By LARRY VAUGHT
Kentucky certainly needed the commitment it got earlier this month from four-star Ohio running back Michael Drennen, the sixth-best all-purpose running back in the nation according to 247Sports.
The 5-11, 196-pound Drennen had over 40 scholarship offers despite being limited his senior season due to an injury. His offer list included Alabama, LSU, Florida, Notre Dame, Ohio State and USC.
Yet it seemed like Josh Edwards, a football recruiting writer for CatsPause/247Sports as well as a CBSSports NFL draft writer, never wavered in his belief that Drennen would sign with Kentucky.
“His family was always really transparent with me. In December, they were all Kentucky and then USC really surged over the last few weeks,” Edwards said.
The night before publicly announcing his decision, Edwards set Drennen was set on UK and ready to tell USC no — “which does not happen often,” Edwards said — before there was some last-minute thinking about what was best.
“Ultimately he felt most comfortable with tight ends coach and recruiting coordinator Vince Marrow,” Edwards said.
That’s the same Vince Marrow who recruited Lynn Bowden out of Ohio three years ago. Bowden saved UK’s 2019 season with his move from receiver to quarterback and is at the NFL combine this week hoping to improve his draft stock even more.
Many have compared Drennen’s skills and athleticism to Bowden. Edwards doesn’t think that is fair
“I think it would be a disservice to the young man for him to be compared to Lynn Bowden. I know UK envisions him fulfilling that role but Bowden was such a special talent. The game was so natural for him and evading tacklers came easily,” Edwards said.
“Drennen has some of those traits but not to the same degree. I would look for UK to manufacture touches for him though because he was utilized just about every way imaginable in high school.”
Kind of sounds like Bowden who could run the ball, catch passes or return kickoffs or punts. Drennen, an honor student with a 3.7 grade-point average, could be used the same way.
“He primarily lined up in the slot as a high school prospect. I think he is best suited to work underneath and create opportunities after the catch, which he does so well,” Edwards said.
“It will be interesting to see if (UK offensive coordinator) Eddie Gran adopts even more motion into his offense. Drennen would obviously be a benefactor.”