Football Recruiting News
As spring football heats up, more and more recruits are visiting Kentucky’s campus.
Tuesday morning the Cats had company from Ohio. Three-star Cincinnati running back Miyan Williams made the trip down I-75 to watch spring practice and see UK’s facilities.
A powerful 2020 running back that also holds an offer from Michigan, Williams attends Winton Woods High School, Mike Edwards and Chris Oats’ alma mater. In one playoff game last fall, Williams rushed for 430 yards and six touchdowns to lead his team to a come-from-behind victory.
Williams was not the only recruit on campus this week. Jonesborough, Tennessee athlete Prince Kollie was one of a few underclassmen that saw the facility.
— Prince Kollie (@p_kollie_21) March 26, 2019
About a dozen or so underclassmen have announced offers since UK hosted a slew of recruits for the first spring scrimmage last Saturday. All of them received an added bonus on their visits last week with the departing senior class still in town for UK Pro Day. At each spring practice you’ll find at least a handful of recruits on the sidelines. The spring tour season also applies to UK targets visiting elsewhere.
Michael Drennen is Heating Up
One of UK’s other top running back targets is Michael Drennen. While Williams brings the power, this Ohio running back excels in space. The rising senior from Dublin Coffman can run out of the backfield or catch passes out of the slot. This week the four-star recruit picked up offers from Ole Miss, Florida and Alabama, making life difficult for the Cats.
Florida Slides in on UK Commit
One of Kentucky’s early commits in the 2020 class is catching the eye of all the big dogs. Between March 16-26, offensive tackle Gerald Mincey received offers from Florida’s big three: Florida State, Miami and Florida. A teammate of Nik Scalzo at Cardinal Gibbons in Ft. Lauderdale, things change for Florida kids when the big dogs get involved.
And then, there’s this:
— V7?? (@vitotisdale7) March 28, 2019
It’s never good to see the top-ranked player in the Commonwealth hanging out with Nick Saban.
Kind of a Big Deal
I wouldn’t leave you with bad news. One of the best players in America, Justin Rogers, is rocking UK swag to school. That’s good for something, right?
— Justin Rogers (@AllAmerican52JR) March 27, 2019
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©March 28th, 2019 @ 10:53am
How about a Yahtzee to get the morning rolling? 2020 three-star athlete Jim Davis just committed to Kentucky. The Belle Glade, Florida native also had an offer from Syracuse.
247 Sports ranks Davis the 172nd best wide receiver in the country. Nick Roush will be by with more on him in just a bit.
UPDATE (11:35 am)
Davis deleted his commitment Tweet and posted this a few minutes later:
After I VISIT Kentucky In April I’ll repost My Commitment ??????
— Jim13Davis (@13JimDavis) March 28, 2019
Football recruiting is weird.
By Nick Roush on ©March 22nd, 2019 @ 7:30pm
One of UK’s top recruits in the 2018 recruiting class is looking for a new home.
L’Christian “Blue” Smith initially picked to attend Ohio State over Kentucky. After one redshirt season in Columbus, the former four-star prospect is reportedly set to transfer at the end of the spring semester.
A 6’6″ outside receiver, Rivals ranked him as America’s No. 39 overall player in the 2018 recruiting class. Hailing from Wayne High School in Dayton, Ohio, the Cats currently have another 6’6″ wide receiver from Wayne on the roster, Ahmad Wagner. The two helped lead Wayne to the Ohio Division I state championship game in 2015, the state’s largest class for high school football.
Kentucky lost a few players off the roster and did not sign a complete recruiting class in February, leaving a few scholarships available for additions at the end of the spring semester. Most believed UK would hit the grad transfer market to find a wide receiver or two. Now the Cats have another incredibly talented option, Blue Smith.
By Nick Roush on ©March 11th, 2019 @ 9:45pm
Hello, Kentucky football fans. In the middle of the two most exciting college basketball weeks of the year, I’m sure many of you worried football news would slow to a trickle. Fear not, there’s still plenty of football to discuss.
Unfortunately, none of it is spring football. The team has the week off for spring break. While the players are away, Stoops made a move that could change the trajectory of the program over the next five years. That’s not something you can typically say about a new quality control coach, but that’s what Mark Perry brings to the table.
Stoops Swipes Mark Perry from Neal Brown
This morning Football Scoop reported UK has added two new quality control analysts. Joe Scola will reportedly work with the defense and Mark Perry will assist the offense. The breaking news stories noted each person’s history at the University of Kentucky — Scola previously served as an administrator and Perry played quarterback at UK — but the story behind the story is why the move is so significant.
