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Kentucky QB target Stone Saunders sets August commitment date

Zack Geogheganby:Zack Geoghegan07/28/23

ZGeogheganKSR

This time next week, Stone Saunders will announce his college decision.

Saunders, a three-star class of 2025 quarterback out of Harrisburg (PA) Bishop McDevitt, posted on social media Friday morning that he will be committing on Friday, August 4 at 6:25 p.m. EST. The announcement will air live on ABC27 News (WHTM-TV). Saunders is down to a top five that includes Kentucky, Georgia, Michigan, Nebraska, and Miami (FL).

With one week separating a decision, Kentucky is considered the frontrunner to land Saunders. Two Recruiting Prediction Machine (RPM) picks have been logged in favor of Saunders choosing the Wildcats, with one coming in shortly after Saunders released his commitment date on Friday. He is considered a high-three-star prospect, checking in at No. 333 overall in the class of 2025 according to the On3 Industry Ranking.

Saunders, who checks in at 6-foot-2, 210 pounds, was in Lexington last month on June 11 for an unofficial visit where he met with offensive coordinator Liam Coen and head coach Mark Stoops. He was also on UK’s campus for Junior Day in January (which is when Coen extended him an offer) and once again in April. Saunders has visited Nebraska multiple times this year, as well, but the Wildcats appear to have the inside edge down the home stretch.

Why? Mostly due to the relationship he’s developed with Coen.

“I have a great relationship with Coach Coen,” Saunders told KSR last month. “My dad trained him when he was trying to get into the NFL and I just love his system offensively. He has a very pro-style system coming from the (Los Angeles) Rams under Sean McVay. Coach Stoops, the whole staff has really just treated me like a family there. I love everything about Kentucky. Kentucky is great.”

When Coen graduated from UMass in 2008 after a record-breaking quarterback career with the Minutemen, he linked up with Stone’s father in order to prepare for the NFL Draft Combine. While Coen ultimately didn’t find his way into the big leagues, his relationship with the Saunders family remained. 15 years later, it’s trickling down to Stone.

“Me and Coach Coen FaceTime like once a week,” Saunders added. “He’s a younger guy so he’s easy to get along with. We can just talk about whatever and talk about their recruiting and everything like that. He can help me out because he played the game. He played quarterback, so Coach Coen is great, he’s a great teacher, and he can develop me as a man. And Coach Stoops also could develop me as a man and as a player.”

We’ll find out in a week if that connection is strong enough to lock up Saunders as Kentucky’s first class of 2025 commit.

During his sophomore season in 2022, Saunders appeared in 14 games for Bishop McDevitt en route to winning the Gatorade Pennsylvania Player of the Year and a state championship. He threw for over 3,500 yards and totaled 54 touchdowns with just five interceptions on a completion percentage of 68.7, leading the Crusaders to a 13-1 record and the Class 4A state title. Saunders has twice been tabbed as a MaxPreps All-American.

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2024-05-26