By LARRY VAUGHT
Four years ago it was former Kentucky quarterback Freddie Maggard telling everyone that a two-star recruit out of New Jersey had the potential to be the best player in Kentucky’s recruiting class.
That player turned out to be linebacker Josh Allen, a consensus All-American and national defensive player of the year this season.
Now it is Kentucky recruiting coordinator Vince Marrow with a bold signing day prediction on who he thinks could be the “find” in this year’s recruiting class. He’s going with defensive end Shawn’Kel Knight-Goff of Louisville.
“He is a very athletic kid. He can play safety, he can play linebacker, he can play receiver, and he can play running back. He’s so athletic,” Marrow said. “I think this kid would have been a high four star (recruit) but his circumstances, he worked in the summer and never went to really any camps, but he came to our camp and ran real well for a guy that big. I think he’s going to be a guy that surprises a lot of people. I really do.”
He is a three-star prospect who had 66 tackles, nine sacks, three forced fumbles and one fumble recovery as a senior while also leading Doss with 16 catches for 180 yards.
But Marrow also would not rule out receiver Tae Tae Crumes being the best player from Louisville that Kentucky signed. Marrow compared him to former UK receiver Jeff Badet.
“It’s not crazy talk. I think because he stayed committed and a lot of these guys want to be drama kings or drama queens and all that stuff, he stayed committed and sometimes you get lost in the shuffle, but this kid is fast,” Marrow said.
“Ohio State was recruiting him, Michigan, Michigan State. He was committed to that school down the street (Louisville), and we flipped him from them. I think you’re going to be very surprised with this kid and his speed when he comes in here. He’s going to be a great addition to our receiving corp.”
Crumes had 42 catches for 877 yards and 14 scores last season for Louisville Butler and finished his prep career with 2,021 yards and 35 touchdowns receiving. Crumbs, who has been timed in 4.3 seconds for the 40-yard dash, had offers from Michigan, Oregon and Michigan State.
That speed is something Kentucky desperately needed.
“Tae Tae is another guy that can really run. And that was something that was very, very important to us,” UK coach Mark Stoops said. “It was very evident to us when we saw him in person and watched him in camp and in practice that he can go and had another gear. And that was certainly important for us to get.”
Stoops was also glad to land West Jessamine lineman Eli Cox, his first in-state offensive linemen since getting Landon Young and Drake Jackson three years ago.
“He saw those guys having success. He saw the way our offensive line plays and wanted to be a part of it. So we’re very excited about Eli, and he was a fun guy to recruit,” Stoops said.
“He’s the type of guy we’re looking for. He’s a Kentucky kid that wants to play here and wants to continue that legacy of playing very, very physical, tough offensive line play. So that wasn’t a very hard sell and we’ve been doing some very good things with our offensive line.”