Official visits are far less stressful when you’re already committed to the school you’re taking a trip to. For Kentucky Football commit Josh Kattus, his visit to Lexington–the first official he’s ever taken–was about as care-free as it could have been.
It was a business trip for him, first and foremost, but he was able to enjoy every aspect, no matter how big or small, because of his status as a locked-up, future Wildcat. Kattus came to Lexington this past weekend after not being able to go on a college campus in over a year and a half. The 6-foot-4, 245-pound three-star tight end prospect only had to drive about 90 minutes from his current home up Cincinnati, OH, to get to UK, and he spoke with KSR on Tuesday to break down how the entire visit went.
One thing is for sure after the weekend-long excursion: Kattus is in love with his future home.
“It was amazing. I loved it,” Kattus told KSR about his visit to Kentucky. “You really start to get in the program and meet all the coaches and start to feel that family vibe. I love it. My parents made me drive, so I had to get that drive down. Getting there was just sweet, it was a great experience.”
Kattus committed to Kentucky back on April 20 live on the Kentucky Sports Radio show, picking the ‘Cats over Cincinnati, Northwestern, Pittsburgh, Illinois, and Michigan. He became the ninth commit for UK from the class of 2022 and holds multiple ties to current players already on the team.
One of his former high school teammates at Moeller High School up in Cincinnati, junior tight end Brenden Bates, has quickly become one of his good friends and the two are looking forward to playing alongside each other in the near future. Kattus also played at Moeller with Kentucky’s sophomore defensive back Carrington Valentine. Taking things a step further, Kattus’ younger brother, Tucker, is a class of 2025 prospect who received his first official scholarship offer a couple of days ago, which came from Kentucky after he performed well during a showcase camp.
Bates and graduate assistant C.J. Conrad were the two main “hosts” for Kattus and were the ones who showed him around the campus and the surrounding facilities. Kattus said spending that time with Bates made them even closer.
“Me and him are close, too,” Kattus said about his relationship with Bates. “We’ve gotten to grow a really good friendship and we got a lot closer after that. He’s a funny, great kid, great guy. It was great getting to learn from him, talk to him, and get close with him. Hopefully when I’m a freshman he’ll be a senior and he’ll be able to take me under his wing.”
— Josh Kattus (@JKattus) May 1, 2021
Kattus got to sit down and chat in person, for the first time, with the likes of head coach Mark Stoops, associate head coach Vince Marrow, new offensive coordinator Liam Coen, and also director of player development Courtney Love. He was able to pick their brains, talking football and anything else that came to mind. If anything, Kattus was a bit star-struck by finally getting to meet his future head coach.
“It was just an honor to be able to sit there with him,” Kattus said about Coach Stoops. “Stoops is a very well-known college name, it’s just an honor to be able to sit there and talk with him.”
The same thing could be said for Coen.
“At dinner, I was sitting right next to him,” Kattus said about Coen. “He’s an amazing guy and he’s a really great football mind. You get to hear all his stories when he was with the Rams and he got to interview all the quarterbacks during the combine. It was cool hearing all of that stuff, he’s a great guy and my parents love him, too.”
In fact, he was starstruck by the entire Kentucky experience and the atmosphere of the campus.
“It was good being there in person,” Kattus said. “You went through the facility, you swept every inch of the facility. The facilities are insane, you really get that SEC feel. You don’t really realize it until you get on campus. I was just blown away.”
— Josh Kattus (@JKattus) June 12, 2021
But arguably Kattus’ favorite part of the visit was getting to sit down with his position coach, where they broke down film one-on-one, comparing the similarities in his game to how Kentucky plans on playing offense moving forward.
“On Saturday we got to do a position meeting where they make cut-ups of your film and cut-ups of the spring practice and show the similarities that you do in your offense and UK’s new offense and my new offense,” Kattus added. “There’s a lot of similarities that I got to see which is a good thing. They show a play of their film and then show a play of my film and it was kinda the same thing. I got to relate to it.”
Kattus doesn’t want to wait much longer to get on campus full-time, either. He told KSR that is he already considering enrolling at Kentucky a semester early in the winter so he can get a head start. He added that others in his class are considering doing the same thing.
“We were having a few conversations this week about maybe graduating early,” Kattus said. “So we’ll see what happens there. I think that’s what most people are doing in my class because I’ve talked with the guys and I think that most people are going to enroll early so I just wanna be down there, be able to get developed by that great strength staff and be able to listen to the offense.”
But even before he can do that, Kattus intends on making the short drive down to Lexington rather frequently. He already has two games in mind that he plans on attending this football season: Missouri and Florida.
“I can’t wait to go back. Alex (Afari, another class of 2022 UK commit) goes down there a lot so I’m gonna try to go down there a few times with him,” Kattus explained. “He’s on his official next weekend. But I’m going to a few games, I think we already know which games we want to go to. I’m looking forward to it.”
This is the only official visit that Kattus plans on taking this summer, as well. He’s all-in on being a Wildcat and it shines through in his tone of voice.
“I just love the atmosphere,” Kattus added. “Most students are back at home but you still got a great atmosphere there. All the coaches, you can tell they care. They’re not really BS’ing you. They’re not kissing up, they’re just being real I feel like. I got to know most of the defensive staff and also Brenden made it fun because he’s a good guy and a good mentor for me. I just loved everything about it.”