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  • Decommits

    Every school has decommitments, every year. UK in 2017 will be no different. Have those decommitments actually hurt UK recently?

    2014

    OL Derrick Kelly - Florida State - missed most of 2015 due to injury; in 2016 was backup LT to All-ACC Roderick Johnson, who declared for this year's NFL draft as a junior

    I think this was UK's only decommit in 2014 other than Denzil Ware, who ended up coming to UK anyway. Would Kelly have made much of a difference at UK? Probably not in 2016 given how well the OL played. Would another quality OL add to competition, practice, etc.? Probably. Big loss? Not really, I don't think, given the group that's there and how well they are playing, and how good their young depth looks so far.

    2015

    CB Montrell Custis - Ole Miss - decommitted from UK to go to Alabama, but then was told Bama didn't have a ride for him, and ended up at Ole Miss; redshirted in 2016; played in 6 games in 2016 as a second/third stringer, with 10 tackles and 2 defended passes; season high 3 tackles vs. Georgia

    CB Jeremiah Dinson - Auburn - played as a true freshman but was injured; Kentucky landed Chris Westry instead

    LB Andrew Dowell - Michigan State - played as a true freshman; was second string in 2016, I think

    DB David Dowell - Michigan State - was third string as a redshirt freshman in 2016, I think

    DE Darius Fullwood - Virginia Tech - I think was third string as a redshirt freshman

    DT DaVon Hamilton - Ohio State - entered 2016 as a fourth string redshirt freshman

    OL Luke Hiers - Central Florida - I think Hiers and Wells ended up not having offers from UK

    DE Tyrone Riley - North Carolina State - I think he was third string this year as a redshirt freshman

    DE Jason Strowbridge - North Carolina - I think he was third string as a redshirt freshman this year

    WR Alex Stump - Ohio State - redshirted in 2015; in 2016, as a third stringer, had a total of 1 catch for 8 yards in a 58-0 win over Rutgers

    OL Larry Wells - Purdue - I think Hiers and Wells ended up not having offers from UK

    I'm not sure the DBs would've added that much and I'm pretty sure the OLs would not have. UK could've used some more guys on the DL but I don't know that Fullwood, Riley or Strowbridge would've beaten out Ware; would they have gotten time in place of Bell, Carter or Daniel? Maybe, or maybe not. The depth wouldn't have hurt, but I don't know how much it would've helped. Would Hamilton have taken some time from Middleton or Dubose? Maybe, but it's hard to say. Same for Andrew Dowell and Alex Stump; I don't know if they would or would not have beaten anyone out of playing time.

    2016

    RB Quinton Baker - Western Kentucky - arrested and convicted of DUI and possession of marijuana, then played in every game, with 542 rushing yards and 4 TDs on the season as a true freshman, second best on the team behind Anthony Wales (Louisville Central) with 1,621 yards and 27 TDs.

    DT Kobe Smith - South Carolina - had four tackles in three games as a true freshman

    Baker had a very nice freshman season but I don't know that anyone would take him over Snell or Williams, or Rose. Smith might have contributed on the DL for UK, but it's hard to say, as Carolina was pretty thin coming into 2016 and he didn't play that much there.

    2017

    LB DeMarco Artis -
    DT James Hudson -
    QB Mac Jones -
    TE Charles Reeves -
    RB Michael Warren -
    CB Russ Yeast

    We'll see where these guys end up, and whether it looks like they'd have won playing time ahead of who does come to UK. Jones may be good, but it looks like the QBs who will be at UK are too. We may never see Jones on the field at Alabama. I don't see any reason to think Warren would get ahead of anyone at UK, but we'll see. The class could've used a TE or LB, but we'll see if these guys perform like the guys ahead and behind them. Hudson is a higher regarded recruit than the DTs headed to UK, but that's generally meaningless when they hit the field. Yeast isn't the type of CB Stoops favors; we'll see how he does. It's early but I'd say down the road Hudson may prove to be a recruit we'd like to have had; I think other kids will make us forget the other guys unless there's trouble landing a good TE next year, or Artis ends up playing well beyond expectations.

    2018

    WR Jermaine Eskridge - who knows.

