Florida linebacker James Hearns commits to Kentucky

It’s certainly a good morning for Big Blue Nation!

Following the basketball win over the LSU Tigers, Mark Stoops and the Kentucky football team received some huge news when it was announced that 4-star linebacker James Hearns committed to the Cats. Previously, Hearns was a longtime commit to Florida but only recently made the decision to de-commit from the Gators.

“This is a big pickup for Mark Stoops, going back into Florida, and taking a kid from a program that cranks out top prospects, said Brandon Huffman, a national college football analyst for Scout.com. “Stoops obviously was plenty familiar with Hearns, being that he’s from Tallahassee, but this is the kind of talent that Stoops and the Kentucky coaching staff will need to bring in consistently to compete in the SEC, and this is a big feather in the cap for Stoops already.”

Speaking of football, the Orlando Sentinel‘s Chris Hays spoke to Larry Vaught about Kentucky’s recruiting on the state of Florida. If you include James Hearns, the class of 2013 includes 6 players from Florida.

The men’s team took on LSU yesterday but Matthew Mitchell and the UK Hoops team will take on LSU this afternoon at 3 PM. The game will be televised on Fox Sports South but it is also available to watch on ESPN3. Of course, you can always listen to Neil Price call the game on the UK IMG Sports Radio Network.

Rajon Rondo has 5 triple-doubles on the season and closing in on 30 for his career. However, he felt Thursday night’s triple double was “irrelevant.”

The Kentucky Red State-Blue State series is running a special promotion for the first 500 people that buy tickets to the game on February 2nd. It’s a chance to see some of the best high school players in the nation at the moment. Here are some comments from Justin Young on the game:

“With the Red State Blue State Series, we’re excited to welcome the future of Kentucky basketball to the Commonwealth. This might just be the only time the Big Blue Nation gets to see Karl Towns Jr. in action in Kentucky. Outside of this game, the next time fans can see him in action is at Rupp Arena. Pair that with a match-up with future Louisville guard Quentin Snider, we’re pretty excited about what that game means. Start the rivalry now, right?

“Then you look at Jahlil Okafor and Whitney Young. The buzz coming out of the Hoop Hall Classic was all about Okafor. He’s on fire right now. Rivals.com has him No. 1 overall in the 2014 class. I think it is only a matter of time before the rest of the rankers think about moving Okafor to that top spot, too. I know he’s already on the NBA radar. Big time talent.

“He’s not alone though for Whitney Young, His teammate, Paul White, is on the UK radar and a guy that I wouldn’t be surprised to blow up even more than what he is nationally. Long, athletic, good scorer. White has all of the tools of a big perimeter stud.

“Okafor, White and Whitney Young will play Skal Labassiere of Evangelical Christian. Skal is a neat story. He came to the U.S. after the earthquake in Haiti. Real humble kid. On the court, though, he’s just tapping into his potential. ESPN thinks enough of him to rank him in their top 10. And Kentucky’s interested.

“Needless to say, we’re excited about the games. There’s a lot of reasons for UK fans to come out to Broadbent Arena on Feb. 2.”

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