Football Recruiting News
By Maggie Davis on ©May 05th, 2019 @ 11:00pm
Current Lexington Catholic quarterback Beau Allen is set to make his college decision in less than 24 hours: he’ll announce where he’s decided to spend the next four years of his football career Monday at 3:30 p.m. There’s not much time left in a recruitment that’s been ongoing for years – where does Kentucky stand now that it’s coming down to the wire?
Long story short, the Wildcats appear to be in a good spot with Allen. The 6-foot-2 quarterback has been showing UK (and some freshly-committed Cats) plenty of love on Twitter, and 24/7 Sports currently has his Crystal Ball set to 100% for the Wildcats.
Allen took an official visit last weekend, alongside two players who have since committed: four-star offensive lineman John Young and three-star defensive back Andru Phillips. Allen reposted both Young and Phillips’ commitment announcements. In the last few days, Allen has also “liked” Tweets by accounts such as The Stoops Era and Everything Kentucky Football.
As promised, John Young has also hit Allen’s social media pretty hard with pro-Kentucky Tweets. If this is what he’s doing on a public forum, imagine the texts he’s sending his friend.
— John Young (@the_johnyoung) May 2, 2019
When Young came on KSR following his own announcement, he promised to “bug [Allen] until he blocks my number. I’m going to be on him until his commits.”
Could Young’s final efforts be enough to seal the deal? Will the four-star quarterback be the next Kentuckian to announce a verbal commitment?
— Steve Wiltfong (@SWiltfong247) May 5, 2019
Allen also has offers from the Washington State Cougars and Neal Brown’s West Virginia Mountaineers. Allen visited the west coast the weekend before his Kentucky visit, describing his weekend with the Cougs as “really great.”
When asked about his feelings toward the University of Kentucky, Allen was very positive. Like all of UK’s recent commits, Allen cited the program’s upwards trajectory under Coach Mark Stoops. He also mentioned his close relationship with the UK staff, specifically mentioning offensive coordinator Eddie Gran, recruiting coordinator Vince Marrow, quarterbacks coach Darin Hinshaw and special teams coordinator Dean Hood.
Could Allen finalize a spectacular in-state trifecta for the 2020 Wildcat squad? We’ll have to wait until Monday afternoon to be certain, but the tea leaves certainly look good for Kentucky.
By Sam Gormley on ©May 05th, 2019 @ 10:00am
I watched the Kentucky Derby from Great American Ballpark minutes before the Reds and Giants played. My dad and I saw Maximum Security win and made our way to our seats thinking that was the end of everything. It was until I got a notification that said that Maximum Security was DQ and Country House was declared the winner.
I am the furthest thing from an expert when it comes to horse racing. Did Maximum Security “impede” the progress of another horse? I don’t even know that I would know what to look for.
To watch the stewards discuss the ruling, click the link below:
— Kentucky Derby (@KentuckyDerby) May 5, 2019
Again, I would be the first to admit that I don’t have a true understanding of the rules that go into a race. What I do know is that this will be a finish that is talked about for the next 145 Derbys.
— Kentucky Derby (@KentuckyDerby) May 4, 2019
Now onto the other news of the day:
Jalen Johnson includes Kentucky in Top Four
One of the top juniors in the class of 2020 announced yesterday that Kentucky, along with Wisconsin, Arizona and Duke, are finalists in his recruitment.
Johnson is a 6’8 forward from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He told reporters last year that the hometown Badgers had a slight lead, but his recruitment was still wide open. While their games aren’t the same, if I am John Calipari, I 100% send the five-star prospect footage of Tyler Herro. Show what Kentucky can do for a kid from Wisconsin.
— Jalen Johnson (@Jalen_J23) May 5, 2019
For more on Johnson, including his opinions on Kentucky… and Duke, click this link for a write up from KSR’s recruiting expert Jack Pilgrim.