    Losing out on decommits isn't the end of the world. Every team deals with it. They haven't been a huge deal to UK recently and they probably won't be in 2017 either. That's worth keeping in mind tomorrow on NSD.

  • #2
    Great job, as usual!!
    “People shouldn't be afraid of their government. Governments should be afraid of their people.”

    "Si vis pacem, para bellum"

    Comment


    • #3
      Here's where the 2017 guys ended up:

      LB DeMarco Artis - Baylor?
      DT James Hudson - Michigan
      QB Mac Jones - Alabama
      TE Charles Reeves - Pitt?
      RB Michael Warren - Cincinnati
      CB Russ Yeast - Louisville

      Looking at UK's 2017 class, does anyone miss any of them?

      Comment


      • #4
        Really good overview of the decommits Old School. I appreciate the time you put in to do this. This brings up another question for me ... player development. I have a growing sense that our coaches are doing a good job of player development. Maybe much better than coaches elsewhere. It might be a bit early to tell how the 2015 decommits develop. It might even take 3 years to make that determination. Our OL and Linebackers took big steps up this year especially in the second half of the year.

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        • #5
          Kudos to the OP! Great analysis. In 2015 I believe Heirs and Wells had verbal offers, but did not get the binding written offers.

          i agree with you about Hudson. Out of the guys you have listed, he's the one I hated to lose the most.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Brasslock View Post
            Really good overview of the decommits Old School. I appreciate the time you put in to do this. This brings up another question for me ... player development. I have a growing sense that our coaches are doing a good job of player development. Maybe much better than coaches elsewhere. It might be a bit early to tell how the 2015 decommits develop. It might even take 3 years to make that determination. Our OL and Linebackers took big steps up this year especially in the second half of the year.
            I agree with everything you say there. I'd like to try to weigh player development by team, but I'm not sure how to do it. Maybe compare teams by W/L records vs. star rankings or recruiting rankings?

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by bigblue4life View Post
              Kudos to the OP! Great analysis. In 2015 I believe Heirs and Wells had verbal offers, but did not get the binding written offers.

              i agree with you about Hudson. Out of the guys you have listed, he's the one I hated to lose the most.
              I think you're right on those two.

              I don't follow the Big Ten that much, but I'll be tempted to see how Hudson fares. I think that of everyone listed above, he might have made the biggest difference, when you consider timing and positional roster depth. But if Fullwood, Hamilton, Dowell, Strowbridge or Riley ends up being an excellent LB or defensive line player, they might end up being someone who could've been a big deal too.

              Comment


              • #8
                I'm trying to remember how many decommits we had from this latest class. I know there was a really good def. player from Ohio and his RB teammate. I don't recall if Yeast committed or not.
                Say what you mean and mean what you say.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Matt Dillon View Post
                  I'm trying to remember how many decommits we had from this latest class. I know there was a really good def. player from Ohio and his RB teammate. I don't recall if Yeast committed or not.
                  There were six, I think.

                  LB DeMarco Artis - committed to UCF, then to Florida State, then signed with Baylor
                  DT James Hudson - Michigan
                  QB Mac Jones - Alabama
                  TE Charles Reeves - Pitt
                  RB Michael Warren - committed to Toledo, then signed with Cincinnati
                  CB Russ Yeast - Louisville

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I can't remember, did Yeast ever commit to UK?
                    John 3:3

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Lighthouse View Post
                      I can't remember, did Yeast ever commit to UK?
                      Apparently so.
                      Say what you mean and mean what you say.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Heading into fall 2017, here's an update on players who committed to Kentucky, then decommitted and went elsewhere:

                        2014

                        OL Derrick Kelly - Florida State: 2015, missed most of the season due to injury; 2016, was backup LT to All-ACC Roderick Johnson, who declared for the 2017 NFL draft as a junior and was taken in the fifth round; 2017, enters fall as the second string LG, as a 6'5" 323 junior, behind a sophomore (hard to say whether he would start at UK, but at this point, it hopefully isn't a position of need)

