Buford part of a Michigan pipeline to UK

Published 5:55 pm Thursday, August 29, 2019


When Detroit offensive lineman Deondre Buford made his commitment to Kentucky official last week, he explained that he actually had told the UK coaches about two months ago that he would play for the Wildcats.

He was not trying to garner more attention by making the announcement public. Instead, he was waiting to do it on Aug. 19 — his late father’s 45th birthday. Andre Buford was murdered Nov. 3, 2018, and his son wore a Kentucky basketball jersey to honor his father at his announcement ceremony at King High School.

Email newsletter signup

Buford had 25 scholarship offers but picked Kentucky mainly because of his relationship with UK assistant coach Steve Clinkscale just like previous Michigan 2020 commits Justin Rogers, a lineman, and Earnest Sanders, a receiver, said they did when they picked UK. 

Kentucky got Marquan McCall and DeAndre Square out of Michigan before that and both could play significant roles in their second season at UK this year.

“In the state of Michigan the best players seem to be close knit and kind of follow each other,” Cats Pause/247Sports recruiting analyst Josh Edwards said. “Once you get a couple of them, it’s easier to get more. Kentucky is starting to add numbers up and the relationships they are building in that state are allowing them to succeed.”

Edwards believes the message UK coach Mark Stoops and his assistants deliver about what UK can do not only for players on the field but also to develop the player as a person resonates well in recruiting, too — especially when a team is winning like UK has been.

“They are talking about the development as a person that sets you up for the rest of your life outside of football,” Edwards said. “When you can take the on-field production of guys like Josh Allen, Benny Snell, Mike Edwards or Lonnie Johnson and combine that with the family feel they have in Lexington, then you can recruit a lot of top tier guys.”