Last year Perry served on Neal Brown’s staff at Troy as Director of Football Operations. The former UK quarterback played with Brown under Hal Mumme in the late 90s. In January, Perry agreed to follow Brown to West Virginia to serve as the Director of Football Administration. Stoops used a quality control vacancy, a more hands-on job that digs deep into the X’s and O’s for a football program, to convince Perry to come home.
At this point, you’re probably asking, “Why should I care that Stoops swiped one of Brown’s administrators to be a quality control coach?” Sure, there’s a nice revenge factor after Brown’s first West Virginia commitment came from Danville, but that’s not why Perry’s addition is a big deal.
Before Perry entered the world of college football, he was a Kentucky high school football coach for 14 years. In his final year as Lexington Catholic High School’s head coach, Mark Perry’s starting quarterback was Beau Allen. Fast forward two years, Allen is a four-star prospect and the No. 15 pro-style quarterback in America according to Rivals.
This move is just the latest card Stoops loaded into his deck to land Allen. To start, Beau is a legacy recruit. His father, Bill, was a reserve quarterback in the 80s for Jerry Calibourne. Continuity is key too. Since Kentucky offered Allen in May of 2017, the Cats have kept the offensive staff intact. When Eddie Gran turned down Georgia, it helped the Allen-to-UK momentum.
All of those good Kentucky vibes around Allen entered shaky ground once Brown accepted the head coaching job at West Virginia. Less than a week after Brown took the Country Roads to Morgantown, Allen had a scholarship offer from West Virginia. You’ll never guess who told Beau he had the offer.
“Earlier, I talked with coach (Mark) Perry and he told me about the offer,” Allen told the Charleston Gazette-Mail. “I was really excited.”
Football recruiting is not for the faint of heart. Neal Brown is a nice guy, but Stoops is from Youngstown. You do not mess around with a guy from Youngstown. Brown won an early battle in this recruiting war, a war Stoops is willing to use big guns to win.
Criticized for being unable to successfully recruit an elite, program-changing quarterback, Stoops went so far as to swipe one of Brown’s staffers to prevent Allen from leaving Lexington to play college football.
Will this move secure a commitment from Allen? Only time will tell. Ultimately, I believe much of it will depend on how Terry Wilson and the UK offense develops this fall. Allen plays in a spread system at Lex Cath. If the pocket-passer chose to play in an Air Raid system, instead of the Benny Snell power run offense, you could not blame him one bit. Stoops has done everything to cultivate the ideal environment for Beau Allen. Developing the offense is the final piece of the puzzle.
Arkansas Offers Fifth Grader
Today Stoops proved he’s willing to go to great lengths to win recruiting battles. Luckily, he’s not relying on gimmicks. In an attempt to recruit a four-star defensive tackle from Houston, Arkansas head coach Chad Morris offered scholarships to Vernon Broughton Jr.’s eighth grade cousin and fifth grade brother.
Blessed to say my cousin Vincent Wells ’23 and younger brother Isaiah Broughton ‘26 have both received a offer from the University of Arkansas…??#WPS #HammerDown @BroughtonBroth1 @yadiva71 #BroughtonDNA? #Blessed pic.twitter.com/m3qWjPnMaH
— Vernon Broughton ll (@Broughto1Vernon) March 10, 2019
Sorry kids, I prefer to see parents in pads on recruiting visits.
Watch UK Pro Day LIVE
The University of Kentucky announced NFL Pro Day will be Friday, March 22 at 9:15 am. Sixteen Wildcats will compete in combine drills in front of a slew of NFL front office personnel at the Joe Craft Football Training Facility. Dick Gabriel, Jeremy Jarmon and New York Jets’ linebacker Avery Williamson will broadcast the event on SEC Network+ and UKAthletics.com. This year’s Pro Day participants:
- Josh Allen
- George Asafo-Adjei
- Derrick Baity
- Dorian Baker
- David Bouvier
- Miles Butler
- Tymere Dubose
- Nick Haynes
- Lonnie Johnson Jr.
- Jordan Jones
- Adrian Middleton
- Benny Snell Jr.
- Bunchy Stallings
- Darius West
- Chris Westry
- Tristan Yeomans
C.J. Conrad will be sidelined as he undergoes further medical evaluation. Mike Edwards will wait until April 8 to undergo combine workouts. The safety is still recovering from a broken thumb he suffered in the Senior Bowl.
