Louisville signee Bolin explains how UK's recruiting plan backfired

mstory@herald-leader.comFebruary 6, 2013 

After committing to Louisville in September of his junior season, Lexington Catholic quarterback Kyle Bolin signed with the Cardinals on Wednesday.

The four-star quarterback is rehabbing a torn ACL, but expects to be 100 percent cleared for contact by the time U of L's fall camp opens.

Of course, with any Lexington product that is not University of Kentucky-bound, people wonder what the back story is. Unlike many Kentucky products, Bolin did not grow up a UK fan. His mom's family is from Tennessee and he grew up a Volunteers fan.

Still, Bolin said he was initially open to the idea of playing for Kentucky. Last week, he told the Herald-Leader UK's recruitment of him went astray in the summer before his junior year at Catholic.

"It's kind of weird because I never have really spoken about my Kentucky recruiting. They recruited me really, really hard.

"Coach (Chuck) Smith (then the UK recruiting coordinator) talked about a (scholarship) offer during (summer) camp season. It even was released, it kind of got out and the news stations came over and interviewed me the weekend before the camp," Bolin says. "It was headed like 'Will Bolin get his offer?'"

At the Kentucky camp, Bolin felt like he performed at a high level. He says Smith and then-UK offensive coordinator Randy Sanders both told him he did. "I'm not tooting my horn or anything, but I had a really, really good day that day, probably one of my best days," he said. "I was really on, throwing the ball extremely well."

Yet, after all the buildup, UK did not offer him a scholarship at the camp.

"That kind of just struck me. I'm a competitive person, I don't mean any disrespect to the coaching staff. I really enjoyed them. Coach (Joker) Phillips is a great guy. I really enjoyed having a relationship with him.

"But when someone blows you up to be an offer in front of your peers and your community and then they don't offer you, that's a knock to me," Bolin said. "For lack of a better word, it's kind of like a spit in the face."

Having gone through recruiting, Bolin thinks he now understands Kentucky's tack.

"If I go to UK's camp and don't get offered, and then I go to Tennessee's camp and they see I went to UK's camp and I didn't get offered and here I am a Lexington quarterback and I haven't received an offer from my 'home school,' (Tennessee thinks) there must be something we're not seeing," he said. "So they hold off, too."

By waiting to offer a hometown prospect, UK might be able to keep other big-name football schools from recruiting him, Bolin says.

"Then UK can come in really hard junior year and get you to go to school there," he says. "It's a good strategy for a guy who was a big UK fan. But, see, I wasn't a big UK fan."

So Kyle Bolin will instead play college football for Kentucky's archrival.

Mark Story: (859) 231-3230.Twitter: @markcstory. Blog: markstory.bloginky.com

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