UK Football Recruiting Notebook - May 16

This AllWildcats feature includes notes and tidbits surrounding the Kentucky Wildcats on the football recruiting trail, including buzz surrounding Damien Harris and a host of other BBN targets.

Hope For Harris? Last night, I talked to a source with direct knowledge of five-star running back Damien Harris and how his recruitment is unfolding. Harris (5-11, 198) is considered the No. 1 tailback prospect in the nation and basically has scholarship offers to any school he could desire. The Berea (Ky.) Madison Southern star is in no rush to decide, and his favorite schools may not be as clear as many think they are. According to my source, Michigan, Ohio State and Kentucky are out in front with Alabama just behind those three. The Crimson Tide could be perceived as a much bigger threat, but I'm told Harris' mother would like to see him closer to home, and the family's recent visit to UK made them feel much stronger about that option. Kentucky still has to show improvement on the field this season for Harris to ultimately consider signing with the Wildcats.

Rival Prospect Wavering? Mississippi State commit Chris Stamps is still hearing from the Cats, and it may be having a big impact on his thinking. The 6-foot, 170-pound defensive back has solid ties to UK with his cousin, defensive back A.J. Stamps, playing for the Cats this season. "Coach (Jimmy) Brumbaugh came to see for one of my spring practices," Chris Stamps said. He added that his cousin has also been working on him. "A.J. came home for a couple of days, and we talked about some new offers going out, taking an official visit to Kentucky." The two players are close, so that could ultimately weigh in UK's favor. Asked if the Cats may have surpassed the Bulldogs as his favorite, Stamps said: "If I leave Mississippi, it very well can be Kentucky."

Clemson Commit Visited By CatsThree-star Orlando (Fla.) Lake Nona High School quarterback Tucker Israel was visited by UK offensive coordinator Neal Brown and running backs coach Chad Scott this week. The talented signal caller said he liked the message he heard and was encouraged by how much the UK staff wants him to make a visit to Lexington before his final decision. "It's always good to feel wanted by other schools," he said. The 6-1, 195-pound quarterback is high on the Cats' recruiting board for 2015 after passing for 3,685 yards and 37 touchdowns as a junior.

Miller Visit in Works?

Three-star Bishop Dunne (Tex.) wide receiver A.D. Miller plans to visit Kentucky this summer. The junior prospect says UK is currently "pretty high" in his recruitment, but he is not ready to unveil a top five or name a favorite. Miller mentioned he knows current Wildcat T.V. Williams, a fellow Texan. "I got to see T.V. Williams play at camp this past summer," he said. The 6-3, 170-pound wideout wants to make his decision at the end of the summer if he has a strong leader emerge by then.

Alabama OT Talks Offer: St. Pauls Episcopal School (Ala.) offensive tackle Troy Thingstad recently received his second SEC offer from the Cats. The 6-5, 270-pound lineman also holds an offer from South Carolina, Louisville and a number of other schools. He says the offer from UK made a strong impression: "When my head coach told me about the offer, I jumped in the air a little bit," he said. "I haven't talked to the Kentucky coaches yet, but the offer definitely puts them toward the top of my list for sure. I'm planning on visiting (Lexington) this summer." He would like to make his college decision in July before practices for his senior season begins so that he can focus on his senior season. He noted that he's looking for "a great education, an intense program and a family atmosphere."

Four-star RB Visited by Eliot: Four-star O'Fallon High School (Ill.) running back Kentrail Moran received a visit from UK assistant coach D.J. Eliot earlier in the week. The 2016 prospect doesn't have an offer from the Cats at this moment, but one could be in the works. "Coach Eliot told me how great a player I was and how he really likes my film. He wants me come to UK soon. I'm definitely visiting Kentucky and it's a school I like and plan on learning more about" The 5-foot-11, 193-pound running back wants to wait until his senior year to make his decision, but is looking for a school that he can call home, has great academics, nice facilities and a coaching staff that can help him develop into the best player he can be.

New Offer in Tennessee: Nashville (Tenn.) Father Ryan linebacker JoeJuan Williams reacted positively to his recent UK offer. The 2016 prospect said he was surprised when he learned of it, but was so excited that he immediately began working on plans for a summer visit. UK joins Tennessee, Vanderbilt, Penn State and Ole Miss in his top five.


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