By Nick Roush on ©August 26th, 2019 @ 11:38pm
Kentucky has reportedly sealed the deal for one of the most talented defensive backs in America.
After a hectic night at the Joe Craft Football Training Facility, LSU cornerback Kelvin Joseph has enrolled at the University of Kentucky. Justin Rowland reports the cornerback will begin classes in Lexington tomorrow.
@BBN I NEED SHOUTOUT
— Kelvin Joseph || (@bossmanfat1) August 27, 2019
A four-star recruit from Baton Rouge, Joseph initially committed to LSU over Alabama and Clemson at the 2018 Army All-American Game. He played in 11 games as a true freshman on special teams and in the secondary, recording 12 tackles and a crucial third down pass deflection in a victory over second-ranked Georgia.
After sitting on the sideline for the 2019 season, Joseph will have three years of eligibility remaining at UK.
Florida was considered the favorite shortly after Joseph entered the transfer portal. Instead of going to Gainesville, Joseph will be the fourth-highest ranked player in the 247 Sports Composite rankings to ever wear Kentucky blue.
By Nick Roush on ©August 26th, 2019 @ 11:00pm
UPDATE (11:11): Joseph has enrolled at Kentucky and will begin classes Tuesday. Yahtzee!
Kentucky’s coaching staff is trying to reel in the most talented transfer in the program’s modern history.
Matt Jones reports LSU cornerback Kelvin Joseph attended UK’s Monday afternoon football practice, “setting up a potential transfer to Kentucky very soon.”
There’s plenty of fine print. Joseph to UK is not a done deal. Here’s why it would be a HUGE deal if the talented defensive back transfers to Kentucky.
A Top 100 High School Prospect
Every major recruiting service ranked Joseph as the No. 5 cornerback and a Top 100 overall prospect in the 2018 class. His biggest fans were at ESPN, who ranked him as the No. 32 player overall. Using the 247 Composite, Joseph could become the fourth-highest ranked recruit to ever play at Kentucky.
Joseph is Leaving His Hometown Team
The defensive back did a little bit of everything at Scotlandville Magnet High School in Baton Rouge, where he scored a combined 13 career touchdowns on punt, kickoff and interception returns. After starting his career as a cornerback, he switched to safety as a junior. In his final season he recorded 113 tackles, 12 tackles for loss and three interceptions to earn a spot in the Army All-American Bowl. During an in-game ceremony on national TV, Joseph committed to LSU over Alabama and Clemson.
Commitment Issues with LSU
Joseph has had an on-again, off-again relationship with Ed Orgeron’s program. His commitment to the Tigers at the All-American Bowl was his second LSU commitment.
Like his recruitment a little more than a year ago, he went back-and-forth with LSU in the transfer portal. Joseph first entered the transfer portal in May, publicly refuting reports from his father that he was staying at LSU. After meeting with Coach O, Joseph had a change of heart. That only lasted until SEC Media Days two months later when Joseph ultimately decided to leave DBU.
A True Freshman Contributor
There are not many players who are talented enough to earn significant snaps in the SEC as true freshmen. Joseph is a member of this exclusive club.
He played in 11 games in 2018, recording 12 tackles and one crucial pass-deflection. Facing second-ranked Georgia on a third-and-5 near midfield, Joseph swatted down the pass from Jake Fromm. Instead of squeaking in a score before halftime, the true freshman forced the Bulldogs to punt.
Florida is UK’s Top Competition
Joseph did something out of the ordinary for transfers when he listed his top six options a month after entering the portal. There was some early buzz that Florida was in the driver’s seat before Joseph visited Lexington. He’s also considering Auburn, Miss. State, Maryland and Grambling.
He Wants to See Something from the BBN
#BBN STAND UP ? I’m tryna see something
— Kelvin Joseph || (@bossmanfat1) August 25, 2019
Immediate Eligibility is Off the Table
Kentucky could use Joseph right away, but if he makes the move to Lexington he will have to wait until 2020 to get into the action at Kroger Field. Making a case for a transfer waiver away from his hometown would be quite a stretch. Joseph has three years of eligibility remaining and he would become the third cornerback in UK’s star-studded 2020 class.
By Hayden Hooper on ©August 26th, 2019 @ 10:30pm
KSBar and Grille is the place in Lexington to catch University of Kentucky games (pre and postgame too) as well as other events such as the NBA Playoffs, UFC fights, the World Cup, MLB games, PGA tour events, and more.
KSBar might be known for their smoked wings but don’t miss out on the brisket platter, fried katfish, chicken and waffles, and the great assortment of burgers. Start off with the house chips loaded to the ceiling smothered with pulled pork or chicken straight off the smoker topped with the house BBQ sauce.
Head to the KSBar and Grille website ksbarandgrille.com to see a full menu and drink list.
Be on the look out for different specials and events.
KSBar and Grille is located at: 1030 South Broadway, Lexington, KY 40504
You can be a part of KSR’s Top 10 Tweets by using hashtags like #KSR #BBN or #KSRtop10. You can also nominate tweets by mentioning them with the hashtag. If we like what we see, it could be posted the next day.
If you are interested in sponsoring KSR’s Top 10 Tweets, please contact us at Via Email.
