Jul 2, 2013; Beaverton, OR, USA; Drew Barker (15) passes the ball during the Nike 7on7 pool play at Nike World Headquarters in Beaverton, Oregon on Tuesday July, 2, 2013. Mandatory Credit: Steve Dykes-USA TODAY Sports

Kentucky Wildcats Football: Who's the Next Drew Barker?

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By now you are likely familiar that Kentucky just signed their best recruiting class since such things have begun being ranked. If you follow much at all, then you probably also know that Kentucky signed an Elite 11 quarterback in Drew Barker. And you likely have heard that Barker made significant contributions to recruiting on UK’s behalf. Frankly, if he never plays a down for the Blue and White (highly unlikely), Barker may still be the most important and impactful player signed in this class.

Every great class has a few players and there is usually that one guy who is the face of the program. With Kentucky looking to improve or sustain the recruiting momentum that they have built, the question is who will be that player in the 2015 class? It needs to be a high profile guy that draws the respect of other players. As Barker has shown, you also want him to be a charismatic guy. Mikel Horton may have done it for UK had Barker not committed, but typically you see quarterbacks as the guy. Christian Hackenburg is a good example at Penn State last year.

Kentucky is recruiting a number of quarterbacks for the 2015 cycle and until recently it seemed like they were focused on two in particular, Caldwell County , KY’s Elijah Sindelar and Texan Jarrett Stidham. Stidham recently left Kentucky out of his Top 10. Recent reports tell of UK cooling on Sindelar and possibly it being mutual. A few have said it might be because he isn’t the kind of personality that Barker is. That’s total hearsay but worth noting. He is also a top baseball recruit and could be drafted by MLB this year.

If I were guessing, the guy who follows Barker will be another local recruit. By local I mean Kentucky or Ohio. In terms of quarterbacks that leaves Sindelar and Lexington native Reese Ryan. Both could blow up this Summer once the camp circuit begins. Another name to watch is Berea 5* running back Damien Harris. Harris is a bonafide star , albeit a longshot to commit to Kentucky. Especially early enough to recruit other players to join him. On the other hand, Harris has been on social media recently discussing Kentucky with other blue chippers.

It would be nice to get someone on board early again and we could see some movement with Junior Days and the Spring Game coming up. In fact, I expect a few commitments before the end of Spring practice. This year it may be more important than before that Kentucky get their main recruiter on board early. The Cats need to win on the field to keep the momentum going this time around and if they don’t break even it could get tough to hold a class together. Year one was a free pass, going forward it will be harder to sell the future without tangible results. When those Big 10 teams start negative recruiting after a big loss to LSU is when you need that leader to text his classmates and start talking about how next time will be different. It will be interest to see who THAT GUY is. Stay tuned.


Tags: Football Kentucky Wildcats Recruiting

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