Wednesday was pretty great wasn’t it? Although it lacked the suspense of previous Signing Days because fans already knew about 21 of Kentucky’s 22 signees. Some of us knew about all of them. Insider or not, it’s safe to say we all enjoyed seeing the Cats sign the #28 class in the nation and winning a major recruiting battle by landing Jason Hatcher. I will use the Rivals #28 ranking partly because it’s the highest and mostly because that is the service most of America uses for recruiting rankings. When UK got decent scores from Scout or ESPN, usually more due to class size than quality, people would always point to Rivals and how poorly Kentucky performed in their ratings.
These same folks now only want to talk about the other services and Kentucky’s ranking there. They say Kentucky needed a Top 25 class to compete. They are also the people who are quick to point out that UK only came in 13th place out of 14 SEC schools. It makes their agenda pretty obvious. People have their reasons for wanting Kentucky football to fail, others just realize that UK’s past makes failure more likely an they just enjoy saying “I told you so.”
Here is what you need to know. Yes Kentucky finished in 13th place. They also finished within spitting distance of 11th and the Top 25. If Tevin Lawson commits this weekend, they should pass Arkansas. If James Hearns get eligible and signs with UK, they’ll jump over Mississippi State into the Top 25. The reality is that there is very little difference between the teams ranked #16 -30. Kentucky made up a ton of ground even if their SEC rank only improved one spot. When Mark Stoops showed up, this class was ranked #62, to finish at 28 is remarkable and it could have been even better. Asiantii Woulard was nearly a Cat and the coaches felt they had a shot with a couple of touted defensive linemen who ended up at Florida and Alabama.
During an interview on Signing Day, Neal Brown mentioned filling up the class (there are 3 open slots) and that they might be looking for another wide receiver. Northern Kentucky athlete Cameron Fogle visited yesterday and he could be the guy. Fogle has held a walk-on offer from UK for a while, but really caught the coaches’ attention when they came to his school work out 2014 QB Drew Barker. In an interview soon after, he discussed there was a possibility of receiving an offer. Fogle will decide on Tuesday, it’s unclear if he has a scholarship.
2013 recruiting isn’t quite over, but the staff is hitting 2014 full steam. Today was Kentucky’s first Junior Day for 2014 prospects and it was a big one. Several prospects on campus are 4* caliber players with lots of early offers. Junior Days are invitation-only and most of the prospects on campus this weekend are from Kentucky and Ohio, so it doesn’t look like UK is going to abandon the Buckeye state. There are also three players Tallahassee’s Godby high school, the same school that brought Kadeem and Khalid Thomas. New assistant coach Derrick Ansley has a great relationship at Godby but it’s significant to note that these kids are paying their own way for this visit. That would indicate serious interest in Kentucky. Supposedly, 2013 signees Kyle Meadows and Jason Hatcher will be on campus this weekend and plan on helping recruit. Meadows is a teammate of 4* RB Mikel Horton who already lists Kentucky as his leader but doesn’t plan on committing soon.
The Florida trio of Jacob Pugh, Deion Singleton and De’Eric Culver are all likely 4*s. Pugh really likes UK. Damien Harris visiting is big news because he could be a 5* by the time he gets to sign somewhere and because he is a Kentucky product that wasn’t considering UK at all a month ago. He has warmed up to the Wildcats but Michigan is his favorite. Matt Elam is a massive DT from the bluegrass. Lexington native RJ Taylor is probably a 3* guy who would love to stay home if offered. 4* Wr Derek Keif is a teammate of UK commit Jaleel Hytchye and you know Jaleel is in his ear about UK. Another friend of Hytchye’s , DB Mike Edwards will also be in town. Kentucky is also in great position for 4* LB Dorian Hendrix.