MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Graduate transfer Jeff Badet plans to visit Oklahoma this weekend, which follows February’s visit to West Virginia, which puts the Sooners and Mountaineers atop the list of schools hoping to land the former Kentucky receiver.
Those Big 12 programs previously squared off for junior college star Marquise Brown last December, with Oklahoma winning. At the time the Sooners were looking to replace the 112 catches made by All-American Dede Westbrook and Geno Lewis. Since then, West Virginia’s Shelton Gibson entered the draft, potentially shifting the advantage in playing time availability.
Badet is a 6-foot-tall burner whose productivity has increased each year.
“He’s done it before at a major college. He averaged over 20 yards a catch, so he’s got some big-play ability. West Virginia obviously needs to fill that void Shelton Gibson left,” said Rivals writer Keenan Cummings.
“He can do it all. He played outside and he can move inside. He told me after his WVU visit that coaches spoke to him about touch passes, getting the ball out quick in the slot, putting him out wide, trying to showcase him.”
The Orlando native caught 82 passes for 1,385 yards and seven touchdowns during three seasons at Kentucky, making a big leap last fall when his 31 receptions led the SEC at 21.6 yards per catch. Despite the Wildcats’ program improving — they reached their first bowl since 2010 after upsetting Louisville — they threw the ball only 35 percent of the time.
“Kentucky doesn’t throw the ball a lot, which is why he’s looking for a new location,” Cummings said. “He wants to play in an offense that’s going to suit his skills more, and put the football in the air. He’s got one year left and he wants to show what he can do.”
Both contending schools have connections to Badet. West Virginia graduate assistant Michael Burchett saw him up-close for two years at Kentucky, while Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops is the older bother of Wildcats coach Mark Stoops.
“That Oklahoma visit will be telling,” Cummings said. “If West Virginia comes out of that visit without him making any decision, they could be in a pretty good spot.”