Nov 30, 2013; Lexington, KY, USA; Kentucky Wildcats head coach Mark Stoops during the game against the Tennessee Volunteers in the second half at Commonwealth Stadium. Tennessee defeated Kentucky 27-14. Mandatory Credit: Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

Kentucky Wildcats Football: Hitting the Stretch Run in Recruiting

The Kentucky Wildcats are in the midst of arguably the most critical period of the offseason right now as National Signing Day is just 20 days away. Stoops has already endured one losing season at 2-10, and it’s crucial that he infuse as much talent and depth as possible into this team to help improve on that record in 2014 to help keep up this newfound recruiting success in 2015.

This year’s class is already loaded with players who will play next year and possibly even start. While all the attention is being paid to quarterback Drew Barker, other players like wide receiver Thaddeus Snodgrass and defensive tackle Cory Johnson also figure to make a significant impact next year.

But when you endure a 2-win season like last year, there’s always room for more players to come in and challenge for playing time, even as true freshman. With anywhere between 3-5 open spots left in this class, that’s 3-5 players who could come in and make an impact on next year’s team and help get this program moving in the right direction.

Defensive tackle Matt Elam is the primary player who the staff is recruiting right now, and with the Cats’ top-3 DTs graduating, it’s very hard to see Elam not playing significant snaps next year if he comes to UK. The staff met with Elam today at his home, but Alabama’s staff was right behind them, and they fully believe they can lure him away from Kentucky by National Singing Day.

But after Elam, there’s a lot of uncertainty as to who UK is targeting and feels good about securing a commitment from. Florida safety T.J. Harrell and Ohio offensive tackle Ja’Merez Brown are both visiting this weekend,  and UK is in the top-2 or 3 of both players’ finalists.

There are still some big names like 4-stars DT Travonte Valentine and DB Kendall Randolph that the Cats are recruiting but likely to go elsewhere. Valentine is favoring LSU while Randolph is likely Oklahoma-bound.

Regardless, the next 20 days are pivotal and  Mar Stoops and his staff are working hard to make this the best class in the history of UK football.


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Tags: College Football Football Kentucky Wildcats

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