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2016 National Signing Day LIVE Diary: Part II

nsd-diary

After months of relentless recruiting, the anticipation is coming to a conclusion from a fax machine this morning on National Signing Day.  While you watch all of the action happen live on UKAthletics.com, keep it locked on KSR for NSD in the most ridiculous manner possible.


Nick (11:00)-  A look at your 2016 Class

All of the expected commits are official, but Stoops said on KSR, “We’re still trying to pull one more rabbit out of the hat.”

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Tyler (10:55): Mark Stoops is wrapping up an appearance on KSR, which we’ll have in its entirety on the site here in just a little bit. Until then, some highlights:

“No doubt it’s our best class,” Stoops said. “They’re very good football players top to bottom. They’re great people and they’re very serious about football.”

Stoops singled out Henry Clay cornerback Davonte Robinson as a steal. Robinson was heavily courted by Notre Dame throughout his recruitment, but stayed firm in his commitment to Kentucky.

“He was about as important as anyone in this class to me,” Stoops said. “Anybody that watched this kid offered him.”

Interestingly, Stoops said that he thinks both new QBs Stephen Johnson and Gunnar Hoak will compete with Drew Barker for the starting job. We knew Johnson came in expecting to fight for the job, but Hoak?

“I think Stephen and I think Gunnar will compete. I really do. I haven’t been able to be out there — we’re not allowed to be out there — but our players have been throwing on their own already and our players have reported back that Gunnar’s throwing the ball around very well and Stephen’s got great leadership qualities and great ability. And that’s what you need. Drew needs to be pushed. There needs to be competition and there will be. Like I said, Drew has the upper hand because he’s been here and he’s taken reps and our players know him. First day of spring, he’ll more than likely be under center taking the first reps, but he’s going to be pushed and there’s going to be competition.”

Nick (10:51)-  The final signee is IN!  JUCO linebacker Jordan Bonner is a Wildcat.

Jordan Bonner

bonner

 

Position: Defensive End/ Outside Linebacker

Height/Weight: 6’5/220

Hometown (School): Cleveland, Oh. (NE Oklahoma A&M)

Twitter: @TheGolden_child

Recruited by: Vince Marrow

Chose UK over: Tennessee, Nebraska, Louisville and Virginia Tech

Highlights

 

Notable accomplishments: Rated a three-start recruit and the nation’s No. 10 junior college linebacker.

Projected impact:  An instant impact player that could potentially be a starter rushing the passer as a defensive end or Jack linebacker.

Film Takeaways:

-Physically stronger than measurables

-Preferred height and arm length

-Highly productive pass rusher

-Quick from stance to pursuit

-Excels in one-on-one situations vs. offensive tackles

-Effectively disengages blockers

Stoops Says: “Jordan is a long explosive athlete that can play in space as well as rush the passer.  He will have three years of eligibility when he arrives, which gives him the ability to develop in our system.”

Summary:  NEO Junior College is a factory of talent for the South.  With three years of eligibility remaining, Bonner has quality experience that could help him enter the lineup at a position of need immediately.

Nick (10:49)-  Ka’Derrion Mason will NOT be a Wildcat.  The Mississippi defensive lineman had committed to Southern Miss previously and received plenty of interest from Miss. State and UK, but according to the Louisiana Tech Twitter account, Mason has signed with the Bulldogs.

Nick (10:35)-  Jaquwan Nelson will NOT be a Wildcat.  The South Florida pass rusher signed with Syracuse.  It was expected.  I do not believe UK sent him paperwork, even though the Cats were in Nelson’s final three.

Nick (10:30)-  We haven’t seen much of Nebraska transfer Courtney Love until today, but the linebacker has already made an impression as the leader of the defense.

When speaking with Jeremy Jarmon, Kash Daniel had nothing but good things to say about the guy who’s showed him the ropes through the first few weeks of school. “He took me under his wing. He’s showing me the right way on the field and in the weight room,” Kash said.

