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Jeff Ruby’s Steakhouse Football Recruiting Notes: The Calm Before Early Signing Day

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In less 48 hours Kentucky’s 2020 football recruiting class will almost be complete.

Entering the homestretch the Wildcats have 16 commitments, half of which are four-star recruits or better in at least one recruiting service. UK’s final eight targets all match that criteria, setting up a sensational finale for an historic class.

Three Targets to Announce Tuesday

Following Vito Tisdale and Jeremy Flax’s official visits to Kentucky over the weekend, the latter revealed he will announce his decision Tuesday evening, giving UK a trio of announcements in one day.

  • 2:45 p.m. ET: Four-Star No. 12 OG R.J. Adams
  • 6:00 p.m. ET: Four-Star JUCO OL Jeremy Flax
  • TBA: Four-Star Louisiana DB Joel Williams

Flax appeared to enjoy his trip to Lexington.

You’ll have to wait until Wednesday to hear from Tyler Baron, Josaih Hayes or Octavious Oxendine, who will host a commitment ceremony at North Hardin High School at 3:45 p.m. ET. We could potentially hear from Tisdale and Michael Drennen on Dec . 18. More on that later.

And Then There Were Two

For most of the remaining targets, it’s coming down to Kentucky and one other school.

The winds have shifted for the two remaining offensive linemen on UK’s board. Adams is choosing between UK and N.C. State, while Flax has his sights set on either UK or Auburn. Last week it appeared that Adams was a UK-lean and Flax favored Auburn. Late visits have flipped the script. Now it appears that Adams will ultimately join the Wolf Pack before Flax rolls the dice with UK.

If you need more reason to think Flax is leaning toward Lexington, in his announcement Tweet he emphasized that it will take place at 6 p.m. eastern time. UK is his only finalist that calls eastern time home. That’s how you connect the recruiting dots, folks.

The 50-50 shots on the defensive side of the line of scrimmage are much more difficult to read.

Not much has come from Josaih Hayes’ camp since he officially visited Ole Miss over the weekend. I have a feeling it’s going to be awfully hard to convince the Mississippi native to hop off the Lane Train when the Rebels got his last visit. Tennessee is a finalist for Kentucky’s Ox, but I’m confident the in-state star will become a Wildcat. Tyler Baron, well, who knows how that one is going to end. Kentucky and Tennessee will fight to the finish line. If UK can convince him to leave Knoxville, it would be a HUGE win. As for the final toss up…

Will Drennen Sign Wednesday?

The four-star offensive playmaker from Dublin, Oh. is down to Kentucky and USC. For the longest time it looked like Drennen was locked into Lexington, but Los Angeles has been calling since he officially visited USC two weeks ago.

Kentucky has been pushing for Drennen to sign in December. That was the plan last week. After letting it simmer over the weekend, some recruiting analysts believe Drennen will wait until February. If that happens, it’s good news for the Trojans, bad news for the BBN.

Despite the late drama in Drennen’s recruitment, I still ultimately believe he’ll join the 2020 class on Wednesday along with Williams, Flax and Ox before Tisdale picks UK at the All-American Bowl in January.

No Guarantees on the Recruiting Trail

Mark Stoops does not promise playing time to recruits. When UK’s head coach met with the media Friday afternoon, he shared some choice words for opposing schools that lie to prospects in the recruiting process.

“We guarantee them and promise them an opportunity,” he said. “Some people that we recruit against guarantee that they’ll come in and start. I think that’s disrespectful. I think that’s disrespectful to the players you have on your team that are busting their tail, working hard, and that’s a lie. They have an opportunity and that’s up to them.”

Ronald Williams to Alabama

As Kentucky pursues one defensive back named Williams from Louisiana, over the weekend another defensive back with the same surname committed to Alabama. Kentucky received the first official visit from the JUCO cornerback, but the Crimson Tide acted quickly upon his return to Kansas. If the Cats get Joel Williams, we’ll call it a draw.

Ceebo to FAU

Only semi-related to recruiting, one former Wildcat is turning down a chance to play in the SEC to join Willie Taggart in Conference-USA. Sebastien Dolcine left Lexington in 2018 and joined the JUCO ranks with Danny Clark in Mississippi. He committed to Miss. State over the summer, but turned down that opportunity to play closer to home at FAU. Bold strategy, Cotton.

A Successful Junior Day in the Bluegrass

While hosting Flax and Tisdale for official visits, Stoops used the opportunity to invite some talented underclassmen to campus for what they call “Junior Day.” The first big event for the 2021 class, a couple of offensive linemen from Ohio left Lexington with scholarship offers and a state championship winning quarterback with a UK offer, Somerset’s Kaiya Sheron, got to experience his first game at Rupp Arena.

We have much more time to talk about underclassmen. Until then, it’s all prep for Early Signing Day. Tune into KSR around 7:30 a.m. ET Wednesday morning and download the KSR app to receive notifications every time a four-star recruit plays Yahtzee! over the next 48 hours.

Article written by Nick Roush

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

4 Comments for Jeff Ruby’s Steakhouse Football Recruiting Notes: The Calm Before Early Signing Day

  1. notFromhere
    3:41 pm December 16, 2019 Permalink

    Nervous, intense, concerned, and excited all at once for this signing day.

    All of these guys are deciding if they’ll be key parts of a surprising SEC East title run, or another cog in a wheel somewhere else. Both have their draw, but I’d rather be a difference maker that’s stamped the first, indelible mark for an up and coming program. It takes courage and heart to elevate yourself to that level.

  2. JoeBee
    4:34 pm December 16, 2019 Permalink

    Great informatioN, thank you!

  3. kyle heavy
    4:58 pm December 16, 2019 Permalink

    Do you have the Flax and Adams announcement times mixed up? I’m thinking you might..

  4. notFromhere
    8:32 pm December 16, 2019 Permalink

    Gotta say it. Was gonna let it go, but I can’t.

    I don’t see, unless they both grew up fans of the other two schools, why Hayes and Adams would choose them over UK.

    The OLine here has been incredible. The DL as well. You’re going up against top tier SEC guys in practice, great facilities, great prospectus for the future, and the coach has been here a while producing great results.

    NC State? Meh. …sure I root for them in the ACC, but they don’t have to offer what UK has to offer Adams. Just don’t see it.

    Hayes is at least looking at a home state, SEC school. I get that. But Kiffin is still …well… not to the level his dad is or was. He hasn’t done for a DLine prospect what anyone on the UK staff has done. This staff DEVELOPS PEOPLE AND PLAYERS on the DLine. Allen, Taylor, and others… Puts them in a position to EXCEL!!

    I just think he’s wasting a great opportunity if he goes to Ole Miss. Distractions of being close to home, too. I think he’d really get the most out of his career at UK. I wish the best for him regardless, but he’d be the best version of himself here in Lexington.