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First Down Kentucky: Offensive Tackles, Camps, Quisenberry and more

Nick Roushby:Nick Roush06/10/24


It was an eventful weekend for the Kentucky football program. Mark Stoops hosted official visitors, picked up a big-time commitment, then rolled right into back-to-back days of camps. There’s only one high school camp left on the schedule, but the official visits are just getting started. Let’s dive into the latest.

Offensive Tackle Board Takes Shape

Offensive tackle is a top priority for Kentucky in the 2025 recruiting class and the Cats got off to a great start. Following his official visit, Darrin Strey announced his commitment to Kentucky. The impressive-looking prospect from Michigan was one of the top overall players on UK’s big board. The coaching staff sees a lot of Landon Young in Stray’s physique and style of play.

Kentucky got one in the fold, but two other dominoes at the position fell elsewhere. Taren Hedrick announced a commitment shortly after leaving Lexington, and only a few hours after Jayden Clark canceled his two visits to Kentucky.

You take the good with the bad. The Cats need at least two more OTs and the good news is Eric Wolford does not have tunnel vision. There are a few more offensive tackles officially visiting this month, and that number may grow. Jermiel Atkins is the most likely candidate to join Strey, but Bryan Auguste and Jason Ekperuoh are other names to monitor. There also may be an IOL in the mix who could grow into a tackle, a la Tucker Kattus.

My word: Kentucky DL Javeon Campbell is HUGE

I knew Javeon Campbell was an athletic freak. I am officially putting the Western Hills defensive lineman in the “monster” category. This dude is walking around on a couple of tree trunks.

Javeon Campbell at Kentucky official visit
Javeon Campbell at Kentucky official visit, UK Athletics
Javeon Campbell and Vince Marrow
Javeon Campbell and Vince Marrow, via UK Athletics

Quisenberry Camps at Kentucky

Boyle County slot receiver Montavin Quisenberry has been on Vince Marrow and the Kentucky coaching staff’s radar for years. After making multiple trips to Lexington for unofficial visits and winning state titles for the Rebels, the time has finally come to answer the question: Will he be a Wildcat?

Despite the familiarity with one another, there was some uncertainty entering the summer on just how eager Kentucky was to seal the deal. Quisenberry showed plenty of potential as an underclassman, but could the undersized slot have enough juice to get open and become a valuable playmaker in the SEC? That could not be accurately determined until he made a return trip to be evaluated this summer. Today he performed, albeit sparingly, and it appears that he passed muster.

Quisenberry has always been an explosive route-runner. He’s added great weight to his upper body ahead of his senior season. It’s one thing to run a great route on air. It’s another to be strong enough to make sure a defender does not push you off of it. Quisenberry looked like the right guy to follow the path Wan’Dale Robinson laid for Anthony Brown-Stephens in the slot. KSR expects a return trip for an official visit in the near future, the perfect opportunity for Kentucky to close.

Noteworthy Name in Lexington

Does the last name ‘Day’ ring a bell? It’s quite popular in Columbus, unless the Buckeyes lose to Michigan once again. Ryan Day’s son, RJ Day, is a 2027 quarterback who threw for 1,600 yards and 15 touchdowns while completing 70% of his passes as a freshman at St. Francis DeSales High School. He already has three offers under his belt, Marshall, Toledo, and Boston College. The 6-foot passer was one of three skilled underclassmen who caught Bush Hamdan’s eye at today’s camp and spent additional time working out with the Kentucky offensive coordinator.

Being Ryan Day’s son has its perks, but it can’t be easy. If you’re a quarterback and the coach’s son, you better be incredible or a walk-on. Anything in between and you become Saul Smith, an otherwise fine player who’s reviled by many because they believe he gets preferential treatment. Will RJ Day become good enough to play for his Dad? Will his Dad even still be around Columbus? This is a fascinating situation to monitor moving forward.

More Offers Extended

Kell High School from Marietta, GA brought a busload of kids to Monday’s camp and one of them went the extra mile to earn an offer. Jalen Williams jumped at every chance to go toe-to-toe with Quisenberry. He held his own until he hurt his shoulder to try to bat a ball away. The 6-foot 2026 cornerback got a big bag of ice and an offer from Chris Collins. It’s his sixth offer from a Power Four program.

Closer to home, another Louisville Trinity prospect impressed the coaching staff at Kroger Field. 2027 CB Allen Evans IV picked up the offer just a few days after receiving his first after camping at UofL.

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