Good morning, BBN and welcome to “Decision Day” 2013. No, no Andrew Wiggins news, but he has to choose sometime, right? It’s unofficially Drew Barker day as Kentucky’s top 2014 QB will make his decision this afternoon, so football reigns supreme in the Bluegrass today. If Andrew Wiggins wants to steal the thunder today, more power to him. Also, I just woke up and am writing this at 8:15AM rather than having had it posted at 8:00AM. So I guess it’s just a Freaky Friday all around. In honor of that, we lead with football and NOT basketball in the morning 5.
So is Drew Barker going to pick Kentucky? The fact that it is a “come one, come all” event at the school would seem to indicate so. It would be awkward to invite 500-100 passionate UK fans and then pick South Carolina. Of course South Carolina fans are invited to attend as well, but that would still be … awkward. Awkward has happened before at these things though, but former Wildcat Andy Murray seems to think that Barker is a Big Blue lock.
Andy Murray was a fierce competitor when he played fullback at the University of Kentucky and remains a hard-core UK fan. That’s why he’s become a huge Mark Stoops’ fan already and believes that Conner quarterback Drew Barker will pick the Wildcats over South Carolina and Tennessee Friday when he announces his college choice.
“He is a lock in my opinion. Kid is a blue blood,” said Murray.
Because Murray’s son plays at Simon Kenton, he’s not been able to get out in northern Kentucky to see Barker play. However, he knows something about South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier’s quarterback knowledge.
“I would think Spurrier knows what he is looking for in a QB and you can take that to the bank,” Murray said.
Barker’s number could break the bank. He was 140-for-225 passing for 2,067 yards and 22 touchdowns in 2012 when he also ran for 1,422 yards and 18 scores. As a sophomore, he completed 93 of 181 passes for 1,009 yards and four scores and ran for 1,371 yards and 22 touchdowns. That’s 2,793 yards and 40 touchdowns rushing the last two years and 3,076 yards and 26 touchdowns passing.
“His commitment will send our recruiting into another gear and it amazes me what this staff is capable of doing with these recruits,” Murray said.
It is easy to get in these decisions that Drew Barker is still a high school junior and still getting used to driving a car rather than driving a team into the SEC championship game. And he has formed close relationships with all the coaches involved. In the end, coaches and fanbases are going to be disappointed, and Drew Barker’s father says it will be tough for his son to do that.
“At the end of the day, you have to make decisions and disappoint some people. Drew doesn’t like to disappoint people. He takes pride in pleasing people and making people happy. It goes against his grain a little bit to disappoint some folks. He likes to please whether it is myself, his mother, his cousin, his coach or whoever. He really likes to meet expectations. It’s going to be hard for him (to tell coaches no) and it is weighing on him, but he’s ready to make a decision.”
In the same article, Terry Barker did say that he and his son were impressed with the Kentucky staff and he is confident that UK can turn it all around.
“As the saying goes, you never get a second chance to make a first impression and that really made an impression on me and Drew, too,” Terry Barker said. “I really think there is no reason they can’t win. They’ve got everything behind them. They are putting money into facilities. It’s just a great place. I really believe they can turn it around.”
In the end, I think that Barker will pick Kentucky. But that is going on a gut feeling. I have talked to just as many people who have said South Carolina as well. But it is the homer in me that says Kentucky because I think that Barker realizes the implications of him choosing UK and from all indications he is a big UK fan. Like all of us, I think he is caught up in the excitement of Mark Stoops and will make the leap of faith that he will contend for a SEC title by the time he leaves. But that’s my opinion. No sources or inside scoop driving that. Just an opinion.
I’m not going to go Louisville fan and say “We did not want him” if Barker does not commit. But in reality, Kentucky is stacked at the QB position right now and it is not looking like either Jalen Whitlow, Patrick Towles, and Max Smith will transfer. And Reese Phillips has been impressive in the Spring. Barker will not be an immediate fix and more than likely will redshirt at UK. That said, I do want him to come to UK though and think he will eventually be a star. But no quick fixes …. just realize that and don’t expect Peyton Manning right away. O even, ugh, Tim Tebow.
In the event Barker does not pick UK, A Sea of Blue talked about some other options in the 2014 class a few days ago. Personally, we may not pursue a QB if we don’t get Barker, but to be honest, I am not sure what the 2015 class holds either. A Barker in the hand now could be as good as 2015 QB in the bush later. Yes, I can’t believe I just typed that. It is a Freaky Friday after all.
And now Andrew Wiggins stuff … after the jump.