Beau Allen talks decision
To say the last week has been good for recruiting in Kentucky would be an understatement. Tomorrow could be the cap off of a true trifecta with Lexington native Beau Allen announcing his commitment.
Allen, a four star quarterback, will make his decision between Kentucky, Washington State, West Virginia and Duke. In a recent interview with Rivals, Allen talked about what he likes about each school and his response to Kentucky is interesting. You might think the “hometown hero” card is the biggest factor, but it is something else that he likes.
To find out what that is, and his opinion on other schools, click here.
Cats visit five-star guard Daishen Nix
The recruiting didn’t end for the Kentucky coaching staff as Joel Justus was in to see Alaska native Daishen Nix. I admittedly don’t know a lot about Nix, but the minute I saw Alaska native, I knew exactly why the Cats were recruiting him. While he now plays in Las Vegas, you never know if an in-home visit could happen in Alaska and isn’t that Coach Cal’s dream to go there? I kid…
Nix is the #13 player in the class of 2020 and holds offers from most of the major west coast programs.
From yesterday’s KSR article, “Josh Gershon of 247 Sports says Nix is an ‘outstanding facilitator’ with ‘elite vision’ and ‘strong natural instincts.’
Good size for position with strong, sturdy frame. Elite vision; outstanding facilitator who is creative as a distributor. High basketball IQ with strong natural instincts for position. Improving shooter with range to perimeter although he is more efficient as he get closer to basket. Quick hands and impressive instincts on defense. Could improve as a shooter but it’s an area he’s shown progress and in general has been on a high trajectory since arriving in Nevada from Alaska prior to his freshman season. Projects as a successful college point guard with NBA upside.
This seems like a good guy to get to join Ramon Harris as Cats from Alaska.
Baseball DH at home this afternoon
If you are looking for a good way to spend your Saturday, make your way to Kentucky Proud Park where the Kentucky Baseball team will take on Arkansas in a DH beginning at 1pm.
I have heard nothing but good things about the new stadium and with the rain gone, I can’t think of a much better way to spend a Sunday.
By Jack Pilgrim on ©May 04th, 2019 @ 1:00pm
Momentum is rolling for the Kentucky football program on the recruiting trail, and things could get even better on Monday afternoon when 2020 four-star quarterback prospect Beau Allen makes his decision.
Allen, a 6-foot-2 pro-style quarterback out of Lexington, KY, is down to four schools: Kentucky, Washington State, West Virginia, and Duke.
In an interview with Woody Wommack of Rivals.com, Allen broke down each of those schools and why they might have a shot when he makes it official in just two days.
For Kentucky, it’s not so much about being from Lexington as to why he’s interested. It’s about the program’s recent success under Mark Stoops and how they would open up the offense a bit more with him under center.
“With Kentucky, their recent success has definitely a lot and being from the hometown probably doesn’t have that huge of a play into it as I’m looking for the type of people and the school and the offense,” he said. “And they have showed me how they are spreading out their offense more and throwing it more and going down field.”
As for Washington State, he’s comfortable with head coach Mike Leach and the style of play his teams always play with.
“With WSU, I really had a great visit and I really think coach Leach is a great coach and also a great person,” he said. “He talks with me about how I would be throwing the ball so much in his offense.”
With West Virginia, former Kentucky Wildcat Neal Brown is selling the uptempo offense he’s bringing to Morgantown with him.
“Coach Brown’s main message to me is that I would go great with their offense and their program,” he said. “I really like the people around the program and the fans and the offense.”
And finally with Duke, Allen says that he sees what the Blue Devils with quarterback Daniel Jones and thinks he could follow in his footsteps.
“With Duke, Coach Cutcliffe says that he really likes how I am a very accurate quarterback that can do anything in a game,” he said. “It’s great to see how well Daniel Jones is doing and how successful he is. Their main message for me is to play in a great offense at a great school and to be around great people which they have.”
Allen will make his final decision on Monday at 3:30 pm ET at Lexington Catholic High School.
