Football Recruiting News
Just a few days after hosting MJ Devonshire for an official visit in Lexington, Mark Stoops returned the favor by visiting the four-star cornerback in his hometown of Aliquippa, Pennsylvania.
Stoops was accompanied by defensive backs coach Steve Clinkscale, who has taken the lead in Devonshire’s recruitment alongside Vince Marrow. Just like the visit to Lexington, reports from the Tuesday afternoon talk were positive. There was one thing that stood out in Josh Edwards’ conversation with class of 2019 defensive back.
Devonshire’s Western Pennsylvania hometown is not far from two of his finalists, Pitt and West Virginia. It’s also only an hour away from Youngstown, Ohio, the hometown of Stoops, Marrow and Clinkscale.
“Clinkscale has been recruiting me for awhile so we have a relationship. We just talk. We have been building a relationship and getting to know each other more every time we talk and how much we relate with him being from Youngstown and me being from Aliquippa,” Devonshire said. “Marrow is a really cool guy. Like I said with coach Clink, with him being from Youngstown, when I first met him, we connected. Knowing him and knowing where he has been from and how it is at Aliquippa, that’s really cool.”
After Lynn Bowden’s departure, Kentucky will not have a Youngstown connection on the roster. Aliquippa is close enough.
Maryland is also in the mix for Devonshire. He will announce his decision on National Signing Day. One week away from the announcement, Kentucky is in a good position with the four-star cornerback.
KSR’s Monday Night Football Notebook: Does anybody love anything more than Mike Edwards loves Skyline Chili?
By Nick Roush on ©January 28th, 2019 @ 9:45pm
Congrats! You survived a case of the Mondays, a perilous condition that can only be compared to fight with a polar vortex.
While you stock up on firewood and turn up the furnace, allow me to introduce a new Monday night feature: KSR’s Monday Night Football Notebook. (Creative name, right?) Over the next few months, I’ll be holding down the fort on Monday nights, giving me the opportunity to dish on whatever football topics are on my mind. With only one more football game remaining in the 2018-19 football season, I’ll do what I can to make sure this weekly bit satisfies your football cravings.
Nine days away from National Signing Day, the first MNF Notebook will feature a few recruiting nuggets and sprinkle in some Senior Bowl stuff. Enjoy.
No Devonta Lee?
I was surprised to hear Devonta Lee was not in the Rupp Arena stands for Saturday night’s game against Kansas, especially after receiving a Friday afternoon text from Drew Franklin: “Just ran into Devonta Lee.” It turns out Scoop Franklin ran into the wrong guy.
Lee did not make the long 11-hour drive from Louisiana to Lexington because it’s an 11-hour drive from Louisiana to Lexington and he was too busy dunking on dudes.
— Troy Wyre Jr (@mvp_troyy) January 27, 2019
His absence does not mean the Cats are out of the hunt, but it would have been nice to get Lee on campus one more time before National Signing Day. Ultimately, much of Lee’s decision will weigh on his official visit to LSU this weekend.
Cornerbacks Trending Toward UK
Lee did not make the trip, but two four-star cornerbacks did. Kentucky was a little late to the MJ Devonshire party, but they’re in a great spot for the four-star prospect from Aliquippa, Pa. Mark Stoops is expected to follow up with an in-home visit this week to convince Devonshire to commit to UK over Pitt and Neal Brown’s West Virginia Mountaineers.
If you can read between the lines, Jay Ward’s decision to ditch a visit to Florida State to officially visit UK is fantastic news. But wait, THERE’S MORE! Steve Wiltfong logged a Crystal Ball pick for Ward to UK. The 247 Sports guy rarely misses. I don’t have a Crystal Ball, but if I did, I would see Ward and Devonshire in Kentucky blue.
Kentucky football’s Junior Day is an annual reminder that I’m getting old. Most of the visitors this weekend were from the 2020 class, which means they were born after 9/11. Yikes.
I digress. As usual, the guest list was too long for one post (although Jack Pilgrim did a pretty good job compiling the best of the best). One guest stands out above the rest, Justin Rogers. For those who are reading that name for the first time, allow me to explain his significance.
