Before an NFL Wildcard doubleheader begins on NBC, the best high school football stars in America will showcase their skills at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl. Normally Kentucky fans could care less about high school bowl games during basketball season, but Mark Stoops is just too damn good at recruiting. Here are a few things you need to know before the game begins on the Alamadome turf.
Drew Barker is playing in his final football game before making a permanent move to his college home of Lexington. Barker will be wearing his #7 for the West squad, wearing the brightest yellow jersey you’ve ever seen. One of three QBs for the West squad, you can expect to see the future of Kentucky football operate on multiple drives.
Unfortunately the biggest headline from this game has been taken away. Matt Elam‘s plan for months had been to choose between Alabama and Kentucky during the game, only to push that decision back this morning until the February 5th National Signing Day. Elam’s recruitment has been so crazy that at this point, I wouldn’t be surprised if he repelled from the roof of the Alamodome wearing a t-shirt of his college choice. Don’t panic though #BBN, Jason Hatcher was committed to USC at this time last year before sacking 2 QBs for the Cats last Fall. The Elizabethtown defensive tackle will be wearing #69 for the East squad.
Outside of the state of Kentucky, there are a few other guys that could eventually make their way to Lexington. “The Glenville Trio” is composed of Marcelys Jones, Erick Smith, and Marshon Lattimore. Coached by Ted Ginn Sr., pretty much every all-star that comes from this school goes to Ohio State.
Jones (#50 for the East) has actually been expected to enroll at OSU as early as next week, but rumors have been flying that the highly-ranked offensive guard could flip to UK. He has a long relationship with the staff and he has roomed with Matt Elam for the duration of the bowl game. Smith (#22 East) and Lattimore (#2 East) are bigger longshots for the Cats, but Barker’s ‘can’t stop, won’t stop’ mentality has created uncertainty in the ‘Trio’.
The last guy to keep an eye on is defensive lineman Travonte Valentine (#98 East). The #56 overall prospect by 247 announced this week on Twitter that he will be visiting Kentucky, “Switching my official visit out Alabama<Kentucky.” Valentine has committed to Miami but with rumors that Al Golden is heading to PSU, the Cats still have a dog left in the fight.
Watch all of the action Live from the Astrodome on NBC starting at 1:00 PM.