Kentucky football: Chance to play in the SEC lured WR Josh Ali to Lexington
HOLLYWOOD, Fla. — Josh Ali is one of two prospects from Chaminade-Madonna Prep heading to Kentucky this summer. His teammate, defensive end Chris Whittaker, will also be joining him.
As for the better player?
“Me of course,” Ali said with a smile.
Ali, a 6-foot and 180-pound wide receiver, held 21 offers, but offensive coordinator Eddie Gran was able to recruit him to Kentucky. A consensus 3-star prospect, Ali was ranked 93rd out of all Florida prospects. He was one of eight Sunshine State signees for Kentucky in 2017.
SEC Country met with Ali as part of the Next Generation series in which we’ll visit several signees in Kentucky’s 2017 class. Here’s part of our conversation focusing on his recruitment.
Q: Some recruiting sites had you listed as an athlete, but you’re going to play receiver at Kentucky. What makes that position best for you?
A: My hands, my routes. I’m actually trying to improve on my speed before I get up there. I’m very aggressive off the line and I have an attitude to where I’m gonna say like, ‘You can’t stop me,’ basically.
Q: Now that you’ve been through the recruiting process, what advice would you give juniors who are about to do the same?
A: I would tell them, don’t let anybody choose the school that you wanna go to. You need to choose the school you wanna go to. There’s a lot of people who question you and ask, ‘Why’re you going here, why’re you going there?’ I think wherever they feel they fit in the program, that’s where they should go.
Q: Eddie Gran was your primary recruiter. What was that relationship like?
A: He came down to watch me practice. I had a breakout practice actually [because] one of our top receivers wasn’t here, so I had to take his spot and my spot. So, I had a lot of balls, a lot of routes and everything. That was a practice I really showed out in. He offered me.
Q: Which school came in second for you?
A: Utah. [Chaminade-Madonna] coach [Dameon] Jones has a good rep with Utah. A lot of guys went out there. The Pac-12 was actually my favorite conference. Utah was a great fit. Great quarterback. Tyler Huntley’s there, Demari Simpkins and all those guys.
Q: What put Kentucky over the top in that decision?
A: SEC, and I think I actually have a good chance to play this year as a freshman.
Q: What school were you a fan of growing up?
A: Oregon. The uniforms and everything. I was little and didn’t understand. And Josh Huff was my favorite receiver.
Q: What was the funniest thing that happened during your recruitment?
A: I took my UCF visit before I took my Kentucky visit and one of the coaches told me I should have a terrible time up there at Kentucky (laughs).
Check back later this summer for a full feature from our Next Generation visit with Josh Ali.
More from our Next Generation series
- Still new to the game, Abule Abadi-Fitzgerald made an early impression on Kentucky
- Position promise gave Wildcats an edge with JaVonte Richardson
- Tyrell Ajian got the ‘gut feeling’ he needed from Kentucky’s coaches
- Big Ten schools stood out, but Wildcats proved best for LB Alex King
- Gone from a dying city, Kentucky CB Lonnie Johnson finds life in Lexington
- Top Kentucky football signee Lynn Bowden not focused on comparisons