Happy Junior College Signing Day for January enrollees! I’m sure you knew what today is and already planned accordingly to honor the great JUCO traditions at Kentucky. After all some of the Wildcats best players have been JUCO transfers: Stevie Johnson, Dequin Evans, Chris Mathews, Aaron Boone, Sweet Pea Burns, and Mark Crawford all contributed to Kentucky football. With approximately 2 weeks to assemble a staff and hit the recruiting trail, it is safe to say that UK fans shouldn’t expect a lot of action on JUCO signing day but here are 5 players who could pledge to join Big Blue:
TE Steven Borden (Kilgore CC)- The much-publicized “ Son of Sting”, Borden is a guy that new OC Neal Brown had his eye on while at Texas Tech and he seems to want Borden in Lexington. He is built like a wrestler but only managed 181 yards and 4 touchdowns last season. That may be due to the offense Kilgore ran or some other reason. Borden has the Cats at the top of his list and is expected to commit today.
RB Rodriguez Moore (East Mississippi CC)- A Texas Tech commit recruited by Chad Scott, Moore is one of the top JUCO RB’s in the nation. A 3* prospect, it is unclear whether Moore would follow Brown & Scott to Lexington but his name has surfaced a lot in the last 24 hours, that’s often a sign of things to come.
WR Javess Blue (Butler CC)- Kentucky needs receiver help in the worst way, with only 6 scholarship players returning next fall. It was expected that the coaches would go after JUCO players to help out here and Blue is a guy who has confirmed interest. A highly sought-after 3* with several BCS offers, Blue could commit or could wait as he was rumored to want to visit first.
DE Lauren Jackson (East Mississippi CC)- Jackson should be a familiar name to fans who follow recruiting, as the previous Kentucky staff pursued him. That relationship cooled during the season like most did, but Jackson has already stated that he would reconsider the Cats after hiring EMCC Defensive line coach Jimmy Brumbaugh.
DE Za’Darius Smith (Est Mississippi CC)- Another player from EMCC, Smith is listed here because defensive end is a such a need and because he was directly coached by Brumbaugh last season. It can’t hurt that he had an offer by Florida State when Stoops and Eliot were there. Smith a 4* being recruited by most of the country and could step into the starting lineup immediately at UK. That being said, he is a longshot.
***UPDATE: As expected Borden inked with the Wildcats today. Unexpectedly the staff convinced Za’Darius Smith to follow his position coach. It’s a huge coup and could cause a snowball effect in recruiting.