Thursday, January 22, 2009

Recruiting Roundup: The Kentucky Offense

With around two weeks to go until National Signing Day, OTP begins it's coverage of recruiting. We'll be addressing both Ball State and Kentucky's commitments as a build up to national signing day on both sides of the football. RV will be along with his recruiting recap next week of his top classes and players to watch in the Class of 09. Today's edition is the Kentucky offense.

Recruiting Roundup
Kentucky Offense

To call the 2008 Kentucky football squad offensively challenged would be a bit of an understatement. Granted, some of the offensive woes can be attributed directly to injury, Derrick Locke especially, but the offensive problems on the Kentucky side of the football comes down to the QB position. Mike Hartline, while not especially problematic, lacked the sort of big league arm needed to keep a defense honest and open up possibilities for the run. Hartline is a serviceable back-up QB, but he is not an SEC starter. Nor is Randall Cobb, who gave Kentucky options in the offensive scheme but whom is better suited in the WR role, his natural one.

Also of concern for a majority of the year was the lack of experience in the wide receiver corps. Time and time again dropped balls and poor routes resulted in less than favorable down and distance, and without a breakout wide receiver to attract defensive attention opposing teams could simply play strong against the run while taking the chances man to man on the receivers. It was a salvaged season, at 7-6 with a Liberty Bowl win, but that is not a long-term plan for success and needs to be addressed with not only recruiting but also the talent currently on the two-deep. Cobb will help the receivers next year, with his speed, flash, and hands.

Notable losses for Kentucky on the offensive side of the football include skill position players Dicky Lyons, Jr. (who missed most of the year because of injury), reserve RB Tony Dixon, as well as offensive linemen Jess Beets and Garry Williams. Williams was an anchor on the OL, and will be a loss that will be felt. All in all, it is a somewhat good year in terms of losses by the Wildcats. Arguably, their most notable losses are Williams and Lyons, and having to play without Lyons for the majority of the 2008 campaign should mitigate the impact.

Here's who has verbally committed to the Wildcats on the offensive side of the football...

Name: Morgan Newton
Position: QB
Height: 6'5"
Weight: 215
Scout Position Rank: 6
Scout Rating: ****
Rivals Rating: ***

Name: Ryan Mossakowsi
Position: QB
Height: 6'4"
Weight: 203
Scout Position Rank: 25
Scout Rating: ****
Rivals Rating: ****

Name: Brian Adams
Position: QB/ATH
Height: 6'4"
Weight: 206
Scout Position Rank: 55
Scout Rating: ***
Rivals Rating: **

Name: Dakotah Tyler
Position: RB
Height: 5'10""
Weight: 199
Rivals Position Rank: 68
Scout Rating: **
Rivals Rating: ***

Name: LaRod King
Position: WR
Height: 6'6"
Weight: 190
Scout Position Rank: 132
Scout Rating: ***
Rivals Rating: ***

Name: Chris Matthews
Position: WR
Height: 6'5"
Weight: 205
Scout Position Rank: N/A (Junior College)
Scout Rating: ***
Rivals Rating: ****

Name: Justin Bean
Position: WR
Height: 6'1"
Weight: 185
Scout Position Rank: 164
Scout Rating: **
Rivals Rating: **

Name: Anthony Kendrick
Position: TE
Height: 6'4"
Weight: 220
Scout Position Rank: 116
Scout Rating: ***
Rivals Rating: ***

Name: Jordan Aumiller
Position: TE
Height: 6'4"
Weight: 200
Scout Position Rank: 66
Scout Rating: **
Rivals Rating: **

Name: Kevin Mitchell
Position: OT
Height: 6'7"
Weight: 280
Scout Position Rank: 155
Scout Rating: **
Rivals Rating: **

Name: Larry Warford
Position: OG
Height: 6'5"
Weight: 320
Scout Position Rank: 44
Scout Rating: ***
Rivals Rating: ***

Name: Sam Simpson
Position: C
Height: 6'5"
Weight: 260
Scout Position Rank: 3
Scout Rating: ***
Rivals Rating: ***

All in all a strong class for the Wildcats that will address two areas of extreme concern... solidifying the near future of the QB position and gaining valuable depth and talent at the WR position. We might get a surprise or two come signing day, and there are still some talented prospects listing Kentucky as a contender for their athletic services in the near future. There are still some prospects linked to Kentucky and the Cats should land another RB in this class.

Recruiting, by nature, is as inexact a science as there is. However, this is a class which is building on the foundation laid at Kentucky over the last several years and adding some key pieces to continue to be successful. This class, and the talent within, is a true testament to the ability of Rich Brooks, Joker Phillips, and the rest of the Big Blue staff to build a winner in Lexington.

Pens meet paper on February 4th for National Signing Day. And it's shaping up to be a good one.

Tomorrow OTP will feature the Ball State Cardinals offensive recruiting roundup and the Kentucky defense will be addressed on Monday.

2 comments:

Frank said...

I think this is going to be an above average class for the Wildcats. But the problem is that an above average class for UK is still the bottom 2 or 3 of the entire SEC.

Anonymous said...

Is Mossakowski going to redshirt?