UK Pro Day probably won’t be your top priority just hours before the first round of the NCAA Tournament tips off. KSR will have you covered with plenty of coverage from the event and a little football podcast from KSBar once the action concludes. If you’re lucky, we’ll have a special guest or two.
Josh Allen is still Winning Awards
With a little help from KyWildcatsTV, you can see all of Allen’s best moments from the Bednarik Award ceremony that happened last weekend in Atlantic City.
Poop Johnson is Cashing In
Known at UK as C.J., the former UK defensive tackle went viral when the CFL announced “Poop Johnson signed with the Argonauts.” How much traction did it pick up? TMZ is now reporting the one-time KSR Pregame Show host has inked an endorsement deal.
Dude Wipes confirmed the report saying, “If you play ball and are having poop problems, we have your back.”
What a time to be alive.
By Nick Roush on ©March 11th, 2019 @ 8:00pm
The Kentucky Wildcats are still in the running for one of the Commonwealth’s top football prospects.
This evening Louisville offensive tackle John Young released his top six schools — Kentucky, Louisville, Purdue, Ohio State, Michigan and Georgia.
A four-star prospect, Rivals ranks Young as the No. 24 offensive tackle in America. Young helped Christian Academy of Louisville win two 2A state titles over the last three years, the only championships in the school’s history.
Young plans on taking official visits to his finalists in April and May. He’s tentatively set a decision date for July 6. Recruited by Vince Marrow, Young was on Kentucky’s campus last month with some of the Cats’ most important in-state recruits.
— John Young (@the_johnyoung) February 17, 2019
By Nick Roush on ©March 08th, 2019 @ 7:00pm
Mark Stoops successfully turned around the Kentucky football program by recruiting the best of the best from the state of Kentucky in Ohio. Entering his seventh season, the Cats are extending their reach to new territories.
First, Eddie Gran helped UK invest in Florida. Last season Michael Smith moved them into Louisiana. Now the Cats are taking the next natural step to…California?
In his first month on the job, Jon Sumrall made a splash. The inside linebackers coach with roots in the Deep South offered arguably the best player on West Coast, linebacker Justin Flowe. A top five player in the 2020 class, the No. 1 linebacker in America was offered by Sumrall during an unofficial visit to UK with his 7-on-7 team.
“They offered me on the visit so that was cool,” Lowe told 247 Sports. “I met with Josh Allen and he’s a super good guy. I just asked him about how he prepares himself for the combine and if he gets nervous at all or feels pressure to perform. He said you don’t get nervous when you train really hard and when you’re prepared for it. The whole coaching staff was there and we split up in to individual position meetings. Jon Sumrall is the new LB coach and I actually knew him because he was recruiting me when he was at Ole Miss. He’s a good guy and I liked coach Stoops too so that was a good visit.”
Over the last week UK also offered a pair of cornerbacks from California, Makell Esteen and James Smith.
One of Sumrall’s first moves as a recruiter on Mark Stoops’ staff bucks most trends. Elite basketball recruits have no problem playing college ball across the country, but college football recruiting is typically a regional affair. In Kentucky’s case, the six-hour radius around campus has been beneficial. Can they extend UK’s recruiting range to Cali?
Convincing a player like Flowe to come to Kentucky is no small task. Considered a lean to USC, Alabama, Oklahoma and every other powerhouse are in hot pursuit of his services. As for the cornerbacks, the SEC draw could convince them to give UK a second look.
Even if nothing comes from this move by Sumrall, he’s sending a message. While recruiting for his alma mater, he’s going to recruit the best of the best and nothing less.
By Nick Roush on ©March 04th, 2019 @ 11:45am
It has not taken long for Neal Brown to make waves on the recruiting front.
Two months after the Danville native was hired to be the head coach at West Virginia, Brown has received a commitment from a Boyle County star. Three-star wide receiver Reese Smith announced he will be a Mountaineer.
— Reese Smith (@reesesmith_) March 4, 2019
Ranked by 247 Sports as the No. 8 prospect from the state of Kentucky in the 2020 class, Smith helped lead Boyle County to a 3A State Championship in 2017.
Brown’s first commitment as West Virginia’s head coach was also being recruited by Dean Hood at the University of Kentucky. The two schools are also recruiting Smith’s teammate, running back Landen Bartleson.
Neal Brown won the first recruiting battle on his home turf. Those battles will only become more intense as Brown, Jeff Brohm and Scott Satterfield crowd the Commonwealth’s recruiting ranks.
