With National Signing Day right around the corner and more excitement for a football recruiting class than ever before, Kentucky has a lot at stake this week. New head coach Mark Stoops is trying to secure his first crop of players in Lexington and the results thus far have quite impressive. With five spots remaining for 2013, it’s very important for Stoops and the Wildcats to finish strong to help build on the momentum they have going. Here are some possible scenarios that could unfold on Signing Day.
Best Case Scenario
Kentucky signs: Ryan Timmons, Jason Hatcher, Corey Smith, Ra’Shaad Samples and holds a spot for James Hearns.
This would be an epic day in UK football recruiting. Even though it maybe not be a fantasy lineup of blue-chippers, it is the best scenario that I can see actually happening. Adding four 4* players and a high 3* would really be icing for the cake. Timmons and Samples would both play early and provide a spark on offense. Rumor has it that Hatcher may choose UK based on a promise of playing time or starting, making him an instant impact player. Smith is guy that would likely redshirt but would have played as a freshman in prior years. Hearns won’t sign with anyone this week as he waits on some test scores to find out if he will be eligible. If Hearns can get his house in order, and signs with the Cats, he could immediately become the top reserve linebacker on the team.
Worst Case Scenario
Kentucky signs: Christian Cumberlander, David Maka, Cameron Fogle, and at least 1 of the players mentioned above.
I just don’t see UK missing on all of their top targets on Signing Day, so they get one of those guys and some Plan-B type of guys. This isn’t to knock Cumberlander, Maka, or Fogle, all have the potential to contribute. Cumberlander would give the offense another big physical receiver on the outside. Maka is a big, strong body on either the offensive or defensive line. And Fogle is a guy they would prefer to have walk-on but have left the scholarship option open. He is only a 2*, but is the type of athlete who could really thrive in this offense. In the worst case Timmons signs with Florida, Hatcher chooses Louisville, Smith also chooses the Cards, Samples sticks with Oklahoma State and/or Heanrs can’t get qualified.
Most Unusual Scenario:
Kentucky signs: One or two of MacKensie Alexander, Boaz Joseph, Asiantii Woulard, Ryan White, Travis Johnson, Denver Kirkland, or other surprise names you never heard.
I bring this up because there is the distinct feeling that the coaching staff has a surprise or two up their sleeves for Signing Day. When talking to insiders or sources, several seem to be sitting on a name(s) but seem to be very happy with what to expect on Wednesday. Couple that with the fact that UK is trying to get involved with practically every highly-rated kid who isn’t solidly committed across the country and there is the distinct possibility that we could have a “Whoa!” moment coming. The names I listed above are guys that Kentucky is a longshot with or just recently got involved.
With the way these coaches have hit the ground running and proven to be relentless in recruiting so far, I won’t count them out of any battle they enter this year. However with the level of competition the Wildcats are moving to, you can’t win them all and there will likely be a couple of misses this cycle. Stayed tuned, it’s going to be a wild ride.