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A Preview of Stoops’ Summer Recruiting Season Finale

(damienharris34 / IG)

(damienharris34 / IG)

(damienharris34 / IG)

Lexington is buzzing with LeBron James in town, but Drake Jackson and Damien Harris are the real superstars for BBN to keep their eyes on.

Before the Cats begin the second season of the Mark Stoops era, Stoops is hosting a recruiting blowout this weekend with close to a thousand kids on campus participating in the Friday Night Lights Camp, Lineman Challenge and 7-on-7 Passing Tournament.  We can’t cover them all, but here is a small sample of the top talent in town this weekend.


This weekend provides the chance for UK commits to bond and potentially convince others to join them in Lexington, while getting the chance to work closely with their position coaches.  DE Denzil Ware couldn’t say no to Kentucky after his Friday Night Lights experience last season because of the relationships that were built during his time on campus.  Drew Barker and Co. were able to pull off the magic last year; this year the job is left to WR Alex Stump, OT George Asafo-Adjei, DE Levon Livingston, OL Larry Wells, OL Mason Wolfe, LB Eli Brown, and TE CJ Conrad.

In the Crosshairs

Kentrail Moran
Running Back
O’Fallon, Il.
5’10, 192 lbs.

Moran is a 4-star running back in the Class of 2016 that can make plays all over the field.  It’s still early in the recruiting process for Moran, but Michigan holds an early lead for the speedster.  Kentucky could make big moves this weekend by giving Moran his first SEC offer.

Brandon Wilson
Defensive End/ Linebacker
Winter Garden, FL
6’4, 240 lbs.

A prototypical Florida athlete, Mark Stoops loves defensive ends with Wilson’s skill set.  With the ability to stand up as a linebacker or pass rush, Wilson could easily fit into the role currently held by Bud Dupree and Jason Hatcher.  Wilson received his UK offer last weekend, with the Crystal Ball giving the Cats (50%) a slight edge over North Carolina (42%) and UCF (8%).

George Brown Jr. 
Offensive Tackle
Cincinnati, OH
6’6, 253 lbs.

The Cats have been bulking up in the Class of 2015 with five offensive linemen already committed to Kentucky.  Stoops is hoping Brown will be the final piece of the puzzle.  This weekend is the last opportunity for coaches to make a push for Brown, who will decide between LSU, Georgia, Alabama and Florida next week on July 25.

Marcus Walker
Lake Wales, Fl.
6′, 175 lb.

3-star safety Marcus Walker has had mixed feelings about UK.  He committed back in January, before re-opening his recruitment in April.  He’s receiving plenty of interest from Arkansas, Tennessee, and Mississippi State, but the experts believe he’ll still end up as a Cat.  Like Denzil Ware last year, this weekend could prove to be the knockout punch for a Yahtzee!

Ryan Davis
Wide Reciever
Saint Petersburg, Fl.
5’10, 165 lb.

A quarterback in high school, Ryan Davis is one of Florida’s best athletes as a 4-star slot receiver prospect.  Florida and Florida State have emerged as Davis’ leads, but Chad Scott has given Kentucky a fighter’s chance.

Kei Beckham
Dayton, Oh.
6′, 155 lb.

Kentucky holds a 100% chance of landing the 3-star cornerback, according to the 247 Crystal Ball.  This weekend will provide the chance for Kentucky to separate themselves from Big 10 counterparts, Michigan State and IU.  When it’s up to Vince Marrow vs. the Big 10, I’ll take my chances on Vince Marrow.

Bringing em in by the busload 

Just a few of the prospects from Good Counsel High School (Washington DC). (@GCFootball)

Just a few of the prospects from Good Counsel High School (Washington DC). (@GCFootball)

The commitments of Jabari Greenwood and Darius Fullwood opened a pipeline for Kentucky to recruit in the Washington D.C. area.  The immediate benefit will be seen this weekend with a group of talented prospects from Good Counsel High School (Fullwood and Kobie Walker’s school) in attendance.

Another large group is from an area you might not expect.  Justin Rowland is reporting that a large group of prospects from Gulliver Prep in Miami, Fl. will also be in attendance this weekend.  Miami has never really been a UK territory, but Stoops is taking the first step by getting as many kids on campus as possible.  The most talented kids don’t have Kentucky high on their list, but their presence alone speaks volumes.



Article written by Nick Roush

"Look upon the doughnut, and not upon the hole." @RoushKSR

4 Comments for A Preview of Stoops’ Summer Recruiting Season Finale

  1. scottydee
    3:39 pm July 18, 2014 Permalink

    Nick Roush, you are the best. Absolutely love your posts!! Keep up the good work. Thanks

  2. John W
    3:47 pm July 18, 2014 Permalink

    Any chance Cal could swing Lebron into doing a little recruiting on Damien Harris? Time to start expanding that celeb power into football recruiting too.

  3. Brian
    5:39 pm July 18, 2014 Permalink

    What would be really cool is if . . . every time you rolled a Yahtzee you got to throw a knockout punch at your opponent. Love the Stoops! Bringin’ in some big time talent. I feel the winds of change blowing! I bleed blue regardless!

  4. football school
    11:59 pm July 18, 2014 Permalink

    Nice post. UK should’ve been doing this sort of thing for years! Good to see a staff that knows how it’s done. Now let’s get some more great players in here and go win some football games! Go Cats