#10 Charlie Tweeder
— Charlie Tweeder (@Nick4six) August 26, 2019
Uhh… we were here first!
#9 Bradley Williams
— Bradley Williams (@turkeyhunr1) August 27, 2019
Looking happy today on International Dog Day!
The first time they call out Josh Paschal’s name on Saturday #BBN, make sure you cheer so loud for him they hear it in other solar systems.
— Alan (@DerbyWill) August 26, 2019
I second this!
#7 Shaun G
— Shaun G (@KwildcatY) August 26, 2019
#6 Bradley Stevenson
— Bradley Stevenson (@bss1974) August 26, 2019
Looks so comfortable in an UK hat!
#5 Josh Henry
— Josh Henry (@BlueHairUKGuy) August 26, 2019
The “BLUKMobile” is awesome!!! I need to see this on Saturday!
#4 Derek Petrey
— Derek?Petrey (@Derek8Petrey) August 26, 2019
Hey, let the hardware speak for them self!
#3 David Grigson
— David Grigson (@DavidJGrigson) August 26, 2019
The turning point of the program happened that night.
Well the trailer is set up at CWS and the tent is up! Now can we hurry up and get to Saturday for the @UKFootball game vs Toledo. #ItsFootballTimeInTheBluegrass #BBN #GoCats #WeAreUK #Tailgating @LMHS1856 @ChuckKnight389 @RUPPS_rhetoric @Drxman pic.twitter.com/wS8Qw4MBab
— tgh3316 (@tgh3316) August 26, 2019
Yes, I need it to hurry!
— Leah (@ArtWithMrsAlix) August 26, 2019
That’s how you mark your territory!
Follow me on twitter and tag me in one of your tweets for a chance to make KSR’s top 10 tweets:
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©August 26th, 2019 @ 10:00pm
Q. Still playing the waiting game with Xavier Peters (NCAA waiver process)?
MARK STOOPS: Yeah, I mean, he’s out right now until someone tells me different. There’s a lot of things that we had to get in order, as well. Information we had to get from Florida State. They have to do part. So it takes some time to get it all in.
Q. If he were eligible, would he be ready to play right now?
MARK STOOPS: Well, yeah, it would be hard for him at this point just because the time he’s been here. As you know, second year in college, redshirt freshman. For him to be totally new in our system, it takes some time. You heard me say it a bunch of times about that position: it’s most definitely a different position. There’s a lot of nuances to playing outside linebacker, standing up on your feet. It will take some time.
Q. This being the first game of the year, how do you prepare for Toledo?
MARK STOOPS: It’s good for us to play an opponent like Toledo because they’re a very good football program. They’re used to winning football games. They’re well-coached. They have two quarterbacks that are coming back with good experience, that are good players.
We’ll have to play very good. If you watch the MAC, you got to have great respect for the MAC, because they’re always very well-coached. They’re not going to beat themselves.
I tell our team often early in the year, you know, we need to play aggressive, we need to play to win, but you can’t beat anybody till you don’t beat yourself. I think if you watch some of the football that’s played early, you see a lot of that. We as coaches try to offset that as much as possible with camp and putting them in a lot of pressure-packed situations. But there’s nothing like game reps.
Both teams will have some new guys out there and some guys with experience. Game one is always a little bit different. But Toledo is a good football team. They’re balanced offensively. They can run and throw. Extremely explosive a year ago, averaged 40 points per game. Used to winning. The defense is not going to beat themselves. They’re very sound. They very clearly know who they are, what they do, and they do it well.
By Jack Pilgrim on ©August 26th, 2019 @ 9:26pm
Could Kentucky add a former top-50 prospect and four-star recruit to its current roster?
It’s currently looking that way.
Sources tell KSR that LSU transfer Kelvin Joseph is currently on Kentucky’s campus and is in the process of setting up a transfer to UK “very soon.”
BREAKING: LSU DB Kelvin Joseph is on UK’s campus and attended UK’s practice today, setting up a potential transfer to Kentucky very soon
— Matt Jones (@KySportsRadio) August 27, 2019
As a freshman last year, Joseph played in 11 games for the Tigers, where he recorded 12 tackles and one pass breakup, including a career-best four tackles in a win over Ole Miss. He also saw action on special teams on LSU’s coverage units.
According to his player profile page on LSU’s official website, Joseph is a “tremendous cover corner with good ball skills and thee ability to make plays on the ball downfield. Has blazing speed. Physical player who is a good tackler. Has a knack for finding the football. Thrives in man coverage. Good hips with the ability to change direction with ease.”
Coming out of high school in 2018, Joseph was ranked No. 42 overall nationally by 247 Sports Composite. The 6-foot-2, 195-pound, who held offers from LSU, Alabama, Auburn, Clemson, Florida, and Georgia, among others, was also named a U.S. Army All-American.
On his Twitter page last month, he told teams interested in recruiting him that he is comfortable playing all positions in the secondary.
“You can recruit me as a corner/safety/nickel,” he said. “I’m all that.”
Check out some of his impressive high school highlight tapes:
Come on down, Mr. Joseph.
By Brent Wainscott on ©August 26th, 2019 @ 9:00pm
Five days until kickoff, we revisit the first big win of the Mark Stoops era.
