Kentucky hopes it took care of its future running back needs when Ohio running backs Torrance Davis of Glenville High School in Cleveland and Jutahn McClain of Fairfield High School both verbally committed to UK’s 2020 recruiting class.
“Davis is a big back that is going to make his presence known running between the tackles. McClain is a smaller, more agile player that can be lined up in some different positions,” said 247Sports analyst Josh Edwards. “It is a thunder and lightning type duo. Kentucky looks at them as their version of Auburn’s Ronnie Brown and Cadillac Williams, who were coached by co-offensive coordinator and running backs coach Eddie Gran.”
The 6-2, 220-pound Davis is ranked among the nation’s top 40 running backs while McClain is listed in the top 10 nationally for all-purpose running backs. Davis had offers from Tennessee, Penn State, Michigan State and Iowa State. McClain rushed for about 1,700 yards and 31 touchdowns in 2018 – along with 24 catches. He has over 2,400 career rushing yards. Even more impressive is that he has lost just one fumble in two seasons.
Kentucky has not signed two running backs in the same class since getting Benny Snell and A.J. Rose. Snell went over 1,000 yards each of the last three seasons and is now UK’s all-time leading scorer. Rose is expected to be the starter this season.
“It is big (getting both commitments) because Kentucky is done at running back now. They can focus on other positions,” Edwards said. “Those players are coveted at their position, so it only strengthens their class and announced their arrival on a more national stage.
“McClain could have gone to one of the more traditional schools on his offer sheet but he saw an opportunity at UK because Benny Snell paved the way.”
Glenville, where Davis plays, has been an Ohio State pipeline and he’ll be the first UK player from that school if he signs with the Cats.
“Kentucky tried to pull a trio from there in the past led by Marshon Lattimore. It essentially has boiled down to ‘if the kid has a committable offer from Ohio State, he is going to take it.’ In this instance, the Buckeyes were probably not going to take Davis,” Edwards said. “Their loss is Kentucky’s gain.
“Glenville is led by Ted Ginn Sr., who is the father of current New Orleans Saints wide receiver and former Buckeyes great Ted Ginn Jr. The ties are strong between the two programs.”
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Kentucky junior setter Madison Lilley is in California with UK volleyball teammate Gabby Curry training with the U.S. national team that will play in Peru in July and August in the Pan-American Games.
Lilley had already put in a lot of work this spring to help get the USA training camp invite.
“We run and lift in the spring and we really don’t do that heavy of lifting in the fall. It’s a whole different experience in the spring. We bulk up in the spring and then in the fall we lift light and lean out,” Lilley said.
“It’s a lot more on the court stuff in the fall. In the spring we max out and get big. It’s kind of trick of the trade. It’s interesting to see how different programs approach that.”
She also enjoys the summer weight workouts, including those with other UK teams.
“Summer is really competitive. We compete with other teams. It’s us, gymnastics, women’s basketball, softball, soccer all training together,” Lilley said. “That gets really competitive.
“In the spring it is just individual development and trying to get stronger. We all lift differently and have different strengths. But in the summer it really gets competitive working out with those other teams and it really pushes you. I love that.”