Tight End: Underrated recruits for UK Football

Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images
Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images /

Often underutilized in his time with the UK football program, C.J. Conrad may have a decision to make. The Wildcats have recruited well in the event that Conrad decides to put his name in the NFL Draft.

C.J. Conrad has one year of eligibility left and conventional wisdom would have him returning for his senior season. However, if Conrad decides to take his talents to the professional ranks, the cupboard at Kentucky is not bare. In fact, this season the Wildcats recruited two tight ends that can be very beneficial to the UK football program going forward.

Conrad is the most talented tight end to pass through Lexington since Jacob Tamme. Underutilized at times, Conrad suffered a season-ending foot injury that required surgery in November. Conrad is ranked by WalterFootball.com as the No. 11 tight end prospect for the 2018 NFL Draft and a potential 4th-6th round pick.

Greg Hart, the senior transfer from Nebraska, will be moving on at season’s end. Sophomore Justin Rigg has been more of a special teams player in his first two seasons with the Wildcats. If Conrad does decide to forego his senior season Kentucky may be forced to look to one of their 2018 commits to play meaningful snaps right away.

A 3-star prospect by Rivals.com, Keaton Upshaw from Lima, Ohio is a monster. At 6’7″,  John Calipari may attempt to sway Upshaw from the football field to the hardwood. All kidding aside, Upshaw’s size will be a huge advantage when he gets onto the field, be it next season or 2019.

Fellow 3-star prospect and Ohio native Brenden Bates is the more polished prospect of the two incoming freshmen. Bates draws a lot of comparisons to C.J. Conrad. Hopefully for Bates and UK football fans, Conrad returns in 2018. If he doesn’t, the tight end position should be in good shape going forward thanks to a great recruiting job by head coach Mark Stoops and tight ends coach Vince Marrow.