                        2015

                        CB Montrell Custis - Ole Miss: decommitted from UK to go to Alabama, but then was told Bama didn't have a ride for him, and ended up at Ole Miss; 2015, redshirted; 2016, played in 6 games as a second/third stringer, with 10 tackles and 2 defended passes; season high 3 tackles vs. Georgia; 2017, looks to enter fall as 3rd string CB as a sophomore (doesn't look to be a position of need, and I don't know that he'd challenge either starter at UK)

                        CB Jeremiah Dinson - Auburn: played as a true freshman but was injured, while Kentucky landed Chris Westry instead; probably enters fall as the starting nickelback, but I don't know if or where he would be in the CB rotation (doesn't look to be a position of need, and I don't know that he'd challenge either starter at UK)

                        LB Andrew Dowell - Michigan State - played in 13 games as a true freshman, with 22 tackles, one for a loss; 2016, started 8 games, with 67 tackles, 3 for loss; 2017, enters fall as the starter, at 6'1" 221; his younger brother recently committed to Michigan State (having a solid career at Michigan State so far; I don't know where he'd fit into UK's depth chart at LB)

                        DB David Dowell - Michigan State: 2015, redshirted; 2016, 10 games and 10 tackles as a reserve; 2017, enters fall as starting safety, at 6'1" 192; younger brother recently committed to Michigan State (I don't know that he'd challenge either starting safety at UK)

                        DE Darius Fullwood - Virginia Tech: 2016, I think was third string as a redshirt freshman, playing in 3 games; 2017, second string at NT on a thin DL, at 6'3" 252 (though DL is a position of need for UK, Fullwood probably wouldn't be an answer for UK's interior line at 252 pounds; with Alvonte Bell gone, it would probably be nice to have him as an option at DE)

                        DT DaVon Hamilton - Ohio State: entered 2016 as a fourth string redshirt freshman, played in 13 games, with 10 tackles, 2.5 for loss; 2017, probably enters fall as third string DT, as a 6'4" 300 sophomore (would probably be a helpful addition at a current position of need)

                        OL Luke Hiers - Central Florida: I think Hiers and Wells ended up not having offers from UK; he may have had a second surgery on his shoulder (which may be part of why he didn't end up at UK), and I don't know if he showed up at UCF; I can't really find any information on this former 4* recruit (it doesn't appear he'd add much at UK right now)

                        DE Tyrone Riley - North Carolina State: 2016, I think he started out third string this year as a redshirt freshman, but he played in 11 games and had 9 tackles; looks to enter fall as a 6'6" 285 second string DE, behind a likely first team All ACC and potential All American player, Bradley Chubb (would probably be a contributing addition to UK's depleted DL)

                        DE Jason Strowbridge - North Carolina: 2016, I think he began as third string as a redshirt freshman, ending up with 12 tackles and 1 start; 2017, likely enters fall as second string DT as a 6'4" 270 sophomore (probably would've added something to UK's thin DL)

                        WR Alex Stump - Ohio State: 2015, redshirted; 2016, as a third stringer, had a total of 1 catch for 8 yards in a 58-0 win over Rutgers; 2017, transferred to Vanderbilt and will sit out (if he had transferred to UK, he'd most likely have a prominent place to lose among the 2018 WRs, given how many will be gone after 2017, and how few will remain)

                        OL Larry Wells - Purdue - I think Hiers and Wells ended up not having offers from UK; Wells didn't qualify academically to play at Purdue, which may explain why he didn't end up with UK. I don't know if he's still playing football. (it doesn't appear he'd add anything at UK)

                        2016

                        RB Quinton Baker - Western Kentucky - arrested and convicted of DUI and possession of marijuana, then played in every game, with 542 rushing yards and 4 TDs on the season as a true freshman, second best on the team behind Anthony Wales (Louisville Central) with 1,621 yards and 27 TDs; would have entered 2017 as the starting RB except he got in trouble again, this time possibly enough to affect his career (it remains to be seen how Rose and Koback will play, but Stoops wouldn't keep this guy on the team with his track record)

                        DT Kobe Smith - South Carolina: 2016, had four tackles while appearing in 11 games as a true freshman; enters 2017 as a 6'2" 297 third string DT (as at South Carolina, would probably get some playing time on the thin DL at UK)

