By LARRY VAUGHT
He grew up with a family about evenly split over their support for Kentucky and Louisville athletics.
When the two teams played, Demontae Crumes pulled for Kentucky. When they were not playing each other, he wanted both teams to win.
The Louisville Butler receiver originally committed to Louisville in February before changing his mind two months later and re-opening his recruitment. Now he’s made a verbal commitment to Kentucky and says he’s “100 percent with Kentucky” going forward.
“There has been a lot of support from my family and friends since I committed,” said Crumes. “They are glad at least I am committing inside the state. It didn’t matter to them where I went as long as I am going to be happy where I am at.”
The 6-1, 170-pound Crumes had plenty of college options, including Michigan and Oregon. But he liked the atmosphere at Kentucky and the bond he felt with individual coaches. He never took any unofficial visits to any schools except UK and Louisville.
“It wasn’t just one coach, but each coach,” Crumes, who had 30 catches for 770 yards and 14 scores last year, said.
He’s visited Kentucky several times (his official visit will be in late July) and was recruited by offensive line coach John Schlarman before recruiting coordinator Vince Marrow took over in-state recruiting. However, he really liked receivers coach Michael Smith.
“He is a great guy. We have a really strong bond,” Crumes said. He’s really cool.”
Crumes noticed what UK fans certainly saw last year when he evaluated UK’s roster. That team had talent at receiver but no legitimate deep threat.
“I thought I could be a deep threat the team needs,” Crumes said.
He’s not been timed in the 40-yard dash recently but ran it in 4.40 seconds the last time he was clocked. He has an unusual practice routine where he wears heavier cleats, heavy socks, three layers of padding and extra big shoulder pads to push him harder.
“Then when I get to games and put on my normal gear, I feel better and quicker,” he said.
He plays in a balanced offense for Butler and has no problems blocking.
“If I can have an impact on a play by blocking, that is what I want to do,” he said. “Our coach wants everybody to get their fair amount of time and not favor anyone. That is fine with me.”
He played quarterback until his freshman year and thinks that helped make him a better receiver because of the way he understands offenses. Kentucky likes not only his speed, but his body control.
“I can align my body with the ball and know where it will be,” he said. “When the ball comes, I just know where to be at. I know how to catch the ball.”
He’s talked with the UK quarterbacks and has got to know several UK recruits. Ohio defensive back Moses Douglas is the player he’s talked/texted with the most. He’s also good friends with Louisville Moore defensive end J.J. Weaver, one of the state’s best players and a major UK/Louisville recruiting target.
“Hopefully he will come to Kentucky,” Crumes said. “He’s really good. He’s one of my guys and is really cool to be around.”
Crumes said he is “not talkative” like a lot of today’s players.
“I don’t like cockiness. I am not that way,” he said.
He said staying close to home so his parents could easily see him play was important and that he also understands why some may wonder if he’ll change his mind again because of his de-commitment from Louisville earlier.
“I rushed a little bit when I committed to Louisville. Now I know Kentucky is the best for me and I am 100 percent sure I am going to stick with Kentucky,” he said.
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