PrepSpin will have a live stream of the event, which we will have available to watch right here on KSR.
Until then, check out his highlights below:
come stay home, Beau.
By Nick Roush on ©May 02nd, 2019 @ 4:15pm
Thirty years after he completed his college football career in Lexington, Carlos Phillips’ son committed to play football for Mark Stoops at the University of Kentucky.
Monday night Andru Phillips rolled the dice, becoming the third member of UK’s 2020 recruiting class. After playing high school football in Mauldin, South Carolina, the three-star cornerback decided to return to his home state of Kentucky to play for his father’s alma mater.
In a conversation with KSR, Carlos Phillips said he never pushed his son to choose UK.
“First and foremost, he’s my son. He’s not a football player to me. He’s my son and I wanted him to go somewhere I thought he was going to have a good support network and his best chance of achieving his goals. The University of Kentucky certainly fits that bill,” the elder Phillips said.
“I wanted Andru to play and go to school where ever he thought would be the best fit for him. He knows where my heart is, but I really tried to step back and just be a guide more so than a director in this whole process. He’s been a UK fan for quite some time and that was his first offer. He looked at other places but I think he really settled on where he could go and felt like he could take the team to the next level, and also a place where it felt like family. Kentucky fit both of those for him and without much if any encouragement from me.”
Originally from Owensboro, Phillips played with Mark Higgs on the Red Devils’ team that fell to Trinity in the 1983 4A State Championship. Phillips agreed to play for Jerry Claiborne’s Wildcats in 1986. At UK he changed positions each year, bouncing from one linebacker position to another.
He did not push his son to UK, but the former Wildcat will be proud to see his son in blue and white.
“Oh yeah, for a few reasons. A, I’m convinced that he’ll have more of an impact on the football field there than I did. I’m anxious to see that. Also, the school, the education I received there has served me well and I think he could benefit from that similarly. I think Coach Stoops has just rebuilt the culture there on the football team and about football in Kentucky. That’s great. And we have a lot of friends and family back there at home so he’s got a good support network as well.”
One of those friends is former teammate Bill Allen. Since the Cats started recruiting Andru, he befriended Allen’s son, Beau.
“It’s pretty neat now as our sons are being recruited, we would see each other at camps and things like that and catch up. Now I’m hoping that Beau decides to come to UK.”
If Beau commits to Kentucky, he’ll have a hard-hitting friend on the other side of the line of scrimmage. Andru Phillips enjoys popping people in the mouth.
“It’s as though he likes doing that,” said the somewhat concerned father. “I think sometimes he’s too aggressive because he’s not the biggest guy out there. But he doesn’t mind the contact. I think what makes him unique, he can cover you. He’s pretty versatile and he’s a bit of an athletic freak as well.”
Carlos does not take credit for Andru’s athleticism. That all goes to his mother, LaTonya, a former state champion sprinter at Danville High School.
“He’s got an athleticism I was never blessed with, and very few people are,” said Carlos. “I gave him the smarts and the Denzel-esque good looks. I guess the athleticism came from his mom.”
on who I don’t got no bounce… pic.twitter.com/lLM9GneYHw
— dru (@AndruPhillips) February 27, 2019
Andru Phillips has enough athleticism to be an SEC defensive back, but he has plenty of room to grow as a player. Stoops’ reputation as a talent developer, especially in the secondary, was one significant reason why the Phillips family was happy to send their son to Kentucky.
“The defensive backfield last year was all about development. I don’t know how many of those guys were four-star or five-star guys, but that was a heck of a defensive backfield. He did the some thing at Florida State and he’s done it throughout his coaching career,” Carlos Phillips said.
“That was a factor, but again, I just think the culture that Coach Stoops is building there, the culture of accountability. He’s bringing in better athletes and he’s working their tail off. Those kids, you get tired watching them practice. Combine all that with the culture and it made the University fo Kentucky a very attractive choice. Andru had close to 20 offers and more were going to come in, but he feels really good and really excited about the future at the University of Kentucky and he wants to play a role in helping to not only sustain the current level of success, but he wants to help them win an SEC Championship.”
