Four Kentucky football commitments in three days? Not too shabby. Adding a monster from Alabama and three playmaking wide receivers? Excellent.
For the third time in the recruiting calendar year, this weekend campus was filled with blue chip recruits on official visits. Just like the first, most left campus ready to commit. This time it didn’t take quite as long.
The action started Saturday morning when Joshua Jones picked up the dice and committed to UK over LSU. Most high school offensive guards aren’t 6’5″ 300-pounds, but that’s how they grow them down in Alabama.
A few hours later, Jones handed the dice to Jordan Watkins. The fastest player in the state and one of the top competitors at UK’s football camp earlier this summer, the Louisville Butler wide receiver announced his commitment while officially visiting UK’s campus. He’ll follow his former Butler teammate TaeTae Crumes to Lexington. (For those counting at home, the fastest receivers from Louisville have committed to UK in consecutive seasons.)
Before the party ended in Lexington, Earnest Sanders decided it was time to commit to the Cats. A lengthy outside wide receiver, Sanders is the second player from the state of Michigan to join UK’s 2020 recruit class and the fourth in two years. The least heralded player from the Michigan pipeline by the recruiting sites, he had offers from almost every Big 10 school. Mike Leach, Jeff Brohm and Neal Brown all wanted Sanders in their offenses, yet he decided Kentucky was the best place to cultivate his talent.
Just when you thought the Cats had too many receivers, the third outside target officially visiting over the weekend announced he would play college football in the Commonwealth of Kentucky. The addition of Male’s Izayah Cummings gives UK the top three players from Jefferson County in the 2020 class. A 6A state champion in 2018, the perennial powerhouse program that fueled UofL’s success in the late 90s and 00s is now sending its best to Lexington.
From an X’s and O’s standpoint, the coaching staff brought a diverse group of talented wide receivers into the fold. Watkins will take the top off defenses, Cummings will haul in jump balls and Sanders will do everything in-between. Inside the trenches, they fortified the middle of the Big Blue Wall by adding a behemoth that has proved he’s capable enough to move down the line of scrimmage and into the second level of the defense to create holes.
All four look great on paper. They have the tools to become steady contributors in the SEC. Will they all follow the right blueprint to reach that goal? Time will tell. That’s not what’s most important right now.
A week after Scott Satterfield’s new Louisville staff brought out every recruiting trick in their arsenal, Mark Stoops and Vince Marrow responded with nukes.
Scott’s Tots used the Stoops method to achieve early recruiting success. UofL sold recruits on a mission to “change the program.” After picking up a few reputable players, they took whoever they could get to create recruiting momentum. In two weeks 13 players committed to UofL. The shear volume catapulted the Cards to a top 20 recruiting class (only 19 spots below UK’s peak in 2014 at No.1).
While Louisville scoured the hills of North Carolina and the JUCO ranks, Vince Marrow convinced two elite athletes who live minutes away from campus and grew up cheering for the Cards to become Kentucky Wildcats. Not only did the Cats mark their territory in the city of Louisville, prospects from talent-rich Alabama and Michigan moved UK into the Top 25 in the nation with only 11 committed players.
In one weekend Kentucky loaded up on talented wide receivers and proved the narrative on the ground in the city of Louisville has changed. Checkmate.