Love had no love lost for Daniel either, “I call him Cash Money. He’s a man. He reminds me of me. Physically he’s got everything you need.” Love added, “He’s going to be big-time.”

It will be fun to see how this tandem develops.

Tyler (10:23): Drake Jackson and Kash Daniel were on the Signing Day Show a little bit ago, and, as we’ve come to expect, they were pros. Kash said he plans to major in communications and minor in journalism, a natural choice for him considering his gift for gab. Drake’s hosted KSR before, so we know he’s legit, and he and Jeremy Jarmon had some fun banter while discussing their experiences in the US Army All-American Bowl.

Drake: “They showed me how to be dogs in the trenches–”

Jarmon: “I think you’re more of a bear.”

Drake: [laugh] “A bear? Maybe, I’m trying to grow some facial hair, we’ll see.”

Jarmon: “You got that role in ‘The Revenant’ right, where you got a hold of Leo?”

Drake: “Haha, I hated to do that to my man Leo.”

Sorry, Drake, you know I had to:

drake-bear

Nick (10:22)-  If you’re worried about Bonner going elsewhere, he Tweeted earlier that his papers are good to go, we’re just waiting for it to become official through UK.

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Nick (10:14)-  Kordell Looney is in.  It’s safe to exhale #BBN.  The defensive tackle leaves the staff only waiting for JUCO LB Jordan Bonner.

Kordell Looney

looney

Position: Defensive Tackle

Height/Weight: 6’3/285

Hometown (High School): Springfield, Oh. (Springfield)

Twitter: @59_looney

Recruited by: Vince Marrow

Chose UK over: Louisville and Pitt.

Highlights

 

Notable accomplishments:  A Top 5 Ohio defensive tackles, even though he’s only played two years of organized football. Looney totaled 93 tackles and seven sacks in just two seasons of varsity football.

Projected impact: Will be a factor for immediate playing time as a 3-technique defensive tackle or 3-4 defensive end.

Film Takeaways:

-Can play 3-technique DT or 3-4 DE

-Instinctively Natural pass rusher

-Agile hips, ability to change direction on line of scrimmage

-Intelligent run pursuit angles

-Verified 5.03 40.

-Excellent height and arm length

Stoops Says: “Kordell has great size and quickness to be an impact interior defensive lineman. He comes from a high school program that is coached by UK alum Maurice Douglass and he will be a great fit in our system.”

Summary:  A versatile defensive lineman, Looney can play multiple positions on the defensive line. He was a critical signee at a position of need that gave UK’s coaches a scare when he flirted with Louisville late in the process. Looney’s potential is astounding, with only two years of football experience under his belt.  How he responds to coaching in his first month on campus will determine if he can play right away.

Nick (9:45)-  From Thomas’ talk with Matt and Jeremy:

New wide receivers coach Lamar Thomas described his new job: “It’s like a dream come true.”

For Thomas, the connections he had with Coach Gran and Coach Stoops set UK apart from others. Gran has known him since he was an 18-year old at The U.

He hasn’t known Stoops as long, but Stoops was different than other college coaches when he recruited at Thomas’ high school as a Florida State assistant. When Thomas asked Stoops what he needed to do to climb the coaching ladder to college, Stoops sat down with him and gave him advice.

“The fact that he would take the time to sit down and talk to a high school coach is pretty amazing to me.”

Thomas has yet to speak with his wide receivers, but he will be meeting with them tomorrow. He believes what he’s been through will help the players relate to him. “The fact that I was able to do what I’ve done in my career, I’ve sat where they’re sitting, that fact alone gives me credibility,” Thomas said.

If that doesn’t work, “They’ll have to listen. I have my ways.”

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Tyler (9:41):

Lamar Thomas just wrapped up his appearance on the Signing Day Show, and just before that, Mark Stoops discussed his new wide receivers coach on The Leach Report.

