With Steve Clinkscale moving on to Michigan, there was a worry about if Kentucky would still attempt to have a presence in Nashville. In the class of 2023, inside linebackers coach Jon Sumrall has the Wildcats competing for a hybrid linebacker.
Mount Joliet (Tenn.) High is a school located in the suburbs of Nashville and their defense is led by Ethan Crisp. The 6-foot-2, 195-pound second-level defender was in Lexington this past weekend and had the full attention of the Kentucky coaching staff. Both Sumrall and defensive coordinator Brad White were spotted chatting up the three-star prospect after the camp at Kroger Field. Sumrall is working on building a relationship with the rising junior.
Crisp liked what he saw over the weekend in Lexington.
“I was impressed with the camp and unofficial visit,” said Crisp. “I’ve been watching SEC football my whole life so that’s how I know about Kentucky football.”
— Ethan Crisp – OLB/S (@EthanCrisp12) June 6, 2021
Crisp is a versatile player that can be utilized in a variety of ways. The class of 2023 prospect can play either inside or outside linebacker as well as strong safety. However, Kentucky is recruiting the versatile defender to play off the ball. Crisp fits the body type of the Will linebackers — Jordan Jones, DeAndre Square — that have succeeded at Kentucky previously. However, with that size comes challenges at the position. Crisp knows that his physicality at the point of attack needs some improvement.
“Just being able to stack and shed blocks,” Crisp told KSR when asked areas of his game the Kentucky coaching staff would like to see him improve. However, on tape, Crisp plays with a very high motor and understands leverage. This is a defensive player that tackles with excellent pad level to go along with plus leg drive to stymie ball carriers in their tracks.
Currently, the three-star recruit has five Power Five offers — Kentucky, Ole Miss, Vanderbilt, Virginia, and Virginia Tech. Crisp visited both Nashville and Lexington to begin the recruiting period. He plans on taking visits to Virginia and Ole Miss later this month and maybe a few others. This is a prospect that has some strong early interest from good football programs.
Kentucky has proven that its coaching staff has no intentions of getting out of the Nashville area. This is going to be a region that the staff continues to recruit hard. However, some new faces could be leading the recruitments. After working in Alabama, Georgia, and Mississippi, Sumrall is now getting some work done in the Volunteer State.
One of the best talents at Kentucky’s first 2021 recruiting camp is interested in the Wildcats.