Tomorrow at 3:30 pm, one of the most heralded in-state recruits in the past 15 years, Drew Barker will announce his college choice. Due in part to his immense talent, and in part to the excitement around the UK football program, this has become one of the most anticipated announcements in recent memory and the Big Blue Nation collectively holds its breath that Barker will shun the Old Ball Coach and pick the Big Blue. The Conner QB has done a pretty solid job of keeping his decision close to the vest and there is a great deal of conflicting information out there. So as of now, here is what we know about the Barker decision:
— Most everyone agrees with one basic fact about Drew Barker…up until about six weeks ago, the decision was clearly going to be South Carolina. Due in part to the poor job done by the previous staff and in part to the great sales pitch of the Gamecock coaches, Barker was close to pulling the trigger a few months ago for the South Carolina team. But when Stoops arrived, he and Neil Brown got involved and quickly made an impact. That got Kentucky on the board.
— The Spring Game truly impressed Drew. From those around Barker, everyone agrees that Barker came back “almost 50/50” after visiting the Spring Game. The combination of the huge crowd at the event and his camaraderie with the other recruits led him to make Kentucky a serious contender. One source told me that if the decision had to have been made the day after the game, it would have been Kentucky because “the kid couldn’t have been more excited.”
— Since then however, Barker has been deciding between the two schools. Everyone agrees that he has been torn, but that about ten days ago, he came to a decision. On the one hand, he is apparently very excited about the Neil Brown offense and thinks he can be a perfect fit for the Air Raid. But I am also told that he has some reservations based upon the first year of fellow Northern Kentucky Quarterback prospect Patrick Towles (who also turned down better offers to come to Kentucky) and that has weighed on his mind a bit. South Carolina and the Ol Ball Coach might be a surer bet and the coach is promising the potential for very early playing time.
— Most around Conner High School have no idea what he will do. If you listened to our radio show today, the PBP announcer said even he wasn’t sure. Most around Barker think Kentucky, but I have talked to a couple of people who know him well who predict South Carolina. All agree however that the national media picking South Carolina are likely basing it on comments from their staff, which when made were probably not accurate. “People started predicting South Carolina three weeks ago” one source told me…”and I know for a fact that he didn’t know at that time.”
So here we go…tomorrow at 3:30 he makes the call. My prediction is Kentucky, but admittedly that is based primarily on the fact that he invited the general public to the ceremony…it would surprise me if he would do that, knowing it would be virtually all UK fans, and pick another school. But stranger things have happened…we will update the process throughout the day tomorrow and give news as it happens. Another big decision day…this time UK football and one that could be a rock for the program for some time to come.