The biggest football recruitment this state has seen in many years will conclude tomorrow when Matt Elam decides between Alabama and Kentucky at John Hardin High School. Big Blue Nation has gone blue in the face holding its breath for the 5-star Kentucky native. Matt Jones and the KSR crew will be LIVE in the auditorium when he decides, shortly after noon.
In order to commemorate the chaos and hype around the 6’5, 380 pounder, enjoy this timeline of events during that truly depicts how long the roller coaster recruitment has been.
February 9 – Elam receives an offer from Mark Stoops’ coaching staff after attending UK Junior Day. You can find when and who gave Matt all of his offers on 247’s timeline of events.
April 13– 50,831 fans helped Kentucky put on a Spring spectacle during the Blue/White game. The Blue’s 24-23 win was meaningless compared to the atmosphere in Commonwealth Stadium. Elam was one of many recruits in attendance, with multiple players committing to the Cats not long after.
April 22– Charlie Strong took the short drive down I-65 to see Matt, only to discover Elam adorned in a UK sweatshirt. Even though Matt contends that he simply forgot Charlie was visiting, Sweatshirt-Gate helped fuel the fire in the rivalry in the Wildcats’ direction.
May 10– Drew Barker commits to Kentucky over South Carolina and the recruiting dominoes begin to fall. Drew will prove to become the centerpiece of the Class of 2014 by going out of his way to recruit his peers, with Elam always at the front of the line.
June 10– Elam attends one of Mark Stoops’ a Summer Night Camps at Commonwealth Stadium.
June 17– 247 Sports upgrades Matt to 5-Star status.
October 12– Elam takes an unofficial to Lexington to watch his two primary recruiters, UK and Alabama, face-off in person. Kentucky held Bama scoreless in the 1st quarter before falling 48-7. Elam’s attire gave no indications for preference (of course he had to rock both schools), but some people say that his Coach Chad Lewis was only Rolling Tide.
October 19– Elam takes an official visit to Notre Dame.
November 9– Matt takes an unofficial visit to Alabama for their 38-17 win over LSU.
November 20– Notre Dame attempts to one-up the Cats by sending Elam a “Pot of Gold”- 262 letters were delivered to his house in a singe day. The stroy was crazy enough to make headlines nationally in USA Today and Huffington Post.
December 9– Nick Saban takes a trip to Etown to visit Elam in his home.
December 13– Elam takes his official visit to UK. He did not go by himself; Matt was joined by a dozen committed members of the Class of 2014, including Drew Barker, as they spent quality time with coaches and players in Lexington.
December 17- Elam receives the Paul Hornung Award from the Louisville Quarterback Club as the state’s top player. Elam said during the news conference that he was “very high” on Kentucky.
December 19– Elam officially trims his list to Alabama and Kentucky, formally eliminating Notre Dame, Louisville, and Ohio State .
December 23– When talking with Matt Jones on KSR, Elam dropped the word ‘we’ when speaking about the Class of 2014 and his official visit in Lexington, “I love Kentucky, I’m from here, I love Coach Stoops, what we have with the commits up there is special, I’ve never seen that before. I’m really close with Drew [Barker] and everybody.”
December 24– Elam is selected first-team All-State by the Courier-Journal and 2nd team All-USA by USA Today. He will also go on to be named first team All-State by the AP.
January 4– After planning for months to announce his college choice at the US Army All-American Bowl, Elam instead decided to move back the announcement (or as the terrible commentators called them, “declarations”). Elam insisted shortly afterwards that the setting, complemented with some uncertainty, drove him to delay the decision. #BBN’s frustrations did not go unnoticed.
January 7– On KSR radio, Drew Barker spoke about the US Army All-American Game experience. Everything was sunshine and rainbows until the show ended with Drew giving his thoughts on Matt’s last-minute postponement, “I’m honestly not really sure anymore. I could tell you before this week it was all Kentucky, but I’m not really sure anymore.”
January 11– Alabama defensive line Coach Chris Rumph (uncle of former UK DT, Donte) left Tuscaloosa for Texas. I’m no expert, but Elam’s emoji’s indicated some degree of sadness.
January 14– Elam’s practice gear from the US Army AA game is placed an online auction website. After attempting to get $300 for the stuff, the auction was quickly taken off the internet. The perpetrator actually has a son that plays with Elam, and was given the bag of (likely VERY smelly) gear upon returning to Etown.
January 16– Neal Brown, DJ Eliot, and defensive line coach Jimmy Brumbaugh of Kentucky pay Elam an in-home visit, only to be followed by Bama’s Lance Thompson and Bo Davis.
January 17– Elam takes his official visit to Alabama, where at one point he will see Nick Saban electric slide. It cannot compare to Mark Stoops’ “Cupid Shuffle.”
January 22– Elam has an in-home visit with Neal Brown, DJ Eliot, and Jimmy Brumbaugh.
January 25– Elam takes the treacherous drive through the snow for the Kentucky/Georgia basketball game. Rupp Arena had never been so football-friendly, as the 3 NFL Cats in the Super Bowl were honored, Vince Marrow did the ‘Y’ (for Yahtzee!), and the seven early enrollees were introduced at halfcourt. This photobomb shows just a small bit of the Rupp Arena fun.
Tonight- The UK coaching staff gets their last chance to sell Kentucky to Elam with an in-home visit. Alabama gets their final turn tomorrow morning.
Tomorrow around Noon- KSR will be LIVE from the auditorium at John Hardin High School for Matt’s decision.