“That’s a big part of it, getting the right coaches with the right fit,” Stoops said of Thomas. “Bringing in Lamar was a great get. I’ve known Lamar for a long time from my days coaching at Miami. He was just getting done playing there. I’ve always like Lamar, how he’s handled himself. He has a great swagger, but he’s also very professional.”

Stoops praised Thomas’ work ethic and how he’s evolved as a coach since Stoops first saw him coach at the high school level at Boynton Beach Community High in Florida.

“It was a really good get,” Stoops said again. “He’s a great addition for us.”

Nick will be by with some quotes from Lamar himself here in just a second…

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Tyler (9:25): Mark Stoops just wrapped up a brief appearance on The Leach Report, but in case you were glued to the Signing Day Show, here’s a brief summary of his first segment.

“It’s wrapping up early today. Let’s keep those fax machines going. Everything’s going good, it’s been smooth going,” Stoops said, mentioning once again how important it was to keep Jordan Griffin on board. That is clearly the staff’s biggest win so far considering SEC schools were calling Griffin up until he sent in his NLI to try and sway him.

“He stayed strong and it was a big get. Started the morning off right,” Stoops said.

Knock on wood, but Stoops said today has potential to be a “perfect day” with no bad surprises, not always the case on Signing Day.

“Certain years, things fall into place perfectly. At the end of the day, I think you get the ones you’re meant to get. I personally believe this is the strongest class since I’ve been here without question. I know what type of football players they are, and top to bottom, it’s by far the strongest class we’ve had since I’ve been here”

“I feel like we hit all of our needs,” Stoops said. mentioning the addition of punter Gran McKinniss. “We have the opportunity to have a perfect day here. That’s special.”

Stoops’ quotes about new WR coach Lamar Thomas coming up…

Nick (9:26)-  Cross comes in shortly after Ross to tighten up the 2016 Class.

Ja’Quize Cross

Al.com

Al.com

 

 

Position: Defensive Tackle

Height/Weight: 6’3/215

Hometown (High School): New Market, Al. (Buckhorn)

Twitter: @_JQuizz_

Recruited by: Jimmy Brumbaugh, Derrick Ansley

Chose UK over: Navy, Army, Southern Miss and Minnesota.

Highlights

 

 

 

 

Notable accomplishments: Cross finished his three-year career with 84 total tackles, 10 tackles for a loss and eight sacks, adding 14 QB hurries and causing a fumble. Tabbed as the 37th best prospect in Alabama and the 77th best defensive tackle, the second-best defensive tackle in Alabama and the 79th best defensive tackle in the nation by Scout.

Projected impact: Preferably a redshirt to add size and improve on fundamentals.

Film Takeaways:

-Intelligent football tendencies

-Quick burst from stance to engagement

-Effective use of hands

-Powerful lower body

Stoops Says: “Ja’Quize came to our camp last summer and impressed us with his ability and technique. He has the size and work ethic we need and is a great addition to our team.”

Summary: A late-rising prospect, after his Senior season Cross was listed as 2nd rated defensive tackle in Alabama.  Cross can build on that momentum to help add depth at the critical position of 3-technique defensive end.

Nick (9:22)-  We’re starting off Part II of today’s LIVE Diary with a JuCo wide receiver that committed to UK over a year ago.  After his plans to enroll early fell through, it’s reassuring to see that he’s made it official.

Kayaune Ross

ross

 

 

Position: Outside Wide Receiver

Height/Weight: 6’6/225

Hometown (School): Westchester, Oh. (Phoenix College)

Twitter: @bigross3

Recruited by: Vince Marrow

Chose UK over: Arizona State, Akron, Bowling Green and Ohio.

Highlights

 

 

 

 

 

Notable accomplishments:  Was a star for Ohio-power Lakota West before attending Junior College.

Projected impact:  Ross can immediately compete for playing time at X, a.k.a outside receiver position.  Will add toughness and experience to receiving corps.