Kentucky was a program in shambles, a team that had only won nine games in the last three seasons. Facilities were poor, fan interest was at rock bottom, and the Wildcats couldn’t even beat Western. But, there was hope on the horizon: a new coach from a legendary football family that reeled in some five-star recruits and forged a new focus on football in the Bluegrass.
He just needed one signature win to change the game.
No. 5: Kentucky 45, South Carolina 38 – October 4, 2014
When Mark Stoops took on the Gamecocks for the first time in Lexington, Commonwealth Stadium looked very different than the Kroger Field we see today. The Cats still played on actual grass, the stadium was a mess — under construction for the new renovation coming the following year– and the new training facility was just a patch of grass.
The stadium wasn’t the only thing that was a mess; the Kentucky football program was also under construction. After winning only two games the year before, Kentucky fans expected to endure one more terrible two-win season under Mark Stoops in year two. But things changed rather quickly.
Fans felt confident that Neal Brown had enough weapons to get it done: a consistently healthy quarterback in Patrick Towles, a couple of studs at running back in Boom Williams and Jojo Kemp, and a steady new crop of wide receivers that included Javess Blue, Dorian Baker, Juice Johnson, and Ryan Timmons. On the defensive side, names like Bud Dupree, Za’Darius Smith, AJ Stamps, and Josh Forrest stood out.
Kentucky got off to a 3-1 start by handily beating UT-Martin and Ohio — something a UK team hadn’t done in seemingly forever. The Cats got hosed in overtime in the Swamp, but for the first time since 2007, the BBN tasted the streak coming to an end and it felt like Kentucky could finally hang in with SEC talent. The week before, Kentucky got its first SEC win since 2011 — when Matt Roark beat Tennessee at quarterback — over Vanderbilt.
A 3-1 start and a chance to beat Steve Spurrier’s Gamecocks would put the rebuild way ahead of schedule. But, the old Kentucky football reared its head.
Just days before the biggest game of Mark Stoops’ young career, four freshmen were suspended for one game due to an Airsoft incident on campus: Drew Barker, Tymere Dubose, Dorian Baker, and Boom Williams. Of course Kentucky would lose its star running back and third-leading receiver just days before playing South Carolina. Surely, there was no way Kentucky could beat South Carolina.
The BBN sold out Commonwealth Stadium dressed in black on Keeneland’s opening weekend, an atmosphere for the ages for the first big game of the Mark Stoops era.
But first, a pep talk must be had:
Ugh, Not Again
It would be an understatement to say that Kentucky got off to a slow start. Steve Spurrier made sure to quiet down the electric Commonwealth Stadium early with two methodical drives.
The first drive went on forever: eleven plays and nearly eight minutes capped off by a Mike Davis touchdown. After a short five-play drive on offense, Kentucky punted the ball right back to the Gamecocks and Spurrier once again slowly gashed the Kentucky defense. This time, it took eleven plays and a quarter over five minutes to wear down Mark Stoops’ defense. Before you knew it, Kentucky was down two touchdowns at the start of the second quarter.
Ugh, not again. Kentucky had blown another opportunity to seize a big moment, and Steve Spurrier got us again.
Kentucky was on the ropes and had to put together some kind of drive to keep themselves in it, and in typical Mark Stoops fashion, they found a way, this time, by the appropriately named Wildcat formation.
Jojo Kemp got the Cats on the board with the direct snap touchdown in the second quarter to draw Kentucky within seven. After a South Carolina field goal, it was Braylon Heard’s turn out of the Wildcat and he took it 38 yards to the house to draw Kentucky within three. As time expired going into halftime, the steady leg of Austin MacGinnis drew the two teams even at 17 with a 48-yard field goal.
Kentucky had clawed its way back, but just one big play could put them over the edge…
The Ultimate Spark
Receiving the ball to start the second half, Kentucky had its chance to send a statement. After working the ball to midfield, Neal Brown drew up a trick play out of the Wildcat and Commonwealth Stadium exploded.
Patrick Towles hits Ryan Timmons for the flea flicker touchdown (2014) pic.twitter.com/RgJfDuLFpv
— KY Clips (@KY_Clips) November 17, 2018
Kentucky finally seized its first lead of the game at 24-17 and Commonwealth Stadium was rocking. What happened next was legendary.
Grove Street Party was born.
Kentucky football breaks out Grove St. Party vs South Carolina (2014) pic.twitter.com/iegN4mZOL1
— KY Clips (@KY_Clips) June 18, 2018
Jojo Kemp’s Legendary Night
There is so much to unpack from this monumental night it’s hard to believe we’re just now getting to the legendary performance by Jojo Kemp.
Jojo Kemp ran the Wildcat to perfection all night, even to the brink of exhaustion in the fourth quarter. Kemp had three touchdowns on 17 carries for 131 yards that willed Mark Stoops to his first signature victory. He carried Kentucky the entire fourth quarter to keep the Cats in it, even after Kentucky once again got behind by 14 in the second half.
Relive all three of his crucial touchdowns:
As he was carried off the field after his third and final touchdown, “Go Big Blue” chants quickly turned into chants of “Jo-Jo-Kemp.” His performance against South Carolina will go down as one of the best in UK history.
