Kentucky picks up first commit of ’17 class in rising Florida QB

Kentucky picked up the first commitment of their ’17 class today in quickly-rising Jacksonville, Florida quarterback, Mac Jones.

Jones is a slender 6-foot-2, 180-pound three-star prospect, but you can expect that stock to rise in the near future as Jones continues to showcase his accuracy and quick decision-making at camps & all star events.

At this point East Carolina is the only other major school to offer Jones, but I expect him to start picking up some big-time offers as the year goes on.  He really turned heads recently at IMG’s 7-on-7 passing tourney in Florida (where he excelled against the nation’s best) and his stock is starting to heat up because of it.

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Jones is still really raw for his age, but has a very high ceiling

This commitment might not immediately jump off the page at you because it lacks that “sexy” 4-star rating at this point, but don’t sleep on this kid.   Jones is an important commitment not only because of the position he plays (UK didn’t take a QB in last year’s haul) but also because of how early UK was able to get in on this kid in the recruiting process.  It makes a difference when you’re able to get in early on a highly-rated recruit.

Stoops and Co. continue to be one step ahead of many traditional powers in recognizing talent, and this commitment is only the latest example of that.  When it comes to recruiting, this coaching staff isn’t going to be out-worked..that’s for sure.

Here are the highlights from Jones’ sophomore season (he’s really raw, but I really like his accuracy and anticipation against ELITE high school competition in the state of Florida)

Video: JD Harmon has hops

Cornerback JD Harmon might best be remembered for being (unfairly) singled out by Stoops last season as the reason for the special teams’ woes, but now he has something to compete with that memory–this video:

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I knew Harmon was athletic, but had no idea he could throw down like that. The 6-foot-2, 200-pound junior had 29 tackles last season, where he was a special teams’ demon–racking up numerous big hits, and several game-changing plays. He was listed as an athlete coming out of HS, and Stoops and Co. are making good use of that label–putting him all over the field on defense & special teams, in positions where he can use his athletic ability to make plays.

Update: Latest Commonwealth Pics

Here are a few of the latest field-install pictures from Commonwealth:

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It’s finally starting to look like an SEC football stadium. The blue endzones are going to give the field some long-awaited character, and the new press box, seat backs, lights, & recruiting room, are going to give the stadium a much more modern, sophisticated feel–which I have no complaints.

As we creep closer to kickoff against Louisiana-Lafayette, I’m finding this to be one of the most-anticipated Kentucky season openers I’ve ever remembered.

The reasons for that are mainly two-prong: 1) the excitement that has built in the fanbase in realizing this team returns such a significant core of its playmakers from a year ago (Towles, Boom, Stamps, Forrest, etc), and 2) the stadium/field are going to be much-improved, with the feel of an NFL or modern college football stadium. Fans are going to turn out in droves to see what all the fuss has been about with the Commonwealth renovations, and my bet is that they won’t come away disappointed.

Checkerboard endzone being installed

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There’s also progress being made (well pictures of construction crews anyway) on the $45M practice facility.

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We can’t forget about the Cats in the NFL–Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun has the latest on Za’Darius Smith, saying that ‘Z’ has been making an early impression on Ravens’ coach, John Harbaugh.

Also, even though we haven’t heard as much out of him, Darrian Miller is still hard at work for the Cleveland Browns:CGLvFLmXEAAjzbr

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We Grindin everyday!! #SteelCity #steelernation #BeatGreat™ 🐝🐝swarm 💯👌🏾🏈💪🏾

A photo posted by Bud Dupree™ (@bud_dupree) on