A prior connection from the University of South Carolina has Kentucky in an optimistic position with a highly-rated offensive tackle prospect.
Drew Bobo, a 6-foot-5, 280-pound class of 2022 recruit has been tabbed by most outlets as a three-star prospect. 247 Sports has him ranked as the eighth-best player out of the state of South Carolina and the 574th ranked player in the nation. His father, Mike Bobo, was most recently the offensive coordinator with the Gamecocks before taking the same position with the Auburn Tigers following the conclusion of the 2020 football season.
South Carolina, spearheaded by Mike Bobo and, mainly, then-offensive line coach Eric Wolford, offered Drew a scholarship to come and play under his dad at USC last July. Circumstances have changed drastically since then, with the elder Bobo moving to Auburn and Wolford taking the offensive lineman position at Kentucky after the passing of the late John Schlarman. Coach Wolford never forgot about his former co-worker’s son once he made Lexington his new home, either.
In an interview with KSR, Drew Bobo said that Coach Wolford wasted no time extending him an offer once Wolford joined the Wildcat coaching staff. Bobo actually didn’t even find out that Wolford had accepted the job at Kentucky until Wolford offered Bobo a scholarship the day that the former became a ‘Cat on Dec. 17, 2020. Those two have a relationship that dates back to December of 2019 when Mike Bobo was named USC’s offensive coordinator. South Carolina offered Drew Bobo in July of 2020.
— Drew Bobo (@DrewBobo3) December 17, 2020
Considering in-person recruiting has been unavailable since last spring due to COVID-19 protocols and restrictions, that bond is no small thing. Even when Drew Bobo couldn’t talk with coaches or visit campuses, he hung around South Carolina enough due to his dad’s responsibilities that he was able to develop a deeper relationship with Wolford, whether it was intentional or not.
“It’s really good,” Bobo told KSR about his relationship with Coach Wolford. “Since I wasn’t allowed to see any coaches because of the dead period I still got to see him going to practices and games and I’ve gotten to spend a lot more time around him and make a better relationship than I have with a bunch of other coaches.”
The idea of joining the Big Blue Wall, and helping continue that area of progression and development within the program, is appealing to Bobo, as well.
“I think it’s pretty cool that they stick out and say they’re trying to build the Big Blue Wall,” Bobo said. “I think Coach Wolf[ord] can help do that.”
With the dead period expected to be lifted on May 31, recruiting will get back to some semblance of normality. Bobo already has an official visit planned to Georgia Tech from June 11-13 and has done multiple Zoom interviews with them in the past. While nothing is set in stone right now, Bobo did say he intends on visiting the Kentucky campus this summer.
“I’ve been talking with Coach Wolf[ord] and we’re trying to get a visit scheduled,” Bobo added. “But I’m definitely going to take one to Kentucky this summer.”
Along with Georgia Tech and Kentucky, West Virginia is also in the mix, as is Oregon, which offered at the beginning of March. The Ducks are understandably the most impressive program to present an offer, but Bobo says they haven’t been in as much communication as some of the others.
In particular, Bobo speaks with Coach Wolford nearly every day and the same goes with other offensive line coaches Brent Key (Georgia Tech) and Matt Moore (West Virginia). The Yellow Jackets extended its offer at the end of January and have already secured an official visit while WVU offered in Nov. 2020. Kentucky has yet to announce visits with any of its 2022 prospects, but that will most likely happen by the time the dead period rules are officially lifted.
Bobo said he would like to knock out a bunch of visits this summer before making his final decision, which he hopes can come before his senior football season begins in the fall.
“During the season I don’t want to be thinking about a decision,” Bobo said. “I just want to be focused on winning.”
There is also the potential for an offer from Auburn, where his dad is now the OC. Bobo admitted that he would be interested in the Tigers if they were to offer, but quickly added that the chance to play for his father wouldn’t be the end of his recruitment.
“I’d still want to make sure the school is right for me before I make the choice,” Bobo said about potentially receiving an Auburn offer. “But if it came I would definitely consider it. But it’s also not a for-sure thing that if it comes I’m going to [commit to Auburn].”