The second-highest ranked prospect in Kentucky’s 2017 recruiting class did not have the Cats in his Top Ten, but four-star edge rusher Josh Paschal still chose to leave the DMV area to play college football in Lexington.
After just three weeks of practice, he’s already living up to lofty expectations. Mark Stoops said during Saturday’s scrimmage, “He made a play or two that really stood out to me, WOWed me.”
A year after UK wasn’t on his radar, Paschal is wowing the head coach in practice. Why the sudden change?
The safe assumption is to give all the credit to his older brother. TreVaughn Paschal played for the Cats from 2011-15 and is currently a graduate assistant, but Josh told KSR at UK Media Day that his brother was hands off during the recruiting process.
“My brother tried to recruit me and stuff like that, but he really wanted me to do my own thing,” Josh Paschal said. “He knew it was going to be a personal decision and I was going to have to spend the next four years where ever I wanted to choose. He really put it on me and gave me everything I needed to know about Kentucky.”
His brother gave him what he needed to know, except the sales pitch. That came from Vince Marrow.
“He really opened my eyes to how the culture around here was changing,” Paschal said.
After he hear the sales pitch from the Big Dog, Paschal was convinced Kentucky was the place to be after attending the Georgia game.
“When I took a visit up here to the Georgia game, that’s when I finally knew that it was a whole different type of atmosphere.”
Paschal picked UK even though his position was filled with All-SEC outside linebacker, Denzil Ware. Without a promise for immediate playing time, Paschal is competing to take Ware’s position. That goal was set by Ware, not by Paschal. The encouragement from the vet has inspired Paschal.
“They’re all role models,” Paschal said. “They really give us all the tools to be better than them because that’s what they want us to do. At the end of the day they’re like brothers to us.”
With the right tools, Paschal is destined to wow Kentucky fans in the near future at Kroger Field.