makers.”

*Phase 3: Developing the players currently on Kentucky’s roster. Mark Stoops mentioned the necessity of going to work on developing the current players on campus in Lexington. Don’t forget that Joker Phillips’ last few recruiting classes at Kentucky were considered to be quite good by old Kentucky standards. Phillips brought in some exciting young talent, especially at the skill positions, in last year’s recruiting class. Many of those young and promising players were forced to play a lot of SEC minutes due to injuries this season. Although the players already on the team may not have been hand picked by Stoops and his staff for the expected offensive and defensive schemes– some serious talent still remains on the roster. The ability of the new coaching staff to get the current players to “buy in” as well will be huge. One returning player from last year’s team has already been putting in some work in the off season…

 

Stoops on this next phase: “Very anxious as a staff to get back now and start working with our players. Next phase is to develop our players.

*Phase 4: The Spring Game– The spring game already has more excitement built around it than it has in years. I fully expect that Commonwealth will be packed with fans anxious to see the new coaching staff in action. The spring game will be the first opportunity to show off some of the things fans have to be excited about when it comes to the Air Raid offense and the prowess Stoops has for successful defenses. The scrimmage will be yet another chance to gain even more momentum, especially with the fan base, heading into the summer.

*Phase 5: Playing the actual games: We won’t know how any of the other 4 phases truly add up until the team actually takes the field next season. Being excited about a recruiting class is certainly different from achieving results on the field. The coaching staff will likely need a few years to fully implement everything they want to with this team in addition to having a full roster of players they have recruited as well. With that said, everyone will be anxious to see the product on the field for that first game…

 

—– In a few other notes from the day… Mark Stoops was very complimentary of the fan support during the 6 week recruiting period for Kentucky. He said not only did the fan base to a good job to generate excitement, but when the players started committing to Kentucky–they started working on each other.

“Players want to play with other great players.”

—– As good as today was for Kentucky, the coaching staff still has its sights set on bigger and better things for the future:

“I felt there was great potential here, that there was some form of a sleeping giant here. It’s a big challenge (talking about the many top classes in the SEC), but it’s a real credit to this league and it’s a big reason why I’m here. Let’s not kid ourselves. They matter (the rankings). And we want to be higher rather than lower. And that’s what we try to do.”

—– After today, I think we can also rest assured that Mark Stoops has a tremendous staff in place around him. Stoops made it a point to hire on a staff full of great recruiters, and the results showed after a day like today. Stoops credited Neal Brown as being a big reason why Kentucky was able to land Ryan Timmons. Timmons had a great relationship already with Brown and loved the Air Raid offense. Some of his other staff members (such as Vince Marrow), helped expand the recruiting pipelines for Kentucky to places like Ohio that had previously been a somewhat untapped resource.

—– And in one final quote from a great day for Kentucky football, assistant coach Bradley Dale Peveto had this to say about Mark Stoops, “Hey, if he tells you it’s Easter, dye your eggs. I’m telling you.” 

Mark Stoops is the real deal, folks. It’s Easter. Dye your eggs Kentucky blue.

 

—– In non-football related news, John Calipari and Orlando Antigua got to see John Wall lead his team to a 3rd straight victory tonight over the Knicks. The win was considered a pretty big upset for the Wizards. Wall finished with an impressive 21 points, 9 assists and 5 rebounds in front of his old coaches. #LaFamilia

—– P.S. Ole Miss is going to be good.

Article written by Ally Tucker

I once successfully requested "The Wobble" to be played 6 times at one wedding.

43 Comments for The Fax Machine’s Thursday News and Views



  1. Crump Seed
    11:18 pm February 6, 2013 Permalink

    1st



  2. Bill Selfish
    11:35 pm February 6, 2013 Permalink

    Well darn…we just ran out of time again. The NCAA needs to look into these game clock issues we keep having.



  3. Eric K
    11:36 pm February 6, 2013 Permalink

    Great news and views! Proud to be part of THE BBN!! GO CATS!!



  4. Syrin
    11:41 pm February 6, 2013 Permalink

    I read an article last year that made this point. The recruiting classes ranked 1-10 are all fairly interchangeable, and the next step down are the classes ranked 11-30. Really, the separation is so slim, depends upon team needs, coaching ability, and the team schedule on any given year. There’s a guy who goes back every year 4 years ago and re-ranks all the recruiting classes based on how the players performed, and it pointed out how meaningless these rankings are (one class was ranked 3rd but 4 years later was 43rd based on performance). Bottom line, we got really talented players, and most people in the country agree. THAT’S where we start to build.



  5. Moving Up
    11:42 pm February 6, 2013 Permalink

    Cats move up one spot on rivals to #27 and four spots on 24/7 and espn to #36.



  6. sacwoo
    11:50 pm February 6, 2013 Permalink

    Great article!



  7. blue in bama
    11:53 pm February 6, 2013 Permalink

    We need to string together 3-4 classes together, win some big games, and make UK an option for some of the highly regarded recruits. Close the deal on a few of them each year and UK will be knocking on the door. Great start by the Stoop Troop thus far.



  8. tyson
    11:54 pm February 6, 2013 Permalink

    any way we can get the twitter handles for the new signees?



  9. Bobbum man
    12:09 am February 7, 2013 Permalink

    Great article AT…. Also great to see coach workin on Florida would be a great pipeline to get goin, loooot of talent from down there



  10. Bobbum man
    12:15 am February 7, 2013 Permalink

    Also I think we should go for some new uniforms somethin a little flashy ala Oregon but not so….. Ridiculous? Would show a commitment to a complete change of attitude and another way to stand out a little more



  11. Scott Miller
    12:30 am February 7, 2013 Permalink

    Coach O’s eyes are closed



  12. Jarrod T
    1:30 am February 7, 2013 Permalink

    I will say the primary concern around the football program was addressed: I was interested in football recruiting today. It’s not that I’m important, but I’m the fan that still watches every game (even goes to a sports bar for several because I live in Columbus, Ohio), but have been ambivalent the last couple of seasons. Today, I was truly interested in signing day. The creepiness level of a 28 year-old man following the decisions of 18 year-old high schoolers is another matter. Basketball is OK, but for football, it’s smacks of creepiness.



  13. Dave
    1:40 am February 7, 2013 Permalink

    This was always possible.

    That is why So many UK fans have been upset with the UKAA for the past few decades.

    THIS WAS ALWAYS POSSIBLE!



  14. tweet
    1:45 am February 7, 2013 Permalink

    8… go to google and type in… ‘(insert name) twitter’



  15. Dave
    1:49 am February 7, 2013 Permalink

    I don’t think it’s creepy to be interested in recruiting.

    That said, the sad sacks who keep asking for twitter handles…..THAT IS CREEPY!

    Recruiting is the lifeblood of any organization. Talent and disciplined folks are desired in every endeavor.

    I am interested to know that the UK Football Staff are bringing in quality, qualified, talented football players.

    Not all that interested in ego boosting or glad handing the kids but wish them success as their success will result in success for UK Football.

    If a kids desire to play ball at UK depends on his twitter follower count…I won’t even go there. It’s just to weird.



  16. Dave
    1:50 am February 7, 2013 Permalink

    Too

    Lol



  17. Logan
    2:24 am February 7, 2013 Permalink

    Stoops on the job for 2 months = Best UK recruiting class EVER- TOP 35
    Stoops on the job for 14 months = Best UK recruiting class EVER- TOP 25???
    Stoops on the job for 26 months = Best UK recruiting class EVER- TOP 15???

    I can see that happening



  18. johnny
    3:01 am February 7, 2013 Permalink

    Doesn’t look like the English classroom was very good to him. Shouldn’t somebody correct this kid since he is am a college student now? Seriously I am not joking. That is atrocious.



  19. Dave
    3:33 am February 7, 2013 Permalink

    Just sayin’ but if ur a gonna korreck someone in their g r a m m a r or spelliin’, ya might wanna come korreck urself…

    Jes sayin’



  20. Ridge Runner
    3:49 am February 7, 2013 Permalink

    Good article Ally. Hey is it me or anyone else smelling something fishy down at Ole Miss?? Improvement (like us) is one thing but eh….OK…OK…I’ll give it the benefit of the doubt but umm….anyway.
    ——————————————-
    Reminder… You can vote once every day!

    Infinity Coaches Challenge South Region (Current Leaderboard)…Haith 22%, Calipari 20%, Gottfried 16%, Donovan 13%–C’mon BBN, let’s get to moving!
    http://promo.espn.go.com/espn/contests/infiniti/2013/



  21. Dano
    6:31 am February 7, 2013 Permalink

    I believe there are already guys on the roster who will make a difference next year. Guys who will respond to a better group of coaches and different atmosphere. Coaches that will “coach them up” instead of burying them behind their underperforming favorite. While I do not believe we will beat Bama etc…I do think we will have a much better record than the prognosticators are predicting. The Dalits is that the takent is there. But, it was never coached properly. Add in this freshmen/JUCO class, and we will surprise people from day one. We were out of most games because we could not score. Now, we will. Think about it.



  22. basketball fan
    6:35 am February 7, 2013 Permalink

    so tired of this site talking footballits basketball season have had lot friends that come to this site say same thing.you guys are getting all hiped up about recurits thats fine but lets wait till they have a winning season.give this basketball team some respect. just saying



  23. twnky
    6:37 am February 7, 2013 Permalink

    im with 26. love football but we are a basketball school and its basketball season. how bout some basketball news?



  24. Dano
    6:38 am February 7, 2013 Permalink

    Need reading glasses…



  25. twnky
    6:38 am February 7, 2013 Permalink

    i think thats the first pic of john wall w a smile on his face on this site in a long time.



  26. GrumpyOldDude
    6:53 am February 7, 2013 Permalink

    Is that the same fax machine that Tubby had “issues” with during Randolph Morris’ stay?



