While Kentucky’s 2013 recruiting class started out slowly, recruits have rolled in at a blistering pace over the last two months. The class went from a lone commitment (DL Jacob Hyde) to a ten man class that should be about halfway full. Here’s a quick recap of the class so far:
Jalen Battle – A defensive back prospect with great size (6’3) that plays on a dominant high school team (University School, Ft. Lauderdale, FL). Could contribute as a traditional safety or as a safety/linebacker hybrid
Alvonte Bell – An athletic defensive end that could bulk up to a five-technique, play the more traditional seven-technique when UK is in a four-man front, or could be developed as a DE/LB hybrid.
Jake Boynton – A mammoth offensive lineman that should be able to add immediate depth at offensive tackle. He stands at 6’7.
Justin Day – Another mammoth offensive tackle that has some serious potential. He stands at 6’8.
Jacob Hyde – A monster of a defensive tackle, he has the potential to be a dominant nose guard in the three-man fronts Kentucky uses. He went from a relative unknown initially, to one of the state d Kentucky’s fastest rising prospects over the summer.
Austin MacGinnis – A prospective kicker that has boomed field goals at recorded lengths of 60+ yards. Despite his obviously strong leg, he’s better known as an accuracy guy, which really says something.
Blake McClain – An athletic cornerback that is rising up through the rankings. He should be able to come in and contribute right away with an abundance of playing time available at corner.
Ramseys Meyers – An athletic guy for a 6’3 300+ player. He should help ease the loss of Larry Warford at guard after the 2012 season.
Reese Phillips – An athletic, but green quarterback prospect with tons of upside. He has only played one season under center, but impressed the staff enough to make him (what will most likely be) the only quarterback in this class.
Khalid Thomas – The younger brother of freshman linebacker Pancho Thomas, Khalid is an equally impressive, albeit different type of player. Khalid could play running back, defensive back, or wide receiver for the cats.
Now, here’s what the rest of the class should look like…
QB- Done. Adding Reese Phillips to the roster should give the Cats three scholarship signal-callers on the roster.
RB- Done. Assuming this is Khalid Thomas’ position, UK will have Sanders, Clemons, George, Taylor, and mobley at the position as well. If Thomas is placed elsewhere, one more might be added.
WR- Two more. No commitments in this class so far and a sizable need, means that receivers will continue to be targeted this season. The cupboard isn’t bare, with Robinson, Collins, Cunningham, Cobbins, Legree and Sweat all expected to return, but at least two (and maybe three) more pass catchers are needed.
TE- Two more. Adding two tight ends to the roster may seem like overkill, but it’s not really a reach. At the start of the 2013 season, UK will have four senior tight ends and a junior as it stands now. Grabbing two will overstock the team now, but won’t leave the staff scrambling for bodies in 2014 and will also keep an untested player from being forced on the field too early that year either.
OL- One more. Tackle is set, but a guard or center is still needed to soften the blow of losing Warford and Matt Smith after this year.
DL- One more. You can never have enough defensive linemen. Adding an undersized defensive tackle (about 260-270 pounds) with a long frame should give the team a player that can develop into a 5-technique.
LB- One more. The roster is LOADED with talented young linebackers, but adding another guy that can play in the middle of the defense should be a priority.
DB- Two more. Adding another true safety and another cornerback are musts. The defensive backfield will graduate three projected starters after this season (Neloms, Benton, and Rice), so replacements will be needed despite taking several DBs in the last class.
ATH- One More. There are limited needs this season, so the staff should try to get a high-upside guy that can play multiple positions. If Thomas is being viewed as this guy, another running back would be needed.
Expect the class to continue to grow as the offseason progresses. I’ll be back on Thursday to discuss remaining needs in the class and some potential additions to fill those needs.