Between a late-night phone call from Nick Saban and the fly-in visit from Lincoln Riley, the interest in DeVito Tisdale’s football talent is in peak form.

The top prospect in Kentucky is soaking in every bit of attention that comes with recruiting in college football, but isn’t close to a decision on his pick of the litter of programs yet.

The rising senior at Bowling Green High School has a who’s who list of scholarship offers from the nation’s top Power 5 programs, and some have made visits to Bowling Green in the recent recruiting period.

That includes visits from University of Kentucky coach Mark Stoops and Oklahoma coach Lincoln Riley flying into Bowling Green Regional Airport to visit with Tisdale and coaches at BGHS.

“I’m enjoying it all,” Tisdale told the Daily News. “Can’t get big-headed with it because there’s thousands of you out there they recruit as well. Just being humble with it and enjoying it as well.”

Tisdale’s recruiting profile started early in his career and took off last fall to start his junior season.

The list of offers, which exceeds 15, includes notables Alabama, Oklahoma, Louisville, Kentucky, Florida State, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Tennessee, Louisiana State, Miami, Texas A&M, Ohio State, Purdue and others.

Recruiting services Rivals and 247sports each have the 6-foot-2, 188-pounder listed as a four-star prospect and the No. 1 recruit in Kentucky for the Class of 2020. The majority of the over 20 programs recruiting Tisdale are courting him defensively at the safety position with a chance to return kicks and punts on special teams.

Tisdale is ranked as the sixth-best safety in the country in the 2020 class by 247sports and Rivals has him rated No. 4 at that position.

Louisville, Kentucky and Oklahoma are projected as Tisdale’s “warm” interests according to 247sports, although Tisdale told the Daily News there’s not really a front-runner.

On the night of March 27, Tisdale received a call from Saban, the six-time national championship coach at Alabama. The very next day, Tisdale and teammate Jordan Dingle were on a visit to Tuscaloosa, Ala.

“I’m enjoying it all,” Tisdale said. “Me and my family are going to pick the school when it’s time to come but so far I’m just enjoying it. I’ve hit (the stressful part) plenty of times, but it’s part of it. It’s a nice enjoyment.”

Tisdale scored 13 total touchdowns and rushed for 849 yards last season for the Purples. He’ll primarily play strong safety and kick/punt return next season while also plugging into the offense for several plays.

Most of the attention the prospect’s drawn was kickstarted by his participation in the Under Armour All-American freshman game in San Antonio in 2017. Since then, his profile has grown with assistance of the 7-on-7 camps.

BGHS coach Mark Spader said the February recruiting period may have had “two to four coaches per day” from any number of programs visiting the school. That attention to the Purples program has also helped other recruits like Dingle, a rising junior tight end who holds offers from Louisville, UK and WKU.

Spader complimented Tisdale for being level-headed during the process and not getting caught in recency-bias when visiting or talking with recruits from certain programs.

“He’s had great visits, but he’s never really come back where he’s starry-eyed that this is where I’m going,” Spader said. “I do know he’s taking it all in, he knows it’s an important decision and it’s something he and his father and those that are close to him – and I think I have some input as well – are going to help him make a good decision for where he’s going next.”

– Follow sports reporter Elliott Pratt on Twitter @EPrattBGDN or visit


Covering the Western Kentucky University athletics beat for the Bowling Green Daily News.

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