Kentucky football looks to be heading in the right direction under the leadership of Coach Mark Stoops. Kentucky football around here usually gets no attention after Midnight Madness, because of all the attention that is usually on the basketball team. This offseason is different Kentucky fans are ready for football to start up, and are still talking about Kentucky football in late December(that never happens). It may be that the basketball team isn’t playing all that great YET, or it could be that us fans just wanted a fresh start in football. Mark stoops has brought in a great staff with Neal Brown as OC and D.J Elliot as the DC. Both along with stoops are major recruting guys, and that has shown the with the last two commitments into the program.
Steven Borden, the son of the famous wrestler “Sting” decided earlier this week that he would commit to Kentucky, and be Mark Stoops first commitment. Borden is a 4 star JUCO TE out of Kilgore JC(TX), he is 6-5 and runs a 4.5 40 yard dash. Kentucky has been missing a good tight end ever since the deaparture of Jacob Tamme. Borden fits the Jacob Tamme mold, but a slight bit smaller than Tamme was. Stoops said “Steven is a TE who is a physical presence with good speed”. Borden will be a JR when he steps foot on campus as a Wildcat.
Then more good news came out of the football front as JUCO DE Za’Darius Smith who is another 4 star, and is top 15 in the JUCO ranks committed to Kentucky as well. Za’Darius may be the highest rated kid to commit to UK since Fort Campbell product Micah Johnson. Smith chose the Cats over Texas A&M, Mississippi State, Florida State, and Texas. Stoops said about Smith “Za’Darius is an every down DE, he can stop the run and rush the passer”.
I like the idea of Mark Stoops going after these JUCO guys, because Kentucky has major holes in offense and defense and they need to be fixed quickly for Stoops and company to have success in the SEC. Stoops seems to notice the holes as we haven’t had a good DE in a very long time, and like I said earlier we haven’t had a solid tight end since Jacob Tamme. I personally like the style of recruting JUCO’s because most of them have been playing for two years in the JC ranks, and have a feel for the game better than high school recruits. JUCO players can immediately come in and help the team where as you don’t see it as often with freshman coming into the SEC. A notable JC player that has signed with Kentucky and has made a major impact right off the bat…..Stevie Johnson.
Another name to keep an eye on is Markeith Ambles. He is a JUCO WR that committed to USC, but that didn’t work out there and he transferred to Arizona Western C.C. I have no idea if he will get looked at or look at UK, but Stoops looks to be shooting high and this kid can flat out play. Ambles is 6-2 195 and runs a 4.6 in the 40 he has offeres already from Illinois and Iowa State. He graduates at the end of this month, and will likely make his college choice after that. Kentucky has holes at WR, and Ambles could help fill that void in our Air raid system being put in by Neal Brown.
Here are some highlight films of Steven Borden and Za’Darius Smith…… GO BIG BLUE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!