Kentucky Wildcat Football: Local Recruiting Update

Nov 24, 2012; Knoxville, TN, USA; Kentucky Wildcats quarterback Jalen Whitlow (13) scrambles for yardage against the Tennessee Volunteers during the first half at Neyland Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports

It’s been less than two weeks since Ohio linebacker Dorian Hendrix committed to the Wildcats and the UK football recruitniks are already getting antsy to see who is next. If Kentucky is going to take the next step in recruiting they have to start locking in the majority of their class with players that they want early in the process like other SEC schools do. That being said, Hendrix and Denzel Ware make an excellent start for Mark Stoops’ first full recruiting season.

Speaking of Ware and Hendrix, fans who follow them on Twitter likely have been entertained in the last week or so. Ware seems to be waivering his commitment, mentioning several top schools and saying that Florida has a high chance of flipping him. The situation will likely stay fluid through Signing Day, even if he flips to another school. Hendrix  appears to be all Blue and likely to stick with the Cats. Last week he hinted that UK could have some good recruiting news coming very shortly. Hendrix is close with several of the Ohio prospects Kentucky is recruiting and one would have to assume he is talking about one (some?) of them.

Any would be very good news for UK. Kentucky is said to be in very good shape with Ethan Wolf, Darryl, Mike Edwards, Mikel Horton, Thaddeus Snodgrass, Derek Kief and Darius West. All of whom visited Lexington with Hendrix and perhaps more importantly, Hebron QB Drew Barker. It’s a get bet that UK lands at least three out of the six.

Barker is the top prospect on Kentucky’s recruiting board for this season and that won’t change. The coaches have promised Barker that no other quarterbacks would be offered until he makes his decision and they plan to stick to that. No matter what you hear, it’s Barker or bust until Barker decides. That doesn’t mean that no other quarterbacks are being recruited, just that Kentucky won’t accept a commitment from anyone else for now.  A few have lamented UK putting all of their eggs in one basket, but you have to understand the kind of effect a Barker commit could have in recruiting Kentucky and Ohio. Local stars Nacarious Fant and Matt Elam would both have to think twice before attending elsewhere. All of the previously mentioned Ohio recruits and several others from the Cincinnati area would have UK looking more desirable. No offense to a kid like DJ Gillins, he looks like a good player, but his name wouldn’t reverberate with other UK recruits like barker’s would.

A few new names in Ohio that Kentucky has begun recruiting include the likes of 3* LB Chris Frey and OL Brady Taylor. Following recent visits to Lexington, both players have moved UK near the top of their lists. Cincinnati OL Jon Bezney also claims a UK offer. Here in the Commonwealth, it appears that Kentucky has targeted Barker and Elam as their main guys, the only other in-state prospect with an offer is Louisville commit Reggie Bonnafon. At this time Nacarious Fant does not hold an offer. It looks like Kentucky will slow-play the Bowling Green wideout while they see where the bevy of 4* WRs they are recruiting land. Fans won’t like it, but if the coaches can land a better player, they should. Even over a Kentucky kid. The only other in-state prospect that the Cats appear to have much interest in is Lexington native RJ Taylor. Taylor would seem a long shot to get an offer but he has been in touch with UK regularly and was in attendance for last Wednesday’s practice. This morning Scout’s Brian Eldridge is reporting that Kentucky has also offered Louisville DE Lloyd Tubman who is committed to Western Kentucky. Tubman also holds an offer from Vanderbilt.

Topics: Football, Kentucky Wildcats

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  • Ineluctable

    Recruiting would not be so intense, if the Joke had not damaged Kentucky so badly. While he took the program back 5 steps he also put out the caution flag to any talented players interested in Kentucky. Stoops has done an exquisite job of waving in some decent players with the terrible reputation Kentucky has earned in the last 3 years. Barnhart has much to learn as an AD. I hope the rest of it is not at the fan and schools expense.

    • http://www.facebook.com/darren.durham.146 Darren Durham

      Recruiting being intense is a good thing, honestly it’s about time. While I’ll not argue that Coach Phillips failed as a head coach, he is hardly to blame for Kentucky’s terrible reputation. That can be attributed to several things, not the least of which is a culture that worships basketball and a team that plays in the most football-centric league in America