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What Jarren Williams’ Recommitment Means to UK Football



Beating the Big Dogs, Twice

Every time a highly rated prospect commits to Kentucky, we are awed by who the Cats beat.  This time it’s exponentially more impressive.  Kentucky took on all comers, to the point of decommitment, yet created a strong enough bond that could not be broken by Alabama, Florida, LSU and even his home state school of Georgia.  Fans may have sighed at the sight of every additional offer, while the coaching staff never flinched.

The last Mark Stoops elite recruit to decommit and recommit was Denzil Ware, a defensive star who will play in the NFL.

Being the First to Find Williams Helped

Kentucky’s ability to find talent before they blow up has transformed into a recruiting trend.  Not long after UK extends an offer, other major programs quickly follow.  Few schools were gauging any interest in Williams when Kentucky entered the picture.  It wasn’t the deciding factor, but it definitely helped.

“It’s not a big factor, but it does hold some weight,” Williams said.  “Kentucky they took me in when I didn’t have any offers and they treated me like family.  They really showed me I was a priority early.  That does matter to me.”

Williams created a bond with the school and the coaches early, a bond that was too strong to be broken by others.

“My heart’s always been with Kentucky,” Williams said.  “When I go up there I just feel like I belong.  There’s no other feeling like it.”

A Position of Need

Kentucky currently has six scholarship quarterbacks — Stephen Johnson, Drew Barker, Gunnar Hoak, Luke Wright, Danny Clark and Walker Wood — but they will not be here for long.  Johnson and Wright will graduate after this year and the status of Barker’s back is unknown.  Even though they picked up two quarterbacks in last year’s class, finding a piece to build around was a priority for Mark Stoops.

“I think quarterback is what everybody wants to discuss all the time,” Mark Stoops told the Herald-Leader last week. “And let’s face it, you need to have a good one and you need to have some depth there. That’s a position that’s very unique because, generally speaking, they need to pick a program and you need to pick your guy because you get that marriage very early because it’s such an important position

…It’s critically important. It’s very hard to have a great team without a great quarterback.”

A Quarterback for the Future

Williams fills a necessary void in the recruiting class with skills that are rarely seen in a Kentucky uniform.  We’ve seen a few scramblers, but not with this passing caliber.  His mechanics are exceptional.  There’s little wasted movement in his powerful throw.  It’s difficult to determine a passer’s poise and decision-making from a highlight reel, but Williams always looks confident with the ball in his hands.

Above all else, Williams is a program-changing player.  When Charlie Strong signed Teddy Bridgewater, Louisville went from being an above average team, to a team that beat up Florida in the Sugar Bowl.  Conversely, Will Muschamp never had a program-changing quarterback at Florida.  They were good, but could never get over the hump because of the quarterback position.

Mark Stoops has the Cats “knocking down doors.”  He now has a quarterback to take Kentucky to new heights.

Article written by Nick Roush

"Look upon the doughnut, and not upon the hole." @RoushKSR

13 Comments for What Jarren Williams’ Recommitment Means to UK Football

  1. Rixter
    11:14 am May 15, 2017 Permalink

    The next coming of Drew Barker?

    • BBNDan7
      12:10 pm May 15, 2017 Permalink

      Let’s hope to god not. Or Morgan newton

  2. krautdog
    11:36 am May 15, 2017 Permalink

    I sure hope Hoak doesn’t get overlooked!

  3. BluKudzu
    11:56 am May 15, 2017 Permalink

    I am absolutely confident we will have a scoring machine for the offense. I am extremely pleased we have this young man coming in, and will enjoy watching him progress. I am hopeful he will wear a redshirt, his freshman year.
    Drew Barker, from the very beggining, was worrisome for me. I thought he lacked the responsibility of leadership from day one. Thankfully, the new OC, saw that he needed much more to get Drew’s attention, and proceeded to find an immediate replacement. I have no doubt, the best QB will be under center when the season starts. Thankfully, the talent level at that position is good enough to provide immediate and viable options.
    My concern has never been about the offense. It has always been about the defense. If our defense improves, we will be a top 25 team. If not, we better be able to score 40+ points per game, just to have a chance.
    With this Offense that is being built, we have a chance.
    Excellent news.

  4. DelrayCat
    11:58 am May 15, 2017 Permalink

    We are in VERY good hands with Hoak, Clark, Wood, and Williams. However, I’m wondering if a transfer may be on the horizon for one of the KY boys (Barker or maybe Wood) to a smaller school.

  5. easy
    12:45 pm May 15, 2017 Permalink

    I’m happy the kid committed and his other offer list is impressive, but aren’t we blowing this up a little much? The kids a 3 star on rivals, scout, and 247

    • WillySpankit
      1:54 pm May 15, 2017 Permalink

      Maybe you’re blowing up the importance of star ratings by recruiting sites. It’s generally better to look at a player’s offer sheet over star ratings.

  6. chrisg18
    12:57 pm May 15, 2017 Permalink

    So let’s forecast this a little bit….

    2017 – Johnson (Senior)
    2018 – Barker (Senior)
    2019 – Hoak (RS Junior)
    2020 – Hoak (RS Senior)
    2021 – Clark (RS Senior) or Williams (RS Junior)
    2022 – Williams (RS Senior)

    I am guessing that Wood moves to a different position. Long term we are set up very nicely at the QB position, even with a transfer. Hopefully the days of playing a freshman (redshirt or not) at the QB position are over.

    • chrisg18
      1:01 pm May 15, 2017 Permalink

      Edit: Barker should be a RS Senior in 2018.

  7. inside info2
    2:15 pm May 15, 2017 Permalink

    Every year we get a commitment from the next great UK QB and every years since Andre Woodson we have been disappointed. There is no reason to think any different about this guy.

    That being said, it was a good re-get by the staff. And his offer sheet looks impressive. Here’s to hoping he’s as good as all these schools think he is.

  8. Oldone
    3:43 pm May 15, 2017 Permalink

    ‘Program changing’ and rated 4 stars? Even Tim Couch as the number 1 recruit wasn’t program changing. Try to keep it between the lines Roush.

    • ClutchCargo
      4:03 pm May 15, 2017 Permalink

      Tim Couch wasn’t a program changing player?? Ok.

  9. Luether
    9:30 pm May 15, 2017 Permalink

    It’s laughable and ignorant to compare Williams, a Rivals 3 star player, to Teddy Bridgewater…