UK Football's Class of 2011's Thursday News and Views

Drew Franklinover 10 years

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Aritcle written by:Drew FranklinDrew Franklin

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classof2011 Joker and his staff didn't get all of them but they still did a great job of putting together the 2011 class.  Operation Win: Part Deux is off to a good start and the staff can finally get some sleep knowing the class is finally complete.  But before they can do that, we have Thursday News and Views... -- We kicked off signing day with some disappointing news out of Danville.  Kentucky's top target, Lamar Dawson from Boyle County signed his letter of intent to play for Lane Kiffin and USC. Dawson was a must-have recruit for Joker and his staff to show that they can hold down the Bluegrass state in recruiting.  Plus, as you've already heard a billion times, his would-be position coach at Kentucky is a former Boyle County coach.  All of the pieces were right for Lamar to become a Wildcat but, unfortunately, it just didn't happen.  Leading up to the announcement Wednesday morning it was rumored that Dawson would be heading to Tennessee, which would've been a dagger in the hearts of UK fans.  Instead, the four-star linebacker decided to head out west where he can play amongst NFL type talent and chase bleach blonde female classmates with big, fake... personalities.  I hate to see Lamar go, but I can't say I blame him.  Southern Cal over UK should be a no brainer for anyone.  We wish him the best and thank him for not going to Knoxville. -- It wasn't all Lamar Dawson disappointments in the home state, Kentucky still had a chance to lock up another in-state recruit - one who was already a verbal commitment and the first in the 2011 class.  Jon Davis from Louisville Eastern H.S. reneged on his verbal to Kentucky and signed with Illinois. Once Davis announced he was going to take visits to Illinois and Louisville, Kentucky fans realized they could be losing him so his decommitment didn't really come as a shock.  And again, like in the Dawson situation, it hurts to miss out on the recruit but at least he didn't go to a rival school.  Had Davis gone to Louisville, Cards fans would've been throwing their L's up and comparing it to the Marquis Teague situation.  Yeah, they wanted Davis that bad. Luckily for us, he'll be playing in Big Ten country, doing Big Ten things like running really slow and not making BCS Championship games. -- One of the positives from signing day was the news of Alabama wide receiver Daryl Collins signing with Kentucky over the Crimson Tide. Collins is a three-star wideout from Gadsden, Alabama and he says he's "a lifelong Alabama fan."  He originally verballed to Alabama in 2008 but reopened his recruitment when Nick Saban's staff asked him to grayshirt.  Earlier this week, Rivals.com and Scout.com both reported he would stick it out with Alabama but, in the end, Kentucky won out by offering Daryl the opportunity to play right away. I haven't put any research into this but I don't believe there have been too many recruits to decommit from Alabama and sign with Kentucky.  Tee Martin for the win! -- I won't bore you by going over each player in the class so let's go over a couple of quick-hitters:

- Glenn Faulkner is the only 4-star of the group and was the top prospect in the state of Illinois.  Expect to see him in the secondary early in the season.

- Offensive lineman Zach West from Lexington Christian is a beast.

- Shaq Love is arguably the greatest name in Kentucky football history.  Although, he could be challenged by incoming quarterback "Bookie" Cobbins.

- Josh Clemons and Marcus Caffey were the two top priority running backs for Joker and his staff.  They signed 'em both to join a loaded backfield with Coshick Williams, Raymond Sanders, and Brandon Gainer.

- WR Demarco Robinson holds the single season receiving record in Georgia.

- Ashley Lowery jumped over his LOI after he signed it.

-- Joker and his staff unexpectedly added a big name quarterback today.  Andre Woodson will return to Kentucky as a student assistant coach. Dre Wood will work with the quarterbacks (what's left of them) in hopes of teaching them how to set the SEC single season passing touchdown record and how to beat Top 10 teams.  "I'm excited to be back," Woodson said, Wednesday.  And we're excited to have him back. -- Joker sat in front of a bunch of cute little flags Wednesday afternoon and talked to the media about his recruiting class.  "You ought to be more excited about this class than any we've brought in," Phillips said.  26 players signed Wednesday in arguably the best UK recruiting class in 10-20 years.  It will take a little time before we realize how good it is really is, but today, we can at least be satisfied with what this staff did.  This UK staff is making progress and that's all we can ask for right now. -- In his press conference, Joker really emphasized all of the recruits fitting a certain profile. "One thing that we have done is we have gone out and identified a profile of what we consider a successful student athlete is at Kentucky in football, and No. 1 is character; second, we want a guy that truly wants to get a degree here; and the third thing is that a guy that has passion for the game of football and a guy that has passion not only for football but to play football here at Kentucky. And we worry about, and that only."  Joker said they don't worry about how many stars a kid has, they just try to project what he's capable of.  It's all about finding the next Woodyard, Jarmon, Cobb, Tamme, Masthay, etc. -- Enough football talk, let's switch it over to non-Ole Miss loss related basketball news.  Calipari did his weekly basketball chat with Fox Sports and in it Coach Cal said he would hit his dougie next week with Matthew Mitchell. The dougie is old news. I'd rather Coach Cal hit the film room with the team and show them everything that went wrong in Oxford. -- The video is on this site somewhere but in case you missed it, Rajon Rondo shoved Demarcus Cousins Tuesday night. I can assure Rajon that's not something he wants to do.  Not only will he get destroyed if the two came to blows but he's hurting his relationship with BBN by going at one of our all-time favorites.  Rajon, you're on notice. -- Future Cat Kyle Wiltjer injured his left leg in a game for Jesuit Monday night.  The injury is not thought to be serious.  Can we just bubble wrap these kids until they're on campus? -- For those of you who like to read, there is a new book about the Transylvania book heist that took place in 2004. The book is called "Mr. Pink: The Inside Story of the Transylvania Book Heist" and it’s written by one of the members in the heist, Chas Allen, who is serving an 87 month federal prison sentence. It’s a first-hand account of one of Lexington’s biggest crimes. Check it out at WhoIsMrPink.com. That's all for now.  Matt and Big EZ will be on that device they call a radio at 10 am to discuss all of the fresh faces in UK football.  I'm hopping on an airplane to Las Vegas tomorrow afternoon.  I'll be updating twitter and I might put up a few posts if I get a break in the hotel room but don't count it.  See you guys in six days. Go Cats.

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2021-09-19