Category Archives: Football Recruiting News
Tonight via his Twitter account, Kobie Walker (@BeyyondBelief) has become the 7th commitment of the 2013 class for the University of Kentucky.
Walker is a 6’4 198 pound Safety out of Olney, Maryland, and is rated by Rivals.com as the #38 Safety in the class of 2014. Some think that Walker projects as a linebacker at the college level, a position of need for Kentucky considering they did not sign a linebacker in the 2013 class.
Walker chose the Cats over offers from Miami, NC State, Oklahoma State, and Wisconsin.
According to Rivals.com, Walker’s commitment moves the Cats up to #15 in the nation in the 2014 recruiting class. Walker is apparently one of the guys also that Drew Barker has been recruiting to come to UK.
Walker’s commitment is a big one, for sure. Watch him work:
Drew Barker announced today via his own Twitter account that he will be announcing his decision on May 10th, at around 3:30 pm.
Barker is the #1 prospect in the state of Kentucky, and is generally considered a top 10 nationally rated quarterback prospect, and is #6 on Rivals.com, as well as the #153 prospect nationally. Keep in mind, this is an era where quarterbacks out of high school generally are not rated as high as some position, because of how difficult it is to translate their current abilities to what they will be like when they graduate from college.
Barker will be choosing between Kentucky, South Carolina and Tennessee. There was some talk last week that Ohio State was considering offering Barker, but for some reason have changed their mind (again) and have focused their efforts elsewhere.
Both Kentucky and South Carolina have went all in on Barker. Neither school has given a commitable offer to any other quarterback prospect in the 2014 class. Neal Brown and Coach Stoops both have made countless visits up to see Drew Barker, and have had him on campus numerous times as well.
I can’t tell you how important of a recruit that Barker is to Kentucky’s efforts in this class. Many recruits are on the edge of committing, looking for another reason to come. Barker would be the tipping point for many of them, and would give UK the momentum needed to carry this recruiting class in to never before entered territory for the University of Kentucky.
If you’re wondering what all the hoopla is about, check out this video:
Dubose playing basketball. He’s trading in his high-tops for a football helmet, and he’s got fans in the Bluegrass State excited.
Tymere Dubose recently received a Rivals.com ranking, coming in as a 3* 5.5 prospect.
But what you need to know about Dubose is that by the time everything is said and done, you could be looking at a 4* 5.8+ prospect.
You see, Dubose has only been playing football for a year, instead devoting most of his time to basketball. Not unlike Za’Darius Smith. The difference is Dubose started playing football his Junior year, while Smith started only during his senior year.
Despite only one year of football, Dubose has recently received quite a bit of interest from many major colleges. In fact, Dubose has already received scholarship offers from Michigan State, Maryland, West Virginia and Arkansas. To go even further, there’s a report from Steve Jones of the Courier Journal that Ohio State went to visit Dubose with plans on offering a scholarship. They were told however that Dubose was committed to UK, and found out that his High School coach was actually the brother of Dubose’s lead recruiter, Vince Marrow.
Dubose has long arms, a great frame and moves extremely well for a kid as big as he is. Honestly, he’s the perfect build for Strong-side Defensive End. Last season for Youngstown Christian he was a man amongst boys, as could be expected of someone 6’6″ 265.
Now obviously, as a high school basketball player, there are things he’ll have to work on as he transitions to being a full-time football player. Technique, strength, and leverage are all things that natural size and ability don’t compensate for, and he’ll have to learn the trade. Still, with another year at the high school level learning his craft,and then the chance to work under DJ Eliot and Mark Stoops who put 3 defensive ends in the NFL this year, the sky is the limit for this young man.
When Denzel Ware decommitted there was a lot of worry about the defensive end position for this class, but Dubose has the size and potential to be even better than Ware down the road.
Go Big Blue!
Kentucky Football has had another good day in on the recruiting trail. It’s been an extra good day as they have received two commitments. Below is an outline of what UK got today.
First Commitment(4th Overall in 2014 Class):
Position: Tight End
Star Rating: 3* Prospect
Ranking: No. 22 Overall Tight End by Rivals.com
High School: Westerville South High School
Commitment Details: Long chose the Wildcats over Louisville, Indiana, Pittsburgh and North Carolina.