Throughout Andru’s time at UK, Carlos will be smiling from the Kroger Field stands.
“It’s like a brotherhood. When you practice and go through trials and successes with these guys, it becomes family.”
By Nick Roush on ©May 02nd, 2019 @ 10:30am
Andru Phillips can get up.
When the hard-hitting cornerback isn’t wearing football pads, he’s competing in track and field events. The future Wildcat runs the 100m, 4×100 relay, competes in the long jump and triple jump, his best event. Last year he was ranked nationally in the triple jump and finished second in the state of South Carolina.
Phillips should consider the high jump. Unlike Blake Griffin, who only jumped over the hood of a Kia in the 2011 Slam Dunk Contest, Phillips completely cleared the roof a Nissan Altima.
on who I don’t got no bounce… pic.twitter.com/lLM9GneYHw
— dru (@AndruPhillips) February 27, 2019
Wow. Just, wow.
By Nick Roush on ©May 01st, 2019 @ 4:00pm
After one big recruiting weekend, Mark Stoops and Vince Marrow are doubling down. This weekend UK will host one of the top wide receivers in America for an official visit.
Kalil Branham, ranked by 247 as a top 25 wide receiver in the 2020, is set to be in Lexington for an official visit this weekend, according to Justin Rowland. The four-star pass-catcher from Columbus is back in the Bluegrass after a brief sabbatical.
Branham was committed to Michigan when he unofficially visited Kroger Field for the Blue/White Game. He reopened his recruitment shortly after he saw UK’s offense score 74 points. Since that trip, Branham’s been a big fan of the Cats on social media.
Lol In Columbus. I can't make this up. pic.twitter.com/xjipA2VJYN
— Kalil Branham 2020 (@kbug_dash) April 25, 2019
— Kalil Branham 2020 (@kbug_dash) April 25, 2019
— Kalil Branham 2020 (@kbug_dash) April 26, 2019
Branham is also a big fan of Beau Allen, who will make his college decision Monday.
— Kalil Branham 2020 (@kbug_dash) April 19, 2019
A state champion sprinter, Branham brings plenty of speed to the outside. Athleticism runs in the family. His older brother, John Jr., is a three-star running back signed to play at Eastern Michigan. As the Cats search for elite athletes to insert into the 2020 class, Branham fits the build.
We now know when Lexington Catholic quarterback Beau Allen will announce his college decision.
According to PrepSpin, a high school broadcasting network here in Kentucky, Allen will hold a press conference next Monday, May 6, at 3:30 pm from his high school. PrepSpin will have a live stream of the event, which we will carry for you here on KSR.
Allen is expected to pick Kentucky for his college football career, but he is also high on Mike Leach’s offense at Washington State and Neal Brown’s at West Virginia.
We’ll learn which program he decides Monday afternoon.
Mark Stoops’ good weekend continued through Monday. Could it extend all the way to Tuesday?
His weekend started with Josh Allen’s top ten selection in the NFL Draft. Upon Stoops’ return to Lexington, he hosted a handful of elite recruits for official visits. Those visits resulted in not one, but two commitments. Four-star offensive lineman John Young was the first to pull the trigger. A day after Young’s decision, three-star cornerback Andru Phillips joined the Big Blue Nation. Phillips’ Monday night commitment happened just moments after a four-star defensive end included UK in his list of finalists.
Kentucky has quickly acquired a significant amount of recruiting momentum. Can the Cats turn it into more commitments? Beau Allen is awfully close to Young and Phillips, and he should be nearing a decision after officially visiting Washington State and UK. Stoops said the dice are staying hot. If Allen decides to roll them…look out.
Guess Who’s Back?
Just days after they were drafted, Josh Allen and Lonnie Johnson are already back to work in Lexington.
The Citrus Bowl Rings are Spectacular
There’s almost too much swag for one hand.
