Much like the 2013 football season, the holidays have come and gone already. While the seasons behind us, recruiting is in full force with national signing day just a little more than a month away. Kentucky’s 2014 class is largely completed, with many of the pieces being put into place over the spring and summer months, but January is almost like a 31 day “Black Friday” when it comes to recruiting. Coach stoops and his staff of gotten most of their shopping done for the season, but there still a couple of presents they like to add under their recruiting tree. With 24 of an anticipated 28 spots already filled, the UK football wish list should read something like this:
1. A true defensive tackle
Tymere Dubose and Adrian Middleton are already on board, but neither player is guaranteed to play inside when they arrive on campus. Both players have the potential to play defensive end OR tackle depending on how they develop, but the Wildcats need to add a guy that can be a monster in the middle. In-state product Matt Elam would certainly be a good player to fill this need and he appears to be Kentucky’s top remaining target overall.
2. Another quality offensive tackle
It’s funny how the commitment of Derrick Kelley didn’t garner much fanfare but his de-commitment has been much harder to swallow than many of us thought. The Wildcats are now left with a class that includes only Jarrett LaRubio (OG) and Nick Richardson (OT/OG) and a need for at least one additional lineman, preferably a true tackle.
3. Another quality offensive guard
As mentioned above, another offensive tackle in addition to Richardson is certainly a glaring need, but another offensive guard in addition to LaRubbio is important as well. With guard play that left many fans wanting this past season, bringing in another talented lineman that can challenge for one of the two guard positions is a definite need for UK.
4. A natural defensive playmaker
The wildcats have assembled quite a defensive class. There are two four-star safeties in West and Edwards, three quality freshmen linebackers in Firios, Hendrix, and Walker, a promising cornerback in Tucker, three high-ceiling defensive linemen in Dubose, Ware, and Middleton, and three plu-and-play junior college additions in Johnson, Flannigan, and Stamps. The last spot on the wish list can really be reserved for a luxury player that has the ability to really make a difference and there’s no glaring positional need to fill. If Stoops and company can net a elite corner or immediate-impact type linebacker then that would be great, but this is an open spot that could be used on any difference maker.
Happy late Merry Christmas everyone and happy new year!