Kentucky’s 2014 National Signing Day was relatively uneventful. Outside of an anticipated decision by Lloyd Tubman to flip from Penn State to the Wildcats, 95% of the team’s signing class were locked up well in advance to the festivities earlier this month. This is certainly a stark contrast from years past where the team was able to add multiple players very late in the recruiting process and these were often some of the highest rated players in those classes. Now that focus has shifted to the 2015 class, fans can expect much of the same.
While those late additions were always fun and added ample excitement to National Signing Day, they actually weren’t productive additions when the time to take the field came. Jonathan George was probably the most productive of the more recent late additions and he was only a situational contributor for his entire career at Kentucky. More often than not, the players didn’t work out at all. Brandon Gainer, Alex Smith, Daryl Collins, and many others were highly rated and recruited prior to them committing to the Wildcats on or near signing day and none made any type of meaningful contribution in their short stints here and most eventually transferred out.
While the 2014 class lacked the excitement and sizzle of previous years, the vast majority of the players committed much earlier than Kentucky fans are accustomed to and stayed true to those collective commitments until the very end. In fact, only two players didn’t ultimately honor their commitment to Kentucky and both actually parted ways with the Cats a full month or more from signing day. When you consider this class rank nationally and the immense talent included, it really is remarkable that things stuck together as long as they did.
What this likely means though, is that fans should temper expectations for 2015 football commitments at this time. This staff clearly understands how and when to push for a truly solid commitment from a player and one quick glance at Kentucky’s targets on twitter shows that the message is effective. Never before has such a collection of four and five star talent sung the praises of the Kentucky program and the staff has a chance to pull in a 2015 class that could shock the country.