The Kentucky Wildcats have changed their offensive identity, and it is catching the eye of some top players on the recruiting trail.
Liam Coen took over as offensive coordinator last season and turned Kentucky’s offense into more of an NFL style, which has changed the perception of Kentucky football.
New offensive coordinator Rich Scangarello is from the same coaching tree as Coen and is looking to keep the same offense rolling in 2022.
One of the quarterbacks that is high on Kentucky’s recruiting board is Dante Reno, who is currently ranked as a 4-star recruit and is the No. 15 overall quarterback in the 2024 class, according to Rivals.
Reno picked up an official offer from the Cats back in June 2021 from Liam Coen. However, the Massachusetts native is still interested in Kentucky and coach Scangarello.
In an interview with Kentucky Sports Radio, Reno talked about coach Scangarello and just how smart of a coach he is.
“He’s really smart,” Reno said of Scangarello. “He and Coach Coen are really similar in their offensive philosophy and what they want to do with the quarterback, how they want to prepare them for the NFL and just develop them overall. They’re both great guys.”
He continued, “Coach Scangarello, he’s coming from the 49ers, obviously he had Jimmy Garoppolo and the offense they ran there was pretty special so him just telling me his draft stories, just the way he evaluates quarterbacks compared to a lot of other coaches in college football is something I take into account just because of how detailed he is, what he looks for in a quarterback, how he thinks he can use them. It’s not just his system that he’s trying to put the quarterback in, it’s what he thinks he’s going to be best in. So, it’s really something special that he has, and I think with Will (Levis) there right now it’s gonna help him a lot.”
Reno noted that he is hearing from a lot of big-time programs including Alabama, Ohio State, Clemson, Virginia, LSU, Georgia, Purdue, Michigan, Michigan State, West Virginia, Cincinnati, Ole Miss, Iowa State, Arizona, and Miami (FL), among others.
There is another Kentucky connection with Reno aside from his recruitment. Class of 2024 4-star twins Jacob and Jerod Smith both play with Reno at Loomis Chaffee and are also hearing from Kentucky.
The Smith twins transferred to the Connecticut-based program before the 2021 season after leaving Somerset High School. They were teammates with Kentucky’s current backup QB Kaiya Sheron and all won Somerset’s first state championship together back in 2019.
It is going to be a long time before we know where Reno is going to play his college career, but there is mutual interest between him and Kentucky.