All of the talk has been about Kentucky basketball’s massive victory over Kansas this weekend, but the UK football team also put themselves in position to secure some pretty significant victories, as well.
With campus buzzing, Mark Stoops and the Kentucky football program hosted some of the best high school talent in the nation for Junior Day. And by the looks of things, things went extremely well and Kentucky has some solid momentum with numerous elite prospects.
The recruits in attendance were able to tour all of the UK facilities (including Kroger Field), try on all of Kentucky’s uniform combinations, and cap things off with a trip to Rupp Arena to see the Cats take on the Jayhawks in easily the rowdiest game of the basketball season.
We’ll dive into the specifics and uniform pictures in a second, but one of the biggest takeaways came during that Kentucky-Kansas game and the players in attendance to see it.
While getting some warmup footage on the floor beforehand, I noticed the UK football coaches find their way into the venue with the recruits lined up behind. Upwards of 60 prospects piled in and were guided to their seats, with plenty of those individuals being big-name four and five-star talent. I knew the projected visitor list was impressive, but just on quick glance it was apparent UK hit some home runs.
Noticeably absent from the group, however? Kentucky four-star wide receiver target Devonta Lee.
Late last week, Rivals’ Sam Spiegelman reported Lee was set to visit this weekend with Kentucky quarterback signee Amani Gilmore, but things got a bit unclear late Friday following his high school basketball game. After the visit was set and ready to go, there are rumors that LSU came in for an in-home visit in an attempt to dissuade him from making the trip to Lexington.
However the timeline unfolded, the 740-mile, 11-hour trip from Amite, LA to Lexington couldn’t come to fruition for the elite wideout. Gilmore did end up making it to campus for the visit, but his star receiver teammate did not.
Beyond the not-so-great news with Lee, everything else was excellent for the Wildcats and their position with some of the best recruits in the nation.
Let’s take a look at some of the big-name visitors:
The biggest (literally) on campus was 2020 five-star top-15 prospect Justin Rogers, who tweeted “Kentucky was the first to offer” with a picture of him sporting the blue and white this morning.
He was there with his teammate Enzo Jennings, a four-star cornerback and top-100 prospect in the class of 2020.
Kentucky was the first to offer ? pic.twitter.com/fZMa0S6mco
— Justin Rogers (@AllAmerican52JR) January 27, 2019
For those keeping track at home, each of those players have raked in a total of 53 scholarship offers from every major school in the nation, and they found their way to Lexington, KY for an unofficial visit in January. That in itself is impressive.
Beyond Rogers and Jennings, the elite talent continues, with several of those individuals being in the class of 2019.
Jay Ward, a four-star cornerback out of Moultrie, GA, is another prospect the Wildcats are trying to add before Signing Day in a little over a week.
He said afterward that he had a good time in Lexington, posting a few pictures in Kentucky’s anthracite uniforms.
— JAY WARD ? (@JWARD_4) January 27, 2019
Aliquippa, PA product MJ Devonshire, yet another four-star defensive back, was in town on an official visit UK this weekend.
The 5-foot-11, top-30 cornerback’s mother posted an image of a cake they received from the school during their time in Lexington.
— Terrie Tipper-Devonshire (@CCoterrie) January 25, 2019
He also got to hang out with Kentucky basketball head coach John Calipari:
— Savage 2.0 (@Mjdevonshirejr) January 27, 2019
In a bit of a surprise, Kentucky also hosted 2019 four-star kicker/punter Billy McConnell.
— Billy McConnell (@B__mac20) January 27, 2019
When it comes to the class of 2020, Kentucky is hosting some of the most talented players in America.
As Nick Roush told you last week, Curtis Jacobs (four-star wide receiver) and Blake Corum (four-star, top-20 running back) made the trip down from Maryland. Cesar Reyes, a four-star, top-200 offensive tackle prospect out of Tampa, also made it to Lexington.
