It's Joker's Day of Reckoning as Signing Day arrives


by Paul Jordan

Even though Joker Phillips has been head coach of the Wildcats for about a month, in a way, today officially marks the beginning of the Joker Phillips era. Today is college football’s National Signing Day. To be fair, today’s list of commitments is not a fair way to judge Joker’s future success as a recruiter, it is safe to note that his handprints are all over this class.

There has been a flurry of activity the last week or so and tomorrow may be the busiest signing day at UK in a few years. There are quite a few higher profile player’s whose decisions have not been made public and there is always the possibility that the new coaches may have some recruits that are following them from their former schools. As with any signing day, there are going to be disappointments and pleasant surprises. Since I believe in being mostly positive, let’s get the disappointments out of the way first before moving on.

From all indications, Kentucky will lose a couple of their former commits. Kenarious Gates (*** OL) reported has de-committed from UK and will sign with the Georgia Bulldogs today. There is also rampant speculation that Ryan Smith (*** athlete) is on the verge of de-committing as well and he has a press conference planned at his school. This is not good news as it comes on the heels of Anterio Sloan’s (**** DB) dropping off UK’s list last week. To be fair, it appears that UK pulled Sloan’s offer due to concerns over a shoulder injury.

Now on the the good news. UK has gotten a commitment from 4 star TE Alex Smith. Smith has been a UK target for quite a while and had previously committed to Cincinnati and the North Carolina before eventually deciding on the Cats. He cited the fact that UK graduated three TE’s this year and Joker Phillips as decisions for his picking UK. Smith is a big, solid TE (6’5, 247) and has a chance to see lots of action next year.

And now we come to the section of indecision. As of right now, there a few prospects that can still end up with UK. Let’s take a look at a couple of possibilities:

  • Miles Simpson – RB – The rumors have been rampant lately as first Simpson was thought to be close to being a Hoosier but now the money is on Simpson being a Wildcat. Aaron’s UK Football Blog is reporting that he requested “The Cat’s Pause” to be at his press conference.
  • D.J. Howard – RB – Howard was formerly a Auburn commit and it appears that Auburn has pulled their offer. From all indications, this will come down to UK or Clemson.
  • Michael Thorton – DT – Thornton, a **** DT is probably the biggest fish UK can reel in tomorrow. He is teammates with current UK commits Raymond Sanders, Jabari Johnson, and Ronnie Shields. Those three have been trying to get him to come to UK but Georgia will be tough to beat.
  • Jerrell Priester – ATH – Jerrell is currently a “soft” Vanderbilt commit but it appears that UK could end up with a signing day surprise.

Most of the information, did come from Aaron’s UK Football blog, to give credit. I am stuck in the office all day today so won’t be able to update as much as I want to … if at all, but Aaron has agreed to supply the readers of the Wildcat Blue Blog with updates and signing day updates. Make sure you bookmark his site as well as it is one of the best UK football blogs around.

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