Defense Wins Football Games
No defense will ever brag about allowing 38 points to an opponent; however, on this night in 2014, Kentucky’s defense made the plays when they had to be made.
Kentucky was down by 14 on two separate occasions and another scoring drive could’ve been the straw to break the camel’s back, but the Bud Dupree-led defense held true. After going down by 14 the first time, the Cats forced the Gamecocks into two straight three-and-outs that allowed Kentucky’s offense to get in within three.
When it looked like South Carolina was going to score again before halftime to extend their lead to 10, AJ Stamps picked up an interception and returned it to midfield, setting up MacGinnis’ game-tying field goal heading into the half. The next time Kentucky went down 14, the defense didn’t allow a single point the rest of the game.
After Jojo Kemp willed Kentucky into a tied game, the Kentucky defense just needed to prevent one last drive. Instead, Mike Douglass tipped a pass.
Bud Dupree game winning pick six. (2014)
(Tom Leach audio) pic.twitter.com/RmZxBZDlrH
— KY Clips (@KY_Clips) September 3, 2018
That touchdown would seal it as Kentucky scratched and clawed its way to Mark Stoops’ first signature win, beating South Carolina 45-38.
In the immediate aftermath of the big victory, Jojo Kemp gave one of the best postgame speeches in UK history:
Jojo Kemp ( @JoKempIII ) post game interview against South Carolina (2014)
— KY Clips (@KY_Clips) July 9, 2018
Kemp’s comments weren’t the only ones from that night that would live on in Big Blue lore. After his biggest win thus far, Mark Stoops called into the KSR postgame show to talk to Matt Jones. After basking in the victory for the segment, Stoops ended the phone call with a single phrase:
“We’re just getting started, bro.”
Stoops was right; they were just getting started. Kentucky didn’t reach a bowl for the next two years, but in 2014, beating Spurrier was enough. It was the launching pad to the Kentucky Football we see today.
If Kentucky didn’t beat South Carolina in 2014, do they beat them the next four years? Is Mark Stoops still around after going four wins, five wins, and starting 2016 0-2? Who knows, but this win was the first of many more huge wins in the Mark Stoops era.
The program changed that night.
Check out our other games in the countdown to kickoff series:
No. 6: Kentucky is For Real (Kentucky 28, No. 14 Mississippi State 7 – September 22, 2018)
No. 7: The Kick Heard ‘Round the Commonwealth (Kentucky 40, Mississippi State 38 – October 16, 2016)
No. 8: Stephen Soars over Rocky Top (Kentucky 29, Tennesee 26 – October 28, 2017)
No. 9: Tongues Out in the Sandstorm (Kentucky 23, South Carolina 13 – September 16, 2017)
No. 10: The First Road Victory (Kentucky 26, South Carolina 22 – September 12, 2015)
By Jack Pilgrim on ©August 26th, 2019 @ 8:30pm
One of the top prospects in the class of 2020 is deciding between playing overseas or going to college next year.
Makur Maker, a five-star center and consensus top-ten prospect out of Irvine, CA, is set to decide between playing at the college level next season or professionally for one year before entering the NBA Draft.
The 6-foot-11 center told Evan Daniels of 247Sports that a decision is expected in the spring.
“I definitely want to see what RJ (Hampton) and LaMelo (Ball) do after this year and see how they play against these professionals,” Maker said. “It’s definitely appealing playing against grown men, although you’re playing against grown men in college too. Competition is going to be there no matter what.”
While he’d be able to make money immediately by going overseas, Maker admitted that there is still an advantage to playing at the college level, where he could build a brand and play under the national spotlight, one arguably larger than what he’d see overseas.
“The thing about college is you play on national TV every night so you’re getting that exposure from the country and basically the world. That’s very appealing to me,” he said.
One of the schools he is strongly considering at the next level if he chooses the college route? Kentucky.
His guardian, Ed Smith, told Daniels that he is in regular contact with UK head coach John Calipari and assistant coach Kenny Payne.
“I’ve kept him focusing on playing; now I’m going to open it up to the coaches,” Smith said. “From my perspective with Kenny Payne and Coach Cal they are straight with what they say. They want you to come to them when we figure out the pathway we are taking because everyone is wondering how much effort they should put into Makur.”
And in those conversations, Calipari has explained that Maker is a player that can make a major impact at the next level.
“Cal knows he can play at Kentucky, he knows what type of player he is and he knows he can help them. They came and made an in-home visit and they were strong about what the game plan could be.”
Outside of Kentucky, schools such as Oregon, UCLA, USC, and Washington State have also been in regular contact with Maker.
The five-star center told KSR at the NBPA Top 100 Camp that Kentucky was at the top of his priority list in terms of visits, with one potentially coming as early as this fall.
According to Daniels, Maker could also take college visits to UCLA and Howard in the coming months.
Until an official decision is made, check out some of his most recent highlights below:
Come on down.
By Jack Pilgrim on ©August 26th, 2019 @ 8:00pm
Kentucky will host a five-star power forward in Lexington this weekend.
