Football Recruiting News
By Jack Pilgrim on ©February 14th, 2019 @ 7:00pm
Meet Blake Carringer, a three-star offensive tackle prospect in the class of 2020 out of Grace Christian Academy in Knoxville, TN. Standing at 6-foot-6, 315-pounds, Carringer has received offers from Alabama, Florida, and Georgia, among others.
Oh, yeah. And he doesn’t exist.
In a story that has quickly gone viral over the last 24 hours, recruiting websites Rivals and 247 Sports were tricked by several high school students into creating fake profiles for a student-athlete they completely made up.
To give a brief summary of the timeline of events, the students reportedly created a fake Twitter account of the supposed “recruit” and began tweeting out the list of offers he had received from some of the most prestigious schools in the nation.
Here is a screenshot of the account, which was recently taken down after being active since November:
After seeing the impressive list of offers, Rivals.com quickly made a recruiting profile for the supposed 6-foot-6 offensive tackle out of Knoxville, TN. And then with zero game footage, statistics, or proof of existence at all, Rivals decided to give him a 5.5 three-star ranking.
We’ve heard of the “Alabama bump” before with recruits seeing a significant jump in the ratings only because Nick Saban wants them in Tuscaloosa, but this takes that to a whole new level.
247 Sports didn’t give him a ranking of their own, but did list him as a three-star in their composite rankings, which takes into account all of the rankings any given player has receive.
They did, however, go out of their way to give him a profile, which can be seen at the top of this post.
Going to his profile now will lead you to an error message, with the site directing you back to the 247 Sports home page.
PrepXtra, a high school sports website stationed out of Knoxville, actually listed Carringer as one of the top 10 recruits to watch for in the class of 2020.
Who are the top 10 recruits to watch for the class of 2020? @TuckerBryn @CooperMays @Tylerbaron23 @elijahyoung52 @DrewFrancis1015 @carringer2020 @TdotH44 @AjDavis1321 @chancellorbri @edwardstyrece13 https://t.co/dJpc74h6NO
— PrepXtra (@prepxtra) February 7, 2019
Whoops. Hard to watch out for someone when they don’t even exist.
The recruiting profile photo of Carringer actually appears to be Corey Stephens, a 2017 Arizona State signee.
Carringer and Manti Te’o’s girlfriend would make a beautiful couple.
A week ago Kentucky shut the door on the 2019 football recruiting class. Before the door was completely closed, Mark Stoops’ staff already had their sights set on the 2020 class.
As the basketball team hosted Kansas for a Top 25 matchup at Rupp Arena, Stoops hosted dozens of highly-ranked 2020 recruits for UK’s Junior Day. He can start to see the Citrus Bowl paying dividends.
“I feel very good about where we’re at,” Stoops said on National Signing Day. “As our expectations increase, so does the level of talent of the guys we go after. That doesn’t always mean that it’s by how many stars they have. It’s by the quality of work that we think they can do and how they can help us. Obviously we want to continue to elevate the talent and get the right guys here. We feel like we can be more selective to young to get guys that fit what we’re trying to do.”
As always, Kentucky’s first priority is on in-state recruits. Even though two of the top-ranked guys have already committed to Notre Dame and Clemson, Vince Marrow believes UK has a leg up on the competition.
“In the 20 class there’s about seven to eight guys in the state of Kentucky we are zeroing in on heavily,” Marrow said on NSD.
“I think we needed to send a message in Louisville that we were going to recruit the inner city pretty hard. We’re on some guys now pretty hard in the 2020 class. You can’t not notice now that you got Neal Brown at West Virginia and Jeff Brohm at Purdue. You gotta be on your game. Right now with this wrapping up, fortunately we already had 90 percent of our class in December, we got a head start on 2020 guys in the state of Kentucky.”
The addition of Scott Satterfield, along with Brown and Brohm, will make recruiting the state more competitive than ever. UK signed five from the state of Kentucky in the 2019 class. Replicating that quantity will be difficult in a class of only 15-19, but there are still plenty of high quality prospects within the state that already have created a connection with UK.
The consensus top recruit in the state of Kentucky, ranked as high as the No. 60 player overall by Rivals, has been recruited by almost every college football powerhouse in America. A two-way athlete at Bowling Green High School, Oklahoma is the biggest name to go all-in early in Tisdale’s recruitment.
