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As expected Florida playmakers Badet and Kemp both commit to Kentucky


Kentucky got commitments from two players with the playmaking ability that offensive coordinator Neal Brown wants in his offense in a 30-minute period Friday night when receiver Jeff Badet and running back JoJo Kemp, both of Florida, both verbally committed to sign with the Wildcats on Wednesday during the first day of the national signing period.

Both were expected to pick UK over a host of other schools, but Kemp said he wasn’t convinced what he would do until Brown and running backs coach Chad Scott made a visit to him Thursday after coaches from West Virginia, South Florida and Pittsburgh had stopped by in the previous 24 hours.

The 5-10, 210-pound Kemp is ranked as the nation’s 10th  best multipurpose back by Rivals.com. He rushed 255 times for 1,459 yards and 23 touchdowns in 2012 for DeLand High School.

“They said they were not going to spend their time negative recruiting against the other programs,” Kemp told the Daytona Beach News Journal.. “They said they were going to spend their time explaining Kentucky’s program. And I just thought, ‘Those are the type of guys that I want to play for … positive, respectful guys like that.’”

Kemp had verbally committed to South Florida last summer, but changed his mind midway of his senior football season.

Several national recruiting analysts project that his versatility as a runner and receiver will be a perfect fit in Brown’s spread offense.

Badet, who played for Orlando Freedom High School, had narrowed his college list to Kentucky, Wake Forest and Iowa State. He turned down late scholarship offers from UCLA and Wisconsin.

The 5-11, 190-pound Badet, who also originally committed to South Florida, , had 63 catches for 881 yards and 10 touchdowns in 2012. He also ran 28 time for 326 yards and six more scores and had 319 yards in kickoff returns.

“Jeff has always impressed me with his speed after the catch. He’ll catch a ball on a slant pattern across the middle and then turn it on. Rarely have I seen defenders be able to collapse fast enough to contain him if he has any kind of space,” Chris Hays, recruiting coordinator for the Orlando Sentinel, said. “In three years of watching him, I can only remember one time that he dropped a ball, and that time he came right back and caught a long TD pass on the next play. He’s pretty sure-handed.

“Badet is a spread guy, with the speed and skills to fit right into an Air Raid sort of attack and thrive in it. It’s not unlike what he saw at his own high school.”

Hays thought for the last week or more that Badet would pick Kentucky despite the late push from UCLA and Wisconsin.

“Badet should be on the field with the first-teamers early, with his only drawback possibly being his confidence, or should I say, over confidence,” Hays said. “If he brings the right attitude and backs up any cockiness with his play, he will be in the rotation.

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    Sounds like two winners! Welcome to the BBN guys.

  3. eddie

    do not let the 3* fool you they are very good players

  4. TrueBlueJohn

    This staff continues to amaze me with their effort. What I am looking forward to is seeing how well they can do with a full year to work on recruits. It could be a scary recruiting class next year. They have done all this in just two months.

  5. TrueBlueJohn

    Rivals has jumped the Cats up 10 spots to #42 which happens to be 14 spots ahead of that team west on I-64.

    1. David Rankin

      You are right. There has been a huge move up since Coach Stoops took over. I
      Thought that we would get only a small number of players due to the limited time. This is great!

  6. donv

    Got to love a running back named JoJo.

  7. steve from Dayton

    Thanks, Larry for reporting football. I think Badet’s over-confidence might be adjusted when he sees SEC competition.
    We’re doing great with this class! now we’re trying to qualify (explain) ourselves when we get a 3-star. Teams rise to their expectations and ours just went up. GO BB. Harry Potter said it, “Stoopify!!”

  8. Gene

    I believe I saw, on one service at least, that Kemp was rated a four star. May have been espn.
    Very happy that these two weren’t up here from Orlando to witness the weather the past couple of days. : )

    1. UKFAN197TONE

      Those players (that) are rated at 4*…until they commit to UK. Then their rating drops. It’s happened for years. Seriously!

      1. Ira

        It has, but UK also had a couple of 2 star players this year that got rerated as well. Meant is one of them. Borden a JUCO TE that had been unrated by Rivals forever finally gave him a 2 star rating and truthfully their wasn’t a lot of film to rate him on and Scouts rated him first.

        But you can’t deny it we are bringing in quality players, players Joker never bothered with. Players he felt he could never recruit, so he didn’t recruit and just went after his little diamonds in the rough.

        Notice we aren’t fighting MTSU or SOMISS for a recruit anymore?? No. We are having recruiting fights with the right schools, legit BCS schools, the way it should be.

  9. MILL8J

    can u smell what the Stoops is cookin!!! seriously coach Stoops is proving that it can be done at KY now we just have to win some games!!

    1. Larry Pup

      It smells pretty good. I think these two are closer to 4*. I know Jo Jo is, at least by one ranking outfit. Badet should be a 4*too by what I have read. Anyway we look at it, they are two goodins. I like Badet’s confidence.

  10. Karen Sprinkle

    Wow! Stoops is rolling…..

  11. Edward n Lex

    WELCOME Jeff and JoJo to the Commonwealth of Kentucky. All University of Kentucky fans are anxious to welcome you to Commonwealth Stadium. We are proud to have you wearing the Blue & White! “till the battle is won”

    1. larryvaught

      Edward, think both of these guys will really be good players

  12. Andy S

    Will these players red shirt or start playing right away. I read that they are familiar in Browns system. What happens to guys like Clemons, Mobley and Justin Taylor who are the typical ground and pound? Where do they fit in Neal’s system?

    1. larryvaught

      Andy S. good questions and ones I hope to ask Neal in the future if they make him available to me again

  13. Larry Pup

    I think Badet plays and probably Kemp. Is Clemons even healthy? I have mot heard much news on his status. I say the more the merrier. I don’t think the last staff developed Mobley like they should have. I think he could be a great RB for Brown on short yardage situations, and has the ability to break one anytim. I think Taylor will play. We will know more come spring. Good questions to ponder and I really don’t have a clue.

  14. Larry Pup

    I sure hope we can sign Ryan Timmons. What a player. Feb. 6 is closing in. Come on Ryan.

  15. David

    Made it to Kwajalein and was excited to read of JoJo Kemp and Baddet picked the Cats, curious about why hearns changed his mind. Larry do you have any insight why or where he might end up. I am still praying that Jason Hatcher picks the Cats, I think if he goes to USC he ends up homesick and regret that he went there.

    well its good to be back online and hoping to read some more good news about our football team

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