I thought I should add a few comments, as well as link a few comments, to the decision by Scout 5-star and Rivals 3-star quarterback Morgan Newton out of Carmel, Indiana to matriculate to Kentucky.
Obviously, it is great news when we get guys as highly ranked as Morgan Newton and Ryan Mossakowski. Kentucky has always had trouble luring top talent to Lexington, which is one of the reasons why we have suffered through such futility as a program in the premiere college football conference. To win in the SEC, you have to have two things -- talent, and depth. In recent history, Kentucky has had neither.
But the last three recruiting classes have seen us beat out the top tier schools more and more often for quality recruits, and the end result of that is a dramatically improved base of talent from which to create a team, and increased quality depth backing them up. Newton and Mossakowski will provide the foundation for our quarterback for many years to come, and who knows who will win the battle for that spot. But the good news is, we have suddenly gone from looking like we would see a gradual progression of average quarterbacks to the likelihood of two studs in a couple of years.
Neither Newton or Mossakowski represent a panacea or an announcement that we are ready to contend for the SEC crown -- we aren't. But it does serve notice to the league that Kentucky will no longer be a doormat, and with the talent level now coming to play in front of the Commonwealth Stadium crowd on Saturdays, the days of marking down UK as a likely win have now evaporated.
It is a long, tough slog to relevance in the SEC. Kentucky isn't there yet, and it will take many more consecutive years of good football to get there. But by the same token, no longer are the Wildcats uncompetitive with the rest of the league. I believe us to be present at the birth of a new football tradition at the University of Kentucky, the likes of which haven't been seen since The Bear prowled the sidelines. We still have a long, hard road fraught with pitfalls and difficulties, but as recruiting continues to move in the right direction and we continue to accumulate quality depth, the toughest conference in America just got a little tougher.
Some links to click on the Newton decision:
- Morgan Newton Far From Bullshit (Over the Pylon)
- Thank you Louisville (Chris Diggs, C-J)
- Morgan Newton makes a lovely decision (Matt Jones, KSR)
- Taking a cut -- Newton a huge get for the Cats (LEX-18)
- Just another program-changer in the fold (UK Wildcat Country)
- Morgan Newton chooses ... Kentucky! (4th and Blue)
- Continuity counts, as UK gets Newton (John Clay, Sidelines)
Congratulations to coach Brooks and his staff, and to Morgan Newton for picking an SEC program on the rise.