UK football: The Wildcats lose one defensive back and gain another

COLUMBIA, SC - SEPTEMBER 16: Defensive back Derrick Baity
COLUMBIA, SC - SEPTEMBER 16: Defensive back Derrick Baity /

Mark Stoops has had quite a bit of luck with good defensive backs on his UK football team. Though he lost one 2019 commit this week, he also gained another.

UK football coach Mark Stoops has a plethora of talented defensive backs on the Wildcats’ roster. Derrick Baity, Lonnie Johnson and Chris Westry are all talented cornerbacks with the potential to play on Sunday. Safety Mike Edwards is also an elite-level safety, playing in the back end of the UK defense. Stoops lost a possible replacement for one of his outgoing seniors this past week, but gained another.

Keontra Smith, a 4-star recruit likely to play safety decommitted from the Wildcats last week. Smith signed with the Miami Hurricanes a day later. This wasn’t completely unexpected, as the Canes had been courting the Hollywood, Florida native since January.

Smith is likely to play safety, and would’ve been a terrific replacement for Edwards, who is playing in his final season at UK.

But, as luck would have it, the UK football program landed another class of 2019 commit. Jalen Geiger, a defensive back from Columbia, South Carolina announced his commitment to Kentucky on Sunday. Geiger is a 3-star cornerback. He also received offers from UMass, East Carolina and North Carolina.

With the Wildcats loaded with talent in the defensive backfield, it’s doubtful that Geiger will find much playing time this year. In fact, it’s very likely that Geiger will redshirt this season and step into a more productive role next year for the Cats.

Unlike Baity, Johnson and Westry, Geiger is not over 6’3″. But, at 6’1″, he is still tall for a cornerback.

The Wildcats have others waiting in the wings as well. Freshmen cornerbacks Stanley Garner, a 4-star recruit, and Jamari Brown will likely find some time on the field. Geiger obviously won’t be just handed a position on the team, but it’s nice to see the kids break even after the departure of Smith.