Second Commitment(5th Overall in 2014 Class):
Position: Defensive End
Star Rating: 3* Prospect
Ranking: No. 67 Overall DE by Scout.com
High School: Youngstown Christian School
Commitment Details: Long chose the Wildcats over Michigan State, West Virginia, Arkansas, and Maryland.
Link: Rivals Spotlight
He’d look great in blue.
We are only 3 commits in the 2014 class, but yes, let’s take a moment to go ahead and look to the 2015 class. There are a few names that you need to go ahead and get to know, because you’ll be hearing a ton about them from now until whenever their decisions are made.
The first name you need to know is Damien Harris. Harris is a future 4/5* running back out of Madison Southern High School here in Kentucky. While all of that might make you think that UK has the upper hand, Harris grew up a Michigan Wolverine fan, and is being heavily recruited already by Michigan and Ohio State. When Coach Stoops got here, UK was not even in the picture for Harris.
Fast-forward a few months, and the landscape has changed somewhat. Michigan is still the perceived leader here, and that’s just simply speculation based on following his Twitter account. Still, he’s made a few unofficial visits to UK, and the Cats are making Harris a top priority. Kentucky will be working even harder on Harris with Horton and Heard on board for 2014. Perhaps they can make it a Triple H for 2015?
Anyway, if you’re curious as to why coaches would be recruiting a soon to be junior already, take a look at his highlight tape:
The next name you need to know, and perhaps already know if you are on Twitter, is George Brown. Brown is an OL/DL out of southern Ohio. He’s extremely athletic, can play Offensive Tackle, Defensive End, or even Tight End. He’s such a freak already that he has 22 Division 1 offers, from some of the biggest programs in the country.
So why does he have any interest in Kentucky?
Well, Brown happens to be a member of the #CIC, which I”m not sure what that means but I know it involves Cincinnati area football players who are all interested in going to school together. That includes Dorian Hendrix, Mikel Horton, and Thaddeus Snodgrass. You may know those guys, they are all committed to Kentucky.
Kentucky has been making a strong push with Brown, and has had him on campus a few times already for unofficial visits. Brown is likely to be at the minimum a very highly rated 4* recruit, if not a 5* recruit. There’s a long way to go, but Kentucky is in it for the long haul.
Things are looking up for the Cats on the football recruiting front, and as good as the haul is going to be in 2014, it could be even better in 2015.
Go Big Blue!
This man doesn’t like being tackled….
Sort of lost in the events that unfolded on Saturday and the Nike Hoops Summit, was the announcement of Mikel Horton, 4* running back out of Lakota West High School in Ohio.
The commitment itself got plenty of publicity and was recognized for what it is, just another sign that UK football is on the come up. Horton is a big time running back with bit time ability. He can catch the ball out of the backfield. He can run between the tackles. He has the speed to hit the edge. Really and truthfully, he’s the total package and he’s coming to UK.
Here’s the thing, he won the Offensive MVP at the Rivals camp at Lakota West, on the same day that he committed to UK. In fact, he committed to UK while being in front of every player at the Rivals camp receiving his MVP award.
This is big on a couple of levels. For one, Horton is extremely close with many of UK’s top recruits this year. Among other guys at the camp who UK is after included Matt Elam, Drew Barker, Darius West, Darryl Long, Mike Edwards, and Derek Kief, among others. Each are top priorities at their position for UK, and Drew Barker may be the #1 recruit on UK’s priority list currently.
Still, it showed the recruits, really around the region, that UK is coming on in a big way. It was huge for publicity that with all those folks there, UK landed the Offensive MVP of the Rivals camp in Ohio.
What’s bigger still is that Horton also stated that 10-15 of the guys at the Rivals camp were committed to UK silently and were just looking for a way to make their announcements public. True or not, if one of those guys weren’t Drew Barker, he had to take notice. There was obviously a ton of talent at the Rivals event, and for that many players to be committed to UK, well, that’s huge.