  27. j t morgan
    7:10 am February 7, 2013 Permalink

    see what happens when the school makes the $$ commitment for a football coach and staff



  28. Al B. Frank
    7:58 am February 7, 2013 Permalink

    After last night’s loss to TCU, that makes two straight losses to unranked teams for Kansas. (OK ST was unranked when they played). Shouldn’t they drop completely out of the top 25 now? Kentucky did, after losing to Notre Dame (unranked at the time but ranked after beating us) and Baylor. At the time, UK was #8. Before last night’s loss, Kansas was #5. Fair is fair.



  29. Kaptain Kat!
    8:10 am February 7, 2013 Permalink

    You better get your season tickets no folks. Once this team gets rolling they will be a premium for a good seat.



  30. Kaptain Kat!
    8:10 am February 7, 2013 Permalink

    now lol



  31. New day
    8:14 am February 7, 2013 Permalink

    I believe the recruiting success…and it was a spectacular success compared to UK’s performance historically and in light of Stoops’ very limited time to pull everything together…is only the beginning. The same drive, talent, commitment, and talent that brought in this recruiting class will translate to the field where we now will see good preparation, planning, and execution. I will not be surprised if this team wins 5-6 games next year and establishes a trajectory where we can expect 7-9 wins on a more regular basis. If we could get three years of recruiting classes equal to or superior to this one, then maybe we will start flirting with BCS bowl success in Stoops’ 4th year as coach. Go Cats!!!!



  32. MemphisCat
    8:20 am February 7, 2013 Permalink

    Looks like Orlando didn’t see J. Wall, he has his eyes closed. Lol



  33. W.W.B.B.N.D?
    8:37 am February 7, 2013 Permalink

    No doubt Coach Stoops has signed players that will help UK compete better in the SEC this year. I look forward to seeing how 3 or 4 years of his recruiting produces on the field.
    One Ole Miss recruit sent out a picture of him and his family holding alot of cash. So, maybe Ole Miss may have some problems.



  34. Galtoid
    8:56 am February 7, 2013 Permalink

    Just goes to show people like Tony Vanetti that it ain’t all about sparkling, new facilities. He has always maintained that UK needs to spend millions on their bricks and mortar in order to attract the best players. Wrong. It is about the coach, the superb coference, and guaranteed television coverage. Who needs a Papa Puke stadium? In the end, it matters very little.



  35. Stickman
    9:01 am February 7, 2013 Permalink

    10.Bobbum man Says:
    February 7th, 2013 at 12:15 am
    Also I think we should go for some new uniforms somethin a little flashy ala Oregon but not so….. Ridiculous? Would show a commitment to a complete change of attitude and another way to stand out a little more

    Love the idea of a change in attitude, but one thing I’d like to keep the same is our uniforms. One thing I like about Penn State is the fact that their uniforms never change. Traditions like that are neat.



  36. eMANseepayshunnn
    9:58 am February 7, 2013 Permalink

    this annual ritual of college football recruiting is no more than 21st slavery on display…..

    much like the southern slave aucshunnz of lonnng ago, the “new” 21st century slave masters (a.k.a. college football coaches) droool over the big, hulking young black man, dreaming over wattt the young man might accomplish while @ his particular “plantation” (skooool)

    and it ought NOT come as any surprIse watttttsoever that the most successful new slave masters “coach” @ “universities” (& using that term very loosely in reference to southern skoooolz) from the deep south????



  37. Stickman
    10:29 am February 7, 2013 Permalink

    Wow 36, you are a dumbass.



  38. YES
    10:36 am February 7, 2013 Permalink

    YES PLEASE! to new jerseys. love our current jerseys but just a slight update to symbolize the new era. update blue and white. add black helmets. dont act like this isnt important to the 15-18 year old recruits who love getting together and play EA NCAA football and use the team with the “freshest digs”.

    would love to have a fourth alternate thats a throwback classy look. with helmets inspired by this!
    http://thumbs4.ebaystatic.com/m/mDwsdmkaN0Y30qineQSgWWg/140.jpg

    oregon does it! (throwback alternate)
    http://www3.pictures.zimbio.com/gi/California+v+Oregon+ZxQaJPYdqKZl.jpg



  39. Dirty Water
    10:45 am February 7, 2013 Permalink

    22) everyone who comes here loves basketball, but you have to RESPECT what coach Stoops and Co. has done in the little time that they have been here. Signing Day was huge for the commonwealth and the BBN, and the excitement and hype is well deserved. Quit complaining and be happy, geez! JUST SAYIN’….



  40. Who gives a shit!!!
    11:25 am February 7, 2013 Permalink

    I hate to burst the bubble here but we are 13 in SEC recruiting . I’m glad we are getting good kids but we are still on the bottom .



  41. maddogmitchell55
    1:43 pm February 7, 2013 Permalink

    HEY KSR…We know UK had a great overall ranking for their class. I read somewhere (here maybe?) if the individual rating for each player was averaged out that UK would move further up the rankings and even pass a few SEC schools. As the rankings are done now it includes the total number of players which, of course, would put UK lower than some schools who get 25-30 recruits. Is there anyway you guys could do that?



  42. Big baller
    2:02 pm February 7, 2013 Permalink

    What about all the 2 star kids left over from joker old team . U can’t polish a turd !! It’s still a turd.