Recruiting review: Offense
Kentucky has recently added quarterback Patrick Towles to their 2012 class and recruiting will continue throughout the spring and on into the summer as the Wildcats attempt to find the best talent to add to their roster. Here are a couple of the key targets.
Patrick Towles – 6’5 / 230 – Ft. Thomas, KY
Towles is Kentucky’s most recent commit and a big one at that. He’s got NFL size and is a proven winner at the high school level. The Wildcats may continue to recruit other quarterbacks, but I would think adding another pro-style signal caller is unlikely. Look for another ‘athlete’ or scrambling QB to be added.
Anthony Wales – 5’9 / 170 – Louisville, KY
Of all the running backs to come out of the state of Kentucky in recent years, Wales probably fits the mold of a UK running back the best. He’s small in stature and is a versatile player that can give the Wildcats a receiving option out of the backfield. Despite the likelihood that former Louisville Central stars Ridge Wilson, Mister Cobble, and Tim Patterson are on the Kentucky roster, Wales’ recruitment is far from over and Charlie Strong will do everything in his power to get him.
I’Tavius Mathers – 6’0 / 180 – Murfreesboro, TN
Possibly the fastest back Kentucky is recruiting this year, Mathers could give the offense a real homerun threat to replace Derrick Locke in the backfield. The biggest problem the Cats will face is the list of schools recruiting Mathers is a long and impressive one. He has offers from Alabama, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, South Carolina, Tennessee, Notre Dame and several others.
Coy Brown – 6’0 / 220 – Wakarusa, IN
Brown is a big and powerful runner that is a little different than the backs Kentucky typically targets. He is a downhill runner and will probably be a between-the-tackles bruiser coming out of the backfield. It could be difficult to get him out of Big10 country with him actually being closer to Canada than Lexington.
Drae Bowles – 6’1 / 200 – Jackson, TN
The competition for Bowles is going to be tough, but if Kentucky wants to compete with the best teams on the field, they’ll have to recruit against those teams off the field. Bowles is a unique player in that he has the hands and speed of a receiver, the running ability of a back, and the toughness of a linebacker. Kentucky is in good with him for the time being, but offers from some of the premier teams in the country are going to be hard for Bowles to pass up.
Vinny Miller – 5’11 / 170 – Lexington, KY
The Wildcats have gotten a few players from right in their back yard in recent classes, and even another receiver from Henry Clay high school in Aaron Boyd. Some of these guys have been good and some have fallen short of expectations. If ever there was a guy that deserved an offer from Lexington, it would be Miller. He isn’t tall, and he isn’t blazing fast either. However, he has that “IT” factor Joker used when referring to Randall Cobb and is as versatile as they come.
Trey Roberts – 6’0 / 175 – Mobile, AL
If there’s one thing Kentucky fans have learned in the past year, it’s that Tee Martin has some serious pull in the Mobile Bay area. Roberts doesn’t have the height a lot of Kentucky’s receiver targets usually have, but he is a tough competitor and isn’t exactly short at 6’0 tall.
Taylor McNamara – 6’5 / 235 – San Diego, CA
Do the wildcats need another tight end? Probably not. You’ve got Robinson, Kendrick and Aumiller all slated to be sophomores in addition to a promising Ronnie Shields as a redshirt freshman, and possibly Alvin Dupree and Josh Forrest in the 2011 class (if they play tight end). However Alex Smith’s departure leaves a door open for Kentucky to add another tight end to the roster and with a relatively low need, why not go big? McNamara could push for playing time as a true freshman at almost any school he attends.
Blake Bars – 6’5 / 260 – Nashville, TN
Bars has really come on the scene as of late and has seen his offer list grow to include Florida, Penn State, and Mississippi State among others. He has great feet for a player his size and has a frame big enough to add plenty more weight.
Joe Manley – 6’6 / 310 – Bowling Green, KY (pictured)
Priority number one for the Cats needs to be Manley. He is an enormous human being and plays a position of dire need with four regulars along the line expected to graduate following this season. Manley is as physically ready to play as anyone Kentucky is recruiting in this class. He is a must get.
Jake Meador – 6’7 / 290 – Whitleland, IN
With Kentucky losing Chandler Burden, Jake Lanefski, and Billy Joe Murphy after this season, adding a few tackles to the roster is a must. When you consider that Dave Ulinski and Trevino Woods both being juniors and Kentucky only returning seven TOTAL offensive linemen on scholarship for 2012, adding Meador would be huge for the Cats.
John Michael Heile – 6’4 / 275 – Louisville, KY
Heile really isn’t getting the attention I think he deserves at this point in his recruitment. He’s got the size and toughness to play at any of the three interior line positions, and you never have to worry about anyone from Trinity High School’s strength. He would be a huge addition to the team in that his versatility could allow him to be the next Jake Lanefski- type utility player along the line.
Mark Harrell – 6’5 / 260 – Charlotte, NC
If Kentucky really wants to shoot for the stars, making a real play for Harrell is a good way to start. He’s a little light right now as a high school tight end, but he has a great frame to add weight to and has as much upside as anyone the Cats are recruiting along the line, hence his being offered by almost every school east of the Mississippi river.
Keep in mind that this list is in no way a complete compilation of all the players Kentucky is recruiting or has offered, but is a summary of some of the top k
nown targets. I’ll continue to update this as recruits commit to Kentucky or elsewhere and new targets come up. I’ll have the defense on Thursday.