By Nick Roush on ©February 25th, 2019 @ 8:30pm
Can you believe it? We’re only one week from the start of Spring Practice in Lexington. The break between the fall and spring seasons does not feel so long following a New Year’s Day bowl victory.
Next Monday morning Mark Stoops’ team will strap on their helmets to prepare for the 2019 season for the first time. Unlike previous spring practices, there’s no quarterback competition, however, there aren’t a lot of returning stars either.
After seeing Josh Allen, Mike Edwards, Benny, Baity and C.J. Conrad featured in promo videos over the last three years, there will be an adjustment period this spring. Kash Daniel, Lynn Bowden, A.J. Rose and Terry Wilson have captured the BBN’s attention, but who will be the next to emerge? There are plenty of prospective candidates — Boogie Watson, Josh Paschal, Davonte Robinson, Josh Ali, Ahmad Wagner, Justin Rigg — that can use this spring to assert themselves at the top of the Kentucky football food chain.
Over the next two months you’ll typically receive practice updates Tuesday and Thursday afternoons around lunchtime. All of the action will coalesce with the Blue/White Game, Friday, April 12, at Kroger Field. Beginning tomorrow season ticket holders can secure a spot at the game.
Before the players on campus begin preparation for the 2019 football season, Stoops’ coaching staff has been hosting the nation’s most talented prep prospects for unofficial visits. Last weekend they focused their attention on in-state prospects. This weekend their attention turned to the Buckeye State.
Unprecedented Talent in Lexington
Three of the four best football players in the state of Ohio were in Lexington this weekend. That’s great, but it’s even more crazy when you consider where each player is ranked.
- Paris Johnson Jr. — No. 1 OH, No. 5 overall, No. 1 OT
- Darrion Henry — No. 2 OH, No. 42 overall, No. 4 SDE
- Jaheim Thomas — No. 4 OH, No. 253 overall, No. 17 OLB
If you’re wondering where the third-ranked player in the class was, running back Michael Drennen visited campus last weekend.
Paris Johnson Jr.’s presence is quite shocking. When has UK ever had a Top 5 recruit on campus? I cannot personally recall, however, the 2020 class is making it a new norm. Justin Rogers, the nation’s top-ranked offensive guard and the No. 17 player overall, has been to UK more than once. Even though landing each player may appear to be a long shot on paper, the trips aren’t just for kicks and giggles.
Johnson is committed to Ohio State, but he committed when Urban Meyer was the head coach. Vince Marrow has made UK a viable option, and at this point in the recruiting season, that’s all you can ask for.
that Kentucky Blue goes hard.. no ?
— Paris Johnson Jr. (@ParisJohnsonJr) February 25, 2019
— Jaheim (@JaheimThomas454) February 23, 2019
They were not the only recruits in town. Cincinnati Colerain safety Deshawn Pace picked up a scholarship offer, his first from the SEC, after the visit. Sean Hill, a 2020 offensive tackle, made the trip from Georgia after visiting the University of Louisville. UK also hosted Miquan Grace, a three-star safety from Mike Edwards’ alma mater, Winton Woods.
KSBar is kind of a Big Deal
When the KSR braintrust decided to open a bar, the intention was to create a place for UK fans to gather in Lexington and celebrate the Cats. We never meant for it to become the place to take visiting recruits, but that’s what has happened.
When Stoops and Marrow host elite recruits on visits, they want each player to experience something that cannot be found anywhere else. The standing ovation they receive from UK fans on a game day at KSBar is not easily replicated. Some may come to campus believing UK is “just a basketball school.” The applause quickly debunks that myth. So far, it’s left a lasting first impression. I doubt our sports bar will convince anybody to commit to UK, but like the Big Dog, I’ll never second guess the power of smoked brisket.
How Good was Mike Edwards in 2018?
Not many would say Edwards was the best safety in the SEC, but the numbers do not lie. There was not another safety in the conference better at stopping the run than Kentucky’s Badger.
Willie McGinest: Josh Allen Fan
The former Super Bowl Champion with the New England Patriots is now employed by the NFL Network. Ahead of the draft and free agency season, the former Pro Bowl linebacker listed his top ten pass rushers on the market. UK’s Josh Allen was the first draft prospect to appear on the list, making his mark at No. 9.
