This weekend was another big recruiting effort for Kentucky football. But after last weekend’s recruiting mega event, this one passed with little more than a whimper of excitement. I’m sure it was disappointing to many in a fanbase that has suddenly taken a big interest in football recruiting. (Yes, I know some of you have been following it for a long time). Many folks have worn out their F5 keys refreshing message boards and Twitter accounts looking for any news that wouldn’t come.
There are a few reasons for that. For starters, it sounds like the coaches weren’t prepared for the way last week’s visits played out on Twitter, basically in real time. There may have been a little too much transparency with what went on during the visits. That doesn’t mean that anything against the rules happened last week, just that part of an official visit is hanging out with the upper-classmen. The upper-classmen in Lexington seem to know how to party. Maybe better than a recruits mother wants to know. Stoops and Co. learned just how advanced the BBN is at this recruiting game last week and had to adjust.
Another reason for less action may be tied to the players who were actually visiting. Three of the prospects visiting are already committed to the Wildcats, so there isn’t a lot of news to come from that. According to his coach, Ryan Timmons won’t announce until National Signing Day and has played his decision close to the vest all year, so he wouldn’t be likely to make news. Jeff Badet and David Maka are both believed to be Kentucky leans by most recruiting experts right now and I am honestly surprised that Maka didn’t commit. If you follow Badet on Twitter, he seemed to really enjoy his visit. Watch them this week, often players want to go home and talk to their parents before committing somewhere. David Kamara is a good player in his own right, but everyone was a little disappointed when they found out he wasn’t bringing childhood friend Robert Nkemdiche with him. Kamara also likes Ole Miss and LSU, so he may be a longshot for UK.
It is also likely that the lack of a home basketball game led to a lack of buzz this week, fans like the idea of getting to chant for players at Rupp.
Fast forward to this coming weekend. The coaches will likely continue to try and keep things quiet, no change there. But this weekend Kentucky plays LSU at home on Saturday. Fans can make their signs and do their chants and take pictures with players. The talent level visiting this week is close to that of the first big event. JUCO defensive tackle Jarran Reed is rated as a 4* by a few services and is currently committed to Ole Miss. He is a teammate of new Cat Za’Darius Smith. DB Marquez White was supposed to visit this week but pushed his visit back, the 4* is familiar with Stoops after committing to him at FSU. Two new names to Kentucky fans are 4* teammates LB James Hearns (Florida) and WR Taj Williams. Both are very talented players who came out of nowhere to visit. The coaches also think highly of 3* LB Keith Kelsey and 3* DE Corey Smith, a Tulane commit. The remaining visitors are all 3* players: OL Nick Haynes, DB Aneas Henricks, and WR Donald Gage.
There are some rumblings that a current commit or two have been told to look around here recently so we can assume there are probably six scholarships open in this class. With some of the talent that Kentucky is in on, some players may be back-up plans and not hold committable offers at this time. Also 4* safety Marcus McWilson was scheduled to visit this past weekend but postponed, the Nebraska commit may reschedule as soon as this week if he still has interest in becoming a Wildcat.