Recruiting 24/7/365 and the Kentucky Wildcats are Cornering the Market in Football and Basketball

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Apr 15, 2013; Oklahoma City, OK, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder center Daniel Orton (33) attempts a shot against Sacramento Kings forward Travis Outlaw (25) during the first half at Chesapeake Energy Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

With the start of the Kentucky Wildcats football season fast approaching, never have I seen such a promising class coming in, nor have I seen such enthusiasm who what could be.  The 2014 Class features Kentucky in the mix for many great players but the #1 target for them comes in the form of Drew Barker, the #1 recruit in the state of Kentucky.  Kentucky Blue Sports news has a breakdown of him and others.

Mike Edwards:

Mike Edwards is an absolutely huge recruit that will have his rating skyrocket once his Senior Season gets rolling. Listed as both a 3 and 4 star recruit, depending on who you ask, will absolutely be a 4 star before his college days begin. Mike is an explosive Defensive Back with great playmaking ability, along with throwing some knockout hits. He and I have gotten pretty close over his recruitment, talking several times a week, and I am glad to share some recruiting info. First and foremost, the announcement for Edwards that was delayed has been settled since then. To settle all rumors, no, this had NOTHING to do with WHERE Mike wanted to attend, just the timing of the announcement. His coach had a problem with it from the start, and his parents joined in on the disagreement. The issue? Mike’s parents wanted to visit with him before he made any type of decision on his future. Mike tells me he would like to visit the first weekend in May, and an announcement could come soon after. His Mother has talked to several coaching staffs, and loves a few, although I won’t disclose for Mike’s sake. Now onto schools of interest. He is down to Nebraska, West Virginia, Louisville, Notre Dame, and UK. Loves all three schools and their fan support. Why is he interested in Kentucky? He says the coaching staff is unbelievable, and connects with every one of them. This comes as no shock to you, but Mike says Vince Marrow is a big contributor in his recruitment. All I will tell you is to watch out early next month for a big time decision.

Darius West:

I am very optimistic on Darius West becoming a Wildcat. Darius and I talk every once and a while and the interest is sincere. I believe his favorites are UofL and UK, although he has others on his list. There is one barrier standing in the way from UK snagging a commitment from the 4 Star DB out of Ohio: one of his best friends has committed to the Cards. The momentum may be on our side, however, as all 3 Ohio commits (along with a few other Ohio recruits) have all been in his ear about Kentucky. Dorian Hendrix told me it is not going to be easy to bring him out of UofL’s hands, but he thinks he and the other commits can make it happen. Another thing helping UK’s case is the fact that UofL has 2 Safeties committed, and that may sway Darius the other direction. I will keep you guys updated when I hear more.

Drew Barker:

The #1 Prospect in the State of Kentucky, Drew Barker, is expected to make a decision in early May. Drew has been all over UK lately, including talking with all UK commits and present players, along with UK-favorite recruits. A little birdie told me Barker is down to South Carolina and Kentucky, but my Crystal Ball tells me UK is likely to pick up the commitment of the big-time Quarterback. What does Barker’s commitment mean to the program? Some are already saying Drew could be the next face of the franchise at Kentucky, and would fit in incredibly with the Air Raid Offense. Not only does he have the throwing skills, throwing for 2072 yards last season, but he also has the ability to tuck and run, rushing for 1455 last season. Barker is the #1 target for UK in this recruiting class, and his commitment may become a reality in the near future.

Terry Ramsey:

Terry Ramsey is an up-and-coming DE out of Ohio that has shot up the ranks in the past few weeks. Holding big name offers from the likes of West Virginia and Michigan State, Ramsey is starting to pull in more and more interest as time passes. Ramsey tells me that he had a great time on his visit to UK on Sunday, where he walked around the facilities, ate in the cafe, and visited Commonwealth Stadium. He says UK is now in the top 3 for his services with West Virginia and Indiana holding down those other spots. He says he loves UK because they have a fresh winning coaching staff, and he would love to be a part of that success. He tells me he will likely make a decision before his Senior Season. BBN be watching for Ramsey in the future.

Keeping with football, Stoops has landed another QB though this one unheralded and is coming to the Wildcats as a “preferred walk-on” from Kentucky Country Day.  Head Coach Matt Jones had this to say:

Quarterback Robert Scholtz has accepted a preferred walk-on offer to the University of Kentucky, according to Jones.

The 6-foot-5, 190-pound player who has long been considered an NCAA Division I prospect completed 90 of 161 throws for 1,663 yards and 27 touchdowns with seven interceptions as a senior for KCD (11-2). He was 128 of 249 passing for 2,385 yards and 32 TD with just five interceptions as a junior and and had 2,867 passing yards and 30 touchdowns in 2010.

John Calipari is always a busy man and now he’s branching out into the online retail world with a store for coaching drills.  Really this shouldn’t come as a shock considering he is a social media savant and the best coach in the country so it’s only a natural progression.

Kentucky head coach John Calipari has announced an online store for coaching drills on CoachCal.com.
Here are details from UK:

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Never one to hide what happens within his program, John Calipari has launched an online store for coaching drills on his website, CoachCal.com, that will allow coaches, players and fans across the world to watch the drills and teaching points he has used in guiding teams to four Final Fours and the 2012 national championship.

The online store, which can be accessed at coachcal.com/john-caliparis-coaching-drills/, features nearly 40 videos of practice sessions that Calipari has used in developing 15 NBA Draft picks over the last three years.

The videos, which range in length from two minutes to 20-plus minutes, include various skills and teaching points on shooting, defense, the Dribble Drive Motion Offense and more. The pricing of each coaching drill varies from free to $2.99. All proceeds from each video purchased go directly to The Calipari Foundation.

“We talk about being different and transparent, and I believe this is another one of those things,” Calipari said. “These coaching drills are another way that we can show everyone what we’re teaching and how we’re teaching. They are available to players, coaches, fans and whoever else wants them. The great thing with this is all the revenue is going straight to the foundation to be used for projects that the foundation is investing in.”The Calipari Foundation invests in communities. These communities are not limited by geography – they can also be education, social and spiritual in nature. The foundation’s purpose is to improve the quality of life both in and through these communities, with a particular focus on enriching the lives of children.

Looking ahead to the 2015 recruiting class, Sophomore Derrick Jones (#37) from Archbishop Carroll High School, likes UK and Syracuse.  Kentucky hasn’t been in contact with him so this is a dream of Jones’ but the lanky kid could be a good fit.  His father had this to say:

“He’s leaning toward Syracuse and he would love to go to Kentucky,” his father, Derrick Jones Sr., told SNY.tv.

“He loves Kentucky and he loves Syracuse. We’ve been talking about Syracuse the most.”

Syracuse has offered, while Kentucky has not.

“They don’t call until they know what they want,” Jones Sr. said of Kentucky.

The 6-foot-7, 180-pound small forward is ranked No. 37 in the Class of 2015 by Rivals. He was one of the stars at the recent Pittsburgh Jam Fest while playing with the We R 1 AAU program, and his father said the younger Jones holds offers from Villanova, Temple, Arkansas, Xavier, Cincinnati, Penn State, Ohio State, Rutgers and others.

We finish this some news on the Daniel Orton front.  While he is on the bench for the OKC Thunder for the playoffs, he was named All-NBA D-

League Honorable Mention.  Clearly that’s not what he envisioned when he joined the exodus in 2010 but he’s improving so there’s that.

 

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