In the last edition of the "Rumor Mill," I made it a point to let everyone know that in my formal opinion, the next commitment to the football team would come from a young man in Belfry (KY). And I quote....
Yes, once again, Inside Kentucky proves that even the blind squirrel finds a nut.
My next big prediction in the recruiting world?
Zach Barnard will commit to Marshall. It's not official yet, but those are the vibes that I recieved when I was in Owensboro this week and those are the vibes that I continue to get privately. Now whether or not Zach will officially pull the trigger is yet to be seen, but the young man from Owensboro Catholic went to Marshall over the weekend to visit and if he was impressed enough, will more then likely go public within the next few days.
Although the commitment is a disappointment to some Wildcat fans that had hoped to see him in Blue, this is a fantastic opportunity for Barnard, whom will fit in nicely in the offense and will not have to change colors in college.
Kentucky's lack of effort involving the recruitment of Marsalous Johnson, continues the long trend of UK letting some of the best Tennessee prospects go without even scratching the surface. According to sources in Smyrna, UK had the initial scoop on Marsalous after recruiting David Wolke the year prior. The staff did not offer and basically conceded the star athlete to Tennessee. Had UK gotten in on Johnson earlier, their was a strong possibility that he would have committed to UK.
Another disappointing decision for the folks in Smyrna, whom have watched UK let two prospects slip through their fingers in the past 6 months.
Shortly after the commitment of David Jones was announced, I was quickly put back into my place, when the rumor of his eligibility came up. Apparently according to sources close to the situation in Belfry, Jones has some work to do to get qualified right now and could be headed for prep school or junior college.
Jason Leger's performance at the Kentucky-Tennessee All-Star game was no surprise to the many that have witnessed him play the last few years in Rockcastle (Ky). The freshmen to be is the perfect size for a noseguard and plays with such tenacity that he is hard to beat for four quarters.
Rumor has it, Myron Pryor's unexpected greyshirt announcement will put Leger on campus a semester early.
Among the masses that have offers from UK, are several individuals who excel in the classroom. Michael Schwindel from Hancock County, scored the reported highest ACT score in school history when he recorded a 28 on his most recent test.
The test score reportedly has caught the eye of Harvard, whom told him that if he re-takes the test and scores a 29 or higher, he will have a full scholarship to play football.
Don't be fooled by Jonas Murrell's comments towards UK. He is very much a UK lean as he was born and raised a Kentucky fan from birth.
Also, take the junior from Marion County's performance and the publicity from his performance, with a grain of salt. The Miami camp, while prestigious in name, sees many kids leave after the first few days because of price. Not as many that attend, stay for the full camp. Regardless, it is still a remarkable accomplishment for two Kentucky kids to win both linemen awards.
Rumors of an apparent de-commitment from Maurice Grinter appear to be false at this time, according to his coach, Mike Gossett. In a recent email sent to Inside Kentucky, Gossett put to rest the gossip;
"Maurice is happy with his commitment and is looking forward to being a Cardinal."
Adding to the misery concerning recruiting in the city of Louisville is Alfonso Smith's past history with the state. Smith is originally from the state of California and has indicated that he has no ties to either UK or UofL. Because of this, it is almost a certainty that the Cats and Cards will not be the only schools duking it out for his services come the Fall.
In the time period between the draft ending and the second summer session beginning at UK, Cohen has managed to pick up, yet another pitching prospect that should help the squad next year. Mark Tanner, from Neshanek (Pa.), was apparently a heavily sought after prospect that the Cats got in on early and reaped the benefits when the young man decided to go to college instead of heading straight to the professional ranks. Tanner was 13-1 with a 0.82 ERA last season for Neshanek High School.
One of the funniest things that I have heard involving Coach Cohen, is his obsession with the uniforms. Apparently Cohen spends as much time, picking out the right attire for his team, as he does critiquing his lineup. In almost every presentation to a recruit, Cohen makes sure that one of the major benefits to attending UK is the Nike contract and uniforms.
I will go ahead and go on record as saying that Chris Lofton will go down in history as the best player to leave the state of Kentucky since Allan Houston left for the Vols. And I fully expect Lofton to do as much for Tennessee as Houston did. UK may have loaded up on superstar recruits this year, but Lofton will stay four years and contribute more points then Rondo or Crawford ever will. He's a winner and a gamer. When the moments can't get any brighter, Lofton doesn't play any better.
Rumor has it, Bernard Cote has narrowed his choices down to three: Iowa, Northwestern, and Evansville. Apparently Xavier and UMass fell through for the former UK big man. From what I understand, Steve Alford really likes Cote and after visiting the campus, the Canadian felt positive about his future there. I would have say they are the leaders at this point.
Rumor has it, the staff is not nearly as interested in JP Prince as he has led on. Kentucky has plenty of guards and doesn't see Prince filling the void as a small forward. UK is banking on Tasmin Mitchell taking over the duties left by Chuck Hayes as the undersized scrapper down low. If rumors hold true, the Cats are a lot closer to the race for Mitchell then what he has led on.
From the world of in-state basketball, comes a horrifying rumor in Owensboro about Kentucky Wesleyan. Apparently the school as infamous for their basketball as Kentucky is their horses, is apparently on the watchful eye of the NCAA. Officials have reportedly started scratching the surface and could put together a public investigation here shortly. Stay tuned.
Among those that have seen his stock plummet this summer through summer camps, is Tasmin Mitchell. After measuring in at a short 6'7 1/2, Mitchell struggled to gain any consistency and prove his pre-season number one ranking. Word is, Tyler Hansbrough could take over his spot as soon as August.
Word in Owensboro at the Kentucky-Indiana All-Star game was that Jade Perry came in overweight and out-of-shape. The Ms. Basketball runner-up appeared to be in both at game-time, as she did not score a point and only played 8 minutes.
Among those that got a lot of publicity over the weekend in Owensboro was junior point guard Carly Ormerod from Sacred Heart in Louisville (KY). A current teammate of Crystal Kelly, Ormerod could very well be headed to Western to join Ms. Basketball next season. The good news: Ormerod refuses to pick up the telephone for Louisville. According to sources, she has had enough of the Cards and is staying as far away from Tom Cullen as possible right now. DeMoss and UK have offered the point guard, whom has led Sacred Heart to three straight state titles.
Don't expect Mickie DeMoss to bring in another top 5 class this year. She has her sights set on 2006 where the state is flat out loaded. Arnika Brown, Lydia Watkins, and Amber Norton, are just a few names that the state will provide in two more years.
Remember that members need to take this information with a grain of salt and realize it is all for conversational purposes. Please do not report this information as fact. Thank You!