Kentucky and Ohio State are the primary contenders jockeying for star 2018 receiver L’Christian “Blue” Smith. Besides the family feel Kentucky has shown him, Smith credited Big Blue Nation for keeping UK in the mix.
“It’s the fans, man,” Smith told Birmingham. “They’re crazy. You can go on Twitter and see it. There are new people every day, it’s not the same people. Every time I put a photo online there are so many people reacting and replying and showing me so much love. It’s awesome.”
Smith, a 4-star prospect, is ranked the 119th best player in the 2018 class. He’s expected to be a receiver at the next level, but 247Sports’ composite rankings list him as the No. 3 athlete. The Dayton, Ohio, native is the fourth-ranked player in the Buckeye State.
Keeping him from the Buckeyes will be priority No. 1 for Kentucky tight ends coach and recruiting coordinator Vince Marrow — the lead recruiter for Smith. Kentucky already has six 2018 commitments from Ohio, but none would be bigger than Smith’s. He’d pass 4-star offensive guard Marquan McCall as the top-rated commit in Kentucky’s class.
“Whenever I go down there, there’s just such a feeling of home,” Smith said of Kentucky. “Coach Marrow and Coach [Mark] Stoops always treat me so well and give me so much love.”
The Wildcats landed a commitment from 3-star tight end Keaton Upshaw on Saturday afternoon, and it lifted Kentucky to the 20th-ranked class in the country and fourth in the SEC behind LSU, Tennessee and Texas A&M.
“Just the talent they’re bringing in, I know the guys that are going there and it’s a different type of player than Kentucky used to get,” Smith said.
As for when a commitment could come from Smith, the timeline is up in the air. Birmingham reported that he’s changed his decision date twice in the last month.
“Honestly, it’s just to keep people guessing,” Smith told Land of 10. “Like I said at the beginning, when all this started, I was going to take as long as I needed. I am not going to have a date, I’m going to commit when I am ready to commit. Because you know what? It’s fun. I mean, sometimes I just want to get away because it can get overwhelming, but it’s fun for the most part.”
So, is there a decision date?
“Yes, kind of,” Smith said. “The plan, if I do end up committing before the season, will be to commit Aug. 27. We’re playing on ESPN and I’d do it before the game. If I’m ready.”