Georgia transfers highlight UK signing class

Published 6:19 pm Tuesday, December 26, 2023

Kentucky football coach Mark Stoops came away happy with his team’s updated roster and raved about his new additions during National Signing Day on Wednesday.

Stoops and his staff signed a mixture of players from the transfer portal and the Class of 2024, adding 28 players, including seven transfers to next year’s roster.

The Wildcats added a pair of quarterbacks, including Georgia transfer Brock Vandagriffl, who is expected to be the team’s starter next season.

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“Very important for us, very important piece,” Stoops said of Vandagriff. “The thing you look at with Brock is, you look at his film, you know he’ll be able to come in and work with us. Very excited about him.”

Stoops also is excited about prep standout Cutter Boley, a player Stoops and his staff have targeted as their signal caller of the future. Boley enjoyed a stellar career at Lexington Christian.

“Cutter was a guy that we had targeted and recruited for years,” Stoops said. “What a great year he had. We are proud to have Cutter be our high school quarterback and a guy that will come in and compete. He has a contagious personality, very likeable.”

In addition to the two quarterbacks and the expected return of signal-caller Beau Allen, Stoops also added wide receiver transfers Ja’Mori Maclin (North Texas) and Raymond Cottrell (Texas A&M).

Stoops lauded the addition of Maclin and Cottrell.

“(Mclin is) very talented player — love his work ethic, love his attitude,” Stoops said. “I think he’s going to be a big addition to our wide receiver room. Along with Raymond Cottrell from Texas A&M, a big, strong receiver who can really run.”

Florida offensive guard Jalen Farmer also decided to transfer to Kentucky, The Georgia native has three years of eligibility remaining. He also considered Tennessee.

At running back, the Wildcats signed former Ohio State backup running back Chip Trayanum and prep runners Jason Patterson (Sneads, Florida) and Tovani Mizell of Fort Lauderdale.

“Running backs, we needed some depth there,” Stoops said. “Got two high school guys (and) one out of the portal. … The big get for us out of the portal is Chip, extremely mature, extremely hard-working, great fit for us and our culture. Very excited about him.”

Former Georgia linebacker Jamon “Pop” Dumas-Johnson, who was a two-year starter for the Bulldogs, earning All-America honors in 2022 on Georgia’s national championship team, also transferred to Kentucky. He is expected to help bolster the Kentucky defense and take over for Trevin Wallace, who declared for the NFL draft.

“Defensively, we went pretty heavy with the linebacking unit,” Stoops said. “It’s good balance all the way around. A big get for us, that will get a lot of attention, is, any time you get a transfer like that who’s a Butkus finalist and a first-team All-American in Pop Johnson from Georgia. Brings an awful lot to our football team. Unbelievable experience and has that desire to bring that winning culture with him.”

Dumas-Johnson never lost in a game he started at Georgia.