Photo courtesy of Pablo Alcala/Lexington Herald-Leader
With the recent defection of QB Jarren Williams and DT Tyler Bentley, the current University of Kentucky commitment list is made up of 18 players. Kentucky head coach Mark Stoops has mentioned that he would like to get that number up around 23 or 24 total commitments. Of major need in this class is a quarterback, a defensive tackle and wide receivers. While Coach Stoops has several quarterbacks and receivers targeted, his defensive tackle targets are less plentiful. However, if there is one thing that Mark Stoops and his staff have proven is that they can clearly identify talent early on (just ask Alabama, Pitt, Ohio State etc.) and will pull a signing day surprise or two.
The interesting dynamic that exists this year is the addition of the early signing day, which will occur on December 20, 2017. This gives hard commitments the opportunity to sign with their school and not worry about other school’s coaches trying to poach them until the first Wednesday in February, as has happened in years past. The next signing day with be on February 7, 2018. To make the picture as clear as possible, I will categorize the current UK commitments into three categories: those that will sign in December, those that will sign in February and those who are unknown.
Stanley Garner, 6’3″ 180 CB, Dillard HS (Fort Lauderdale, FL) 3*
DeAndre Square, 6’1″ 200 S, Cass Technical HS (Detroit, MI) 3*
Quinton Wilson, 6’3″ 290 OC, Turpin HS (Cincinnati, OH) 3*
Marvin Alexander, 6’3″ 175 WR, Chaminade-Madonna Prep (Hollywood, FL) 3*
Jamari Brown, 6’3″ 180 CB, Blanch Ely HS (Pompano Beach, FL) 3*
Akeem Hayes, 5’10” 175 ATH, Chaminade-Madonna Prep (Hollywood, FL) 3*
Dominique Williams, 5’10” 190 CB, Highland (KS) C.C. 3* – early enrollee
Chance Poore, 6’3″ 200 K, Westside HS (Anderson, AC) 3*
Max Duffy, 6’0″ 185 P, Freemantle AFL – early enrollee
Brendan Bates, 6’5″ 230 TE, Archbishop Moeller HS (Cincinnati, OH) 3*
Davoan Hawkins, 6’4″ 270 SDE, Chaminade-Madonna Prep (Hollywood, FL) 3*
Marquan McCall, 6’4″ 320 OG, Oak Park HS (Oak Park, MI) 4*
Xavier Peters, 6’4″ 225 OLB, Lakota West HS (Cincinnati, OH) 4*
Darian Kinnard, 6’7″ 336 OT, St. Ignatius HS (Cleveland, OH) 4*
Meechi Harris, 6’2″ 188 WR, Xenia HS (Xenia, OH) 3*
Keaton Upshaw, 6’7″ 225 TE, Lima HS (Lima, OH) 3*
Christopher Rodriguez, 5’11.5″ 200 RB, Ola HS (McDonough, GA) 3*
Ashtan Pierre, 6’2″ 191 ATH, Deerfield Beach HS (Deerfield Beach, FL) 3*
Remaining important targets:
James Foster, 6’3″ 210 DT-QB, Lanier HS (Montgomery, AL) 4*
Terry Wilson, 6’3″ 200 DT-QB, Garden City (KS) C.C. 3*
Matthew Baldwin, 6’3″ 200 PS-QB, Lake Travis HS (Austin, TX) 3*
Kevin Doyle, 6’4″ 210 PS-QB, St. John’s College HS (Washington, D.C.) 3*
Christopher Oats, 6’4″ 215 OLB, Winston Woods HS (Cincinnati, OH) 4*
Jairus Brents, 5’10” 178 CB, Waggener HS (Louisville, KY) 4*
Shocky Jacques-Louis, 6’1″ 175 WR, Dunbar HS (Fort Myers, FL) 3*
If the University of Kentucky could finish with a class of their current commitments, then add in any of the four quarterback recruits and the other three targets, it would make for a great class. That would put the total number of commitments at 22, allowing Coach Stoops and company for one or two signing day surprises. It will be interesting to see how it all plays out, especially considering the coaching carousel that is currently spinning, opening up possible commitment flips to UK. However, it also opens up the possibility of de-commitments, such as the two we have seen recently. All of that said, I put my trust in our coaches on the recruiting trail, but in particular in Vince Marrow. When “Big Vince” calls, people listen.
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