When Michigan natives DeAndre Square and Marquan McCall were being recruited to Kentucky, Steve Clinkscale and Vince Marrow included Rogers. When the two Wildcats received their initial offers, so did Rogers, even though he was two years younger. This year you saw the two Michigan men make plays as true freshman; Square was even named All-SEC Freshman. Well, Rogers is a class ahead of the two. That’s not a knock on Square and McCall. It’s a compliment to Rogers.
A former teammate of McCall’s at Oak Park High School in Detroit, Rogers is one of the 20 best high school football players in America, regardless of class. Like McCall, he started on the offensive line. Now when he attends All-American camps, he takes turns busting through blockers as a defensive lineman.
Kentucky has never recruited a player as dominant as Rogers. When UK initially offered, it was a nice gesture, but I questioned its significance. “Of course they offered him, everybody will.” Since the Cats were the first to offer, they have not lost momentum. Rogers has returned to campus for multiple visits, including this past Saturday. It’s a long shot that UK lands Rogers and his commitment is a long way away, but if Marrow was able to convince one Michigan offensive lineman to come to UK to play defense, he can do it again.
Detroit boys ?…. pic.twitter.com/xgkSCP7fqa
— Justin Rogers (@AllAmerican52JR) January 27, 2019
This weekend Rogers posed for a pic with his former teammate, McCall (right), The guy with him in the left picture, Enzo Jennings, is pretty great too. See for yourself.
The first MNF Notebook’s namesake is dedicate to the Kentucky Badger. Mike Edwards’ love for Skyline Chili is well-known, but I don’t think anyone knew just how crazy he is for the concoction. In a piece for the Bengals’ website, Rock Oliver explained the Cincinnati native’s obsession.
“He loves Skyline,” Oliver confirmed the other day. “Went there every day for like the first month. Even when it was being built he would stop by to check on the construction. I told him, ‘Mike, I like Skyline as much as the next guy, but I don’t make sure the guy is hammering in the nails.’”
Mike may want to keep that under wraps. Some NFL scouts might see “obsessed with Skyline” as a red flag in the evaluation process.
By Jack Pilgrim on ©January 27th, 2019 @ 9:00pm
All of the talk has been about Kentucky basketball’s massive victory over Kansas this weekend, but the UK football team also put themselves in position to secure some pretty significant victories, as well.
With campus buzzing, Mark Stoops and the Kentucky football program hosted some of the best high school talent in the nation for Junior Day. And by the looks of things, things went extremely well and Kentucky has some solid momentum with numerous elite prospects.
The recruits in attendance were able to tour all of the UK facilities (including Kroger Field), try on all of Kentucky’s uniform combinations, and cap things off with a trip to Rupp Arena to see the Cats take on the Jayhawks in easily the rowdiest game of the basketball season.
We’ll dive into the specifics and uniform pictures in a second, but one of the biggest takeaways came during that Kentucky-Kansas game and the players in attendance to see it.
While getting some warmup footage on the floor beforehand, I noticed the UK football coaches find their way into the venue with the recruits lined up behind. Upwards of 60 prospects piled in and were guided to their seats, with plenty of those individuals being big-name four and five-star talent. I knew the projected visitor list was impressive, but just on quick glance it was apparent UK hit some home runs.
Noticeably absent from the group, however? Kentucky four-star wide receiver target Devonta Lee.
Late last week, Rivals’ Sam Spiegelman reported Lee was set to visit this weekend with Kentucky quarterback signee Amani Gilmore, but things got a bit unclear late Friday following his high school basketball game. After the visit was set and ready to go, there are rumors that LSU came in for an in-home visit in an attempt to dissuade him from making the trip to Lexington.
However the timeline unfolded, the 740-mile, 11-hour trip from Amite, LA to Lexington couldn’t come to fruition for the elite wideout. Gilmore did end up making it to campus for the visit, but his star receiver teammate did not.
Beyond the not-so-great news with Lee, everything else was excellent for the Wildcats and their position with some of the best recruits in the nation.
Let’s take a look at some of the big-name visitors:
The biggest (literally) on campus was 2020 five-star top-15 prospect Justin Rogers, who tweeted “Kentucky was the first to offer” with a picture of him sporting the blue and white this morning.
