By LARRY VAUGHT
This could be a historic night for Kentucky coach Mark Stoops and the UK football program.
Five-star Justin Rogers of Oak Park, Mich., will make his recruiting decision. The 6-2, 310-pound lineman got his first college scholarship offer from UK as an eighth-grader from UK recruiting coordinator Vince Marrow
His other finalists are Alabama, LSU, Georgia, Tennessee and Michigan, which is already braced to lose the state’s No. 1 player to a SEC team.
Rogers took an official visit to Georgia this weekend and posted this on Twitter Sunday afternoon: “Man I have a good time down at Georgia ♥️”
Kentucky has been the perceived favorite by many to get his commitment. One reason that might be even though he’s ranked as the nation’s top offensive guard by several recruiting sites, Rogers has indicated he would like to play defense in college. He played in the defensive line as well as linebacker in high school.
Another plus for the Cats is that his former Oak Park teammate, Marquan McCall, signed with UK last year and the Cats let him play defense where he wanted to play while most schools wanted him to play offense. Another Detroit player, linebacker DeAndre Square, also has ties to Rogers and could be a key player for Kentucky this season.
Rogers is ranked as high as No. 10 nationally overall by one recruiting service. Stoops’ highest ranked signee has been Lexington offensive lineman Landon Young, who was rated 29th nationally in 2016.
Now remember no matter who Rogers picks tonight, national signing day will not be until Dec. 18. But let’s say that Rogers committed to Kentucky, changed his mind and signed with another school. Yes, it would hurt losing him but the positive feedback from getting a top 10 player nationally out of Michigan just to verbally commit to UK would just continue the momentum Kentucky has had from a 10-win season, New Year’s Day bowl win and four players going in the first four rounds of the recent NFL draft.
My gut — Rogers commits to Kentucky.