Crootin’ season is off and running.
Kentucky is taking advantage of the open recruiting period in June, and on Wednesday there was a plethora of talent on campus getting in some work on the practice fields just outside the Joe Craft Football Training Facility. However, a pair of 2022 commits were the headliners.
KSR made its way through the gates to watch the shorts and t-shirt workout, and there were many takeaways to grab as Kentucky hosted some intriguing talent on campus.
Destin Wade works out at quarterback
The four-star prospect out of Metro Nashville is listed as an athlete by all of the major recruiting services. Last season, Wade passed for 1,390 yards while completing 62.8 percent of his passes with 19 touchdowns and five interceptions. The quarterback posted a robust 10.78 yards per attempt but was asked to throw the ball less than 12 times per game.
Wade was much more likely to take off running as he recorded 1,509 rushing yards on 165 carries while averaging 9.1 yards per rush and scoring 18 touchdowns. In the camp setting, the quarterback showed off a live arm but accuracy was an issue.
Wade struggled on some intermediate throws while occasionally delivering the ball with a little too much acceleration on slants. On deep shots — posts and go routes — ball placement led to incompletions. However, there were spirals delivered and occasionally the ball pops off of his hand in an impressive way.
Of all the participants at camp, Wade may have looked the most physically impressive. This is a lean athlete that stands between 6-foot-3 and 6-foot-4 with a frame to grow into. The rising senior took to coaching well, but there is some funkiness to his release that could lead to accuracy issues continuing. Watching how the quarterback develops as a senior will be something to monitor.
Keaten Wade looks the part
Running with Brad White’s edge unit, Wade immediately jumped out. The top-200 recruit has a really impressive frame that looks like it may just be college-ready right now. Similar to his twin brother, Wade is a lean 6-foot-3 or 6-foot-4 with some length and plenty of room for growth.
The physical capabilities are there and the tape shows a prospect with a very high ceiling. However, the camp showed that the rising senior is very open to coaching.
During pass-rushing drills with the offensive line, White pulled Wade aside to work on the technique of a spin move after struggling in the previous rep. After going over some specific fundamental details while veteran outside linebacker Marquez Bembry also shared some input, Wade nailed an inside move on his next rep for an easy 1-on-1 win.
There are some big league tools with Wade, and Kentucky needs some help at edge rusher. The 2022 prospect should be able to assist with that whenever he arrives on campus. This is a prospect to get excited about.
Throughout June, we have seen Kentucky’s recruiting philosophy at wide receiver begin to change. Tylertown (Miss.) High receiver Jordan Anthony was at a camp on June 6 and received an offer after working out. Cincinnati Moeller wideout Brandon White camped on June 13 and also earned an offer. Anthony (5-11, 160) and White (5-9, 165) are diminutive, but each brings speed to the table.
Kentucky had another 2023 receiver who fits that mold participating on Wednesday. The dynamic athlete consistently made plays
Despite being listed as a running back, Sawyer Deerman worked out specifically at wide receiver and looked like the best player at the camp. The Alabama product currently has offers from Georgia Tech, Maryland, Ole Miss, Tennessee, UCF, and WKU. During this month, Deerman has visited Alabama, Georgia, Georgia Tech, and Kentucky. In 2020, Deerman accounted for 20 touchdowns as a sophomore in multiple ways — 8 receiving, 6 rushing, 5 passing, 1 return.
The 2023 prospect showed some advanced route running for his age by constantly creating easy separation with some subtle movements. When grouped up with Wade, Deerman made a terrific catch against tight coverage on a go-route. KSR has learned that the coaching staff kept Deerman around after camp to tour the facilities. This is a name to monitor as an offer is likely coming soon.
–Cincinnati (Ohio) Winton Woods has been good to Kentucky football. Both Mike Edwards and Chris Oats hailed from that high school. Antonio Turner Jr. is a 2022 prospect that worked out and looked impressive. The shifty receiver consistently got open and made catches. This might not be a guy for Kentucky, but this looked like a player that belonged on the field.
–Kentucky isn’t the only coaching staff appearing at these camps. Other programs from around the area can be invited to come and scout the talent. Over the few open periods, KSR has spotted representatives from Eastern Kentucky, Centre, Murray State, and Tennessee Tech in attendance. However, Marshall was there with multiple staff members on Wednesday. Former Alabama running backs coach Charles Huff has taken over in Huntington and is upgrading the Herd’s recruiting approach.
–This has all been fun, but next week could have the biggest impact on the 2023 recruiting class. The Wildcats have yet to have any rising juniors at quarterback with an offer on campus for a camp yet. That will change on Wednesday, June 23. Four-star quarterback Chris Parson out of Metro Nashville and unranked Brock Glenn from Memphis will each be in Lexington to throw next week. That workout could tell us a lot about who Liam Coen will zone in on to land the program’s QB of the future.
–More QBs should wear bucket hats.