Offered by Vince Marrow after Tisdale’s freshman season in 2016, the superstar safety has been to Lexington multiple times. He unofficially visited for the Georgia game last season and was on campus a few weeks ago for UK’s Junior Day. Tisdale told the Courier-Journal he’s already developed a significant connection with Mark Stoops.
“It’s not like they’ve got a lead on nobody or nothing, but we just kind of clicked,” Tisdale said. “He coaches my position, he’s a defensive head coach and he gets guys to the NFL. He’s a great coach.”
The talented, lengthy Louisville wide receiver was on campus for Junior Day in January. Marrow pulled one talented public school wide receiver out of Louisville last year, Tae Tae Crumes. To replicate that success with Cummings will not be easy while Brohm and Brown pitch a high-powered passing offense.
It’s important for Kentucky lock up Young. The talented offensive tackle visited Louisville last night for the Duke game. Penn State, Ohio State and Michigan are Young’s other top candidates. He told Rivals’ Dave Lackford he will make his official visits in April and May before deciding July 6.
“I do have a good connection with the Kentucky staff and I will be on campus to watch them play Tennessee on Saturday. That being said, I’m not a lock anywhere. My recruitment is still 100% open to all schools. Distance from home plays zero factor in my decision. I’m going to pick a program where I fit best in the scheme they run.”
The son of former UK quarterback Bill Allen, after two years in Beau’s ear, it will be interesting to see how the quarterback’s recruitment develops down the stretch. UK signed a pair of quarterbacks in 2019, while Neal Brown just brought a pocket-passer friendly system to West Virginia. Will UK push all their chips in on a pocket-passer, or divert their attention to a dual-threat quarterback from the mold of Stephen Johnson or Terry Wilson?
Finding talented defensive tackles is not easy. Kentucky could pick up one from just a few hours down the Bluegrass Parkway. The monster in the middle of North Hardin’s defense attended UK’s Junior Day last month. Tennessee, Louisville and Purdue are the Cats’ top competition.
His teammate, Lavell Wright, is a name to keep an eye on in the 2021 class. The running back is a stud who already has an offer from Tennessee. North Hardin is going to be really good this fall.
Neal Brown’s first act as West Virginia head coach was to offer Boyle County’s talented twosome. Dean Hood has laid the groundwork, but I have a feeling he’ll have to call in the Big Dog to convince them not to take the Country Roads to Brown’s new home.
Other Names to Watch
— Miles Thomas: The ninth-ranked player in the state would be a shoe-in if his dad was still UK’s wide receivers’ coach. Lamar Thomas’ son catches passes at Tates Creek High School and has yet to pick up an offer from Kentucky.
— Jordan Watkins: Ranked lower than most after transfer rules forced him to miss half the 2018 football season, Watkins will replace Crumes as Butler’s explosive playmaker. One of the state’s top athletes, Vince Marrow offered him a scholarship over the weekend after Watkins ran a casual 4.47 at the Best of the Midwest Combine.
— Markeice Warner: Kentucky offered the Ballard speedster after he ran at their camp last summer. Unfortunately, Warner’s 2018 season ended before it began. The running back suffered a knee injury during a preseason scrimmage that sidelined him for the year.
By Nick Roush on ©February 11th, 2019 @ 8:16am
This work week is starting with a win on the recruiting trail. Three-star Florida offensive tackle Gerald Mincey announced he has committed to Kentucky.
— GM? (@GeraldMincey) February 11, 2019
Mincey is the second Florida offensive lineman to commit to UK in the 2020 recruiting class, joining Cocoa offensive tackle Richie Leonard. The 6’6″ 315-pounder from Ft. Lauderdale blocked for UK quarterback Nik Scalzo last year at Cardinal Gibbons High School. 247 Sports ranks Mincey as the No. 96 offensive tackle in the 2020 class. He also held offers from Arizona, UCF, WKU and FIU.
It’s an unusual time for a commitment, but there’s never a bad time to roll the dice.
By Maggie Davis on ©February 07th, 2019 @ 10:30am
Marks Stoops and his staff signed the vast majority of next season’s recruiting class during the early-signing period back in December, but Wednesday’s addition of MJ Devonshire officially capped off Kentucky’s incoming roster.
“Pleased to announce the addition of MJ,” Stoops said Wednesday afternoon. “Really good player, has great size, great speed, very versatile player who can play offense [and] he can play defense. We needed him – we needed to add another athlete to the class.”
