Crootin’ season never stops in the college football world and here at KSR we are going to keep you updated on all of the ins and outs with Kentucky’s class of 2021 in addition to what you need to know nationally. COVID-19 has slowed down everything, but somehow it has helped speed up recruiting.
KSR’s Recruiting Roundup is where you will find everything important that happened on the trail. We all got some very good news regarding the 2020 season this week, but there is still some important things to follow regarding the future.
New Blue-Chip Emerges
Offensive line obviously gets a lot of attention, but the edge positions on defense may be the position on defense UK recruits and develops the best. Everyone knows the Josh Allen story while Boogie Watson seems poised to be the next low three-star to be drafted. UK has also scored some big time recruiting wins scoring Joshua Paschal out of the DMV and Jordan Wright from south Florida in addition to flipping blue-chipper Jason Hatcher from USC in their first recruiting haul.
Now they are going back into the DMV and defensive coordinator Brad White is selling the “OLBU” pitch very hard.
— Monkell Goodwine (@MonkellGoodwine) July 25, 2020
Monkell Goodwine ranks just outside of the top-100 and has an announcement date set for August 15. Ranked as a top-five player in the state of Maryland, UK finds themselves in good company joining the likes of Alabama, Clemson and Texas A&M in the final list of schools. Bama and A&M feel like the favorites, but there is no denying that Goodwine is a take for each program.
Kentucky continues to be in the mix for some big time front seven talent in this class and we’ll see if they can finally pull off an upset win in one of these recruiting battles. This would be a coup for White and new defensive line coach Anwar Stewart.
Rayshaun Benny’s Top Seven
UK came up short in the recruitment of five-star defensive tackle Damon Payne in the Detroit area, but the Wildcats and Steve Clinkscale are still in the thick of the hunt for another line of scrimmage player in the area.
— Rayshaun Benny (@rayshaun_benny) July 25, 2020
Rayshaun Benny is a top-200 prospect out of Detroit Oak Park who could play offensive line or defensive line at the next level. Home school Michigan should be considered the favorite at the moment, but this figures to be a recruitment that is not ending anytime soon and could go into February.
Michigan, Michigan State, Penn State are the usual suspects for Kentucky when recruiting the state of Michigan but Arkansas and Arizona State are two programs that are ending up on a lot of the same lists as UK.
In the beginning of May, Vince Marrow scored a big recruiting win in the suburbs of Cleveland by convincing high three-star wideout Armond Scott to pledge to Kentucky over the likes of Cincinnati, Michigan State and Boston College. The 6-foot-3 wideout would go on to receive a ranking bump that would make him a top-75 wide receiver and a top-20 prospect in the state of Ohio.
This past week, however, some interesting news came out that could only happen in college football recruiting.
Scott released a tweet on his own account stating that is recruitment is fully open. That quickly changed when the Euclid wide receiver went back and stated that he was hacked. However, all those tweets have since been deleted.
Rivals caught up with the 2021 prospect about the situation and Scott states that Ohio State and Oklahoma have been in contact recently and they may have caused him to rethink his current status. Meanwhile, normal recruiting rivals Louisville, Cincinnati, Michigan State and West Virginia have all been in contact.
When it comes to wide receiver recruiting, UK has been in a tough spot because of their offensive identity established over the last three seasons. The wins have piled up, but receivers want to catch the football and make plays. Getting the passing game going this upcoming year should alleviate a ton of those “UK receivers only block” agendas used against the Wildcats on the recruiting trail.
Official Written Offer SZN
Tracking offers for college football recruits can be a tricky exercise for a multitude of reasons. For one, you are only getting the information from one side of the story and it often comes via a personal social media account. In other ways, it is known that some schools can be very generous in lending out offers early in the process in the hopes of getting players interested enough to make a trip to campus where coaching staffs can accurately evaluate them. Therefore, you can never be sure if a player has a committable offer or not. This can be an exhausting process when following recruiting.
However, every summer we get some very solid intel. This is when schools are allowed to give out their official written offers and these are sent to players with a cool graphic via both Twitter and Instagram. These can show you who schools are actively recruiting and what players are really a take. That time arrived this past weekend and we got some very good scoop on some prospects.
The biggest news perhaps came from Bowling Green tight end Jordan Dingle who UK is in heavy pursuit for. The high three-star prospect who is a top-20 tight end received offers from Georgia Tech, Vanderbilt, Virginia Tech, Pittsburgh and Purdue but there was one specific big fish who joined the party.
— Jordan Dingle ? (@jordandingle21) August 1, 2020
Kentucky has their work cut out for them down in Warren County. Elsewhere, junior college corner Kamal Hadden got his UK offer in addition to Nebraska, West Virginia, Texas Tech and Auburn. Down in Tallahassee, UK is still in pursuit of top-200 safety Terrion Arnold battling the likes of Alabama, Florida and Florida State for the blue-chipper.
Most of UK’s commits only released their official offer from the Big Blue, but a few made it known others are still actively recruiting them. Christian Lewis heard from Ole Miss, Texas A&M and West Virginia. Georgia Tech has been in contact with Jordan Lovett and Mississippi State reached out to Joko Willis. Recruiting truly never stops.
Dan Mullen Is Underachieving
After swinging and missing on both Scott Frost and Chip Kelly, Florida decided to nab Dan Mullen as its next head coach and essentially stealing him from taking the Tennessee job. Mullen had led Mississippi State to eight consecutive bowl games with a .600 overall winning percentage at one of the toughest programs to win at in the SEC. Everyone knew he could coach, but the big question marks were about how he could recruit.
On the field, he’s been a home run for the Gators recording 21 wins in two seasons with two New Year’s Six bowl victories. He’ll have Florida back in the preseason top 10 and many believe they should be considered the favorite to win the East in 2020. Even with all of this success, Florida is underachieving on the recruiting trail.
The Gators are up to 23 verbals in the class of 2021 with a blue-chip ratio of just 47.83 percent. Florida has just one top-100 prospect committed and just one player that ranks in the top 25 in Florida. Meanwhile, both Alabama and Miami have four players from this group committed and Clemson has three. Currently, the Hurricanes lead for top-30 defensive tackle Leonard Taylor and that is likely the top remaining target on Florida’s board.
Mullen’s former defensive coordinator Manny Diaz is currently getting the best of him on the trail while both Alabama and Clemson are consistently able to cherry-pick players from the Sunshine State. Florida should consistently be able to recruit at a top-5 level and Mullen has to show the ability to do that. Until then, we shouldn’t consider them a legitimate national championship contenders.