He was there with his teammate Enzo Jennings, a four-star cornerback and top-100 prospect in the class of 2020.
Kentucky was the first to offer ? pic.twitter.com/fZMa0S6mco
— Justin Rogers (@AllAmerican52JR) January 27, 2019
For those keeping track at home, each of those players have raked in a total of 53 scholarship offers from every major school in the nation, and they found their way to Lexington, KY for an unofficial visit in January. That in itself is impressive.
Beyond Rogers and Jennings, the elite talent continues, with several of those individuals being in the class of 2019.
Jay Ward, a four-star cornerback out of Moultrie, GA, is another prospect the Wildcats are trying to add before Signing Day in a little over a week.
He said afterward that he had a good time in Lexington, posting a few pictures in Kentucky’s anthracite uniforms.
— JAY WARD ? (@JWARD_4) January 27, 2019
Aliquippa, PA product MJ Devonshire, yet another four-star defensive back, was in town on an official visit UK this weekend.
The 5-foot-11, top-30 cornerback’s mother posted an image of a cake they received from the school during their time in Lexington.
— Terrie Tipper-Devonshire (@CCoterrie) January 25, 2019
He also got to hang out with Kentucky basketball head coach John Calipari:
— Savage 2.0 (@Mjdevonshirejr) January 27, 2019
In a bit of a surprise, Kentucky also hosted 2019 four-star kicker/punter Billy McConnell.
— Billy McConnell (@B__mac20) January 27, 2019
When it comes to the class of 2020, Kentucky is hosting some of the most talented players in America.
As Nick Roush told you last week, Curtis Jacobs (four-star wide receiver) and Blake Corum (four-star, top-20 running back) made the trip down from Maryland. Cesar Reyes, a four-star, top-200 offensive tackle prospect out of Tampa, also made it to Lexington.
— TheGreat6? (@300_Sh0wtime) January 26, 2019
East St Louis teammates four-star safety Antonio Johnson and three-star athlete Lawaun Powell also seemed to have a great time sporting the Kentucky blue and white:
— Antonio (AJ) Johnson?? (@Antonio_johns0n) January 27, 2019
Three-star defensive tackle Armon Wallace out of St. Louis, MO did his best PJ Washington impression, flexing his muscles in the No. 55 jersey:
— Armon Wallace (@Armon_Wallace) January 27, 2019
Elsewhere, Ft. Lauderdale three-star offensive tackle Gerald Mincey also enjoyed his time in Lexington:
— GM? (@GeraldMincey) January 26, 2019
Four-star safety Quitman Kincaid out of Clarksville, TN said he appreciated the Kentucky coaching staff for having him:
— quitman_1 (@quitman15) January 27, 2019
Three-star slot wide receiver Xavier Restrepo out of St. Thomas Aquinas (FL) showed off the chrome dome with the white UK logo.
He has been seen as a Kentucky lean as of late:
— Xavier Restrepo (@XavierRestrepo1) January 26, 2019
Restrepo’s teammate, 2020 five-star wide receiver Marcus Rosemy, was also in attendance:
Team Go Get It, 7v7 (Varsity) “GoGetter” 2020 St. Thomas Aquinas (WR) Marcus Rosemy visits the University of Kentucky Wildcats #secfootball #gogetter #motivation
????Let’s Go Get It……!!!!!!!! pic.twitter.com/rPldHnDOno
— TEAMGOGETIT7v7 (@TEAMGOGETIT7v7) January 26, 2019
Stoops also made sure to bring in local talent.
Three-star defensive tackle prospect and Radcliff, KY native, Octavious Oxendine was in attendance. The North Hardin star also wins the award for coolest name in the history of college football recruiting.
Three-star running back Landen Bartleson, a Boyle County product, made it to Lexington, as well.