Now that Devonshire has signed on the dotted line, take a look at Kentucky’s final recruiting class for the 2019 season.
UK finished with the No. 34 class nationally and the No. 12 class in the SEC. With a final number of 22 signees (plus two JUCO transfers, Eli James and Javonte Robinson), there will be two scholarships available in case Stoops decides to add any more transfers. Otherwise, the spots can carry over for the 2020 class.
Kentucky Football Class of 2019
|MJ Devonshire||CB||Aliquippa, PA||5-11||170||4-star, ..8816|
|Jared Casey||LB||Louisville, KY||6-3||235||4-star, .8958|
|JJ Weaver||OLB||Louisville, KY||6-6||240||4-star, .8937|
|Moses Douglass||S||Springfield, OH||6-2||200||4-star, .8906|
|Javonte Richardson||WR (JUCO)||Maple Heights, OH||6-4||210||3-star, .8838|
|Shawnkel Knight-Goff||OLB/ATH||Louisville, KY||6-4||215||3-star, .8788|
|KD McDaniel||OLB/DE||Tifton, GA||6-3||250||3-star, .8763|
|Travis Tisdale||RB||Voldosta, GA||5-8||165||3-star, .8762|
|Taj Dodson||CB||Fairburn, GA||6-2||180||3-star, .8739|
|Isaiah Gibson||DT||Springfield, OH||6-4||300||3-star, .8722|
|Demontae "TaeTae" Crumes||WR||Louisville, KY||6-1||165||3-star, .8688|
|Marquez Bembry||OLB||Atlanta, GA||6-3||225||3-star, .8669|
|Nik Ognenovic||TE||Ft. Lauderdale, FL||6-5`||235||3-star, .8668|
|Cavon Butler||DT||Toledo, OH||6-3||290||3-star, .8626|
|Brandin Echols||CB (JUCO)||Southaven, MS||6-0||180||3-star, .8602|
|Tra Wilkins||ILB||Stone Mountain, GA||6-2||210||3-star, .8506|
|Jalen Geiger||CB||Columbia, SC||6-0||185||3-star, .8480|
|Nik Scalzo||QB||Ft. Lauderdale, FL||5-11||185||3-star, .8475|
|Amani Gilmore||QB||Amite, LA||6-2||175||3-star, .8431|
|DeMarcus Harris||WR||Vero Beach, FL||6-2||170||3-star, .8398|
|Jake Pope||OT||Ft. Lauderdale, FL||6-7||275||3-star, .8385|
|Eli Cox||OG||Nicholasville, KY||6-4||295||3-star, .8323|
|Eli James||DT (JUCO)||Oswego, IL||6-4||300||3-star, .8217|
|Quandre Mosely||CB||Brunswick, GA||6-1||195||3-star, .89|
By Nick Roush on ©February 06th, 2019 @ 3:45pm
Kentucky’s Big Dog on the recruiting front did not reel in every recruit he wanted to on National Signing Day. Within a span of 15 minutes two four-star recruits, Devonta Lee and Jay Ward, picked LSU over Kentucky.
Obviously, Mark Stoops and Vince Marrow wished the day would have ended differently, but Marrow will not let one day in February determine his outlook on the 2019 recruiting class.
“I look at it like your Mom cooked a great dinner. You ate in December, and now you’re just waiting on the dessert. I got most of my fill in December. If you miss on a pie or a piece of cake, I’m still good with that,” Marrow said at this afternoon’s press conference.
Kentucky’s recruiting coordinator was still able to enjoy one piece of pie this morning when MJ Devonshire committed to UK.
“I don’t think y’all realize how good of a player MJ is in high school. He’s a good basketball player. He’s kind of like Lynn Bowden a little bit on offense,” said Marrow. “I know we hit on a kid that has a lot of upside.”
The four-star cornerback from Pennsylvania is from a new recruiting territory. Beating Penn State in the Citrus Bowl has taken UK to new heights. They won one battle, but beating LSU is a different beast.
“You’re battling now with schools that are national brands. You’re going to win some, you’re going to lose some. It just so happened our luck went the other way,” Marrow said. “It didn’t go our way. Most of the time it goes our way, but I’m excited with the guys that we have.”