Film Takeaways:

-Long, rangy receiver

-Locates and competes for football

-Vertical threat

-Competitive blocker

-Excels in 50/50 plays

Stoops Says: “Kayaune is another big wide receiver target. He’s 6-foot-6 and has the ability to go up and catch the ball at its high point. He will have three years of eligibility to play and we look forward to him having a big impact on our team.”

Summary: Ross will reunite with fellow West Chester, Ohio natives George Asafo-Adjei, Kyle Meadows, and Mikel Horton.

Article written by Nick Roush

"Look upon the doughnut, and not upon the hole." @RoushKSR

40 Comments for 2016 National Signing Day LIVE Diary: Part II



  1. nybrasky
    9:28 am February 3, 2016 Permalink

    Part II starts with a WR who could become an OT and a DT who weighs 215 lbs? Interesting for sure. Guess both guys need to hit the buffet & weight room, though I wouldn’t mind a 6’6″ 225 guy staying that size and playing WR if he can catch.



    • nybrasky
      9:34 am February 3, 2016 Permalink

      Nevermind. I guess Ross’ profile is a copy/paste error from Justin Rigg’s. I thought it was weird that a Juco WR could have a possible move to OT in his future, but if anyone could it’s a 6’6″ guy.



  2. ghostofronnielyons
    9:40 am February 3, 2016 Permalink

    I was wondering the same thing!! Thanks for figuring it out….



    • Nick Roush
      11:18 am February 3, 2016 Permalink

      Thanks for helping me out. It’s fixed. I knew I’d mess up at least one today



  3. @BallBlog_Chad
    9:45 am February 3, 2016 Permalink

    Cross is 315, Rigg’s info is under Ross … Bonner is in



  4. Piedma Schwartz
    10:01 am February 3, 2016 Permalink

    When is 247sports going to reflect Landon Young as a 5 star in their team rankings page???



    • ukjaybrat
      10:04 am February 3, 2016 Permalink

      not all services update their rankings the same. maybe they think he’s still 4* material.



  5. ukjaybrat
    10:05 am February 3, 2016 Permalink

    is there not going to be a show thread today? i don’t really want to talk about last night’s game anyway…



  6. Realme
    10:10 am February 3, 2016 Permalink

    Big fat BOOOOOO! to the lack of a show thread.



    • ukjaybrat
      10:11 am February 3, 2016 Permalink

      i wonder if someone dropped the ball or they just want us to stay in the NSD threads…



    • Realme
      10:17 am February 3, 2016 Permalink

      I don’t know. Maybe just forgot. How am I supposed to pass these 2 hours of my work day without it? πŸ™‚



    • ukjaybrat
      10:21 am February 3, 2016 Permalink

      I’m “working” from home today. πŸ™‚
      and national signing day wrapped up super quick. missed most of the fun just making coffee lol



    • RealCatsFan
      10:26 am February 3, 2016 Permalink

      Agree. I hope we secure a good football recruiting class, but so far the recruits we have had did not produce a lot of excitement. We are still a BASKETBALL SCHOOL, so even though we lost, we need to talk BASKETBALL too.



    • J-Dub421
      10:40 am February 3, 2016 Permalink

      Agreed, where is my show thread?!?!



    • Crushgroove
      10:48 am February 3, 2016 Permalink

      @RealCatsFan This isn’t basketball where frosh can make waves. Most big time FB programs red shirt the talent UK is bringing in. UK has to play guys too early b/c our depth and talent is just that bad and as talented as they may be, that talent does not stand up to developed experience of other teams. This why UK has started with 5 wins the past 2 years and tanked at the end of those seasons. Talent is growing, depth is growing. We’re getting there and these classes are how that happens. It ills me to see folks like you cast shade on our FB program. Give it time before you bash. Stoops keeps telling us it’s going to take several years… at least give him the courtesy of trying to fulfill that promise.



    • Crushgroove
      10:51 am February 3, 2016 Permalink

      Also, I can’t even lie… I take some pleasure in the basketball only fans that poo-poo the FB team and say things like “Thank God it’s basketball season” having to endure a possible NIT year.