— Kentucky Football (@UKFootball) April 29, 2019
Two KDF Events on the Waterfront
Need to get in the Derby spirit? Tonight Louisville City is getting in on the celebration with a 7:00 p.m. kickoff at Louisville Slugger Field. If you prefer to win a little money, the KDF Texas Hold’em Tournament will take place on the Belle of Cincinnati. Docked at Kroger’s Fest-a-ville, for $125 you can get $10,000 worth of chips in the tournament. Registration is at 4:00, followed by a 6:00 p.m. start.
A Pair of NBA Playoff Games
- 8:00: Boston at Milwaukee on TNT (MIL leads 1-0)
- 10:30: Houston at Golden State on TNT (GSW leads 1-0)
Two Terrific New Podcasts
Aaron Torres is back with a vengeance, while Kentucky Thrones Radio did something a little different to recap The Long Night. T.J. Walker and I talked about the terrific Game of Thrones episode live over the Kentuckiana airwaves. If you missed it, or the extra ten minutes at the end, check it out here. If you need more, we’ll be back for another episode tomorrow night.
The Jeopardy Guy (almost) Lost
James Holzhauer’s improbable Jeopardy streak nearly came to an end last night. Adam Levin came within $18 of knocking off the man who had already won $1.275 million in 17 games. Levin’s $53,999 is the most ever earned by somebody who did not win the episode. Levin’s secret? Scouting. He was able to see Holzhauer operate before their face-off. The Boston Globe caught up with the man who gave Holzhauer a run for his money.
Get your Tickets to Meet P.J. Washington
Don’t wait till Thursday night to see Kentucky’s All-American. Come by KSBar anytime to get a free ticket that will secure your spot in line.
KSR’s Dog of the Day is…
..my dog Wubbie. This is how she prefers to spend her day when I’m blogging away. It’s not distracting at all.
Matt Jones, Ryan Lemond and Drew Franklin will be on the air in just an hour.
By Drew Franklin on ©April 29th, 2019 @ 11:00pm
Editor’s Note: Phillips announced this evening he will be a Kentucky Wildcat. Originally posted prior to the announcement, let Drew Franklin get you acquainted with UK’s third commitment in the 2020 recruiting class.
With Andru Phillips set to announce his decision later today, take a moment to familiarize yourself with the three-star cornerback out of South Carolina, who we hope will soon commit to the Cats over the Cards and Vols.
He grew up in Kentucky.
First and foremost, Phillips is a Kentuckian at heart. His recruiting bio may read Mauldin, South Carolina, but he grew up in the Louisville area, until his dad’s job moved the family away from the Bluegrass a few years ago.
He is one of John Young’s close friends.
Young, the offensive lineman who committed to Kentucky over the weekend, told KSR, “I was childhood friends with him growing up… He’s a guy I think would love to come back home.”
His dad, Carlos Phillips, played at Kentucky in the 1980s.
Phillips is a legacy recruit, meaning he won’t be the first from his family to play at UK if he decides to go that route. His father, Carlos Phillips, played linebacker for Jerry Claiborne in the late 1980s, after competing in the high school AAAA state championship with Owensboro.
His old brother, CJ Phillips, was a star at Morehead State.
Carlos Junior Phillips, Andru’s older brother, started every eligible game of his career, 46 consecutive games, on Morehead State’s offensive line from 2013-16, and was named Second-Team All-PFL in his senior season.
He is also a track and field star at Mauldin.
This past weekend, Phillips came in second in both the long jump and the 100-meter at a regional meet in South Carolina.
He has several football offers.
Phillips lists Kentucky, Louisville, Tennessee, Virginia Tech and NC State as his finalists, but he also holds offers from the likes of West Virginia, Wake Forest and Syracuse, among others. Michigan State, South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia Tech and Virginia also showed interest.
He picked up his UK offer last summer.
— dru (@AndruPhillips) June 12, 2018
He was at the Blue-White game.