Izayah Cummings, a three-star wide receiver and Louisville Male product in the class of 2020, also made the trip:
— IC8? (@IzayahCummings) January 27, 2019
Lanell Carr, a three-star linebacker out of Saint Louis, said he “can’t wait to come back” to Lexington:
— Ñè??? (@Lanellcarr3) January 27, 2019
Three-star Dublin, GA linebacker Romello Height received an offer during his “great” Kentucky visit:
Having a great time at KENTUCKY on Junior day, With that being said I am blessed to receive a offer from The University Of Kentucky?????#GoWildcats? #BBN??@dcsirish @BVEvery @RecruitGeorgia @CoachDSanders @DublinIrishFB @Rivalsfbcamps @CoachWhiteFB pic.twitter.com/lGCS6RTG3P
— Romello Height (@height_romello) January 26, 2019
Dallas Walker, a three-star defensive end out of Smyrna, TN, was excited for his visit:
— Dallas Walker IV (@DallasWalkerIV) January 26, 2019
Ellenwood, GA product Alvin Williams, a three-star 6-foot-3 defensive end, “had a great time” in Lexington:
— Alvin Williams?? (@15Awill) January 26, 2019
Three-star safety Majon Wright, yet another Cardinal Gibbons (Ft. Lauderdale) standout:
— 2??™? (@WrightMajon) January 26, 2019
Offensive guard Ta’Chawn Brooks and defensive back Tyrik McDaniel out of South Carolina were in attendance, as were Tennessee natives Blake Hundley, Jason Eaton, and Derrell Bailey Jr.
Columbus wide receiver Bryan Davis was too:
— Bryan Davis (@Shineonedayyy) January 26, 2019
Indiana running back prospect Marion Lukes:
— marion lukes (@kid_lukes9) January 26, 2019
And just a few of the (many) 2021 prospects in attendance:
— Travion Ford ® ?#6 (@Tre_Got_Skills) January 26, 2019
— Broderick Wisecarver (@bwise9869) January 26, 2019
Lexington, Kentucky… I’m here baby ?????? @BuffanoUK
— Justin Wodtly (@JustinWodtly) January 26, 2019
Kentucky today ???
— Zavier Carter ? 17 (@ZavierCarter) January 26, 2019
Well done, Coach Stoops and company.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©January 26th, 2019 @ 10:00pm
At halftime of tonight’s Kentucky vs. Kansas game, Kash Daniel channeled Stone Cold Steve Austin while the football team was being honored for their Citrus Bowl win.
“If you’re down with the Citrus Bowl champs, gimme a HELL YEAH!” Kash said to the Rupp crowd. “We’ll be back raising hell next year, I promise you that.”
— Drew Franklin (@DrewFranklinKSR) January 27, 2019
The team brought the Citrus Bowl trophy, complete with fruit, onto the court with them:
With several important football recruits in the stands, including four-stars Devonta Lee, Jay Ward, and MJ Devonshire, what a smart move by UK. Devonshire, a top 30 defensive back from Pennsylvania, even got his pic with John Calipari afterwards:
— Savage 2.0 (@Mjdevonshirejr) January 27, 2019
On Monday, Nick will have the latest on these visits. Signing Day is less than two weeks away…
Before Kentucky football recruiting completely turns the page to the 2020 class, the Cats are entertaining a few talented 2019 prospects on a day typically devoted to underclassmen, UK Junior Day.
Two visitors are big surprises: four-star wide receiver Devonta Lee and four-star cornerback Jay Ward. The latter initially planned to visit Florida State this weekend, but Chad Simmons reports that Ward canceled that trip to officially visit UK a week earlier. The Cats could lock up a commitment with Ward this weekend.
They aren’t the only four-star 2019 recruits that could commit to UK before Signing Day. MJ Devonshire, another four-star defensive back, will officially visit UK this weekend. A top 30 cornerback from Aliquippa, Pennsylvania, UK has made an impressive late move to enter the picture. Pitt, West Virginia, Ole Miss and Ohio State are also in contention for Devonshire’s services.
Kentucky this weekend ???
— Savage 2.0 (@Mjdevonshirejr) January 25, 2019
Two 2019 offensive linemen are also expected to be on campus. Cincinnati and Indiana were heavily recruiting Dayton Dunbar’s Jonathan Allen when Vince Marrow entered the picture. Renato Brown recently committed to Louisville, but Kentucky is not backing down from Brown.
