Well Kentucky’s class got a little bit bigger and the remaining openings got a little bit smaller yesterday as four-star cornerback Kendall Randolph committed to the Wildcats. With twenty-five current commitments, Kentucky expects to get three more if all of their current class holds up through National Signing Day. (It’s expected to.) Many folks were surprised to see another defensive back take one of the remaining scholarships but Randolph is too good of a talent to pass up. When you are Kentucky and you only had four scholarship corners last season, you don’t turn away four-stars in the defensive backfield.
So that leaves a lot of fans asking, where’s the beef? Kentucky’s class is decidedly light on linemen, most notably offensive linemen. The ones that UK currently has in the fold, Nick Richardson and Jarrett LaRubbio are both excellent prospects, but Kentucky needs more depth. Specifically at offensive tackle. They could also use another defensive tackle to pair with JUCO transfer Cory Johnson. DL recruits Adrian Middleton and Tymere Dubose could grow into tackles but they will get a crack at end and Kentucky needs depth at tackle right now.
At offensive tackle look for the coaches to continue to pursue former commit Derrick Kelly, whom has offers from most of the SEC now. The thing to watch here is his remaining official visit on January 31st, if UK can get Kelly to Lexington that day then there’s a shot to bring him back into the fold. More likely, look for West Virginia commit Josh Krok to possibly flip to the Cats. Krok was in town last weekend and his visit went extremely well. He has an official coming to Morgantown this week but it’s probably a toss-up at this point between the two schools. Another to watch is Jamarez Bowen who recently committed to Cincinnati. Before he committed, Bowen said that he would be shutting his recruitment down, but almost immediately afterward he left open the possibility of taking an official visit.
At defensive tackle, everyone knows who the main target is. There will be a spot held in this class for Matt Elam regardless of who else commits between now and Signing Day. It’s a dead heat between Kentucky and Alabama, with Elam refusing to tip his hand. But I think Kentucky pulls this one out in the end. The Wildcats are also trying to get back into the good graces of Mike Edwards’ teammate Daniel Cage, whom they had stopped recruiting. Another slight possibility is Travonte Valentine, whom became close friends with Elam at the Army All-America game. But his commitment would likely be dependant on Elam’s to Kentucky.
That last spot is going to be tricky. Do they hold it for Valentine in case Elam commits? Or do they go ahead and take OL Jervontius Stallings, a guy the staff loves at guard or center? Is there a mystery recruit out there that nobody knows that Kentucky is involved with? Such as Dee Liner last year? Or do the coaches simply take the best player available, regardless of need? I like to think it’s the latter. Looking at the board that is public, the player that seems most likely would be Florida WR/TE Kano Dillon, who is visiting Lexington this weekend. Speaking of this weekend’s visitors, it will feature the current early-enrollees, commitments Michael Mathis and Randolph, and none other than Matt Elam.