Oh no, it’s been like five days since a commitment? What is going on? Have Stoops and staff lost it? Haha, that was a little over the top but the natives are getting restless. Which is a good thing, because it means that fans are really getting into football recruiting and that they have gotten a little spoiled by some of the success these coaches are having out on the trail.
Big Blue Nation has shown to be THE most ravenous fanbase when it comes to basketball recruiting and there is no reason to think the same can’t be said for football if the interest remains high. Case in point, the Drew Barker announcement. Kentucky beat-writers had good leads that UK would be the choice and many fans also felt that way. Outside of Mike Farrell, no one else in the country thought Barker would choose Kentucky. Good, fair, writers like Josh Edwards and Justin Rowland were called homers and accused of playing to the almighty website hits. Then a funny thing happened. That Friday morning all of the national recruiting writers started to back off of their Barker to South Carolina picks. Speaking as someone who follows recruiting heavily, that’s the kind of smoke that leads to fire. By the time that I pulled up to Conner High School I knew that Barker would be Cat and the rest was all a formality.
A quick look at 247Sports Crystal Ball (which I think is a very cool idea), it shows that Barker was given only a 19% chance of picking Kentucky. All of the writers who chose USCe were national guys or Carolina writers themselves. So the lesson here is to not underestimate the local guys when it comes to local prospects. I’m not saying that Kentucky writers will be right more often than others when it comes to projecting recruits, but when it comes to a Kentucky kid or even a Cincinnati kid, they likely have better sources on the matter than Jim from Montana.
Let’s hope that the trend holds true. If you look at the other top player in the state, defensive tackle Matt Elam, his Crystal Ball predicts 100% Kentucky right now. That includes two national writers and Catspause staffers Chris Fisher and Josh Edwards. Elam has always said that he would make a decision near Signing Day, but if he were to announce early in the process, I think Kentucky would be the choice. But even I would have a hard time telling Nick Saban no, so this could take some time. There have been some good rumblings out of John Hardin HS about his feelings for Stoops and the Cats but the rumor about him being a silent verbal last week is false. Right now it’s a two-horse race between Big Blue and Roll-tide, when decision day approaches watch what the Kentucky guys have to say.