Kentucky gets commitments from three offensive linemen

jsmith3@herald-leader.com,By Jennifer Smithand Ben RobertsApril 5, 2014 

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UK head coach Mark Stoops, center, directs players in the first half. The University of Kentucky hosted its Blue/White Spring Scrimmage Saturday, April 13, 2013 at the Commonwealth Stadium. Photo by Jonathan Palmer

JONATHAN PALMER — Jonathan Palmer

On a day that most thought would be dominated by basketball, Kentucky football made a splash of its own, getting commitments from three offensive linemen on Saturday afternoon.

Levon Livingston, Larry Wells and Logan Stenberg announced that they have committed to UK for the class of 2015.

Livingston, a native of Washington, D.C., is the most highly touted of the three. The 6-foot-7 prospect is considered a four-star player by 247Sports and a three-star recruit by Rivals.com and Scout.com.

He is listed as a defensive lineman, but Livingston told the Herald-Leader on Saturday that he prefers to play offensive tackle. He added that what position he plays at UK "doesn't matter" and that he's proud to be a Wildcat.

"I'm just blessed and the staff, players and fans showed me too much love," Livingston said.

UK wide receivers coach Tommy Mainord is Livingston's primary recruiter. Mainord has made a good first impression on several top class of 2015 recruits in the Washington, D.C., area.

Wells — a 6-foot-6, 310-pound offensive tackle — has emerged as one of UK's top targets from Ohio in recent weeks. He doesn't have a long list of scholarship offers, but the under-the-radar recruit has been pursued hard by Vince Marrow.

Rivals.com considers Wells a three-star prospect.

Stenberg — a 6-foot-6, 330-pound lineman from Alabama — is not ranked by any of the major recruiting services. He announced his commitment on Twitter. Stenberg's primary recruiter is offensive line coach John Schlarman.

All three players were in Lexington on Saturday for unofficial visits.

UK now has five commitments for the class of 2015, with Livingston, Wells and Stenberg joining defensive backs Montrell Custis and Marcus Walker.

Saturday practice notes

UK had its first situational scrimmage of the spring and Coach Mark Stoops walked away feeling pretty good.

"We did some good things and some not so good things," he said. "For me, it's always a balancing act. If one team's scoring, I'm not so pleased with the other side, so, overall, we're definitely better. We're doing some routine things."

The offense ran the ball effectively at times and quarterbacks — all four of them — were able to find open players and make completions.

"We're still miles from where we need to be, but at least we're making routine plays now," he said.

Two of those scoring plays included Patrick Towles finding Ryan Timmons on a 10-yard screen pass and true freshman Drew Barker hitting A.J. Legree down the middle for another score.

"All the quarterbacks made some good throws at times so we'll watch the film and see where that's at," Stoops said.

Running back Mikel Horton got most of the work in the scrimmage with Jojo Kemp (tight hamstring) and transfer Braylon Heard (neck soreness) nursing injuries.

Offensive coordinator Neal Brown was pleased with the toughness shown by guard Ramsey Meyers, who had to have a tooth pulled before practice.

Dabble in Texas?

New special teams/safeties coach Craig Naivar might give Kentucky another recruiter for the talent-rich state of Texas, noting that he's recruited Houston for more than 15 years.

Stoops hinted that UK may make more of a recruiting push in Texas.

"I think I need to look at that, with Texas A&M being in our league now and expanding a little bit the SEC brand through Texas with strong ties there," the head coach said. "We've got a heck of a player in T.V. (Williams) out of there a year ago, so I think we'll continue to dabble a little bit in Texas."

Practice to prom?

Drew Barker went from his Kentucky uniform to a tuxedo last week.

Just a few hours after one of his first practices as a UK quarterback, the freshman left to go to his high school prom at Conner.

"It was pretty cool," he said after practice on Wednesday. "It was fun, good to see everybody again."

Barker, one of a handful of players missing their final semester of high school so they can participate in spring practice, said it was a "great decision to come early."

He got a little ribbing from teammates about going to a high school prom now that he's a college kid, but coaches didn't want the freshmen to miss some milestones.

This weekend, it's running back Horton who went back to his prom. Almost all of the early enrollees are planning to walk for their high school graduations as well.

"The coaches say it's important to go back for stuff like that," Barker said.

Jennifer Smith: (859) 231-3241. Twitter: @jenheraldleader. Blog: ukwomen.bloginky.com.

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