According to Jake Weingarten of Stockrisers.com and KSR’s Sources Say Podcast, 2020 top-25 prospect Isaiah Jackson will be taking an official visit to Kentucky starting this Friday.
Five-star senior Isaiah Jackson will take an official visit to Kentucky this upcoming weekend, a source told @Stockrisers. Big visit for him and UK, talks between the two started this summer. Offer is expected as I said two weeks ago.
— Jake (@jakeweingarten) August 26, 2019
Jackson, the No. 21 prospect in the 247Sports Composite, holds offers from Michigan State, Louisville, Memphis, UCONN, Alabama, and Florida State, among others.
Playing with The Family at the Peach Jam back in July, Jackson averaged 10.6 points and 5.6 rebounds per contest. He also averaged 11 points and 6.2 rebounds per game during the Nike EYBL regular season.
The 6-foot-9, 195-pound power forward’s father recently told Adam Zagoria of ZagsBlog that his recruitment is “open” at this time.
“Isaiah’s recruitment is open,” Wesley Jackson said. “Just about every school has voiced interest besides maybe North Carolina. That’s the only big school that we haven’t talked to.”
Sources tell KSR that Jackson is on the cusp of an offer from the Kentucky coaching staff, with one potentially coming during his upcoming visit to Lexington. While he is not seen as one of UK’s immediate priorities for the class of 2020, Jackson is an uber athletic prospect with high potential as a power forward at the college level.
Check out some of his most recent highlights below:
By Drew Franklin on ©August 26th, 2019 @ 7:00pm
Mark Stoops isn’t the only head coach to hold a Monday press conference previewing Saturday’s Kentucky-Toledo showdown. Toledo head coach Jason Candle was also in front of a microphone to talk football, including the announcement of his starting quarterback and comments on the Kentucky football program.
Candle named Mitch Guadagni, a fifth-year senior, the winner of his quarterback competition in fall camp. Guadagni started only seven games a year ago due to injury, but finished with the MAC’s highest passing efficiency with over 1,000 yards and 13 touchdowns. Eli Peters, a junior, started the other six games last season and put up a fight for the starting gig for this season.
Moving on to his team’s first opponent in Lexington, Candle said, “Tremendous test here in Week 1. Kentucky’s a program that’s definitely on the rise, coming off a 10-win season last year, a tremendous year.
“I think it’s a program that’s built for stability and built for longevity,” he added. “It’s not something that’s a quick fix. Those guys have done it right down there, done it with really strong recruiting and really good developing of their players.”
Candle mentioned Kentucky having to make up for the mass exodus to the NFL last spring, but said, “when you do it the right way I think there are probably some more guys ready to fill in and pick up the slack.”
Also out of Toledo today, the coaches of the MAC picked Toledo to win the MAC East. Eastern Michigan, UK’s Week 2 opponent, was finished fourth in the MAC West coaches poll.
By Nick Roush on ©August 26th, 2019 @ 6:30pm
Just a little over a year ago, John Schlarman discovered he had cancer. For the first time Kentucky’s offensive line coach shared exactly what he is facing in a battle for his life.
In a lengthy conversation with Darrell Bird of The Cats Pause, Schlarman revealed he has been diagnosed with a rare cancer, cholangiocarcinoma. The disease originates in the bile ducts of the liver before spreading elsewhere. Scans also revealed spots in his stomach lining and lungs. Shortly after receiving the diagnosis, he spoke to his boss.
“Coach Stoops said, ‘What do we need to do for you to beat this thing? What do you want to do?’” Schlarman said. “It was never, ‘We need you to do this.’ Or, ‘If you can’t do this, we’ll have to do this.’ There was never that type of conversation.
“In my mind, I wanted to keep everything as consistent as I could,” he said. “I thought that would be the best way to deal with things mentally for me, if I was physically and mentally able to do that. Doing things at a very high level on a consistent basis was very important for me from day one.”
Even through chemotherapy treatments, Schlarman never missed a day of practice and his offensive line performed at an incredibly high level. He was rewarded the game ball after the Cats’ line paved the way for more than 300 rushing yards at Florida. Schlarman’s steadfast attitude was inspired in part by Josh Paschal, who discovered he had melanoma the same week Schlarman received his diagnosis.
“Seeing how he handled things absolutely motivated me,” Schlarman said. “His strength. His faith. I took a lesson in that. He taught me.
“I’m out here with a whistle in street clothes. This guy is out here in full pads, going through treatment, and doing some things that I know what it feels like. I’m not going to friggin’ feel sorry for myself.”
Schlarman received another round of treatments in the spring. He’s in the early stages of another round of clinical trials at a hospital in Houston as the 2019 season approaches. After that, there’s no certainty as to what’s next or how his body will handle the treatment.
The battle vs. cancer is filled with unknowns. What Schlarman does know is that he’ll continue to do everything he can to fight the disease. You can help by keeping Schlarman and his family in your thoughts and prayers throughout his battle vs. cancer.
By Drew Franklin on ©August 26th, 2019 @ 6:00pm
With James Franklin and Penn State only days away from kicking off the new season after losing last year’s Citrus Bowl to Kentucky, Franklin and his employer have found themselves in some legal troubles off the field.