Phillips visited Kentucky for the spring game earlier this month, along with childhood friend Young and UK quarterback target Beau Allen.
He was also in town for the South Carolina game last season and again this past weekend.
He moved his announcement up from July.
Phillips had intentions of announcing his decision on July 8, the three-year anniversary of the day he and his family left Kentucky for South Carolina. After visiting Kentucky’s campus for a second time in two weeks this past weekend, he decided it is time to go ahead and announce where he will play college football.
The timing suggests we are in for some good news.
By Nick Roush on ©April 29th, 2019 @ 10:45pm
When Kentucky received a commitment from a four-star offensive tackle Sunday night, Mark Stoops also brought in an aggressive recruiter.
Now that John Young has wrapped up his recruitment by rolling the dice with UK, he’s trying to get others in the fold. While completing his official visit over the weekend, he was giving his peers his best pitch.
“I started recruiting even before this weekend,” Young told KSR. “I knew I was going to be committing coming into this weekend; really started working on a lot of guys and I think we have some good news coming this week for some Kentucky fans. I think this class is really going to come together over the next few weeks going into the summer. I think Kentucky fans will be really pleased by the end of the summer how the class is shaping up. ”
How good this class be? UK’s best ever.
“I think this could be a really great class. I know rankings aren’t everything. They don’t really mean much, but I really do think we could have a top 15 class or possible a top 10 class as a whole.”
Much of that revolves around the highest-ranked recruit in Lexington, four-star quarterback Beau Allen. One of the prospects that officially visited UK’s campus this weekend, Young will not stop recruiting Allen until he commits.
“I am his buddy and the truth is I am going to do everything I can. I am gonna bug that dude until he blocks my number. I’m going to be on him until he commits,” said Young.
“I know that Kentucky stands in a really good spot with Beau and his family. He’s from there. Beau’s one of my best friends and I talk to him everyday. Now when I talk to him I always throw in, ‘you know it’s time to hop on board and start recruiting with me because we could really have something special with this class.’ That’s the God’s honest answer that I’ll be on him until he commits.”
Allen isn’t the only player Young is recruiting. He provided a few names for fans to keep an eye on throughout the recruiting season.
“One guy would be a cornerback from South Carolina. Andru Phillips would be a guy to know as a Kentucky fan right now. He’s from the state of Kentucky, I was childhood friends with him growing up, but ended up moving to South Carolina for his family’s work. I think he’s a guy that would love to come back home. I think the staff would love to see it, as well as I.”
Phillips is making a big announcement tonight, one that could bode well for the Big Blue Nation.
“I’d say Vito Tisdale, the No. 1 ranked prospect in the state, safety from Bowling Green. If you don’t know him already, you should. He’s one of my top targets and I know he’s one of the top targets for the staff as somebody we want a part of this class,” Young added.
“I’d say Octavious Oxendine, a defensive tackle from North Hardin, another guy everybody is going to be on hard. I’m sure he’s a guy already a lot of Kentucky fans know, but if you don’t, you should. I’ll say Michael Drennen from up in Ohio, a four-star running back who also has offers from everywhere in the country, but I know he really likes Kentucky and he’s a guy I’m really going to go after hard.”
For those who closely follow UK football recruiting, the first few names did not come as a surprise. When he dropped Michael Drennen’s name…WOW. Like most Ohio recruits, UK was in on the Dublin-Coffman athlete early. When the four-star all-purpose back picked up an Alabama offer (on top of the Notre Dame and Ohio State offers) last month, I wrote off Kentucky’s chances. UK’s coaches and Young will not be giving up so easily.
As UK’s class takes shape in the coming months, Young will play a significant role in its creation. It’s not just lip-service. Just a few minutes after the interview, Young was already practicing what he preached.
The picture above was taken just two weeks ago following the Blue/White Game.
The trio returned to Lexington for official visits over the weekend. Sunday night John Young announced his commitment to Kentucky. Andru Phillips followed suit today. When will it be Beau Allen’s turn?