Kentucky’s 2019 football recruiting class is complete with a few scholarships to spare. Stoops may use them on players in the transfer portal or roll them over to the 2020 class.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©February 06th, 2019 @ 2:00pm
Mark Stoops and Vince Marrow are about to meet with the media to discuss Kentucky’s 2019 class in the midst of a busy Signing Day. Tune in below courtesy of KyWildcatsTV:
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©February 06th, 2019 @ 1:52pm
Freaking LSU, man. Minutes after four-star CB Jay Ward picked the Tigers over the Cats, four-star WR Devonta Lee did the same. He even faked the crowd out by picking up a Kentucky hat before dropping it and picking up the LSU one. C’mon, man.
Getting Lee out of Louisiana was a long shot, but the fact that Kentucky stayed in the picture as long as they did is something, right?
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©February 06th, 2019 @ 1:37pm
Well, this one hurts. Four-star cornerback Jay Ward just committed to LSU over Kentucky, Texas A&M, and Florida State.
Ward actually committed to Kentucky last summer, but reopened his recruitment after going to an LSU home game in the fall. Ward told Rivals’ Chad Simmons he was planning on picking Kentucky yesterday, but had a last minute change of heart.
“I chose LSU,” said Ward. “It was them, Florida State and Kentucky. I told coach today. I was confused, I was torn and I just started thinking more about LSU late last night.”
Ouch. We’ll hear from Mark Stoops at his Signing Day press conference in about 25 minutes.
By Nick Roush on ©February 06th, 2019 @ 12:00pm
@MJDevonshireJrKentucky’s first National Signing Day addition is a four-star cornerback from Aliquippa, Pennsylvania, but MJ Devonshire can do so much more than cover wide receivers.
Mark Stoops joined Kentucky Sports Radio this morning to talk about the Cats’ new addition to the 2019 class that can do just about everything.
“He’s a versatile guy,” Stoops said. “He can play receiver, he can play corner, punt return, kick return. He’s got great ball skills, great top-end speed and he’s long. He’s a big guy, all of six-foot now, so he’s a big guy, gonna get even bigger as the year’s go on. We’re excited about him.”
In his final high school season, Devonshire picked off eight passes and returned eight punts for touchdowns. Pennsylvania’s 3-A Player of the Year finished the season with 24 total touchdowns.
“That’s a good addition to our program this morning. We’re excited about another tall, rangy corner from Aliquippa. It’s nice to branch into that state a little bit, get into PA,” said Stoops.
Shortly after Devonshire’s signing ceremony in the Cats’ new recruiting territory, the high school senior told Rivals he picked Kentucky because he felt comfortable in Lexington. He knew shortly after his official visit that UK would be his future destination, in part because of Stoops’ recent success.
“It’s exciting because they’re turning the program around,” MJ said. “Last year they had a 10-win season, beating Penn State in the Citrus Bowl and making a New Year’s Day Bowl. Making a bowl game like that — that’s a big thing. Playing in bowl games like that is the next step to a National Championship.”
After a victory over Penn State, Kentucky’s first commitment is from the state of Pennsylvania. Coincidence? I think not.
Stoops will hop back on the mic for a press conference at 2:00 pm that you can watch LIVE on KSR.
By Nick Roush on ©February 06th, 2019 @ 11:22am
Mark Stoops has already received one fax from a four-star prospect on National Signing Day. Before the day is over the Cats could add more, but the decisions will go down to the wire.
“Honestly, I don’t know at this point. I got a couple scholarships out there. We’d like to add one to two more this morning. That’s all we have room for,” Kentucky’s head coach said on KSR this morning.
The “one or two” Stoops is referring to are wide receiver Devonta Lee and defensive back Jay Ward. While Lee was always perceived as a toss-up at best for Kentucky, the Cats were locked into Ward entering NSD. Some late breaking developments have made Stoops and Vince Marrow’s job more difficult.
Ward initially de-committed from Kentucky this fall after attending an LSU game at Death Valley. UK regained all of that ground, but this morning LSU is gaining steam. The Tigers missed on one cornerback when Christian Williams flipped from Alabama to Miami. Now LSU has turned to Ward to fill that vacancy. It will be a fight to the finish between Kentucky and LSU.
By Nick Roush on ©February 06th, 2019 @ 9:10am
Kentucky’s secondary just got more talented. MJ Devonshire has committed to Kentucky over Pitt, West Virginia and Ohio State. He made the announcement in a NSD ceremony at his school.