UK recruiting Ohio is paying off in a big way, no doubt thanks to Stoops’ and Marrow’s contacts in Ohio. But it also helps that UK is in the SEC, is right down the road, and fans are showing up to support the program like never before. All of this is paying off, and it won’t be long before folks are a bit uneasy even up in mighty Columbus. Their already feeling a bit uneasy, as evidenced by them playing their Spring Game in Cincinnati. (I still feel like they have been extremely arrogant in their handling of Drew Barker, who I believe they assume is theirs if they offer, even if he commits elsewhere before then).
Mikel Horton is a big piece individually, but what his recruitment may mean for the rest of the recruiting may have an even larger impact on 2014.
Go Big Blue!
Kentucky picked up another stud recruit for 2014 when running back Mikel Horton announced today that he would be heading to Kentucky.
Horton measures in at 6’1″, 230 lbs. and hails from West Chester, Ohio. Rivals.com ranks him as the No. 22 running back in the class and No. 209 player overall.
He chose Kentucky over Louisville, Florida State, Vanderbilt, Cincinnati and Boston College, just to name a few.
Horton’s high school coach, Larry Cox, describes him as a “physical freak.”
“He is truly an exceptional athlete for the size he possesses,” Cox told Larry Vaught. “I think that is what separates him from most running backs. As far as a person, he’s a really good kid, too. He’s very respectful. He is a hard working young man. But on the field, he’s pretty much a freak.”
Horton has been described as a complete back who possesses a rare combination of size, speed and vision. He is also an excellent pass catcher, which should make him a great fit for Neal Brown’s offense.
With Horton in the fold, Kentucky now has a total of three commitments for 2014, including 3-star linebacker Dorian Hendrix and 4-star wide receiver Thaddeus Snodgrass. It seems safe to say that Mark Stoops and company have opened up a pipeline in Ohio as each of these three commitments have come from our neighbors to the north.
Horton believes that recruiting Ohio will be the key to building something big at Kentucky.
“I know everyone from Ohio that they’re recruiting, which I think is an amazing thing,” he stated in an interview with Wildcat Blue Nation. It’s kind of of like what Miami, the U built. It was a bad program that no one wanted to be around, and then they went and got those kids from the surrounding communities and top-notch schools around Miami, and they became a top-notch school. I really respect that.”
Welcome to the Big Blue Nation, Mikel.
Could Mikel Horton be trading red for blue?
UK had 50+ recruits at the Spring Game on Saturday, and thus there has been a lot of scuttlebutt out there about who may be committing, and who UK really likes their chances with. Let’s break it down…
The biggest story of recruiting over the weekend is obviously Drew Barker. Barker from all reports had a great time at UK, and his recruitment is starting to reach it’s final stages. From all accounts, it’s still a two-horse race between UK and South Carolina with Tennessee bringing up the rear. There’s really no question though that it really is neck-and-neck between UK and South Carolina, with neither team holding any significant edge. UK is obviously closer to home, has a Quarterback friendly system, is on the come-up, and his best friend Cameron Fogle is walking on at UK, and may redshirt his first season. That would mean he will be graduating with Barker, should Barker be here next season.
Barker will be deciding in May, and his decision will be the most important decision in UK football since maybe Tim Couch. If UK misses on Barker though, look for names like DJ Gillins and DeShone Kizer to pop up on Twitter a few times. Both like Kentucky, and are just waiting for offers should Barker go to South Carolina.
Kentucky feels really good about Mikel Horton, who is deciding on Saturday. Horton was at Louisville’s Spring Game earlier in the day, and left early to head down to UK. He’s one of the first guys in 2014 that UK was in on, having him in for unofficial visits while they were recruiting his High School teammate, Kyle Meadows. Early in the process it looked like UK could score an early commit from Horton, but an invitation down to an Alabama Junior Day caused Horton to re-evaluate his recruitment. To my knowledge Alabama has not offered however, and things are looking better than ever for UK, especially considering that he will be making his announcement on Saturday, and reportedly had a great time on his visit. It’s worth noting he’s also good friends with Thaddeus Snodgrass and Dorian Hendrix, among other UK recruits and commits.
Darius West from all accounts had a great trip to UK as well on Saturday, and Kentucky feels very good about their chances with him. Some have hinted that West could be committing as soon as this week somewhere. You can draw your own conclusions there.