Young told KSR this morning, “I am gonna bug that dude until he blocks my number. I’m going to be on him until he commits.” Young is not alone.
Your next brotha https://t.co/jxsBHXU34S
— dru (@AndruPhillips) April 29, 2019
Allen is eyeing a decision in the coming weeks. Right now the dice are pretty hot. Will Allen be ready to roll them with his friends? The clock is ticking.
Andru Phillips is the newest member of Kentucky’s 2020 recruiting class.
A three-star cornerback out of South Carolina, Phillips picked the Cats over four other finalists in his recruitment: Louisville, NC State, Tennessee, and Virginia Tech. He had originally planned to announce his decision in early July, but after visiting Lexington this past weekend, he decided to go ahead and commit Monday evening.
BBN I’m coming home…
110% COMMITTED ? pic.twitter.com/strV1Aa9SU
— dru (@AndruPhillips) April 29, 2019
He is the third commitment in UK’s next class, joining Lamar Goods, a defensive tackle out of Connecticut, and John Young, another new addition who visited with Phillips over the weekend and pledged his commitment on Sunday.
247Sports ranks Phillips as the No. 57 cornerback in 2020 and the 11th best prospect out of South Carolina. He is a legacy recruit; his father, Carlos Phillips, played at UK in the late 80s.
Learn even more about him here: Get To Know Andru Phillips
By Nick Roush on ©April 29th, 2019 @ 6:30pm
Right now there is no shortage of positive Kentucky football recruiting news. After a weekend of high profile official visitors and a four-star commitment, the Cats are finalists for one of the best football players in America.
Four-star defensive end Darrion Henry announced he is down to six schools: Ohio State, LSU, Georgia, Tennessee, Cincinnati and Kentucky.
A 6’6″ 260-pound pass rusher, the Cincinnati native is the No. 45 player overall and the No. 3 defensive end in the 2020 recruiting class, according to the 247 Composite rankings. Recruited by Vince Marrow, Henry unofficially visited UK’s campus in February with two other talented Cincinnati prospects, five-star offensive tackle Paris Johnson and his Princeton teammate, four-star linebacker Jaheim Thomas.
Currently all 12 of Henry’s Crystal Ball picks are for Ohio State. There’s still plenty of time for the Big Dog to convince Henry to rock the Big Blue.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©April 29th, 2019 @ 10:37am
Is more good news on the way for Kentucky Football? Fresh off his official visit to Lexington, three-star cornerback Andru Phillips just tweeted he’s moved up his college announcement from July 8 to tonight. He’ll choose between Kentucky, Louisville, NC State, Tennessee, and Virginia Tech.
Today’s the day.. big announcement coming tonight
— dru (@AndruPhillips) April 29, 2019
The 5’11” 180 lbs. prospect out of Mauldin, South Carolina is considered the No. 57 cornerback in the 2020 class and the No. 722 player overall by 247 Sports. He and new commit John Young were both on Kentucky’s campus this weekend and a few weeks ago, when they posed with four-star quarterback Beau Allen:
— dru (@AndruPhillips) April 13, 2019
In fact, Young told Go Big Blue Country’s Shawn Smith that Phillips is someone he’s actively recruiting to join him in Lexington:
“I am fully committed to Kentucky and will not be talking to any other schools. I think we could have a top fifteen class. Beau Allen, Andru Phillips, Izayah Cummings, Vito Tisdale, and Tee Hodge are just a few of the guys I want on board.”
— Shawn Smith (@gbbcountry) April 28, 2019
Come on down, Andru.
By Jack Pilgrim on ©April 28th, 2019 @ 11:00pm
Earlier today, 2020 four-star offensive lineman and Christian Academy of Louisville product John Young announced on Twitter that he had “big news coming” later this evening.
Y’all stay tuned tonight.. big news coming ?
