John Clay

Kentucky football has time to recover from losing Mac Jones

UK head football coach Mark Stoops talked to Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin, right, at the Governor's Cup luncheon at Frankfort Country Club on Tuesday during the Governor’s Cup Luncheon.
UK head football coach Mark Stoops talked to Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin, right, at the Governor's Cup luncheon at Frankfort Country Club on Tuesday during the Governor’s Cup Luncheon. Lexington Herald-Leader

Random notes:

▪ To be honest, we shouldn’t have been terribly surprised by the Tuesday night news that highly regarded Florida prep quarterback Mac Jones had flipped his commitment from Kentucky to Alabama.

Early commitments are exactly that, early commitments. Alabama is Alabama. It is what it is. Nick Saban has won five national titles. And, as coaches say, no commitment is safe until his name is on the dotted line of a national letter of intent.

Here’s the good news: Better the first of June than the first of February. Mark Stoops and staff have plenty of time to recover between now and national signing day.

▪ When Jones changed his commitment, UK quarterbacks coach Darin Hinshaw sent out a “sub-tweet” about “choices” and the “consequences of our choices.” Probably not the smartest move. Then Alabama offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin re-tweeted Hinshaw’s tweet. Think that might go under the category of “rubbing it in.” And remember, the coaches are supposed to be the adults.

▪ Speaking of Twitter trolls, Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen pulled off a nice one Wednesday. Along with a picture of the 2011 Gator Bowl trophy, which MSU won by smashing Michigan 52-14, Mullen tweeted: “Spending time with (Coach Harbaugh) and the Michigan football coaches brought back some good memories. #HailState”

▪ By the way, in Mississippi for a satellite camp on Wednesday, Harbaugh wore a No. 8 Archie Manning jersey from Manning’s days as a New Orleans Saint.

▪ At his workout for the Boston Celtics on Wednesday, ex-UK guard Jamal Murray made 79 of 100 three-point shots. That’s a Celtics workout record, by the way. Boston has the No. 3 pick on June 23.

▪ In its search for a baseball coach, if Kentucky is looking for someone who can overcome the odds, it might check out Boston College’s Mike Gambino. Because of the Massachusetts weather, the Golden Eagles played their first 22 games on the road this season. Tailgaters are actually allowed to park on the baseball field for football games. And yet, under the 38-year-old Gambino, BC won the Ole Miss Regional and plays Miami in a Super Regional this weekend.

▪ Thursday is a big day for the Cincinnati Reds, who have the No. 2 overall pick in the MLB Draft. The Phillies are expected to take Florida left-hander A.J. Puk with the first pick. The Reds are reportedly considering Mercer outfielder Kyle Lewis, Tennessee third baseman Nick Senzel or perhaps Louisville outfielder Corey Ray.

▪ Destin is my pick for Saturday’s Belmont Stakes. I like that the Tampa Bay Derby winner has been rested since finishing sixth in the Kentucky Derby. I like trainer Todd Pletcher’s record in the Belmont. But then I picked Nyquist to win the Preakness.

▪ After losing in the national title game three years ago, Auburn football has gone 15-11 over the past two seasons. Yet head coach Gus Malzahn was awarded a contract extension this week through 2020.

▪ ESPN’s list of top available college basketball transfers has a pair of ex-Cats. Charles Matthews is No. 4. Marcus Lee is No. 5. Matthews has three years of eligibility remaining. Lee has one.

▪ Five SEC teams reached NCAA Baseball Super Regionals -- South Carolina, Mississippi State, Florida, LSU and Texas A&M.

▪ Ohio State will sell beer throughout its football stadium this season. The school sold beer on suite and club levels last season. The revenue raised will be used for two new full-time positions in the Ohio State Police Department. Not sure if that’s cause and effect.

▪ The Kentucky Pro Football Hall of Fame’s annual golf outing will be June 23 with the induction ceremony June 24 at the Lexington Opera House. This year’s inductees are Blanton Collier, Council Rudolph, Warren Bryant, Myron Guyton and Ray Buchanan. Howard Schnellenberger will receive the 10th annual Blanton Collier Award for Integrity. Tickets are available online at

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