    • J-Dub421
      11:11 am February 3, 2016 Permalink

      Can fans stop with the football vs. basketball crap?? Cheer for both.



    • Realme
      11:13 am February 3, 2016 Permalink

      Yes, what J-Dub said. Basketball is not competition for football and vice versa. Fun to follow both.



  7. J-Dub421
    10:38 am February 3, 2016 Permalink

    That was the second game in a row that we have outscore the other team from the floor and lost. I am annoyed.



    • J-Dub421
      10:39 am February 3, 2016 Permalink

      *outscored. I am too annoyed to type correctly.



    • Realme
      11:04 am February 3, 2016 Permalink

      I think the officials really stink, but it’s time for our front court to adjust. If they can’t defend without fouling, we can lose to anyone.



    • J-Dub421
      11:09 am February 3, 2016 Permalink

      Yes and no. I just want the officials to call the game the same way at both ends of the floor. And they do not.



    • Realme
      11:12 am February 3, 2016 Permalink

      They are inconsistent with how tight they will call a game in each half, AND with how they make calls against the home team vs the away team. It makes me crazy. I’m just saying, I want to see us find a way to overcome that, since it’s not likely to change.



    • J-Dub421
      11:15 am February 3, 2016 Permalink

      Very true, good point.



  8. CATandMONKEY
    10:47 am February 3, 2016 Permalink

    Agreed, folks. Where is the [email protected] show thread?



  9. ClutchCargo
    10:57 am February 3, 2016 Permalink

    The phrase “no love lost” doesn’t mean what KSR seems to think it does.



    • JTaylor22
      11:58 am February 3, 2016 Permalink

      I thought the same thing. I’m like, “Why does Double-J hate Kash Daniel?”



  10. dean winchester
    11:05 am February 3, 2016 Permalink

    JJ Holmes??



  11. Realme
    11:06 am February 3, 2016 Permalink

    I’m glad they were able to hold onto Gilliam. When Dawson was let go, he had one of those “I have some thinking to do” tweets that make you nervous. According to Drake Jackson, Tobias was the glue keeping the Ohio part of the class together, so losing him could have had a domino effect.



  12. J-Dub421
    11:17 am February 3, 2016 Permalink

    Am I the only one who thinks Drake Jackson is hilarious? That kid cracks me up.



  13. J-Dub421
    11:33 am February 3, 2016 Permalink

    Murray has got to start watching his man when he’s on defense. He keeps looking away to watch the ball, at which point his man blows by him for an easy catch and score. Just guard your man Jamal.



    • UK Big Board Update
      11:43 am February 3, 2016 Permalink

      Freshman mistakes can be a bummer….



    • J-Dub421
      11:50 am February 3, 2016 Permalink

      If he can fix that and have better shot selection, we’ll be in business. When Murray is open he’s great, especially off the catch from Tyler or Briscoe. When he tries to go over 2 or three defenders, not so much….



    • UK Big Board Update
      11:51 am February 3, 2016 Permalink

      Totally agree.



  14. ukjaybrat
    12:13 pm February 3, 2016 Permalink

    β€œWe’re still trying to pull one more rabbit out of the hat.”
    Keion Wakefield anybody?



  15. Piedma Schwartz
    1:44 pm February 3, 2016 Permalink

    12th ranked recruiting class in the SEC! What a year!



    • Mathlete
      2:13 pm February 3, 2016 Permalink

      Top 30 in the country, 10th in the SEC on Rivals. That says a lot more about the SEC that 10 of the top 30 recruiting classes are in the conference.



    • Mathlete
      2:26 pm February 3, 2016 Permalink

      11th* – overlooked South Carolina (pretty easy to do…)



  16. KTower
    8:47 pm February 3, 2016 Permalink

    WOW

    This is a really good looking recruiting class.

    I love going into Ohio and pulling in all these players.

    GBB