Scott Lynch, a former team doctor for the Nittany Lions, is suing Coach Franklin and Penn State University, alleging Franklin pressured him into clearing injured players. According to the report from PennLive.com, Lynch claims in his lawsuit that he was removed from his two jobs with the university for complaining about Franklin’s interference with his work with the football program. He is seeking more than $50,000 in the lawsuit.
More from PennLive.com:
Lynch’s 43-page suit, filed by Philadelphia attorney Steven F. Marino, does not list any examples of specific incidents where Franklin supposedly tried to influence a player’s medical care or return to the field. Lynch merely accuses Franklin of trying to sway medical treatment and return to play decisions “on multiple and repeated occasions.”
He claims he resisted that alleged interference, which he contends endangered the health of the student-athletes. Lynch claims his ouster is a direct result of his complaining about Franklin to other university officials.
To read even more, click here. Or maybe you don’t need more info to confirm your opinion of Franklin. He doesn’t have the best of reputations for being a good human being.
Hey, remember that time he talked all that noise about Kentucky and then lost to Kentucky in the Citrus Bowl? That was fun.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©August 26th, 2019 @ 5:00pm
Kroger Field just keeps getting better and better. Today, UK announced four new concessions options for the 2019 football season. Chick-Fil-A, Skyline Chili, and House of ‘Cue will join Athenian Grill inside Gate 6 and Bourbon n’ Toulouse will join Atomic Ramen inside Gate 9.
Here’s the updated stadium/concessions map:
Other game day changes to pass along:
- Mobile ticketing now available – To cut down on counterfeiting, print-at-home paper tickets will no longer be accepted. Fans are encouraged to use mobile ticketing instead. Season ticket holders and single-game buyers can access their tickets through the UK Athletics app or by visiting UKathletics.com/MyUKAccount from their mobile device’s web browser. To assist fans with mobile ticketing, WiFi Help Zones will be in place at the guest services locations outside gates 4, 9 and 12, as well as at the ticket office (between gates 9 and 10).
- Student and public gate changes – The entry gate for UK students will move to Gate 1 from Gate 15 to better accommodate student arrival and create additional room for the Cat Walk prior to the game. Fans who previously used Gate 1 for entry should now use either Gate 15 or Gate 2.
- In-Game Seat Upgrades – Starting this season, fans can upgrade their seat location through the UK Athletics app or by visiting UKathletics.com/upgrade on game day. Upgrades are available beginning two hours prior to kickoff on game day and will remain active until approximately the start of the third quarter.
- Clear bag policy – As always, the SEC’s clear bag policy remains in place. For more information and guidelines, click here.
- Military and first responder ticket pricing through GovX – All active and reserve members of the armed forces along with police, firefighters and first responders can purchase specially priced tickets through UK Athletics’ new partnership with GovX. For more information, visit UKathletics.com/GovX.
- The Purple Lot is getting bigger: UK is currently expanding the Purple Lot to create more season permit parking. Here’s the current parking map, although the Purple Lot boundaries will expand as the season goes on:
Almost there. Go Cats.
By Nick Roush on ©August 26th, 2019 @ 4:00pm
1. Landon Doesn’t Look the Same
Kentucky’s homegrown five-star recruit and high school All-American lost his junior season before it started, thanks to an ACL injury in the final 2018 preseason scrimmage. Luckily, he still had his redshirt year available. Young didn’t just rehab during his year off the field.
“He’s bigger. He’s stronger. He’s more confident. He’s a year older. He looks really good. I’m really excited for him,” said Stoops. There’s a perfect example of somebody that takes a negative and turns it into a positive.”
2. Chance Poore has Range
Kentucky’s kicker knocked down a 56-yarder last week in practice. “I mean, I’m not saying I’m going to go for it at 56, know what I mean ?” Stoops added, “We’ll see.”
3. Stoops’ First College Football Memories
A lot of players will be getting their first real college football game action against Toledo. Emotions run high when dreams are finally a reality. Stoops will be proactive to try to keep the team calm, especially when adversity inevitably strikes. He’s ready for that. After all, he’s done it six other times before as a coach, although he doesn’t really remember how he handled his first time playing college football.
“Well, I don’t really remember. I was probably holding onto my ass,” he laughed. It was one of a few lighthearted moments from the presser. Ten-win seasons will take the tension out of a room.
4. Two Interchangeable Secondary Positions
The nickel and strong safety positions are kind of one in the same, according to UK’s head honcho. Previously occupied by Mike Edwards, Jordan Griffin took the first spot at safety, while Ajian is the No. 1 nickel. Those positions mirror each other so closely, Stoops is still unsure who will start where on Saturday.
“Jordan has more experience at the nickel. I’m going to look at it this week and see exactly what we go into game with. That could all change a little bit,” he said. “It doesn’t make a difference to the offensive guy. It’s just bodies. But for us, we just got to continue to work with that, get as much experience as we can.”
5. “The strength of our team is the team.”
Stoops pulled out one of his favorite sayings when talking about Terry Wilson’s development as a passer. It does not matter how many steps forward Wilson has taken, much of his success will depend on the players around him.
“He can’t do too much either. He just has to play within himself…If we go out and play as individuals, we’re going to lose. That will always be the case. This is the ultimate team sport here. We got to have all guys on the same page all the time or you’re not going to be successful.”