A four-star recruit by Rivals, the No. 32 cornerback in America was the 3A Player of the Year in the state of Pennsylvania. The Aliquippa native had eight interceptions and eight punt return touchdowns, one shy of the national record. Devonshire also played offense, scoring 24 touchdowns as a running back and wide receiver. Each scored averaged 42.2 yards per play.
|Marlin “MJ” Devonshire
Cornerback | 5-11 | 170 lbs.
Aliquippa, PA | Aliquippa
|ESPN||72 ATH | 12 KY||Top247||63 CB | 14 PA|
|Rivals||32 CB | 6 PA||247 Comp.||50 CB | 9 PA|
Vince Marrow found this gem later in the recruiting process, just an hour southeast of Youngstown, Ohio. Marrow and Mark Stoops’ connection to the area played a part in MJ’s recruitment, as well as his connection to John Calipari.
The son of a coach, Devonshire is a tactician with all of the tools to be an impact player in the SEC.
By Nick Roush on ©February 06th, 2019 @ 9:00am
Between National Signing Day and the fallout from UK’s win over South Carolina, it’s going to be a busy morning around the Big Blue Nation. There’s no time to waste. Let’s get right to it.
Kentucky Rolled South Carolina
And it wasn’t ever really close. The Gamecocks played a physical brand of basketball, forcing Reid Travis to take an IV after the game, but it did not produce points. Kentucky closed the first half on a 17-4 run and never looked back, beating the Cocks 76-48.
The Real MVP came from an unexpected source. As Nick Richards combatted foul trouble and Travis slogged through a rock-fight with Chris Silva, E.J. Montgomery starred. The freshman embraced the opportunity to get his first career double-double. Montgomery posted career highs in points (11) and rebounds (13).
“He’s starting to come around,” John Calipari said after the game. “This was a great game for him to prove it against a really physical team, that they’re going to get body-to-body on you. He was able to still get it done.”
— Kentucky Basketball (@KentuckyMBB) February 6, 2019
Ugh Oh, Ashton
After an excellent month of basketball in January, Hagans has struggled since the calendar flipped to February. After a so-so performance at Florida, the UK point guard turned it over six times in the first half against South Carolina.
“His decisions weren’t good,” said Calipari. “But in the second half, he got a better feel for it and had a better flow of it and he made better decisions. He had no assists and six turnovers at half. He had four assists and no turnovers in the second half, which is why the score was what it was.”
Joe and Smooth Return
Two of KSR’s favorites from the pre-Calipari era, Joe Crawford and Ramel “Smooth” Bradley, were the “Y” last night at Rupp Arena.
For more photos from last night’s win, check out Dr. Mike’s Facebook album.
Following the win, the UK basketball team returned to the Rupp Arena court to meet with Special Olympic athletes from around Kentucky.
“It was great, I love doing things like that,” Baker said. “Jonny (David) told us right after the game that we were going to come back to the court and take pictures with them. That’s part of the reason we came here, to do things like that.”
On the other side, the Kentucky football team is playing their part to benefit Special Olympics. Mark Stoops leapt into the ice tub at the Joe Craft FTC with athlete Morgan Turner to promote Saturday’s Polar Plunge at Lexington’s Texas Roadhouse on Richmond Rd. Visit Stoopsplunge.com to give these athletes an opportunity to participate in Special Olympics.
The Final Four
After signing 21 players in the Early Signing Period, Kentucky focused its recruiting efforts on four four-star recruits: wide receiver Devonta Lee and three defensive backs, MJ Devonshire, Jay Ward and Jammie Robinson.
The secondary was a priority following the departure of Kentucky’s top five defensive backs. Mark Stoops and Vince Marrow expect to fill those vacancies with a few more top 30 cornerbacks. Devonshire is a physical, yet versatile athlete from Aliquippa that could be dangerous in the nickel. Ward is lengthy cover corner from the state of Georgia. Robinson’s status remains up in the air for a few more hours, but most believe he’ll sign with South Carolina.
To make NSD an overwhelming success, Devonta Lee needs to leave the state of Louisiana. That’s much easier said than done. While most recruiting analysts from the area believe he’ll play for his home state school, folks close to Kentucky’s program believe the Big Blue is still a possibility for Lee. It’s a game of “wait and see” for Lee, who would make an immediate impact at wide receiver next fall for Kentucky.