                        2017

                        LB DeMarco Artis - Baylor: committed to UCF, then to Florida State, then signed with Baylor; is in the top 10 of that class, which apparently was weakened by the scandal there (doubtful he'd play this year at UK)

                        DT James Hudson - Michigan: barely in the top 20 in their outstanding class (at 6'5" 294 out of HS and as highly regarded as he was, given UK's needs on the interior DL, would at least have a chance to compete with Bohanna, Cross, Hoskins, Elam, and Middleton for some time as a true freshman, and later)

                        QB Mac Jones - Alabama: not in the top 20 in their class; may be their third string QB this year but is unlikely to see the field unless Hurts and Tagovaiola are injured (I wouldn't expect him to challenge Johnson or Barker, and would face Hoak, Clark and Williams later; hard to see this as a major loss, unless he really surprises)

                        TE Charles Reeves - Pitt: in the top 5 in their class, comes in at 6'5" 280 (really nice prospect, but not a great position of need at UK with Conrad, Hart, Rigg, and the incoming class)

                        RB Michael Warren - committed to Toledo, then signed with Cincinnati, where he may be the #2 RB as a true freshman, and possibly emerge as the starter (top recruit in UC's class; remains to be seen how he would compare to Rose or Koback)

                        CB Russ Yeast - Louisville: in their top 4 or 5 recruits; likely will play WR (position of need for UK after this year; likely would redshirt at UL or UK this year, and status afterward would largely depend on who else is there)

                        2018

                        WR Jermaine Eskridge: very briefly committed to USF long after decommitting from Kentucky; Ohio State, Oregon and Penn State appear to lead, and have offered; other offers include Alabama, Georgia, LSU, Texas A&M, Florida State, Michigan, Oklahoma, Southern Cal, UCLA, Washington, and several others

                        The way I see it, out of all of those players, the only ones who would be pretty likely to significantly contribute at Kentucky this year or next would be the defensive linemen, as that is a position of need (probably at least in part due to these prospects decommitting). Alex Stump would probably be a welcome addition to the WRs next year had he come to UK or left Ohio State for UK instead of Vanderbilt. Other than that, though, I'm not sure there's a lot to miss here. But Fullwood, Hamilton, Riley, Strowbridge, Smith and Hudson are six guys who in any combination probably would've added a lot to UK's DL right now. If all of them had come to UK, the season outlook would probably be a lot different given how the DL is the thinnest position of concern going into 2017. I wonder how much their decommitments destabilized attempts to put together the DL.

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                        • #13
                          Interesting read, Old School. I appreciate all the effort you put into your posts.
                          Say what you mean and mean what you say.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Nice job Old School but you keep mentioning our thin D-line. The following are players we currently have for the fall and this doesn't include any incoming Freshmen. I take the position that we're not so thin.

                            D-Line
                            DT - Middleton, Looney, Cross
                            NG - Pringle, Elam, Dubose, Hyde
                            DE - Carter, Hoskins, Ke Daniel, Taylor

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I guess with most other positions, I see veterans that inspire a lot of confidence, and feel pretty good that an injury wouldn't be a disaster. I don't feel that way about the DL. I am really excited to see Looney and Cross, and I'm hopeful they'll be good players. I feel good about Pringle. I was hopeful about Hoskins but am not sure of his status right now. Middleton, Elam, Dubose, Hyde, Carter, Daniel and Taylor, I think, each have something to prove, and so far seem a cut below their counterparts at other positions. I'd love to be wrong. I'd love to see this group impress us all in 2017. But the DL doesn't seem to have been improved in the way other parts of the roster have been improved, with talent, quality depth, or reliability. I'd love to take a salt shaker to those words in November before having to eat them, though.

                              It does seem to me that the DL is overrepresented with kids who committed to Kentucky, then went elsewhere. I'm sure that made it more difficult to fill the DL with quality players. And, I think it is an inherently difficult part of the roster to fill - maybe the most difficult, other than perhaps CBs (where UK has done very well) just because of numbers: there are only so many physical specimens who can fill DL or CB positions adequately, unlike most other parts of a roster.

                              I think if UK were to receive a really good graduate transfer, the position where it would help the team the most would be somewhere on the DL.

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                              Decommits

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