In the 2020 class, Kentucky is hosting some of the most talented players in America.
Brad White is bringing a dynamic duo from Maryland to Lexington. Curtis Jacobs, a four-star wide receiver, will be at UK along with Blake Corum, a top 20 running back in the 2020 class. Cesar Reyes is another four-star recruit that will be in the mix this weekend. The offensive tackle from Tampa is considered the No. 199 player overall in the 2020 class.
Jake Pope is the latest recruit from perennial powerhouse St. Thomas Aquinas to sign with UK. He could soon be joined by three-star slot receiver Xavier Restrepo. Another Ft. Lauderdale prospect is also expected to make the trip, offensive tackle Gerald Mincey. From other parts of the south, offensive guard Ta’Chawn Brooks and defensive back Tyrik McDaniel will be representing South Carolina. There will also be quite a large contingency from Tennessee. Blake Hundley, Jason Eaton and Derrell Bailey Jr. will earn their keep in the trenches.
This is just a small sample of who will be visit UK this weekend. It’s the Cats’ first step to reaping the recruiting rewards from a successful ten-win campaign.
The Kentucky football team is one step closer to landing a four-star cornerback. This afternoon Jay Ward released his four finalists and the Cats made the cut.
— JAY WARD ? (@JWARD_4) January 24, 2019
If Kentucky can secure a signature on National Signing Day, it would be Ward’s second commitment to the Cats. The Moultrie, Georgia native originally committed to UK over the summer, but backed off his pledge after LSU entered the picture. Kentucky never lost communication. Vince Marrow traveled to Georgia on Tuesday for an in-home visit with Ward.
I saved the best news for last: Kentucky will get Ward’s final official visit next weekend, just days before National Signing Day. Things are looking good between UK and the nation’s No. 30 cornerback.
By Nick Roush on ©January 24th, 2019 @ 11:00am
One of Kentucky’s top remaining recruiting targets is taking an unexpected trip to Lexington this weekend.
Four-star wide receiver Devonta Lee will be on Kentucky’s campus this weekend for an unofficial visit, reports Rivals’ Sam Spiegelman. The talented 2019 wide out will be on hand to watch the UK basketball team host the Kansas Jayhawks at Rupp Arena.
Lee officially visited Kentucky in December and was reportedly blown away by the visit. Many believed, including myself, that it would be his last trip to Lexington. The Under Armour All-American’s second visit shows the Cats have a realistic chance to pull him away from his home state school.
Lee, teammates with UK quarterback signee Amani Gilmore, is not finished taking visits. He is expected to officially visit LSU on the final weekend before National Signing Day.
If Kentucky can beat out LSU to pull off the massive recruiting upset, Lee will be the highest-rated recruited in the class (No. 126 overall by Rivals) and an instant impact outside wide receiver for Terry Wilson.
After a slight break in the action, Kentucky football recruiting is picking up speed.
Kentucky will host dozens of underclassmen for the annual Junior Day when the basketball team hosts Kansas this Saturday. As the focus shifts toward the 2020 class, Mark Stoops, Vince Marrow and Co. are in the process of completing the 2019 class on National Signing Day.
The Early Signing Period has removed some of the sheen from the first Wednesday in February. Last year there were really only two prospects, Chris Oats and Xavier Peters, to watch over the final five weeks of the UK recruiting season. After signing 21 players in December, Kentucky does not have too many vacancies left to fill.
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|
Kentucky can sign up to 25 players in the 2019 class. Two JUCO recruits, wide receiver JaVonte Richardson and defensive tackle Elijah James, committed to UK in December but did not sign. I cannot get confirmation, but it’s safe to assume they are out of the picture. Moving forward, Kentucky has prioritized defensive backs and wide receivers. An “under the radar” prospect could commit just before February 6, but first, let’s turn our attention to the big dogs with big UK targets on their backs.
Cornerback | 6-1 | 175 lbs.
