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Recruiting Roundup, presented by CSL Plasma: UK’s Deep South Recruiting and Mack Brown Flexing

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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 this past week. UK scored two recent commitments as the class starts to fill up.

Christian Lewis and Martez Thrower Join the Fold

Not that long ago, Nick Roush provided us a little blurb about two high three-star prospects from the deep south. Christian Lewis scored 20 touchdowns on 75 receptions last year while playing for one of the best high school teams in Alabama while Martez Thrower is a top-700 prospect from Georgia who is listed as the 59th best player in the Peach State.

Inside linebackers coach Jon Sumrall was able to double-dip for Yahtzees last week and the result gets Kentucky up to the 44th overall class with 13 pledges. Over half of those verbals are currently high three-star prospects. After hitting the ground hard in South Florida beginning with the 2017 class, we are starting to see that change a bit in the last two classes.

Kentucky is grinding away in the Deep South and the most recent result is a big play, outside X receiver and a future athletic Mike linebacker joining the squad. Both Alabama and Georgia have produced multiple starters for UK in recent years and the two states make up five players in the 2021 class. Kentucky’s recruiting profile is changing before our eyes.

Skill Position Recruiting Continues

Kentucky’s top four players in the class of 2021 are all wide receivers, but it appears that the staff is not done recruiting that position just quite yet. The Wildcats are loading up as the offense figures to make some big changes in the near future and it will be mostly due to all of the wideouts added in the classes of 2020 and 2021.

High three-star wide Kamonte Grimes is a 6-foot-2, 185-pound wideout from Naples, Florida who is being recruited by Darin Hinshaw to come to Lexington. He is listed as an athlete so that means he could potentially be a slash player that offensive coordinator Eddie Gran could used in a lot of different ways. Grimes has released a top five and there is some stiff competition for the Wildcats.

Kentucky continues to make wide receiver a pretty big recruiting emphasis in the class of 2021 and they are in play for some very good looking prospects.

Mack Attack

I have to admit it, I was one of the many who scoffed at the hire when North Carolina athletic director Bubba Cunningham decided to bring Mack Brown back to Chapel Hill. The man who simply missed on a bunch of superstar quarterbacks in his backyard while on the Forty Acres in Austin (Robert Griffin III, Andrew Luck, Patrick Mahomes, Johnny Manziel, etc.) is now got something special cookin’.

Once hired, Brown sent a staffer to every high school in the state of North Carolina sending a message that he’s determined to have the best players in North Carolina come to UNC. We saw the proof of concept immediately when he flipped top-100 quarterback Sam Howell from Florida State while putting the finishing touches on a top-30 class. Now we’re seeing everything come together.

Granted, the state of North Carolina is unusually loaded this year with 18 blue-chip prospects, but Brown is taking advantage. The Tar Heels have 10 of those players committed to them right now highlighted by  top-50 quarterback Drake Maye who happens to be Luke Maye’s little brother and was a flip from Alabama. Just last week, the Heels landed a big fish on the other side of the ball.

Tony Grimes is a top-10 player and the best corner in the class of 2021 and UNC was able to score an out of state recruiting win over Georgia and Ohio State. The Tar Heels now have three top-100 prospects, 11 top-250 prospects and a blue chip ratio of 70.59 percent. The six remaining players outside of the ratio would all be considered a high three-star players. That is getting the job done.

Getting into the top-five come National Signing Day would require some pretty big upsets, but it is clear at this point that North Carolina will have a top-10 class and the Brown hire is beginning to feel like a coup.

Blue-Chip OL Not Named Jager Burton

Perhaps no program in college football shows off its offensive line better than Kentucky from catchy nicknames to nearly every coach shouting out the big guys whenever they are standing in front of a microphone. It certainly helps when two in-state blue-chippers in the class of 2016 turn into stars (Drake Jackson, Landon Young) and then your next blue-chip (Darian Kinnard) turns into a potential first-round pick.

John Schlarman is building quite a reputation with the Wildcats consistently being among the best offensive lines in the country and they will once again be a serious candidate for the Joe Moore Award in 2020. We’re starting to see the success this group has had pay off on the trail.

Yes, we all know about Jager Burton but that success is leaking into other areas. Last year, the Wildcats were able to land blue-chip JUCO Jermey Flax and this year Noah Josey is another out of state blue-chip target.

The Wildcats join Alabama, Georgia, Ohio State and Stanford in Josey’s final list of schools and they are trying to record another big win for the offensive line room. Steve Clinkscale is running the recruitment and he has a little bit of leverage being Josey’s first offer. Dave Lackford of Rivals caught up with Josey and this becomes another name to pay close attention to.

Article written by Adam Luckett

Twitter: @AdamLuckettKSR

2 Comments for Recruiting Roundup, presented by CSL Plasma: UK’s Deep South Recruiting and Mack Brown Flexing

  1. WKY Cat
    7:12 pm July 7, 2020 Permalink

    Long ways from being over with this class but would like us to move into the top 20-25 consistently. I think with our development of players then we are a legit threat.

  2. GACAT
    9:38 pm July 7, 2020 Permalink

    What in the world is Burton waiting on? Follow in the footsteps of Drake Jackson and Landon Young, commit and help recruit other kids for 2021. You’re wasting precious time.