The UK athletic department and football program did an outstanding job of presenting its new class of student-athletes today with a three and a half hour production for UKAthletics.com.
The school’s Signing Day web special featured three different sets with six hosts and a number of special guests for a live broadcast from inside the new recruiting room in Commonwealth Stadium. It was a truly remarkable and aesthetically pleasing show, one that took a ton of work and planning and execution from several departments within UK athletics. It was a job well done by all involved. Excellent work and product for the fans.
If you were unable to catch any of the special this morning — because you have, like, a job that requires you to actually work during the day — then allow me to be of assistance to you by filling you in on what you missed. I just watched the replay (all three and a half hours of it) after being at Commonwealth for five hours today and, needless to say, I’m pretty caught up on the day after almost nine hours of it.
But before I shut’er down and go wandering around the new Lucky’s Market, let’s get you a recap of the special…
Kentucky had 19 signees on the board to start the show.
So much for suspense, huh?
Kentucky’s National Signing Day morning got off to a blazing start with 19 signees on the board by 8 am. Seven of those were the early enrollees, but to have received 12 signed Letters of Intent before Matt Jones usually wakes up each day is a pretty good start.
Might have to get the cameras rolling a little earlier next year for what is already panning about to be a good class.
Mark Stoops believes this year’s in-state signees are special.
Stoops cleaned house in the state of Kentucky this year, landing the top four prospects in the Bluegrass and another top-10 in-state talent in athlete Zy’Aire Hughes of Paducah.
“This group is absolutely special,” Stoops said of his five homegrown signees, the top priorities in the class.
He said they’re all excited to take their home state’s program to the next level and he expects them to walk in and lead right away, whether that be vocally or in some other way.
“They are great guys. Really good players.”
Freddie Maggard and Jeff Piecoro spent four minutes breaking down film of a punter.
Punters are just as important as any other member of a football team, maybe even more than some positions in certain games and situations. So punters deserve an equal amount of love, especially when Kentucky signs a good one like Grant McKinniss.
That being said, I don’t know if Freddie and Jeff needed four minutes to break down film of McKinniss, complete with Freddie circling McKinniss’ leg on the telestrator. He’s a punter. Just tell us he can kick it high and kick it far and let’s move on.
But then again, that’s what you’re going to get from Freddie when you ask him to evaluate and analyze your class. He’s going to explain every last detail of the game, whether it be a throwing motion, pursuit of the football or a punter’s punt. He’s committed to his craft and damn good at it.
And you can’t get that everywhere.
Papa John’s has better ingredients, better pizza.
Shout-out to sponsors Papa John’s, Kentucky Farm Bureau, Nissan and whoever dressed Freddie:
— Drew Franklin (@DrewFranklinKSR) February 3, 2016
D.J. Eliot once drove to Paintsville at 3 am to see Kash Daniel.
Before programs all over the south were salivating at the chance to land Kash Daniel, he was flying under the radar, deep in the mountains of Eastern Kentucky. UK defensive coordinator caught word of Daniel’s potential and saw some stuff he liked on tape, so he drove to watch Daniel in person on the morning of Paintsville’s first practice. The practice was at 6 am, which meant Eliot was up and on the road before anyone in their right mind should be up and on a road.
As Eliot told it, he immediately loved what he saw in Daniel and called Coach Stoops to say, “I want this kid.” Kentucky soon became Daniel’s first major offer, and the rest was history.
Drake Jackson and Kash Daniel and Kash Daniel’s tiny shirt made a special appearance.
Jackson and Daniel chatted with Jeremy Jarmon about their educational pursuits at Kentucky. Jackson plans to follow in his parents’ footsteps with a business degree, while Daniel will major in journalism.
They also talked about their trip to the U.S. Army All-America Bowl, committing to UK, and the road ahead as they begin their college football careers.
Also of note: If I had Kash’s arms, I’d wear smedium shirts, too. (Please don’t kill me, Kash.)
Lamar Thomas said being at Kentucky is “like a dream come true.”
Big Blue Nation got to hear from Thomas for the first time during this morning’s Signing Day special. The new wide receiver coach, who wasn’t announced until yesterday, hasn’t met his players yet but he’s excited to get in there and get to work as soon as he can. He hinted he “has his ways” to earn their respect.
Vince Marrow believes this class is just as good as the 2014 class.
Kentucky’s 2014 class was the highest rated in school history, earning a No. 17 rankings by Rivals.com. This year’s class is ranked No. 29, which is still good given UK’s history, but Marrow considers it just as good as the bunch two years ago. He believes the leadership of the in-state players, and the commits’ constant contact with each other on social media, played a big role in keeping it all together, much like in 2014.
Freddie really loved that telestrator.
We have to get him one of those for KSR. He’s too good at it to let that talent go to waste.
I’ll check the budget, Freddie.
Watch the replay of the entire show below to see more, hours more, of UK Signing Day coverage: