Big Blue Notes: Battered Cats’ struggles could get worse as schedule gets tougher

Eric Howard is a Calvert City native who lives in Lexington and is a committed UK Wildcat fan. His column 'Big Blue Notes' appears regularly in The Lake News.

Eric Howard is a Calvert City native who lives in Lexington and is a committed UK Wildcat fan. His column ‘Big Blue Notes’ appears regularly in The Lake News.

The Cats continue to regress
Kentucky’s struggles continued this past weekend with the Wildcats’ suffering an embarrassing blowout loss at Florida. After a promising start to the season, John Calipari’s squad appears to be regressing from one game to the next. With the Wildcats’ conference schedule back-loaded in difficulty, things may get ugly for the young Cats if a remedy can’t be found.

The Wildcats will travel to Tuscaloosa this Saturday to take on Alabama. The Cats and the Crimson Tide will tipoff at noon, and the game will be televised on CBS.

Stoops inks powerful recruiting class
While the basketball Cats are struggling, Kentucky’s football program continues to ride a wave of positivity following the Wildcats late season turnaround. Stoops and company signed one of the program’s best recruiting classes in the modern era this past week.

The 24-man class was highlighted by an influx of talented Ohio players. The crown jewel of which is likely Lynn Bowden, ranked as the fourth best athlete in the 2017 class. The Youngstown native is considered to be the best player from the state of Ohio, and the Kentucky staff had to hold-off a late push from Ohio State to sign the dynamic playmaker. Bowden is expected to contribute immediately for the Wildcats in a Randall Cobb-type role.

Kentucky was also able to lure away one of the best Ohio quarterback talents from the Buckeyes. Danny Clark, a 6-foot-4, 223 lb. pro-style quarterback from Akron, signed with the Wildcats after decommitting from Ohio State. Clark is ranked as the No. 17 pro-style quarterback in the nation.

The Wildcats’ most heralded wide receiver commitment also came from the Buckeye state. JaVonte Richardson, a four-star recruit from the suburbs of Cleveland, chose Kentucky over Michigan. Richardson is expected to contribute immediately in Kentucky’s wide receiver rotation.

In all, the Wildcats signed 15 players from Ohio and Florida; two states where Mark Stoops has spent considerable time building relationships. Kentucky only picked up two in-state commitments in Lexington Lafayette quarterback Walker Wood and Belfry offensive lineman Austin Dotson. At 6-foot-6, 305 pounds, Dotson is the one of the largest players in the class.

In the 247Sports national composite rankings, Stoops’ fifth class in his Kentucky tenure came in at No. 29 nationally. Despite the strong national ranking, however, the Wildcats’ class was only good enough for eleventh the Southeastern Conference. Within the commonwealth, Louisville’s class came in at No. 32 nationally while WKU’s class ranked No. 80.

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