6. Abule’s Dedication Pays Off
Abule Abadi-Fitgerald made a surprise appearance in the two-deep, filling the void left by Phil Hoskins. The Nigerian-born defensive lineman played very little football before committing to Kentucky. Entering his third year in the program, he’s used hard work to overcome any shortcomings from inexperience.
“He’s come a long, long way,” said Stoops. “He’s a lot like Calvin in that he really works hard to do what he’s asked to do. There’s a place for that. When you’re playing those guys up front, you got to be very unselfish to play up front on the defensive line, do what you’re asked to do.
“Sometimes you like loose players that are twitchy and can make things happen sometimes by being wrong. Then there’s other guys that just fundamentally constantly want to do things right, really work at their technique. He’s a guy that you’re seeing grow. Coach LeBlanc has done a really good job with him, getting much better.”
7. Horsey’s Remarkable Story
Less than two years after having open-heart surgery, Kenneth Horsey is Kentucky’s second team left guard.
“When that happened, I had no idea whether he’d play football again. To see him battle back, go through what he’s gone through, is a remarkable story. Even physically the pain he dealt with through his chest, where they cracked him open. He has a pretty big scar there,” said Stoops. “He’s been through an awful lot.”
Cleared to continue playing football following regular examinations of his heart, Horsey is obviously a fighter. The redshirt freshman will continue fighting trenches for the Cats in the trenches for years to come.
8. No News is Good News
Stoops had a message for his players before he dismissed them for a weekend away from the football field.
“I promise you, when camp breaks, you’ll be reading some people on the ticker, you’ll be reading some things in the newspaper. Let’s just make sure it’s not us, okay?”
Stoops was right: a Tennessee cornerback made the ticker for all the wrong reasons.
9. Lessons from Training Camp
Mark Stoops had one request for his players entering training camp: take your medicine (and I’m not talking about OTCs). There is so much coaching that happens over that month, he simply wanted to see them embrace their teachings and apply them daily.
“I think they played with a good hunger, desire to get better. They competed every day. I want them to put their heads down, you know, kind of submit to what we’re doing, just buy into it, walk away from the distractions. There’s a lot of mental preparation that goes into it during camp. They have to do a lot of walk-throughs, a lot of meetings, practice. They have to kind of submit, be all there all the time.”
We will learn how well each coaching lesson caught on once the ball is kicked off for the first time Saturday at noon.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©August 26th, 2019 @ 3:30pm
Kentucky volleyball coach Craig Skinner is here to stay…until 2024, at least. This morning, UK announced that the back-to-back SEC Coach of the Year has signed a contract extension through the 2023-24 season.
“Craig Skinner began his tenure here in 2004 and quickly turned Kentucky volleyball into a model of consistency,” Mitch Barnhart said in a release from UK. “Now, thanks in large part to his leadership, this program is a model of consistent excellence after back-to-back SEC championships. Just as importantly, he is singularly committed to the holistic growth of the women he coaches. We are proud to have Craig and the Skinner family as part of our UK family and thankful he will add to his legacy at UK for seasons to come.”
Skinner is the program’s all-time winningest coach, leading the Cats to 14 consecutive NCAA Tournaments – a feat only nine other schools in the nation have achieved. Under his tutelage, the volleyball team has made four Sweet Sixteen appearances since 2009, won back-to-back SEC titles (2017 and 2018), and captured 17 or more victories in all 14 seasons, including 20 or more wins in 10 of the last 12 seasons. The Cats open the 2019 season this weekend in Salt Lake City, where they’ll face Cal Poly, Utah and St. Mary’s.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©August 26th, 2019 @ 2:30pm
Two years ago, Kentucky sold the naming rights to Commonwealth Stadium to Kroger, and according to a recent article, they’re getting a great return compared to other college programs.
Watch Stadium’s Andy Wittry put together a list of programs that have sold the naming rights to their stadiums, and Kentucky’s deal with Kroger is at the top when it comes to value. The 12-year, $22.2 million contract yields an average of $1.85 million per year, the most of any program on the list. The rest of the top five: Rutgers’ new deal with SHI International for $1.45 million per year; Minnesota’s deal with TCF Financial for $1.4 million per year; Cal’s deal with Kabam for $1.18 million per year; and North Texas’ deal with Apogee Telecom for $1 million per year.
Given how much fun we made of the name “Kroger Field” when the deal was announced, I don’t even think twice about it anymore.
By KSR on ©August 26th, 2019 @ 2:00pm
Week 0 is officially in the books. Start Week 1 of the college football season with the Aaron Torres Sports Podcast. Aaron discusses the big Week 1 games and gives his playoff picks, and later, former Virginia Tech coach Frank Beamer joins the show. Here is a preview of this week’s episode:
Week 1 College Football Preview: Now that Week 0 is complete, Aaron prepares for all the big Week 1 games. He explains why he expects Oregon-Auburn to be low-scoring, and a surprising matchup that Aaron believes could be the game of the weekend. Plus, Aaron shares his playoff picks, including a surprise team from the Pac-12.
