With Kentucky reaching new untouched levels of football recruiting, the Wildcats are becoming more of a regional and national brand. It’s an important step that will be a great benefit to the program. Kentucky is competing with the best in the country on the recruiting trail and the talent upgrade that is coming down the pipeline will lead to more competition on the field of play. However, with more players on the team from the elsewheres of football on the roster, there will be fewer available spots for Kentuckian prospects. Of course the Eli Brown’s and Damien Harris’ will be highly sought after, but some of the lesser known players wll start to fall through the cracks.
It’s not a bad thing that Kentucky is getting better players, hopefully the Commonwealth will continue to grow football in the state and the trend of top athletes choosing the gridiron will continue. But until then, there may not be as many Jacob Tammes or Keenan Burtons. Underrated sleepers who became big time players for their home state school. But that doesn’t mean that Kentucky doesn’t have some good players flying under the radar. Here are five who could play their way into a UK offer this Fall:
- Darrian Scott (Bowling Green)- Scott is a player who initially had a lot of interest in Kentucky but seems to have cooled once it appeared an early offer was not forthcoming. He is a little on the short side to be a defensive end or a pass rushing linebacker but young men are known to grow between their junior and senior years. Scott possesses good pass-rush instincts and has a good motor, if an offer comes it would be very late.
- Ramone Kelly (Louisville Doss)- Another short defender, Kelly could get an offer later on in the process depending on how the Cats fare with recruiting middle linebackers. Again he could grow into it but even if he doesn’t Kelly has potential to grow into a contributor for UK. Think Braxton Kelly, the name is a coincidence.
- Davis Mattingly (Louisville Trinity)- Kentucky has their hand in several highly rated quarterback cookie jars for the 2015 class, as we’ve discussed at length in this space. However I maintain that QB isn’t a need position. By the end of the season, however, Kentucky could lose one or two of them. Then it becomes a need. Mattingly isn’t rated yet per Rivals, but reportedly Neal Brown loves him. Kentucky would be Mattingly’s best offer if it were to come. The staff supposedly prefers him to Reese Ryan.
- Jensen Feggins (Ft. Thomas Highlands) -Feggins is listed as a receiver but would likely be recruited as an athlete. He could play offense or in the defensive backfield. He has good bloodlines, his father is former UNC and NFL DB Howard Feggins. So he has grown up around the game and is a coach’s son.
- Tyler Jefferson (Louisville Doss)- Kentucky is supposedly done at the tight end position after CJ Conrad joined the class, but Jefferson has been on the edge of the radar for some now. Honestly his body-type is more of an Alex Montgomery-type of receiver than as an SEC tight end. A big, tall, prospect who can go up and get the ball, he could back up Montgomery and Blake Bone as red zone targets.