— TheGreat6? (@300_Sh0wtime) January 26, 2019
East St Louis teammates four-star safety Antonio Johnson and three-star athlete Lawaun Powell also seemed to have a great time sporting the Kentucky blue and white:
— Antonio (AJ) Johnson?? (@Antonio_johns0n) January 27, 2019
Three-star defensive tackle Armon Wallace out of St. Louis, MO did his best PJ Washington impression, flexing his muscles in the No. 55 jersey:
— Armon Wallace (@Armon_Wallace) January 27, 2019
Elsewhere, Ft. Lauderdale three-star offensive tackle Gerald Mincey also enjoyed his time in Lexington:
— GM? (@GeraldMincey) January 26, 2019
Four-star safety Quitman Kincaid out of Clarksville, TN said he appreciated the Kentucky coaching staff for having him:
— quitman_1 (@quitman15) January 27, 2019
Three-star slot wide receiver Xavier Restrepo out of St. Thomas Aquinas (FL) showed off the chrome dome with the white UK logo.
He has been seen as a Kentucky lean as of late:
— Xavier Restrepo (@XavierRestrepo1) January 26, 2019
Restrepo’s teammate, 2020 five-star wide receiver Marcus Rosemy, was also in attendance:
Team Go Get It, 7v7 (Varsity) “GoGetter” 2020 St. Thomas Aquinas (WR) Marcus Rosemy visits the University of Kentucky Wildcats #secfootball #gogetter #motivation
????Let’s Go Get It……!!!!!!!! pic.twitter.com/rPldHnDOno
— TEAMGOGETIT7v7 (@TEAMGOGETIT7v7) January 26, 2019
Stoops also made sure to bring in local talent.
Three-star defensive tackle prospect and Radcliff, KY native, Octavious Oxendine was in attendance. The North Hardin star also wins the award for coolest name in the history of college football recruiting.
Three-star running back Landen Bartleson, a Boyle County product, made it to Lexington, as well.
Izayah Cummings, a three-star wide receiver and Louisville Male product in the class of 2020, also made the trip:
— IC8? (@IzayahCummings) January 27, 2019
Lanell Carr, a three-star linebacker out of Saint Louis, said he “can’t wait to come back” to Lexington:
— Ñè??? (@Lanellcarr3) January 27, 2019
Three-star Dublin, GA linebacker Romello Height received an offer during his “great” Kentucky visit:
Having a great time at KENTUCKY on Junior day, With that being said I am blessed to receive a offer from The University Of Kentucky?????#GoWildcats? #BBN??@dcsirish @BVEvery @RecruitGeorgia @CoachDSanders @DublinIrishFB @Rivalsfbcamps @CoachWhiteFB pic.twitter.com/lGCS6RTG3P
— Romello Height (@height_romello) January 26, 2019
Dallas Walker, a three-star defensive end out of Smyrna, TN, was excited for his visit:
— Dallas Walker IV (@DallasWalkerIV) January 26, 2019
Ellenwood, GA product Alvin Williams, a three-star 6-foot-3 defensive end, “had a great time” in Lexington:
— Alvin Williams?? (@15Awill) January 26, 2019
Three-star safety Majon Wright, yet another Cardinal Gibbons (Ft. Lauderdale) standout:
— 2??™? (@WrightMajon) January 26, 2019
Offensive guard Ta’Chawn Brooks and defensive back Tyrik McDaniel out of South Carolina were in attendance, as were Tennessee natives Blake Hundley, Jason Eaton, and Derrell Bailey Jr.
Columbus wide receiver Bryan Davis was too:
— Bryan Davis (@Shineonedayyy) January 26, 2019
Indiana running back prospect Marion Lukes:
— marion lukes (@kid_lukes9) January 26, 2019
And just a few of the (many) 2021 prospects in attendance:
— Travion Ford ® ?#6 (@Tre_Got_Skills) January 26, 2019
— Broderick Wisecarver (@bwise9869) January 26, 2019
Lexington, Kentucky… I’m here baby ?????? @BuffanoUK
— Justin Wodtly (@JustinWodtly) January 26, 2019
Kentucky today ???
— Zavier Carter ? 17 (@ZavierCarter) January 26, 2019
Well done, Coach Stoops and company.