— John Young (@the_johnyoung) April 28, 2019
Tonight, Rivals’ No. 214 overall prospect and No. 24 offensive tackle in the nation announced that he has committed to the hometown Kentucky Wildcats.
“First, I would like to thank God for the opportunities I have been given,” said Young. “Playing college football has always been my dream. I would like to thank my Mom and Dad for always being by my side during this process and supporting me no matter what. Along with my parents, I would like to thank my sister and the rest of my family for always coming to games and helping me with this process. Thank you to Coach Griffee, Coach Magee, Coach Lefors, Coach Hilliard, and every other coach that has helped me along the way. I would also like to thank my friends and teammates for making me a better person, as well as player, every day. Finally, I would like to thank every coach that has given me the opportunity to play at their university.
“With that being said, I am shutting down my recruitment and committing to The University of Kentucky. I am so excited to be a part of the BBN family and begin building something special with this class.”
— John Young (@the_johnyoung) April 28, 2019
Young, a 6-foot-6, 295-pound tackle, chose Kentucky over finalists Georgia, Ohio State, Michigan, Purdue, and Louisville, among 24 total scholarship offers.
With Young’s addition, Kentucky now has two commitments for the class of 2020, both being four-star, Rivals250 prospects. Lamar Goods, a 6-foot-4 defensive tackle out of Oakdale, CT and Rivals’ No. 204 prospect in the class committed back on April 8.
Staying on the recruiting side, Young is also good friends with Kentucky four-star quarterback target Beau Allen, and is expected to be a major piece in not only bringing in Allen, but several other key elite targets for the Wildcats.
With Logan Stenberg, Austin Dotson, and Mason Wolfe each being seniors, along with upperclassmen Landon Young and Drake Jackson both having a maximum of two years of eligibility remaining, Young has the opportunity to develop early under star talent and earn playing time sooner rather than later.
As far as what Young brings to the table from a talent perspective, Kentucky picked up a self-described “nasty” run blocker with a hard-working attitude and will to win like no one else in the class.
Our own Adam Luckett had this to say about the newest Wildcat:
“Athletic tackle who moves people in the run game and plays with a high motor. Has the ability to play guard. Heavy-handed punch but not much on tape with pass protection. Likely needs a lot of polish there. Young is at his best moving in space blocking linebackers and safeties on screens, counters, sweeps, etc. Had serious interest from other big time programs.”
Back on April 17, Young sat down with KSR about his upcoming decision, where he said he grew up a Kentucky fan and “loves” what head coach Mark Stoops has done with the program since he arrived in Lexington back in 2012.
“(With) Kentucky, I grew up a fan of Kentucky, and I really love what they’ve done over the last year with their team,” he said. “Coach Stoops has really turned that program around. I love all the coaches up there, and I’ve visited there a lot.”
For Young, he looks at what the Kentucky football program has been able to do with high school talent and mold them into NFL talent. With five Wildcats getting drafted this past weekend, with six more already signing deals with teams as undrafted free agents, he knows he’ll have an opportunity to represent the state of Kentucky in the NFL one day.
“I’m going on my third year of being recruited by Kentucky, they offered me as a freshman, so I’ve really gotten to see the development there,” he said. “They develop players and turn them into high-caliber draft picks like they did with Josh Allen and Benny Snell. Those guys weren’t super highly recruited guys out of high school, Josh wasn’t really recruited at all, but they turned those guys into very high caliber guys who are going to make millions of dollars playing football. Just the way they’ve developed players is the most impressive thing for me.”
Most importantly, the four-star prospect told KSR that his recruitment is “100% shut down,” saying that he will not be taking visits or talking to other schools in the future. Without question, he will be signing with the University of Kentucky.
“My recruitment will be completely and 100% shut down after I make my decision,” he told KSR. “I will not be taking visits to other schools, I won’t talk to other schools, my recruitment will be shut down as soon as I make my decision.”
Watch his junior-year highlights below:
Welcome to the BBN, Mr. Young.