Kentucky football’s 2023 roster could receive late boost from Northwestern transfer

Just days away from the start of preseason practice, Mark Stoops and his Kentucky football staff are still pursuing one more recruit for the Wildcats’ 2023 roster.
Four-star Ohio prep linebacker Nigel Glover signed with Northwestern in December, enrolled there this summer but entered the transfer portal this month after head coach Pat Fitzgerald was fired in the wake of a hazing scandal. Glover, who visited UK this week, is set to make his transfer decision in the coming days after visiting Ohio State and Michigan too.
“I had guys contacting me before, as soon as the scandal broke, asking what’s Nigel going to do,” Tony Broering, Glover’s former coach at Northmont High School, said in an interview with the Herald-Leader. “I said, ‘I have no idea, I haven’t talked to Nigel. He’s still at Northwestern.’
“But once he got in the portal it was all on him like crazy.”
Glover’s situation is unique.
He technically will arrive at his next school as a transfer since he had already enrolled at Northwestern, but since he has not been on campus for a single game yet he is closer to a high school signee in actuality.
The 247Sports Composite ranked Glover as the No. 10 prospect in Ohio’s 2023 class. He was the second-highest ranked player to sign with Northwestern in the class.
Kentucky offered him a scholarship as a junior in high school, but Glover committed to Northwestern in April 2022 without visiting Lexington. The fact that UK previously offered him a scholarship could give Stoops and recruiting coordinator Vince Marrow an edge over Ohio State and Michigan, neither of which offered Glover in his first recruitment, but Glover did take unofficial visits to both of those campuses early in his high school career.
“He loved Kentucky,” Broering told the Herald-Leader, shortly after speaking to Glover while he made the trip from Lexington to Columbus, Ohio. “... He was super impressed. You could tell they had done a really nice job on the visit. He was raving about it. He was very, very excited about the opportunities there, facilities, coaches and everything.”
Nigel Glover is a four-star recruit at linebacker who was supposed to be a freshman at Northwestern this fall but entered the transfer portal after the firing of Wildcats head coach Pat Fitzgerald.
Nigel Glover is a four-star recruit at linebacker who was supposed to be a freshman at Northwestern this fall but entered the transfer portal after the firing of Wildcats head coach Pat Fitzgerald. Northwestern Athletics
Whether that strong first impression is enough to hold off Ohio State and Michigan remains to be seen, but if Glover does pick Kentucky, what kind of player will the Wildcats be getting?
Since Glover is available so close to the season and apparently also wanted by two traditional powers, he would garner even more attention than the typical four-star recruit that picks Kentucky, but the timing also means he faces a more difficult path to early snaps than your typical freshman.
Like Glover was at Northwestern, most of Kentucky’s class of 2023 signees have been on campus all summer starting the process of learning their team’s playbook. Glover will be well behind his classmates in learning his next team’s scheme when he arrives on campus just as preseason practices start.
Glover primarily played safety in high school but is expected to play linebacker in college.
“It was one of those things where every defensive coach on my staff wanted him at their position group,” Broering said. “... I was the defensive coordinator, and I wanted him to be in charge of the whole defense, so I started playing him at safety. He just could make every tackle then.”
Recruiting coordinator Vince Marrow previously offered Nigel Walker a scholarship in high school and is leading Kentucky’s recruitment of him as a transfer from Northwestern.
Recruiting coordinator Vince Marrow previously offered Nigel Walker a scholarship in high school and is leading Kentucky’s recruitment of him as a transfer from Northwestern. Brian Simms
While Broering, who also coached Glover on Northmont’s track team, acknowledges the challenge facing Glover due to the timing of his transfer and stipulates most freshmen need time to adjust to the physical demands of playing college football, he is confident at least one factor is working in his former star’s favor.
“His best thing is how much he likes to practice,” Broering said. “He likes to play the game like all kids do, but he enjoys the work before the game. A lot of kids like Friday nights, but they don’t necessarily love Tuesday afternoons. He loves it all.”
Glover would be the third-highest rated recruit in UK’s 2023 high school class, according to the 247Sports Composite, behind only wide receiver Shamar Porter and outside linebacker Grant Godfrey. Both Porter and Godfrey are expected to compete for early snaps as freshmen.
Kentucky coaches raved about starting inside linebackers Trevin Wallace and D’Eryk Jackson during spring practice, but depth behind them is a question even after the addition of Northern Illinois transfer Daveren Rayner. Perhaps Glover could contribute there at some point in the second half of the season after he learns Kentucky’s defensive scheme, but even if Glover were to redshirt in 2023 he could be a much-needed addition for the future to a position group that could lose three seniors after this season.
“He does his homework as far as what’s going on with the program, football, who’s there, how many guys have left and gone, all that stuff,” Broering said. “... He’s going to do his due diligence.”

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