Recruiting has gotten off to a slow start for the Kentucky Football team this year. As of today, Manchester, KY defensive tackle Jacob Hyde remains the team’s lone commitment and the Wildcats continue to have players hold off on committing as the team’s needs become more clear.
Kentucky currently has 55 total recruited scholarship players on the roster after removing Brian Adams, Brandon Gainer, and everyone else that has left the team in recent months. Assuming the entire 2012 recruiting class qualifies and makes it to campus adds 25 more for a total of 80 recruited scholarship players. This number is certainly subject to change as several players could still leave the program prior to the season’s start.
Of the recruited scholarship players, 12 will be seniors this fall with an asterisk next to Morgan Newton and E.J. Fields. Newton’s injury may force him to utilize his redshirt year this fall and Fields would likely be granted a sixth year of eligibility if he applied for it. That considered, let’s assume they both graduate this year and do not play for Kentucky past 2012.
The NCAA does allow 85 scholarship football players at the FBS level. Kentucky is slated to have no more than 80, so it should also be safe to assume that walk-ons CoShik Williams, Mikie Benton, and Craig McIntosh will be placed on scholarship for their senior seasons along with a couple of other contributing walk-ons. While they have all earned their rides, they can probably be overlooked as they’ll be leaving after this season anyway.
So, to recap, the NCAA allows 85 scholarship players and Kentucky will have no more than 80 this fall (excluding walk-ons that are awarded scholarships this year). With 12 players leaving and five scholarships in their back pocket, the staff should have 17 full-rides to offer for the 2013 recruiting class. While no one likes attrition, it does happen. So let’s assume 3 players depart the program before signing day. This gives Kentucky 20 scholarships and keeps them five under the maximum signing class of 25. Here’s where I think the team could use some help.