“At 6-5 and 260 pounds, Allen is reminiscent of players like Whitney Mercilus, T.J. Watt and Bud Dupree, who all entered the NFL as big, versatile prospects. The Kentucky product, who is projected to be a top-three draft pick, sits this low on my list because he has yet to play a down in the league. It’s hard to slot prospects (even the most talented guys) above the players who have already proven themselves. But Allen is a guy who should come in and be a game-changer with multiple moves in his pass rush. He gets around the edge and tracks the quarterback well, but the one thing that really makes him special is how well he can cover and move in space.”
Weekly Alliance Update
I’m not sure if you care about this update, because according to their own production team, nobody cares. Nobody is watching.
— David Berrisford (@berrisforce) February 23, 2019
After three weeks of spring football, that clip perfectly sums up the fledgling league. The only noteworthy event from the weekend was the announcement of the inaugural Steve Spurrier Cruise happening this summer, but even the Old Ball Coach isn’t as entertaining as this dog.
This dog caught an 83-yard frisbee toss during halftime of the Orlando Apollos football game Saturday night. The PA announcer claims it’s an all-time record. Pretty impressive. pic.twitter.com/bLwCbFEzbG
— J.C. Carnahan (@JCCarnz) February 24, 2019
I take it back — there was one cool Kentucky thing in the Alliance this week. Former Franklin County quarterback Logan Woodside threw a 42-yard touchdown to former Louisville Moore wide receiver Mekale McKay.
— The Alliance (@TheAAF) February 25, 2019
Josh Allen is Jacked
It’s safe to say the elite edge rusher is ready for the Combine.
— EXOS Sports (@EXOSsports) February 25, 2019
I will be in Indianapolis for the NFL Scouting Combine this weekend. Interviews begin Thursday afternoon, but C.J. Conrad is kind enough to join me on the radio tomorrow morning at 9:00 am on Kentucky Roll Call. There are a few different ways you can listen to it live on Big X Sports Radio. Workouts at Lucas Oil Stadium begin for the Wildcats Friday morning, with Benny Snell up first.
My first trip to the NFL Combine, it will be an exciting people-watching venture. However, there is one enormous downside: Josh Allen and Jordan Jones’ interview window is right in the middle of the UK-Tennessee game. The one downside will ultimately be worth it. Eight Wildcats will prove they belong in the NFL and I’ll be there to witness it all firsthand for Kentucky Sports Radio.
By Nick Roush on ©February 22nd, 2019 @ 7:15pm
Last weekend UK rolled out the Blue Carpet for the top in-state football recruits. This weekend UK will host the best of the best from the Buckeye State.
Earlier today on KSR, Matt Jones teased there would be a “huge” recruit in town this weekend. To describe that recruit as “huge” might be an understatement.
Paris Johnson Jr. is the No. 5 high school football player in America. The 6’7″ 300-pound offensive tackle from Cincinnati St. X is the top-ranked offensive lineman in the country. Johnson committed to Ohio State last June, but he’s spending this weekend in Lexington.
— Paris Johnson Jr. (@ParisJohnsonJr) February 22, 2019
The other player in Johnson’s Tweet, Jaheim Thomas, is another Blue Chip recruit from Cincinnati. Rivals ranks the Princeton High School athlete is the No. 10 outside linebacker in the 2020 class.
Thomas brought an elite teammate with him to Lexington. Four-star defensive end Darrion Henry is ranked No. 42 overall by the 247 Composite Rankings.
Most recruiting analysts believe all three will eventually end up at Ohio State. This weekend Vince Marrow is putting his foot in the door to prevent the Buckeyes’ new head coach, Ryan Day, from landing all three.
This trio is just a small sample of this weekend’s visitors. Monday night I’ll provide more details on how they visits went and who else made it campus. Until then, enjoy highlights from the best the state of Ohio has to offer in the 2020 class.
Mark Stoops and the Kentucky football program are living in the Georgia football program’s heads. First, Kirby Smart tried to steal Eddie Gran away from his job as the offensive coordinator in Lexington. Now, Smart’s going after UK’s top in-state high school prospects.
Georgia extended a scholarship offer to John Young, the star offensive lineman out of Christian Academy of Louisville, on Friday. Kentucky has been on Young for a long time and the Cats are in great standing, but Georgia is trying to mess with the plan by throwing its name into the mix with a new offer.
— John Young (@the_johnyoung) February 22, 2019
Young’s offer came not long after Beau Allen, the star quarterback at Lexington Catholic, picked up an offer from the Dawgs. Allen tweeted about his UGA offer on Monday.
— Beau Allen (@BeauAllen11) February 19, 2019
Hey Kirby Smart, stay out of the Bluegrass.
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.