Devonshire and Ward could announce at any moment, but the rest have a more set schedule.
- 1:45 — Devonta Lee announces on ESPN NSD Special.
- 2:00 — Mark Stoops and Vince Marrow’s NSD Press Conference.
- ~2:00 — Jammie Robinson announcement on Instagram Live.
The First NSD Signing
Australian kickers are all the rage in college football. Manny Diaz went to Australia and found a person that in no way shape or form resembles a kicker. You can’t convince me Louis Hedley is a kicker.
The U is Back.
By Nick Roush on ©February 04th, 2019 @ 10:00pm
Time flies when you’re having fun. Don’t look now, but National Signing Day is only two days away.
The event has lost its luster over the last two years since the creation of the Early Signing Period. Kentucky has benefitted from the addition, but the timing (in the middle of bowl season just before Christmas) does not attract as much attention.
Last year Kentucky picked up one signee on NSD, Chris Oats. After only one year, it’s safe to say that addition turned out pretty well. This year Kentucky will pick up more than one four-star recruit. The only question is who.
What will Devonta Lee Do?
The biggest name on the board for most fans, the four-star outside wide receiver officially visited LSU over the weekend. Since then, all of the LSU recruiting analysts confirmed their belief that he will stay in the bayou to be a home state hero.
Kentucky has lost all of the buzz from his official visit, but I’m not giving up hope until Lee signs on the dotted line. Kentucky’s coaches left an in-home visit last week feeling good about their chances to get the impact receiver. I’ve learned a lesson in the past: never doubt the Big Dog. Until Wednesday I’ll lean on another lesson my mother taught me: prepare for the worst, but hope for the best.
Lee’s decision will air on ESPN’s Signing Day Special at 2:00 ET.
Two Four-Star Additions
UK’s three other four-star targets are all defensive backs. I think Kentucky will get two commitments at a position of need on NSD.
The Pitt recruiting people were once optimistic about their chances with MJ Devonshire. Now UK has all of that optimism, especially after he opted not to visit West Virginia over the weekend. Another elite corner, Jay Ward, officially visited Florida State over the weekend.
“The trip went great,” Ward told 247. “It was way better than I thought it would be.”
Even though the Seminoles got to make the last impression, I don’t think it’s enough to pull Ward away from recommitting to UK.
Kentucky will be a finalist for Jammie Robinson when he announces his decision Wednesday afternoon. All of the momentum is trending toward South Carolina, but the folks around UK still believe they have a 50-50 shot. Last I checked, those are pretty good chances. The safe bet is that MJ and Ward will be Wildcats this Wednesday.
Kentucky will play Ohio in 2024
Which begs the question, will Stoops still be at UK in five years? It would be his 12th season in Lexington, making him the longest tenured coach in school history. To use one of my favorite football cliches, if he has not yet out-kicked his coverage and moved to greener pastures, the program should be in excellent shape.
UK played Ohio in Stoops’ second year, defeating the Bobcats 20-3 in 2014, avenging the embarrassing 2004 loss at Commonwealth Stadium. At least they looked good in that loss.
JP’s on Today
The Kentucky defensive end’s story has been shared on quite a few platforms. Now Josh Paschal’s victory over cancer is a cautionary tale told by Today. The health feature advises people to do what Josh did and regularly check your skin for abnormalities, even on places that never see the sun like the bottom of your foot. Melanoma is rare, but early detection can save a life.
Remember Julian Edelman?
I’m sure you know the bearded Super Bowl MVP’s name now, but do you remember that time he played at Commonwealth Stadium? Kent State’s quarterback caught the Cats off guard in the second game of the 2007 season. The dual-threat quarterback helped the Golden Flashes out-gain UK in the first half 298-196. A 14-14 game at half, Kentucky eventually woke up to win 56-20. Edelman finished with 135 rushing yards, 129 passing and a touchdown.
The UK Specialists are Bringing ALL of It.
— Kentucky Specialists (@UK_Specialists) February 4, 2019
Which brings me to the final chapter of the MNF Notebook…
Power Ranking UK Football Super Bowl Commercials
The Super Bowl did not give us the points and prop bets we wanted to see, but it did give us another excellent Kentucky football commercial. A tradition that began just a year after Mark Stoops became the Cats’ head coach, the folks at KyWildcatsTV always bring their A-game. Some are better than others, but which is the best of the best?
