By LARRY VAUGHT
Kentucky coach Mark Stoops was originally scheduled to have his signing day press conference at 2 p.m. on Wednesday before he decided to push it back 90 minutes with no reason why.
Turns out he was waiting on North Hardin four-star Ocativious Oxendine to make a decision about whether he was signing with Kentucky or Tennessee, the trendy pick by numerous football recruiting analysts.
But he picked UK and Stoops was all smiles — as he should have been after adding the 6-3, 295-pound Oxendine to the 2020 recruiting class.
“We got Octavious in the boat. That’s another really big guy in state,” Stoops said.T”hat’s why I was hoping to get that commitment today. I had to back this up (the news conference time) to make sure we could talk about him.
“Octavious was going to announce today sometime around 3:45. And so we just got word that he’s in the boat and that’s another big get for us. Another feather in the cap there for the Big Dog (recruiting coordinator Vince Marrow). He had to work the phone.
“Octavious made Vince work a little bit longer today than he wanted to. But that’s another — you put the four interior defensive linemen and all of them are four- or five-star guys and big, athletic, talented guys.”
Oxendine is a player many think could be a dominant SEC defensive lineman in the years ahead. He had 62 tackles, 17 tackles for loss and 14.5 quarterback sacks in 2019. That’s why he was ranked as a top 25 defensive tackle nationally.
His other offers included Oklahoma, Texas, Louisville, Purdue and North Carolina along with others.