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First Down Kentucky: Battling Ohio State

Adam Luckettby:Adam Luckett06/14/24


Andy Staples Pete Nakos Big 12 Rebrand

Another big official visit weekend has arrived for the Kentucky football program. The Wildcats will have a handful of commitments on campus along with some priority recruits. Once again, Kentucky is having to hold off Ohio State for a key prospect.

We’ve seen tailback Isaiah West decommit from Kentucky once the Buckeyes ramped up the interest. Now we’ll get to see if the same thing happens with three-star tight end Brody Lennon. The Cleveland area native camped at Ohio State on Thursday and earned a scholarship offer from the Buckeyes.

Lennon will be in Lexington for his official visit to Kentucky this weekend, but a new competitor has emerged. The prospect had an official visit schedule with Penn State next week but that has been replaced. The tight end will be back in Columbus next weekend for his official visit with Ryan Day‘s program.

Crossing paths with Ohio State is inevitable on the recruiting trail when you are working in the Buckeye State. Vince Marrow will now look to convince Lennon that Lexington and not Columbus will be the better college football home.

Replacing Josaih Hayes

Some unfortunate news arrived on Friday when KSR’s Nick Roush reported that senior defensive tackle Josaih Hayes suffered an Achilles injury during spring practice and will likely miss the entire 2024 season. Kentucky’s defensive line was a team strength entering the season, but now has some depth issues at nose tackle.

How will Kentucky replace the production lost by Hayes? I went in-depth on the current options available at KSR+ on Friday. Two upperclassmen now appear to have a great opportunity and adding a late player from the junior college market could be something that makes a ton of sense for Kentucky.

Want more Kentucky football intel? Join KSR Plus for the most comprehensive coverage of the Cats on the internet. With a KSR membership, you get access to bonus content and KSBoard, KSR’s message board, to chat with fellow Cats fans and get exclusive scoop.

Louisville fans were not happy with Spike Sowells not visiting

Louisville (Ky.) Male senior Isaac “Spike” Sowells Jr. just finished his official visit to Kentucky and will take an official visit to NC State this weekend. But there was a new development when the center prospect announced that he would no longer be visiting Louisville earlier this week.

Some fans were unhappy online. Kentucky recruiting coordinator Vince Marrow seemed to come to Sowells’ defense on Friday.

Male has been a feeder school for the Louisville football program for decades but Sowells will be headed somewhere else. Kentucky is in a good shape, but NC State is a real contender. A July decision is expected.

Conferences are looking for new revenue streams

The House v. NCAA settlement means that universities will be on the hook for paying college athletes thanks to revenue-sharing. That is not a big deal for the Big Ten and the SEC, but it is for the ACC and Big 12 as the other power conferences attempt to keep pace as the massive media rights deals kick in for the former this season.

That means schools need to find other revenue streams. Clemson and Florida State are upset with the ACC for putting them in this current situation. New Big 12 commissioner Brett Yormark is looking for other ways for his 16 member institutions to make money.

Selling stadium naming rights seemed like an obvious answer. But what about conference naming rights? The Big 12 is reportedly currently considering a $30-50 offer from Allstate. The times are changing.

College athletics is a business and you have to make money to survive. Yormark is making a big move early to put his conference into a good spot. Aggressive moves could be needed for survival in the new landscape. A move like this could give the Big 12 a much-better chance at survival while ACC members cannot wait to leave their current situation.

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