Signing Day is over and spring practice isn’t here yet. Everyone is speculating over where, when and how much the 2012 freshmen will play this upcoming season. Or they are caught up in basketball season, which is fine, it’s that time of year. Despite less-than-stellar ratings from the industry websites, Joker Phillips and Co. signed a stellar class by Kentucky’s standards. They also avoided any controversy with pulled rides and/or late flips. But there is no time to rest when you are climbing from the bottom and Kentucky has hit the 2013 recruiting trail hard. There are at least two Junior Days this month and the staff will have several prospects in town. While they seem to be hitting Ohio hard, many of UK’s top targets will be in-state this year. Let’s look at some of the best and Kentucky’s chances of signing them:
Jeffrey Canady, RB/WR/DB, Knox Central – Canady is a compact athlete who could project at multiple positions in college, though most expect him to play defensive back. The wildcard here is his excellent hands which could secure him a spot on offense. Supposedly he grew up a Cats fan so you have to like UK’s chances here.
James Quick, WR, Trinity- Quick is going to be a top nationwide recruit this year. He already holds several high-end offers and figures to get more unless he commits early. Trinity HS hasn’t been friendly to UK for quite some time and Quick seems to be a UL fan. There is a 0% chance he ends up in Lexington.
Prediction: Ohio State
Jonathan Jackson, LB, Mayfield- He is a thumper who will probably be a solid 3* prospect once the dust settles. Jackson would fit Kentucky’s defense as a middle linebacker. He has been believed to be a Louisville lean but lately seems to have warmed to Kentucky. His twitter account is littered with BBN references .
Prediction: Toss up, could be UL or UK at this point.
Jason Hatcher, DE, Trinity- Hatcher is another national recruit with big boy offers. He is a powerful force as a pass rusher and could change the face of Kentucky’s defense. Unfortunately he goes to Trinity which immediately puts the Cats at a disadvantage, despite Hatcher reportedly growing up a UK fan. There is little hope here.
Prediction: Ohio State
Ryan White, DB, Trinity- Like his teammates White has garnered a lot of attention in recruiting circles. Again the Trinity factor will come into play and White doesn’t seem as caught up in getting out of Kentucky as Hatcher and Quick. Kentucky was his first offer and he seemed genuinely interested for a while but it looks like another uphill battle.
Hunter Bivin, OL, Apollo- His name may sound familiar because Kentucky recruited his brother Harris Bivin. Bivin committed to UL but then was left hanging and ended up at Murray State. The younger Bivin is a Kentucky fan who has stated the Cats will always be near the top of his list and the Cards would seem to be out of this race. Unfortunately every other team in the nation is after him right now.
Prediction: Kentucky or (insert National Power U)
Jacob Hyde, OL-DL, Clay County- Hyde is a big body who projects well to the defensive line in college. Physically similar to 2012 signee Patrick Graffree, Hyde would be a great pickup for the Cats and you have to like theirs chances.
Ryan Timmons, ATH, Franklin County- Timmons is a versatile athlete with blazing speed. Of course Urban Meyer is interested. Kentucky got involved first and has been in constant contact, it seems like the coaches feel they have a chance at signing Timmons. Another tough job to keep in state, there is no reason Kentucky can’t put up a fight here.
Kentayvus Hopkins, RB, Bourbon County- Mr. Hopkins was one of the top backs in the state in 2012. Kentucky’s coaches have been in touch, though it seems an offer has yet to be extended. Per his twitter account Hopkins seems very open to attending UK.
Blake Bir, QB, Covington Catholic- Bir will most likely be the second best quarterback in the state this year, behind Louisville verbal Kyle Bolin. There hasn’t been any reported contact between Bir and the Kentucky coaches, though it’s safe to assume they are aware of each other. Bir may end up at a Junior Day. There isn’t a clear cut top QB target for Kentucky right now, but they need to sign at least one per class and they could do worse. Unfortunately the Cats are almost as bad in northern Kentucky as they have been in Cincinnati.