Today is day former Kentucky stars Lynn Bowden Jr. and Logan Stenberg could hear their names called in the 2020 NFL Draft.
After an eventful first night that saw Joe Burrow taken No. 1 overall by the Bengals, Tua Tagovailoa staying in the top five, and Aaron Rogers’ successor being selected at the end of the first round, it’s now time for day two of the draft, which features rounds two and three.
Bowden and Stenberg have been all over the draft boards recently, with some listing the former Wildcat duo as high as the second round and as low as the sixth round. Despite the mixed draft grades, some believe it would be a surprise to still see Bowden available after tonight.
“I like Lynn. He does a little bit of everything. He’s today’s NFL guy. He can play a little quarterback, play in the slot, play in the backfield. I will be surprised if we get to day three and he’s still on the board. I think he’s going to be late second, early third,” ESPN’s Todd McShay said on his podcast.
As for Stenberg, Draftsite.com had the former Kentucky guard coming off the board in the third round in their final mock draft, with Sports Illustrated, CBS Sports, and NFL.com all listing him as fourth- or fifth-round draft selections.
Will either come off the board on day two? We’ll find our starting tonight at 7 p.m. ET.
Lexington’s own Jedrick Wills Jr. is a top-ten pick
Speaking of the NFL Draft, Lexington’s own Jedrick Wills Jr. saw his name called in the top ten on Thursday evening.
With the No. 10 overall pick, the Cleveland Browns selected the former Alabama tackle and product of Lafayette High School.
Wills was in his home in Lexington when Roger Goodell announced his name for the tenth pick:
— NFL (@NFL) April 24, 2020
Congratulations to the Lexington native on his big night and new future as a Cleveland Brown.
Matt Haarms commits to BYU
Switching over to the hardwood, Kentucky missed out on its top graduate transfer option, as Purdue center Matt Haarms announced his commitment to BYU on Thursday afternoon.
“I just felt an absolutely awesome connection with them,” Haarms said in an interview with ESPN. “I’m an older guy, 23. It’s not even one year. It’s eight months. At this point in my career, I’m not worried about facilities and locker rooms and how many Nike shoes I’m getting. That stopped being important for me.”
Haarms picked BYU over finalists Kentucky and Texas Tech, among offers and interest from nearly 30 schools. He originally submitted his name in the NCAA Transfer Portal on April 6.
Decision day for Greg Brown III
Could Kentucky follow up Haarms’ commitment to BYU with a surprise of their own?
2020 top-ten prospect Greg Brown III is set to make his announcement this afternoon, and Kentucky is one of six finalists.
The options? Texas, Kentucky, Memphis, Auburn, Michigan, and the G League.
Texas is seen as the heavy favorite, with the G League option – he recently received an offer worth roughly $400,000 – also picking up steam over the last week or so.
With little-to-no Kentucky buzz in recent weeks, could the Wildcats pull off a Kevin Knox-level surprise this afternoon? It’s not likely, but we’ll be following the situation here and keeping you updated right here on KSR.
NCAA makes two game-changing decisions
Should Kentucky miss out on both Haarms and Brown, the NCAA is expected to open a door for plenty brand new options for John Calipari and the UK coaching staff to choose from.
After initial pessimism that the NCAA would not pass the one-time immediate transfer waiver until the 2021-22 season, it now appears that rule will go into effect starting immediately.
According to Ralph D. Russo of the Associated Press, the NCAA is “full speed ahead” for the one-time exception to begin starting in 2020-21.
“There was some talk about delaying changing the transfer waiver to give all athletes access to a one-time exception so it goes into effect in 2021-22,” Russo said in a tweet. “Sounds like now that’s likely to happen and go into effect 2020-21. Full speed ahead.”
With this news, Calipari and the UK coaching staff will be able to explore all transfer options – not just graduate transfers – to add to the roster. This rule would also mean Rhode Island transfer Jacob Toppin, who signed with Kentucky this past weekend, will be immediately eligible this season.
Outside of men’s basketball, this rule will also provide immediate eligibility for incoming SEC transfers Robyn Benton (Auburn) and Jazmine Massengill (Tennessee) for the women’s basketball program, along with Auburn quarterback transfer Joey Gatewood for the football team.
The Associated Press is also reporting that the NCAA is moving toward giving players name, image, and likeness rights.
According to the report, the NCAA Board of Governors will review recommended rule changes that will allow Division I athletes to earn money from endorsements and sponsorship deals early next week. If approved, the rule would go into effect as early as next year.
Here was the release from the AP:
If adopted, the rules would allow athletes to make sponsorship and endorsement deals with all kinds of companies and third parties, from car dealerships to concert promoters to pizza shops, according to a person who has reviewed the recommendations. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity Thursday because the details were still being discussed and debated.
The recommendations are expected to form the foundation for legislation the NCAA hopes to pass next January so it can take effect in 2021. Changes could still be made before January.
Game-changing news in the world of college sports.
KSR in an hour
What better way to break down and dissect all this craziness in the world of sports than with the KSR crew?
Matt Jones, Ryan Lemond, Shannon the Dude, and Drew Franklin will be live today from 10 a.m. to noon to discuss night one of the NFL Draft, potential NCAA rule changes, and more.
Be sure to tune in.