5. 2015: I’m Not With You
The second Super Bowl commercial missed the mark. There were great intentions, but they missed one key element: the voice over. The dramatic prose pulls you in, and this one didn’t have any of it. It also had some weird animation on the highlights. This one is dead last and it’s not even close.
4. 2017: Let’s Go to Work
The only commercial longer than a minute, this ad essentially served as a showcase for the new football facility. It’s fine, but it’s mostly a workout montage. It does feature cameos from a pair of KSR Football Podcasters and one excellent line from Darius West that needs more context: “and come back stronger.”
3. 2014: Why Not?
The elements in the commercial are fantastic and Stoops’ script is absolutely incredible. At the time, it was hard to believe that this beautiful hype train could ever be derailed. Unfortunately, most of it was only hype. Of the seven Early Enrollees featured, four transferred. A back injury prevented Drew Barker’s career from ever taking off. The only significant contributors were the JUCOs, A.J. Stamps and C.J. “Poop” Johnson.
2. Benny Snell in the Snow
I initially ranked this as the best Super Bowl commercial. Seeing the Cats in Kroger Field in the snow in 4K is breathtaking. It also began with a subtle shot from Benny at the Music City Bowl officials who prematurely tossed him out of the game in 2017. There’s one reason it isn’t No. 1: there isn’t an exclamation point in the finale, only a breath of cold air from Snell.
1. Can I get a Hell Yeah?
Nobody is better at creating controlled chaos than Kash Daniel. His pregame speeches will either give you chills or force you to run through a wall. Not only does he bring that energy in the 2019 commercial, he stays on a message that does not even sound scripted.
While going through old commercials, you’ll notice many of the same faces. They’re all gone. They must replace legends. After Kash asked, “What’s next?” I’m confident these Cats can do just that.
208 days till football season.
By Nick Roush on ©February 02nd, 2019 @ 2:00pm
The 2019 football recruiting season is winding down. Ahead of Wednesday’s National Signing Day, Kentucky coaches conducted in-home visits this week to fill the final vacancies. Here’s where they stand.
Devonta Lee — Vince Marrow and Michael Smith were in Louisiana Thursday to see the Top 150 wide receiver prior to his official visit to LSU. After Lee was a no-show in Lexington last weekend, many feared the Cats were out of the picture. That’s not the case. I’ve been told the folks around UK “feel really good” about Lee heading down the stretch.
Obviously, things can change over the weekend. At this point, Lee’s recruitment will most certainly be a battle to the finish and there’s a good chance Kentucky pulls off the upset by convincing Lee to leave his home state.
Jay Ward — Matt House invested into the four-star cornerback early and often. A one-time commit, he decided to look round late in the fall as LSU applied pressure. About a month ago, the Big Dog entered the picture to help Ward remember why he initially fell in love with UK. After an official visit to Lexington last weekend and an in-home visit Thursday, the Cats are primed to pounce on National Signing Day. Kentucky’s main competition is Florida State, where Ward is taking his final official visit this weekend.
Jammie Robinson — The other four-star Georgia cornerback UK is recruiting is much further removed from his official visit. The forecast for Robinson looked good immediately after, but has since swayed toward South Carolina.
Over the last week five Crystal Ball picks have been logged for the Gamecocks, yet at the Joe Craft Football Training Center, most believe UK still has a 50-50 chance to land Robinson. We’ll learn Wednesday at 2:00 if it’s UK, South Carolina, Tennessee or Auburn.
MJ Devonshire — Kentucky could pull an all-time flex by picking up a four-star cornerback in the eleventh hour. Pitt put in plenty of early work to prevent the Aliquippa native from leaving the state of Pennsylvania. It might not be enough to overcome the Big Dog’s late push. Devonshire’s official visit went incredibly well, and not just because his family saw Coach Cal. Following an in-home visit this week, Kentucky is in excellent position to land a commitment on National Signing Day.
Predictions — Last year the Cats picked up Chris Oats on NSD. This year I have a feeling Kentucky will get at least two commitments by February 6. Even after that, the class will not be complete. The mysterious transfer portal and the two Iowa JUCO commits, JaVonte Richardson and Eli James, could produce a few more roster additions by the end of the spring semester.