Today I’m going to talk to you about the 2015 defensive recruiting that the staff is doing for our football team. This past Tuesday I wrote about the offensive side of the ball, so I thought I would finish the week with some defensive thoughts.
Our staff keeps pushing for the best of the best as they have offered some really good defensive athletes and a few “under the radar” types.
Let’s start with defensive back Marcus Walker. Marcus is a 6’ 0” 215 lb. athlete who is currently committed to Kentucky as a safety. He is rated as a 5.7 3-star safety and is currently holding down the #17 spot at his position. Marcus is coming off a weekend where he was able to showcase his talents at the Rivals Camp Series (RCS) Orlando. He was listed at #9 as one of the top defensive performers. Walker is from Lake Wales, Fl. and is a teammate of current UK recruit, Luke Hiers.
This is what Rivals.com analyst Woody Wommack had to say about Walker’s performance at the RCS;
The Kentucky commit had one of the plays of the day when he made a leaping interception and held onto the ball all the way through a tumbling fall. The play was one of several that drew rave reviews from those in attendance as the 6-foot, 215-pound Walker spent the day batting balls and making interceptions.
Another athlete already committed to Kentucky is Montrell Custis. Montrell is listed on Rivals as an athlete but projects as a defensive back in the college ranks. This is where the coaching staff wants him. Custis is rated as a 5.5 3-star athlete and is considered one of the top defensive backs in Georgia. Custis is 6’ 0” 185 lb. and hails from Hampton, Georgia.
A guy that I like a lot is Marcus Lewis. Marcus is a 6’ 1” 180 lb. cornerback from Washington, District of Columbia. Lewis is rated as the 8th best at the cornerback position and the 76th over-all best athlete in the nation.
Marcus has already visited Kentucky and it is said that he really enjoyed his visit here. He had said that when he cut his list down to ten, Kentucky would make that list.
Kei Beckham is a 6’ 0” 161 lb. cornerback from Trotwood, Ohio who is rated as a 5.7 3-star. The coaching staff loves this guy and it seems that the feeling is mutual. Kei is rated as the 35th best cornerback in the country.
One other guy I like is Damon Arnette, a 6’ 2” 185 lb. cornerback from Ft. Lauderdale, Fl. I love those big corners and I know coach Stoops does as well. Damon is also coming off a top performance as the RCS hit Miami this past Sunday. Arnette came in at #7 on the top defensive performers list.
Here’s what Rivals.com Football Recruiting Analyst Adam Friedman had to say about Damon’s performance;
Arnette was one of the most physically impressive defensive backs on the field. At 6-2, 185, he has great length and was strong in press coverage. Arnette’s length combined with his leaping ability really helped him when he was in a trail technique to go up and swat the pass away. He was also very explosive when breaking on routes in front of him.
Let’s talk linebackers for a moment. If I were Kentucky, one of my top targets and a must get is Eli Brown, an in-state kid from Bowling Green. Eli is rated as a 5.9 4-star outside linebacker who holds the #8 spot at his position. He is also rated as the 110th best athlete in the nation. I feel Kentucky will ultimately get Brown as he seems to be liking them more and more.
Another outside linebacker Kentucky seems to be high on is Jordan Jones from Youngstown, Ohio. Jordan has yet to be ranked but he holds early offers from Kentucky, Michigan St. and Nebraska. He is from coach Stoops and coach Marrows hometown so keep a eye out for this guy.
At inside linebacker, two names stand out to me, Nick Conner and David Long.
Nick is 6’ 3” 215 lb. and is currently rated as a 5.8 4-star inside linebacker. He is rated #8 at his position and 241st nationally. Nick likes Kentucky and he sees a need for him at his position.
David Long is 5’ 11’ 209 lb. and rated as a 5.6 3-star. He is currently holding the #18 spot at his position. David is from Cincinnati, Ohio and the coaching staff likes him a lot. He seems to have high interest in Kentucky and wants to visit soon.
And finally, the defensive line. Here, to me, is where things get a little murky. To this point there haven’t been many offers sent out to defensive tackles. Only 6-7 to my knowledge have been offered and I don’t know if any have an interest in Kentucky. Some of those are, CeCe Jefferson, Ben Cooper, Rasheem Green, Trenton Thompson, Tim Settle and Elijah Taylor. Out of those, I think we have a shot at Cooper but we are his only offer to date.
CeCe would be a great pick-up as he is rated #2 at his position and #5 nationally but he has a ton of offers from the who’s who of college football. I don’t see Kentucky being a serious option for him.
At defensive end things pick-up a little bit. Strongside defensive end Darius Fullwood from Olney, Maryland has already visited Kentucky and he seemed to love it here. Darius is a 4.8 4-star and is ranked 20th at his position.
Darius’ interest is still high in Kentucky and he is even talking to his friend, Adam Mclean about visiting together.
Adam is a mammoth of a man, standing at 6’ 1” and 282 lbs. He is from North Potomac, Maryland and is rated as the 10th best strongside defensive end in the country and the 108th over-all athlete nationally.
Weakside defensive end Quandeski Whitlow from Opelika, Alabama is a cousin to current wildcat Jalen Whitlow. Quandeski is yet to be rated but has quite a few offers already, including one from the Cats.
So as you can see, things are taking shape for the 2015 defensive recruiting class and as we move forward into spring and summer we should see more offers going out.
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