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Ryan Baer talks Kentucky and modifications to upcoming official visit schedule

Article written by:On3 imageZack Geoghegan


(Jacob Noger | UK Athletics)
[caption id="attachment_356537" align="aligncenter" width="714"] (via Twitter: @RyanBaer2003)[/caption] Kentucky is preparing to keep the Big Blue Wall intact for years to come. The coaching staff is off to an excellent start in that regard, too, already receiving verbal commitments from two stud offensive linemen prospects in Kiyaunta Goodwin and Grant Bingham--a pair of four-star tackles with impressive potential. But Kentucky needs more than just those two to help prevent any cracks from forming within the wall's foundation. This past weekend was massive for keeping everything held together. Daughtry Richardson and Ryan Baer, two more offensive line recruits from the class of 2022, were in Lexington over the weekend for their official visits to the University of Kentucky. While these two aren't as highly ranked as the duo of Goodwin and Bingham, they project as future starters for high-level programs. Richardson is being heavily recruited by Florida State and Miami (FL) while Baer is being sought after by Michigan State and Notre Dame. They are both major prospects on the frontline and would be huge additions to this recruiting class. But let's focus on Baer for right now. Ranked by 247 Sports as the 366th best player in his class and a top 40 offensive tackle, the 6-foot-7, 320-pound behemoth is already built to play SEC football right now. He picked up his offer from Kentucky all the way back in January of 2020 and has been a priority for the coaching staff ever since. Assistant coach Frank Buffano extended the offer, associate head coach Vince Marrow built the relationship, and new offensive line coach Eric Wolford has taken over as his primary contact. Baer and the Kentucky coaching staff go far back with their communication. https://twitter.com/RyanBaer2003/status/1406963900667604994 For the very first time, Baer was able to see the Kentucky campus over the weekend, finally meeting coaches and people face-to-face after over a year of Zoom calls and text messages. During his visit, Baer met with Coach Wolford for a one-on-one where they talked about Baer's impact if he were to choose Kentucky. "We talked scheme, watched some film on it," Baer told KSR. "He (Coach Wolford) was telling me what his plan is for me, the things they want to do these next years... Plus with the two commits they already have (Goodwin and Bingham), they're trying to create the greatest offensive line class in this school's history." That last part is a lofty goal, but if Kentucky can add Baer and others to this class, that argument will be there.
Baer got to meet Goodwin while on campus, exchanging pleasantries for a few minutes while talking some football. Baer already knows Bingham from previous All-American camps, too. Additionally, current Wildcat offensive lineman Darian Kinnard was there to chat it up with Baer. He also met with head coach Mark Stoops throughout the entire weekend and spoke with graduate assistant C.J. Conrad at times. Lynn Bowden Jr. stopped by, as well. https://twitter.com/russ_baer/status/1406911681096192002 https://twitter.com/russ_baer/status/1406916446958112768 Notably, several members of the Kentucky coaching staff come from Youngstown, OH, which is roughly 90 minutes from Baer's home in Eastlake, OH. That connection plays a big role in Baer's recruitment, and he went as far as to say that being at Kentucky felt like he was surrounded by family. "It's family down there," Baer said of Kentucky. "All the players are super close with each other. The coaches are all--a ton of their coaches are from Youngstown, Ohio, so they all have a similar background. It's just a real family down there. In my opinion, I feel like the place you want to go is the place that you feel the most comfortable with. If you don't feel comfortable with where you're at, you're not going to perform well. I wanna go to a place where I feel welcome, where I'm not just another player." The potential to play early on at Kentucky also appeals to Baer. He mentioned that the 'Cats have a veteran-heavy offensive line right now, which could open up the potential for him to work his way onto the field as an underclassman. Baer has already taken official visits this month to Virginia and Illinois, including unofficials to Ohio State and Pittsburgh with two more officials coming at Michigan State and Notre Dame. It's that last school, though, that Kentucky fans should be aware of as the top competition. Originally, Baer was expected to visit Tennessee during the last weekend in June, but with Notre Dame extending an offer at the end of May and coming on late as a potential option, he switched his schedule from a trip to Knoxville, TN, to South Bend, IN. Ohio State has been slightly involved, but the interest has subsided recently. Notre Dame is clearly a player in Baer's recruitment and it could come down to the Fighting Irish or the Wildcats by the time it's all said and done. He added that he would like to make a final decision in July, ahead of his senior season. All eyes will be on Baer's visit to Notre Dame this weekend. With a decision expected sometime next month, it could make or break his recruitment with Kentucky. If he ultimately picks the 'Cats, Baer automatically makes an already good recruiting class even better.

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