Joel Justus is doing what he couldn’t at Kentucky: offer young, in-state players. Except this time, they aren’t in his state anymore.
A former Kentucky Basketball assistant coach now on the Arizona State staff as the lead assistant, Justus has been busy on this Tuesday in June. Starting at midnight, college coaches were allowed to make direct contact with rising high school juniors for the first time and the phones have been ringing off the hook. Class of 2023 players from across the country are being blown up by schools that have been hawking them closely the last year plus. The Kentucky coaching staff has already gotten off to a hot start, connecting with all kinds of four- and five-star recruits.
Justus, on the other hand, has taken a bit of a different approach, by hitting up the area that he is plenty familiar with. After spending five seasons on the Wildcat staff, he knows who the top in-state talents are and he wasted no time extending them offers to come to Arizona State.
Nationally ranked targets Reed Sheppard and Kaleb Glenn along with the unranked John McCrear have all received scholarship offers from the Arizona State Sun Devils and staff since midnight.
Blessed to have received an offer from Arizona State University! pic.twitter.com/JhPGZYUCcO
— reed sheppard (@reed_sheppard) June 15, 2021
— ????? ??????? (@ka1ebglenn) June 15, 2021
— John McCrear?? (@MccrearJohn) June 15, 2021
Sheppard and Glenn are two of the premier prospects in the Bluegrass State right now, regardless of age. Sheppard is ranked as the 65th best overall player in the country (three-star status) while Glenn comes in at No. 44 (four-star), according to 247 Sports. McCrear is the nephew of Kentucky Football associate head coach Vince Marrow and currently plays for Lexington Catholic High School. He took an unofficial visit to Kentucky just a few days ago and should receive plenty of Power 5 interest going forward.
Recruiting this in-state trio is fair game for Justus and ASU, there’s no doubt about that. But there is something a tad ironic about him offering these players after he left Kentucky. Who knows if it ultimately works out in his favor, but you can’t blame Justus for using his past relationships with these kids to try and poach them away from the state of Kentucky.