Frank Beamer: Next up, Aaron is joined by Hall of Fame coach Frank Beamer, who spent close to 30 years at Virginia Tech. The guys discuss what it was like to coach Michael Vick and the Hokies’ incredible run to the brink of a title in 1999. Also, what does he think of Dabo Swinney’s dominance at Clemson from the perspective of another ACC coach? Before he departs, Beamer explains what it’s like to be a member of the College Football Playoff committee.
Get the podcast delivered directly to your phone by subscribing to the Aaron Torres Sports Podcast feed on iTunes or simply stream online through Spotify. Don’t forget to follow the show on Instagram too.
By Nick Roush on ©August 26th, 2019 @ 1:09pm
Sometimes no news is good news. Now is not one of those times.
Less than a week before the 2019 Kentucky football season kicks off at Kroger Field, Mark Stoops still does not know if Florida State transfer Xavier Peters will be eligible to play for UK this fall.
“He’s out until someone tells me different,” Stoops said in his first weekly press conference. “There’s a lot of things that we had to get in order as well, information we had to get from Florida State. They have to do part, so it takes some time.”
A high school All-American, Peters was a consensus four-star recruit when the Cincinnati native signed to play football at Florida State. Projected to start for the Seminoles after redshirting as a freshman, Peters decided in the spring that he needed to play college football closer to his infant son.
“It’s pretty difficult but it was worth it coming back for my son,” Peters told KSR at UK media day on August 2. “I just turned in my letter yesterday, so hopefully I can get my results back from the NCAA two weeks from now.”
More than three weeks later and we still know nothing.
Peters is not alone. Tennessee defensive lineman Aubrey Solomon is still waiting to hear if he’ll be granted a waiver to play right away after transferring from Michigan. Unlike Stoops, Jeremy Pruitt is preparing for Saturday’s opener as if Solomon will be available. Even if Peters was cleared to play this week, Stoops does not believe the outside linebacker is ready to immediately become an impact player.
“It would be hard for him at this point just because of the time he’s been here. As you know, it’s his second year in college, a redshirt freshman. For him to be totally doing our system, it takes some time. You’ve heard me say a bunch of times about that position, it’s most definitely a different position. There’s a lot of nuances to playing outside linebacker and staying up on your feet.” Stoops added, “It’ll take some time.”
By Nick Roush on ©August 26th, 2019 @ 12:45pm
The Kentucky football team finally has a depth chart. After scanning through the two-deep, we’ve learned a little bit more about UK’s roster entering the 2019 season.
1. Only one “Or.” I am shocked, SHOCKED the only “or” on this depth chart is between Kavosiey Smoke and Chris Rodriguez, especially when so much uncertainty swirled around the secondary entering the preseason.
2. Echols is a Two. Even though he might be the best pass coverage cornerback on the roster, a hamstring injury forced the field corner to miss a significant amount of snaps in the preseason. I expect him to get more and more reps as the season progresses.
3. We have a Nickel. Tyrell Ajian and Jordan Griffin will be juggling the role formerly occupied by Mike Edwards and Davonte Robinson. Griffin has the experience and length, where Ajian excels in coverage, making him the first to cover Toledo’s slot receivers. The two should be pretty interchangeable throughout the season.
4. Five True Freshmen in the Two-Deep. It’s only four if you exclude long snapper Cade Degraw. Jared Casey and MJ Devonshire were expected to make an impact, but Taj Dodson and DeMarcus Harris’ appearance come as a surprise.
Each player enrolled early, but Moe Douglass, not Dodson, was the freshman safety who received most of the offseason attention. Michael Smith made a point to single out Harris on more than one occasion. The spring semester likely gave him just enough of a leg up to beat out Tae Tae Crumes for the coveted two-spot at Z before Isaiah Epps returns from injury.
5. Only One Kick Returner? I’m not buying it. Ideally, Bowden is catching every single one, but that’s a lot of ground to cover. Expect Devonshire to get into the action throughout the year.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©August 26th, 2019 @ 12:24pm
Kentucky will be without one of its defensive veterans to start the season. Mark Stoops just told reporters that senior defensive lineman Phil Hoskins will miss the first two games of the year due to an academic issue. Sophomore Abule Abadi-Fitzgerald is listed in his place on the depth chart behind Calvin Taylor at defensive tackle.
What about Xavier Peters? Stoops said Kentucky is still waiting to hear from the NCAA about the outside linebacker’s eligibility. The former four-star recruit out of West Chester, Ohio transferred to Kentucky from Florida State to be closer to his one-year-old son. On account of that, he applied for a hardship waiver earlier this month.
“He’s out right now until someone tells me different,” Stoops said. “There’s a lot of things that we had to get in order as well and information we had to get from Florida State and they had to do a part, so it takes some time to get it all in.”
Even if the NCAA declares Peters eligible this afternoon, Stoops stressed that it will still take him some time to settle into the system (even if he already looks the part).
“It’d be hard for him at this point just because of the time he’s been here. As you know, he’d be a second year in college, redshirt freshman. For him to be totally new in our system, it takes some time. You’ve heard me say it a bunch of times about that position, it’s most definitely a different position. It takes a — there’s a lot of nuances to playing outside linebacker and standing up on your feet, so it’ll take some time.”