Kentucky just wrapped up the 2010 ..."/>

Kentucky just wrapped up the 2010 ..."/>

Football recruiting focuses


By Kyle

Kentucky just wrapped up the 2010 recruiting class, and focus now shifts to 2011. When Joker took over the program in January, he said recruiting would take on a new level of importance. He and his current staff have already hosted several players in the upcoming class and have received two commitments already. With only twelve scholarship seniors on the roster, scholarship offers will be at more of a premium than in years past. There is a very good chance some roster attrition will open up more scholarships, and Kentucky will probably over-sign by a couple of players. There will also be a chance that some of Kentucky’s top underclassmen could also declare for the NFL draft, which is something UK hasn’t had to deal with since Tim Couch’s departure. There is also an opportunity to sign a few less heralded prospects, and place them in JUCO or prep school and bring them back into a later class. Here are the twelve expected graduating seniors:

FB Moncell Allen
OLB Jacob Dufrene
RT Brad Durham
DE DeQuinn Evans
QB Mike Hartline
WR Kyrus Lanxter (left team)
RB Derrick Locke
DT Ricky Lumpkin
WR Chris Matthews
DT Shane McCord
OLB Brandon Thurmond (Left team)
CB Paul Warford

Kentucky has filled needs well over the past two classes and will enter the 2011 recruiting campaign with no positions in dire straights. The current class is heavy along the defensive line and linebacker position group to offset the losses of Lumpkin, McCord,Evans, and Dufrene. Bringing in three tailbacks and three cornerbacks will make losing Locke, Allen, and Warford much easier to swallow as well. The main areas we can expect Kentucky to focus on are bringing in a QB, stockpiling a couple of wide receivers, and bringing in 2-3 offensive linemen. After that, the coaches can be extremely picky about who to take and we could see more action on signing day (with higher profile prospects) than ever before. The state of Kentucky will also feature a significantly better crop of prospects this season as well, with three members in the ESPNU top 150 players. I expect the class to be filled something like this:

1 QB
1 RB
3 WR
3 OL
2 DL
1 LB
1 DB

UK will probably also offer 3-5 additional prospects in anticipation of some of the current players transferring, getting into academic trouble, or giving up football altogether. Like I mentioned above, expect several prospects to be offered a grey-shirt opportunity or to be placed in Junior College. A kicker/punter prospect would be ideal for this with Tydlacka graduating the following year.

Kentucky has already received commitments from ATH/TE Jon Davis and OL Darrien Miller (Two of the top prospects in the state)and Defensive Back Glen Faulkner. Recruiting Coordinator Chuck Smith’s connections to Boyle County make Kentucky a favorite (but not a lock) to get LB Lamar Dawson, who could very well be the top rated player in the state on some recruiting services’ opinions. Zach West out of LCA is another OL prospect that could provide a bookend to Miller and solidify Kentucky’s tackle position. Kal Prince and Neal Pawsat are two QB prospects to watch from right here in Kentucky as well. Overall, this class will not be highly rated because of the relatively low number of signees it will bring in, but has the chance to bring in the most talent UK fans have seen in one class in decades.

I’ll detail some potential players at eacg position later this week.

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