Moultrie, GA | Colquitt County
|ESPN||N/A||Top247||No. 267 | 30 CB|
|Rivals||55 CB | 46 GA||247 Comp.||No. 503 | 52 CB|
The four-star cornerback initially committed to Kentucky in June. Following a visit to LSU he re-opened his recruitment in November. Kentucky has remained in touch throughout the ups and downs and it could pay dividends on National Signing Day. The Cats have one more chance to convince Ward to pick UK over LSU when the Georgia native takes an official visit to Lexington on the final weekend before NSD.
Cornerback | 5-11 | 200 lbs.
Leesburg, GA | Lee County
|ESPN||42 ATH | 55 GA||Top247||No. 453 | 36 S|
|Rivals||24 S | 28 GA||247 Comp.||No. 379 | 30 S|
This four-star corner created headlines when he wore UK gloves in his state championship game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. There was plenty of UK buzz around Robinson following his official visit, but that has shifted toward Auburn and Tennessee after visits to each respective school. Along with South Carolina, Robinson will choose between the four SEC schools on February 6.
Wide Receiver | 6-2 | 215 lbs.
Amite, LA | Amite
|ESPN||No. 242 | 34 WR||Top247||No. 177 | 7 ATH|
|Rivals||No. 126 | 12 ATH||247 Comp.||No. 163 | 6 ATH|
The most recognizable name remaining on UK’s recruiting big board, not much has come from the Top 200 player’s camp since he participated in the Under Armour All-American Game.
Lee officially visited UK with his high school quarterback, Amani Gilmore, in December. The visit transformed UK from long shot to possibility. Kentucky’s early playing time pitch was powerful. Meanwhile, LSU remains the perceived leader. Being an in-state hero is an appealing pitch, but there’s grumblings that the Tigers want him to play defense instead of offense.
Texas A&M, Auburn and Alabama are in the mix, but UK is in a position where anything is possible. Ultimately, Lee’s decision will weigh heavily on his official visit to LSU. If the Cats can lock up Lee, it would be the biggest recruiting win over SEC foes in a long time.
|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|
A target that recently entered the mix, UK extended a scholarship offer to Devonshire on January 18. The son of a coach is a four-star recruit according to Rivals. Pitt, West Virginia, Ole Miss and Ohio State are Kentucky’s top competition. He’s expected to officially visit UK prior to National Signing Day.
Offensive Tackle | 6-6 | 315 lbs.
Dayton, OH | Dunbar
|ESPN||93 OT | 36 OH||Top247||89 OT | 49 OH|
|Rivals||–| 41 OH||247 Comp.||60 OT | 38 OH|
Unlike the Alabama Jonathan Allen, this Dayton, Ohio native is a pass protector, not a pass rusher. Another prospect that Kentucky began pursuing late in the game, Cincinnati’s early interest in Allen makes the Bearcats the leader. Ohio State, Penn State and Indiana are also involved. Marrow must convince Allen to make a visit prior to NSD to have a chance to secure a commitment.
No matter how many players sign with UK in February, there’s still a good chance Kentucky pulls a few players from the transfer portal at the end of the spring academic semester. Finding top wide receiver prospects at this point of recruiting season is difficult, but there are a few viable options on the transfer market.
La’Michael Pettway will be eligible to play as a grad transfer immediately this fall. Recruited by UK wide receivers coach Michael Smith at Arkansas, Pettway led the Razorbacks in receiving yards in 2018. Juwan Johnson was on the same field as Kentucky this season. After catching a couple of passes in the Citrus Bowl, Penn State’s No. 3 wide receiver announced his intentions to transfer. The 6’4″ wide out has one season of eligibility remaining and can play right away.
Kentucky has plenty of options to fill its 2019 roster. That picture will become much clearer over the next two weeks.
By Nick Roush on ©January 18th, 2019 @ 10:30am
A future Kentucky Wildcat will compete against international competition tonight at AT&T Stadium in Dallas.
Outside linebacker/defensive end KD McDaniel will wear No. 41 for Team USA in the International Bowl. McDaniel will compete for America’s U19 team against the Mexican Cabellero de Playa del Carman. The game begins at 9:00 ET and can be streamed on Watch ESPN.
A 6’2″ 240-pounder from Tifton, Georgia, McDaniel signed with UK in December as a consensus Top 40 outside linebacker. He chose Kentucky over South Carolina, Tennessee and Ole Miss. If you tune in tonight, here’s what you’ll see:
Like all highlight videos, I advise you to watch on mute.
