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Kentucky Wildcats, Louisville Cardinals expected to battle for 2018 Waggener standout

Kentucky and Louisville have not crossed paths on the football recruiting trail as frequently as one would expect in recent years. Part of that is due to a bit of a down cycle in Jefferson County, but that figures to change with at least one major prospect in the Class of 2018.

The Wildcats and Cardinals are among more than a dozen scholarship offers for Louisville Waggener junior cornerback Jarius Brents, who originally grabbed UK's attention as a middle school player attending one of the Big Blue's summer camps. Since that time, the talented athlete has drawn national attention by consistently running 4.4 or under at camps and combines.

Now he figures to be at the center of many "house divided" debates in the Bluegrass State.

“I think Kentucky is building a program led by coach (Mark) Stoops and is putting top-notch facilities in place to compete in the SEC,” Brents said. "As for Louisville, they are becoming a major contender and they keep getting better. Coach (Bobby) Petrino seems to be able to get the most out of his players.”

Brents has indicated that his recruitment is still wide open and doesn’t have a leader, but concedes that things may boil down to the home state programs. The Cats may have a slight edge early in the process due to the relationship they established with him almost four years ago. He is being recruited by John Schlarman and Steve Clinkscale.

“Coach Schlarman direct messages me on Twitter. He just wishes me good luck before my high school games," Brents said. "I met him when I got offered in the seventh grade,so I know him better than most of the coaches. Relationships are important to me. I want to feel comfortable with the coaches. The former DB coach (Derrick Ansley) was the coach that I had the best relationship with on the staff, so now I mainly talk to coach Schlarman.”

Brents will be looking to visit both UK and UofL this fall. 

“I will be at Louisville for the Florida State game this weekend," he said. "Not sure which UK game I will make it to yet. Maybe the South Carolina game or the Vanderbilt game.”

He would like to visit some of the other schools who have offered as well. Programs like Tennessee, Indiana, Duke, Boston College and Western Kentucky have also extended scholarships, while national powers like Alabama, Ohio State, Florida State and USC have started expressing interest.

Brents, who originally played for Louisville Manual, is currently rated four stars by Scout. He is the No. 2 cornerback in the Midwest and No. 19 at his position in the junior class. 

His teammate, Tahj Rice, is also drawing heavy recruiting attention. The 6-foot-3, 265-pound defensive tackle has Louisville, Indiana, Boston College and Duke showing early interest.

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