Is this the biggest week in the history of the Kentucky football program? Not exactly. In the last calendar year UK won on a walk-off to play for a chance to win the SEC East. That week definitely beats this one, but for a sunny four days in April, it doesn’t get much bigger for football in the Bluegrass.
Thursday night in Nashville the Kentucky football program will receive the bright spotlight in the NFL Draft when Josh Allen becomes a top five pick. Mark Stoops is one of a dozen of college coaches that will be on Broadway in Nashville. With the eyes of the football world watching, the event will be surrounded by a massive pitch to prospective recruits.
Once Stoops shakes hands and completes a few interviews, he’s returning to Lexington Friday for an incredibly important recruiting weekend. As his former players are picked, future stars will gather on campus for official visits.
Marquee Official Visitors
After receiving a few de-commitments from offensive linemen who jump on board early, Stoops and Vince Marrow can create a strong foundation in the 2020 class this weekend when three athletes officially visit: quarterback Beau Allen, offensive tackle John Young and cornerback Andru Phillips.
Young could be the cornerstone of the class. A charismatic four-star talent from Louisville, Kentucky’s best days under Mark Stoops have featured in-state stars manning the offensive line. Young could be the next to contribute to that legacy.
Even though Phillips has spent the last four or five years of his life in South Carolina, he grew up not far from where Young resides in Louisville. The son of a former UK linebacker would be an excellent addition to Brad White’s defense.
Last, but certainly not least, is the the quarterback. Throughout his tenure at Kentucky, Stoops has received commitments from high profile quarterbacks, but has never been able to hold on until signing day. Stoops needs Allen to end that streak. The four-star pocket passer is considering a future in the high-flying offenses of Mike Leach and Neal Brown. The Lexington native’s many ties to the program and Kentucky’s explosive spring game performance have certainly sweetened the recruiting pitch. Now it’s time for Stoops, Marrow and Eddie Gran to seal the deal this weekend.
Young, Phillips and Allen will not be alone. Stay tuned to KSR throughout the week to see what other talented 2020 recruits will officially visit Lexington this weekend.
Ed Oliver is Cramping Josh Allen’s Style
As we enter the homestretch, teams are pulling out all of the stunts to mess with other teams. The latest involves our guy, Josh Allen.
Projected to go third overall to the New York Jets for months, there’s some late buzz that Gregg Williams actually prefers Houston’s Ed Oliver. Once seen as a lock in the top five, the defensive tackle’s stock has been incredibly volatile over the last year. At one point he fell completely out of the first round. Now the Card killer is back near the top thanks to the Raiders.
Word on the street is that Gruden and Mayock like Oliver with the fourth overall pick. Once the Jets caught wind, they started telling people they like Oliver, giving the Raiders an incentive to trade up a spot with one of their many picks in this year’s draft.
Frankly, it’s a bit bizarre. There’s no reason to worry about Allen slipping down the draft, but there is a good reason to watch Ed Oliver sack Lamar Jackson over and over and over again.
Lonnie Johnson is Ready
Johnson will not be in Nashville for the draft, but he still will be wearing a new hat once he’s selected.
— 4/7 (@Lonnie30johnson) April 22, 2019
The rumor mill is circulating that Lonnie could leap into the first round. You can’t rule it out, but it’s safer to expect to hear his name Friday night. While you’re waiting, enjoy this delightful piece on Johnson from the Chicago Tribune.
Scalzo Looks Sharp
The future Kentucky quarterback tore his ACL in the Florida state playoffs. Even though he’s only five months into rehab, he doesn’t look like somebody with a bum knee. If Gunnar Hoak decides to depart after the spring semester, they’ll need Scalzo ready to roll this fall.
Comeback SZN? pic.twitter.com/lmpkJCK72y
— Nik Scalzo (@NikScalzo) April 21, 2019
UK Offers Another In-State Freshman
Corbin’s Treyveon Longmire received plenty of attention from power five programs once Kentucky offered the sophomore to-be. This afternoon Kentucky offered another in-state prospect from the class of 2022. Unlike Longmire, Selah Brown is a bruiser. The 6’2″ 245-pounder played defensive end, linebacker and fullback for Louisville Male High School. It ain’t hard to tell this kid is a tank.
The Kentucky Pocket Pass is Now Available
You can get into all eight of Kentucky’s home football games for only $250. That’s only $31.25 a ticket. It’s a deal that sounds too good to be true, but it is. Get your hands on the digital tickets right now.
Easter Sunday in the South
Today I leave you with the most glorious Easter Sunday sermon ever delivered.