For more on McDaniel’s game, go inside the film room with Luckett.
If Georgia fans were sour after Eddie Gran’s denial, wait until they see how many prospects the Cats are poaching from the Peach State.
In December Kentucky signed six Georgia natives, more than any other state in UK’s 2019 recruiting class. It’s the most players UK has signed from Georgia since Rich Brooks made it his primary recruiting ground in the mid-2000s. The rationale for the decision was simple.
“Georgia is the number one state that produces college football players right now, and I think even pros,” Vince Marrow said on December’s signing day. Marrow’s work in Georgia is not finished.
One of Kentucky’s top remaining recruiting targets in 2019 is Jammie Robinson. A four-star cornerback from Leesburg, Georgia, he wore UK gloves as he led his team to a state championship at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Robinson officially visited Lexington in December. South Carolina, Auburn and Tennessee are Kentucky’s top competition.
While assistant coaches check in on Robinson, they’re fostering relationships with underclassmen around the state. Unlike some schools where one coach has one specific territory, Kentucky is sending multiple coaches all over the state of Georgia. This afternoon Matt House was in the southeast corner of the state. On Monday Derrick LeBlanc was on the west side of the state. Steve Clinkscale, Brad White and Marrow all played a part in signing the first six players of the 2019 recruiting class.
Mark Stoops earned notoriety at Kentucky for recruiting in Ohio. After establishing back-to-back classes in Florida, Kentucky is expanding into Georgia and will not be slowing down anytime soon.
By Sam Gormley on ©January 13th, 2019 @ 2:00pm
While day two of the divisional round of the NFL playoffs started, the Kentucky football coaching staff extended an offer to three-star linebacker Devyn Curtis.
— Devyn Curtis (@TheDevynCurtis) January 13, 2019
Curtis is 6’2 and is rated at the 25th best ILB in the nation and the 23rd best player in the state of Tennessee for the Class of 2020.
The Brentwood Academy defensive stud currently holds offers from both Vanderbilt and South Carolina as well as other Group of Five programs.
Curtis was in attendance in November for the Georgia game and mentioned how much he enjoyed the atmosphere of the game.
— Devyn Curtis (@TheDevynCurtis) November 3, 2018
You can watch the linebacker work at the link below:
Could we possibly be calling his name soon enough as a replacement for Kash Daniel? Come on down!
By Nick Roush on ©January 12th, 2019 @ 11:00am
Two of Kentucky’s brightest stars on the gridiron began their career at Winton Woods High School. The latest highly-touted recruit from the Cincinnati school will consider following in their footsteps.
Mike Edwards just completed his Kentucky career as only the second defensive back in school history to record more than 300 tackles. He’ll hear his name called in April’s NFL Draft. Last fall, Chris Oats’ name was called into action as a true freshman. In 2017, Oats was playing alongside running back Miyan Williams.
A 5’10 210-pound prospect, Williams finished his junior season with some of the best numbers in the state of Ohio. Williams rushed for an astounding 2,842 yards and 38 touchdowns, which includes a ridiculous 430-yard, six-touchdown playoff performance (on only 20 carries) that propelled his team to a come from behind victory.
Before Williams exploded onto the scene in 2018, Vince Marrow offered him a scholarship.
“I like Kentucky and they’ve been recruiting me since I was a sophomore,” Williams told 247 Sports. “Coach Marrow is telling me that we need to stay in touch, and they want me to visit as often as possible. I feel like Kentucky is producing good players.”
Of course, others are beginning to notice Williams. Shortly after his season ended, Michigan extended a scholarship offer, his tenth. More are on the way, but Kentucky was one of the first. It’s also the same place that turned Mike Edwards and Chris Oats into stars. That will certainly play a significant factor as Williams narrows his suitors over the next ten months.
The second play, a 98-yard touchdown, is one incredible run.
We’re big fans of Neal Brown around here. I had a Troy football t-shirt on just last week. And now that Brown is the head coach over at West Virginia, we are ecstatic for him to have a great job and we want nothing but the best for him and the Mountaineers program under his guidance. Go Neal Brown.
