Mark Stoops took a break from a very busy morning to call into Kentucky Sports Radio and talk about his 2020 Signing Class. Counting Auburn transfer Joey Gatewood, the class currently stands at 20 signees, with Torrance Davis being the only commit yet to send in his paperwork. Stoops said the staff expects a few more additions in the coming hours, days, and even weeks.
“I really felt pretty confident coming into the day. It’s always like that. You hold on to your tail for a while because there’s always three or four or five out there that you go down to the wire on. We feel very good. The nucleus of this class has been extremely strong, unwavering in their commitment to Kentucky. That made me feel pretty good heading into the day and we got a few surprises and some good things going on and we’re still not finished. That’s the good news. We’ve still got some things going down today and in the next couple days and into January.”
The fact that Kentucky was able to hold on to such an impressive group despite its struggles early in the season makes today even more impressive, which Stoops credited to core members of the class like Justin Rogers, Beau Allen, John Young, and Andru Phillips.
“They’ve been unwavering in their support and their commitment to Kentucky and that really makes you feel good. It lets you know what kind of people, leaders they are off the field. On the field it’s kind of a no-brainer. Unbelievably talented players, but some really great people in here, great leaders. So, it’s impactful group, there’s no question about it. It’s a big time group.”
Even though he remained solid in his commitment, there was a huge sigh of relief in the BBN when five-star defensive tackle Justin Rogers submitted his paperwork. Stoops said he continues to be impressed by the superstar’s demeanor.
“He’s just got something about him, the way he carries himself. He’s very humble for all the accolades that he gets and he’s so deserving of all of the recognition he gets because he’s a fantastic football player but he’s a great person. There’s a great example of a young man out of Detroit, five-star player that’s been committed to us and there was so little drama. That doesn’t mean it’s easy. It’s never easy to recruit players like that. There’s always competition. There’s always battles, daily, but we truly have a relationship with Justin. We’ve been recruiting him since he was in eighth grade. We’re very close to him and his family and he’s been remarkably solid throughout this process for a guy that could go anywhere in the country. Just the way he carries himself, he has a presence about him. On the field, it’s a no-brainer, but for guys like that, you love to have that impact. Off the field he certainly has that.”
Here are the recruits still up for grabs:
DE Tyler Baron: Tennessee or Kentucky(Picked Tennessee)
- DT Octavious Oxendine: Tennessee or Kentucky (Announcement scheduled for 3:45 p.m.)
- DB Joel Williams: LSU, Georgia, Auburn, Alabama or UK
- DB Vito Tisdale: Oklahoma, Alabama or Kentucky (Announcement scheduled for Jan. 4)
- APB Michael Drennen II: USC or Kentucky
Even if Kentucky doesn’t land any of those guys, today has been a historic one for the football program — and Stoops said they’re just getting started, bro.
“I feel like we’re ready to take another step because we have some experienced players coming back and we’re recruiting at a level we haven’t since I’ve been here. We’re taking this to a new level with what we’re doing on the recruiting trail, so we’re excited for the future.”