With an epic battle of blue bloods taking place at Rupp Arena, this weekend was a perfect time for the University of Kentucky to show off their school.
The nation had their eyes on Lexington this weekend as it hosted ESPN College Gameday in preparation for the No. 8 Kentucky Wildcats taking on the No. 9 Kansas Jayhawks. The Cats came away victorious on the hardwood, and hopefully, they did so as well with the recruits who made the trip to Lexington.
Both John Calipari and Mark Stoops knew that this was a perfect time to welcome recruits to town. Unfortunately, a couple of them had to cancel, including football recruit Devonta Lee and basketball recruit Isaiah Todd due to weather. However, there was still a strong group of prospects who made the trip.
Here’s a look at the football and basketball prospects who made it to Lexington:
4-star DB MJ Devonshire: With Mike Edwards, Derrick Baity, Darius West, and Lonnie Johnson all NFL bound, the Wildcats need to add defensive backs. MJ Devonshire was in town this weekend as Kentucky hopes they can reel him in as a late addition in their 2019 class.
The Wildcats have stiff competition, however, as Pittsburgh has a 73% chance to land the Georgia native, according to his 247 Sports crystal ball. West Virginia and Ohio State are also ahead of Kentucky at 9% each. This may be a longshot, but don’t count out Stoops and his staff landing another stud defensive back.
Devonshire also posted this on Twitter following the game Saturday:
Post dub wit the goat @UKCoachCalipari @vincemarrow pic.twitter.com/Xc6nalQvbR— Savage 2.0 (@Mjdevonshirejr) January 27, 2019
4-star DB Jay Ward: Like Devonshire, Ward is a defensive back from Georgia who could help fill one of the spots led by the many defensive back departures. Ward is ranked only two spots behind Devonshire, according to 247, as he is the 52nd-ranked cornerback prospect in the nation.
Like the other two prospects, Kentucky is not the favorite to land him. LSU is heavy favorites with an 83% chance, and Florida State and Texas A&M are also involved. It will be interesting to see if Ward’s visit in the bluegrass changed his recruitment.
Ward recently announced his final four with Kentucky included:
Top 4 pic.twitter.com/rieYZsoNsb— JAY WARD ⁴ (@JWARD_4) January 24, 2019
5-star guard Tyrese Maxey: Maxey is the only known prospect who has already signed with the Wildcats that will be in town this weekend. The five-star guard out of Texas is ranked the No. 11 overall prospect in the nation according to 247. He chose the Wildcats over SMU and others. He will hopefully be able to sway some of the other visitors toward Kentucky.
Maxey was actually introduced to the Rupp Arena crowd, which is allowed because he’s already signed his national letter of intent:
The first of many @Rupp_Arena introductions for UK signee and @McDAAG @TyreseMaxey. pic.twitter.com/tjZs6dP7h2— Kentucky Basketball (@KentuckyMBB) January 26, 2019
5-star center Hunter Dickinson: Dickinson is a 6-11 center from Maryland who is a member of the 2020 recruiting class. He is rated as the No. 4 center prospect in the country for 2020 and the top prospect in all of Maryland. The future of Kentucky’s frontcourt is very much in question. Thus, Dickinson’s visit is an important one.
Kentucky vs Kansas— Hunter Dickinson (@H_Dickinson24) January 26, 2019
According to 247, Notre Dame has the early advantage with a 67% chance to land the big man. There’s plenty of time to change that, however, and that starts this weekend for Kentucky.
5-star SG Randy Brady: It’s never too early for John Calipari as he brings in 2021 recruit Randy Brady for a visit. Brady, ranked No. 19 overall by 247 Sports Composite, is from nearby Tennessee, meaning Kentucky will likely have to fight off the Vols and Commodores to land the sharpshooter. There’s no real indication of where Brady’s leaning, as he’s only a sophomore in high school, but perhaps Kentucky will learn more about that after his visit.
Postponed visit due to weather:
Football: 4-star WR Devonta Lee: On a visit in December, Louisiana native and four-star recruit Devonta Lee said he “fell in love with Kentucky.”
Unfortunately, he was unable to give the school a second look as he inches closer to his decision. According to 247’s crystal ball, LSU is still a heavy favorite for Lee, but his high school quarterback was none other than Kentucky signee Amani Gilmore.
5-star PF Isaiah Todd: Everyone knows Kentucky needs to add a big man to their 2019 recruiting class in a big way. Thus, getting five-star forward Isaiah Todd on campus is a critical one for the Wildcats. Weather kept that from happening this weekend, but there are plenty of other home games for him to attend this season.
The 6-10 Todd is currently a member of the 2020 recruiting class, but he is considering a reclassification into 2019. Kentucky faces an uphill battle to land Todd, according to 247 who gives the edge to North Carolina at 50% with NC State and Kansas coming in at 25%.