But I’ll also say this: We’re going to hate him in recruiting because he is going to be a problem.
Brown has already planted some recruiting roots in Kentucky and it took him only a day on the job to do so. He has extended scholarship offers to three Kentucky prospects (that we know of) and that number will only grow as he gets to work.
The most notable of Brown’s new targets is Lexington Catholic quarterback Beau Allen, who Mark Stoops is also recruiting. Allen already had an offer from Brown at Troy, and now Brown is recruiting him to be the next big quarterback in Morgantown. Given Brown’s style of play and the success of the West Virginia program in recent history, it’s a very attractive opportunity for the Bluegrass’ sixth-best prospect in the Class of 2020.
Brown also reached out to two juniors at his high school alma mater, Boyle County. He gave offers to Reese Smith, a three-star athlete, and Landen Bartleson, a three-star running back in the class. Both hold offers from UK.
So again, good for Neal Brown on his new job and the opportunity ahead in the Big 12. But he’s going to steal recruits out of Kentucky — it’s inevitable — which was already a problem for the UK coaching staff before Brown entered the picture. In-state recruiting will only get more competitive with Brown nearby, as well as a new coach at Louisville and Jeff Brohm still at Purdue. Keeping guys home just got even more difficult.
Back off, Neal.
Enzo Jennings has made his first round of cuts – and Kentucky made the list. Of course, the 2020 4-star prospect left 11 schools on his radar, but it’s still positive news for the Cats.
The Michigan native is listed as a 6-foot-2, 178-pound cornerback. He comes in just inside the top-100 players in the class nationally (No. 93) and ranks as the No. 11 “athlete” in the class. According to Jennings’ 247Sports profile, the top-four contenders for his commitment are Auburn, Georgia, Tennessee and Notre Dame, and he is being recruited by Steve Clinkscale, the Cats’ defensive backs coach.
Top11 ? (recruitment is still open) pic.twitter.com/OhtqB6slaC
— Enzo?Jennings (@_enzoj) January 2, 2019
To make it even more interesting, Jennings is also teammates with 5-star offensive guard Justin Rogers. His commitment, as of now, seems to be between Georgia and Ohio State, but Kentucky is still listed as a ‘warm” school on 247Sports (along with LSU, Michigan and Tennessee). And it looks like he still needs some help deciding:
Who really need me at they college that’s the real question ? It’s not I want justin I need justin ???
— Justin Rogers (@AllAmerican52JR) December 29, 2018
Kentucky has several young guys coming through the pipelines for both of these positions, but they are losing key seniors, so it never hurts to pick up a few more highly-touted recruits. At the cornerback position, UK will lose Derrick Baity and Lonnie Johnson; at offensive guard, they’ll lose an All-American in Bunchy Stallings.
We’re still a long way away from getting ink-to-paper for these guys, and I know there are people out there who get worn out with football commits, especially in the age of the dreaded de-commitment. But these are two talented, out-of-state ball players from up north, and it means something they’re both still interested in Kentucky. A few seasons ago, we wouldn’t have been able to say that.
By Maggie Davis on ©January 06th, 2019 @ 5:00pm
The Cats have some more competition. Reese Smith, a three-star 2020 prospect from Boyle County, just picked up an offer from West Virginia. Kentucky offered Smith back in October, after Tennessee extended an offer in mid-September.
Smith announced the offer on his Twitter account:
— Reese Smith (@reesesmith_) January 5, 2019
The offer comes just days after Neal Brown accepted the WVU head coaching job. Remember, Brown also played football at Boyle County High School. Smith was formerly listed as a wide receiver, but is now listed as an “athlete.” As of now, Kentucky is recruiting him as a safety, while other schools, including Duke, are recruiting him as a slot receiver.
Last season, Smith finished with 53 receptions for 1,173 yards and 20 touchdowns. At safety, he had three interceptions in 2018, returning one for a 99 yard touchdown.
Sure, Neal Brown seems like a nice guy and they share that Boyle County bond. But the Cats just went 10-3, and the BBN does tend to love a Kentucky boy a little extra… Just ask Kash Daniel.