Congrats! You survived a case of the Mondays, a perilous condition that can only be compared to fight with a polar vortex.
While you stock up on firewood and turn up the furnace, allow me to introduce a new Monday night feature: KSR’s Monday Night Football Notebook. (Creative name, right?) Over the next few months, I’ll be holding down the fort on Monday nights, giving me the opportunity to dish on whatever football topics are on my mind. With only one more football game remaining in the 2018-19 football season, I’ll do what I can to make sure this weekly bit satisfies your football cravings.
Nine days away from National Signing Day, the first MNF Notebook will feature a few recruiting nuggets and sprinkle in some Senior Bowl stuff. Enjoy.
No Devonta Lee?
I was surprised to hear Devonta Lee was not in the Rupp Arena stands for Saturday night’s game against Kansas, especially after receiving a Friday afternoon text from Drew Franklin: “Just ran into Devonta Lee.” It turns out Scoop Franklin ran into the wrong guy.
Lee did not make the long 11-hour drive from Louisiana to Lexington because it’s an 11-hour drive from Louisiana to Lexington and he was too busy dunking on dudes.
— Trig🗣 (@omb_troy) January 27, 2019
His absence does not mean the Cats are out of the hunt, but it would have been nice to get Lee on campus one more time before National Signing Day. Ultimately, much of Lee’s decision will weigh on his official visit to LSU this weekend.
Cornerbacks Trending Toward UK
Lee did not make the trip, but two four-star cornerbacks did. Kentucky was a little late to the MJ Devonshire party, but they’re in a great spot for the four-star prospect from Aliquippa, Pa. Mark Stoops is expected to follow up with an in-home visit this week to convince Devonshire to commit to UK over Pitt and Neal Brown’s West Virginia Mountaineers.
If you can read between the lines, Jay Ward’s decision to ditch a visit to Florida State to officially visit UK is fantastic news. But wait, THERE’S MORE! Steve Wiltfong logged a Crystal Ball pick for Ward to UK. The 247 Sports guy rarely misses. I don’t have a Crystal Ball, but if I did, I would see Ward and Devonshire in Kentucky blue.
Kentucky football’s Junior Day is an annual reminder that I’m getting old. Most of the visitors this weekend were from the 2020 class, which means they were born after 9/11. Yikes.
I digress. As usual, the guest list was too long for one post (although Jack Pilgrim did a pretty good job compiling the best of the best). One guest stands out above the rest, Justin Rogers. For those who are reading that name for the first time, allow me to explain his significance.
When Michigan natives DeAndre Square and Marquan McCall were being recruited to Kentucky, Steve Clinkscale and Vince Marrow included Rogers. When the two Wildcats received their initial offers, so did Rogers, even though he was two years younger. This year you saw the two Michigan men make plays as true freshman; Square was even named All-SEC Freshman. Well, Rogers is a class ahead of the two. That’s not a knock on Square and McCall. It’s a compliment to Rogers.
A former teammate of McCall’s at Oak Park High School in Detroit, Rogers is one of the 20 best high school football players in America, regardless of class. Like McCall, he started on the offensive line. Now when he attends All-American camps, he takes turns busting through blockers as a defensive lineman.
Kentucky has never recruited a player as dominant as Rogers. When UK initially offered, it was a nice gesture, but I questioned its significance. “Of course they offered him, everybody will.” Since the Cats were the first to offer, they have not lost momentum. Rogers has returned to campus for multiple visits, including this past Saturday. It’s a long shot that UK lands Rogers and his commitment is a long way away, but if Marrow was able to convince one Michigan offensive lineman to come to UK to play defense, he can do it again.
This weekend Rogers posed for a pic with his former teammate, McCall (right), The guy with him in the left picture, Enzo Jennings, is pretty great too. See for yourself.
The first MNF Notebook’s namesake is dedicate to the Kentucky Badger. Mike Edwards’ love for Skyline Chili is well-known, but I don’t think anyone knew just how crazy he is for the concoction. In a piece for the Bengals’ website, Rock Oliver explained the Cincinnati native’s obsession.
“He loves Skyline,” Oliver confirmed the other day. “Went there every day for like the first month. Even when it was being built he would stop by to check on the construction. I told him, ‘Mike, I like Skyline as much as the next guy, but I don’t make sure the guy is hammering in the nails.’”
Mike may want to keep that under wraps. Some NFL scouts might see “obsessed with Skyline” as a red flag in the evaluation process.