By LARRY VAUGHT
How much will having Detroit four-star offensive lineman Deondre Buford verbally commit to Kentucky Tuesday help the Cats hopefully keep a commitment from Detroit five-star lineman Justin Rogers?
That’s a question I posed to Josh Edwards, recruiting analyst for The Cats Pause/247Sports.
You remember Rogers, one of the nation’s best players in the 2020 recruiting class who stunned many by committing to UK. Next he took an official visit to Alabama that most assumed would flip his commitment to Alabama. So far it has not.
“I actually think the talk about Justin flipping has subsided quite a bit after he took that Alabama visit,” Edwards said. “Once UK made it through that visit where he could have been in awe of everything and he didn’t flip, it became clear Kentucky really was in a strong position for him.
“I think it is really going to take a lot of flip him (before the signing period in December). It goes back to the relationships coach Mark Stoops and his staff build with players and their families. (Assistant coach Steve) Clinkscale not only recruited Rogers and Buford, but he also recruited their families. He believes in that just like Stoops does.”
Both Marquan McCall and DeAndre Square, two players who signed with Kentucky last year, could contribute mightily for the Cats this year. The Cats also have a commitment from receiver/cornerback Earnest Sanders, another highly rated player from the Detroit area.
“In the state of Michigan the best players seem to be close knit and kind of follow each other,” Edwards said. “Once you get a couple of them, it’s easier to get more. Kentucky is starting to add numbers up and the relationships they are building in that state are allowing them to succeed.”
Edwards has no reason to think that Rogers won’t join Buford and Sanders in Kentucky’s 2020 recruiting class, especially after Rogers took an unofficial visit to Kentucky recently and stayed overnight with Lexington Catholic quarterback Beau Allen, another 2020 UK commit.
“I don’t see Justin Rogers going anywhere. I have not heard anything lately to suggest he is going to flip,” Edwards said.