A Raw Talent
Born in Nigeria, Abadi-Fitzgerald came to the country in middle school. He stuck to basketball and excelled, surpassing 1,000-points for Victory Christian Prep in Lakeland, Fl. this December. Last year was his first football season. Blessed with excellent size (6’7″ 250) and agile feet, if given the proper technique he has the potential to become an excellent defensive lineman.
An Outstanding D-Line
Mark Stoops is known as a developer of defensive backs, but in his final years at FSU his best players were edge rushers. He’s seen marginal production through development, but Denzil Ware is the only notable name in the recruiting front. That changed this year.
Stoops has five excellent edge rushers on the defensive line. Josh Paschal can play right away; Jordan Wright and Alex King will compete for a starting spot after a redshirt season; Christopher Whittaker and Abule Abadi-Fitzgerald are considered projects, but they would not be considered that under previous administrations.
There’s no doubt this is Stoops’ best defensive line. The only other position group in a single recruiting class that is comparable is the 2015 defensive backs (Baity, Westry).
Growing the Florida Pipeline
Mark Stoops and Vince Marrow have made their money on the recruiting trails in Ohio. The pipeline has flourished, but it can’t run forever. Stoops needed to diversify to other territories. Eddie Gran and Darin Hinshaw are getting it done in Florida. Ohio boasts the two highest-ranked recruits (Bowden, Richardson) but if you prefer quantity over quality, you prefer Gran/Hinshaw over Marrow/Clinkscale. There are eight committed prospects from the state of Florida, six from Ohio.
That isn’t the craziest part about Abadi-Fitzgerald’s announcement. After officially visiting Lexington on Saturday, he traveled to Gainesville on Sunday for an official visit to the University of Florida.
That is correct. A 6’7″ 250-pound defensive lineman from the state of Florida, took back-to-back visits to UK and Florida and still turned down the Gators. This is not an alternate universe, this is Kentucky football recruiting under Mark Stoops.
The latest trend in major college football recruiting is “find out who Kentucky just offered.” Abadi-Fitzgerald only had offers from FIU, FAU and other Florida-acronym schools when Kentucky quietly extended a scholarship offer last week. Shortly after, Florida extended an offer, then Miami and Florida State called. Stoops’ staff certainly knows how to evaluate talent.
Late Additions Work Well
Stoops has a knack for finding productive talent just before National Signing Day. Chris Westry might be his best, might. Tavin Richardson is just getting started, T.J. Carter proved in the bowl game he’s a future star on the D-Line, Courtney Miggins was a team captain, Pringle was the most improved player on the defense and Josh Allen is on his way to a career in the NFL. Abule Abadi-Fitzgerald could be the next great, late addition.
One day until National Signing Day, here’s what the 2017 class looks like…
Kentucky Football Class of 2017
|Javonte Richardson||WR||Maple Heights, Oh.||6-4||210||4-star|
|Tyrell Ajian||ATH/DB||Mansfield, Oh.||6-1||185||4-star|
|Lynn Bowden||ATH||Youngstown, Oh.||6-1||185||4-star|
|Joshua Paschal||SDE||Olney, Md.||6-4||255||4-star|
|Yusuf Corker||CB||Stockbridge, GA||6-0||185||4-star|
|Danny Clark||QB||Stow, Oh.||6-4||225||3-star|
|Alex King||DE||Mason, Oh.||6-4||235||3-star|
|Phil Hoskins||DT (JUCO)||Toledo, Oh.||6-5||275||3-star|
|Bryant Koback||RB||Holland, Oh.||5-11||191||3-star|
|Joshua Ali||WR||Hollywood, Fl.||6-0||180||3-star|
|Clevan Thomas||WR||Hollywood, Fl.||5-11||190||3-star|
|Michael Nesbitt||CB||Ft. Lauderdale, Fl.||6-0||185||3-star|
|Jamin Davis||OLB||Lincolnton, Ga.||6-3||205||3-star|
|Walker Wood||QB||Lexington, Ky.||6-1||187||3-star|
|Quinton Bohanna||DT||Cordova, Tn.||6-3||275||3-star|
|Nassir Watkins||OT||Olney, Md.||6-6||300||3-star|
|Christopher Whittaker||DE||Hollywood, Fl.||6-4||246||3-star|
|Cedrick Dort||CB||Palm Bech Gardens, Fl.||6-1||165||3-star|
|Austin Dotson||OT||Belfry, Ky.||6-6||305||3-star|
|Sebastien Dolcine||OL||Miramar, Fl.||6-4||285||3-star|
|Lonnie Johnson||S||Gary, In.||6-3||190||3-star|
|Jordan Wright||DE||Ft. Lauderdale, Fl.||6-5||225||3-star|
|Abule Abadi-Fitzgerald||DE||Lakeland, Fl.||6-7||250||3-star|
|Isaiah Epps||WR||Jenks, Ok.||6-3||185||3-star|