First Down Kentucky: New transfer portal targets emerge

On3 imageby:Adam Luckett12/08/23

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Andy Staples Predicts Destination For Notable Names In The Transfer Portal | 12.07.23

Day 5 of the first transfer portal window of the offseason has arrived. The coffee pot is working overtime. Things are happening and they are happening fast. On Friday, we saw a couple more transfer portal targets emerge for Kentucky.

One is a familiar face and the other was a big surprise.

Mississippi State cornerback DeCarlos Nicholson entered the transfer portal on Thursday night and become a known Kentucky target on Friday morning. The junior college transfer was committed to Kentucky in the 2022 recruiting cycle before flipping late to Mississippi State. The Wildcats will host the graduate transfer for a visit this weekend and should be considered the favorite in this recruitment.

Nicholson is not the only new target. Southeastern Louisiana tight end Bauer Sharp is also starting to receive some heavy Power Five interest and Kentucky is reportedly attempt to get the former quarterback on campus for a visit.

Things are developing at a NASCAR pace right now on the recruiting trail. KSR will be locked in all weekend as Kentucky’s roster-building efforts continue.

A huge recruiting weekend starts right now

Marc Nave, Quaysheed Scott, and Steven Soles are all class of 2024 high school commitments who will be taking official visits to Kentucky this weekend. Scott is a important one with South Carolina attempting to flip the in-state prospect. The Wildcats will look to wrap up each of these recruitments before the early signing period arrives in two weeks.

However, mostly everyone is focused on the transfer visits.

Indiana wide receiver Donaven McCulley confirmed on Thursday night that he would indeed be making the trip to Lexington this weekend. The former quarterback with one year of eligibility remaining owns legit NFL potential and is one of the top targets on Kentucky’s board.

McCulley will be joined by Ohio State tailback Chip Trayanum, Mississippi State cornerback DeCarlos Nicholson, and Texas A&M wide receiver Raymond Cottrell on campus. The last three could be on commitment watch while Kentucky could have a big battle brewing with Michigan for McCulley.

KSR will be locked in the entire weekend to provide coverage.

Jordan Dingle is a free agent

In a surprise move on Thursday, Kentucky tight end Jordan Dingle decided to enter the transfer portal. After three years with the Wildcats, Dingle enters free agency with 33 career receptions for 472 yards and three touchdowns with 800-plus offensive snaps played.

Kentucky currently has just four scholarship tight ends with Josh Kattus (junior), Khamari Anderson (sophomore), Tanner Lemaster (redshirt freshman), and Willie Rodriguez (freshman) set to be on the roster in 2024.

The Wildcats are now kicking the tires with Bauer Sharp but we could see a smaller tight end rotation next season.

Tulane hires Jon Sumrall

At one point on Thanksgiving weekend, it very much looked like that Mark Stoops was headed to Texas A&M and Kentucky would be conducting a search for the next head football coach in Lexington. Troy head coach Jon Sumrall figured to have a great shot at getting the job.

But you know the rest of the story.

Stoops is still in Lexington, Mike Elko is the head coach at Texas A&M, and Sumrall led Troy to another Sun Belt title. That wasn’t the final move this cycle for the former Kentucky linebacker.

On Friday, news began to leak that Sumrall was the top target to replace new Houston head coach Willie Fritz at Tulane. All signs now point to that hiring happening.

After being involved in the Mississippi State search and being a reported candidate for Duke, Sumrall is making a move, but it will be to the American Athletic Conference instead of a power conference. The former Kentucky linebackers coach will now call New Orleans home.

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