Mike Edwards was originally scheduled to make his commitment this week, and based on his mass barrage of retweets from Kentucky fans, it stands to reason that UK was sitting good with him. However after a conversation with his coach, it looks like he is pushing back his announcement. He did however say that he would be “repping a school” before his season started. I still like Kentucky in this one.
So there you go, some recruiting tidbits to get you through the week. More to come.
Go Big Blue!
Well, we’re gonna need to work on getting that thing high and tight there, but I like your style.
Today on Kentucky Sports Radio, Thaddeus Snodgrass has committed to the University of Kentucky.
Thad is a Wide Receiver out of Springfield, Ohio. He is ranked by Rivals.com as a 4* 5.8, the #24 Wide Receiver in the country, and is ranked #198 in the Rivals250.
Thad had offers from Ohio State, Notre Dame, Penn State, Louisville, South Carolina, and West Virginia among others.
This is a huge get for Kentucky, especially as they continue to try and convince Drew Barker to become a Cat. Adding another top notch receiver to go with the receivers from the 2013 class continues to show UK’s commitment in making sure that future Quarterbacks never have a shortage of play-making Wide Receivers to throw to. Either way on Barker’s decision, it will be easier for UK to get a big time Quarterback because Thaddeus is on board.
Check him out:
Welcome aboard, Thaddeus!
Go Big Blue!
If you live in Ohio, you may see this man a lot. Heck, he might even show up in your living room.
Though you could technically say that Coach Stoops started with a disadvantage when discussing the 2014 recruiting class since he had to work longer on the 2013 class, the staff is still out evaluating talent and have made up a lot of ground over the past few weeks. With that in mind, let’s take a look at what positions UK will be targeting the most in this recruiting class.
The biggest position of need right now for Kentucky starts on the defense, and specifically at Linebacker. Yes, Kentucky has a lot of bodies currently at linebacker, but many of them have not been able to crack the starting lineup at any point during their tenure at UK. Outside of Avery Williamson and Khalid Henderson, you haven’t heard any other linebacker’s names. Kentucky has already Dorian Hendrix to the class of 2014, and he is actually the only commit so far. Kentucky will be looking to fill as many linebacker spots as possible this year, believe that.
The second biggest position pretty obviously is Wide Receiver. The talk through Spring camp so far has been the inability of the Wide Receivers to catch the ball. Yes, UK did address the position with Javess Blue, Ryan Timmons, Alex Montgomery and Jeff Badet, but more depth is needed. Expect UK to try and get 3-4 more Wide Receivers in this class. If you’re looking for top targets that UK is after at Wide Receiver, look no further than Thaddeus Snodgrass and Derek Kief.
The biggest target right now for UK is, well, quite obviously, Drew Barker. To put it simply, Barker may be the most important QB prospect in the state of Kentucky since Tim Couch. Yes, we said the same about Patrick Towles and I’m not willing to give up on Towles yet, but many think Barker may be on a different level. The fact UK has not offered a scholarship to any other quarterback besides Barker, despite interest from highly rated prospects like DJ Gillins and DeShone Kizer tells you all you need to know about what UK thinks of Barker. His recruitment could also get the ball rolling on the top Wide Receivers that UK is after for 2014.
Defensive Line will be very important for the UK recruiting class this year as well, at both Tackle and End. Yes, losing Denzel Ware hurts, but UK is still in on a lot of top guys at both Tackle and End. Yes, it’s also true UK built some good depth in the last class. But the difference between UK and the rest of the SEC has been that other programs have always been able to build depth on the line EVERY season, not just one out of every 3 or 4. For Kentucky to take the next step up, they need a solid front line every year, and can’t take risks by not building as much depth as possible.
Finally, look for UK to add even more depth at running back. Currently the Cats have some good depth, but in order to win the SEC, you need a full stable of capable SEC running backs. Guys like Mikel Horton have been on the radar since before the 2013 recruiting season ended, and watch out for a potential transfer from former Nebraska Cornhusker Braylon Heard. Heard actually played at Cardinal Mooney along with Marcus McWilson, the alma mater of Coach Stoops.
So there you go. Look out for more football posts to come as we move through camps in the Summer. Oh yeah, and of course that little Spring Game on Saturday at 7 pm. See you all there.