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Complete list of Kentucky’s new class of Wildcats


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Big Blue Nation, meet your Class of 2017…

 


SIGNED: ABULE ADABI-FITZGERALD


Abule Abadi-Fitzgerald
Defensive End| 6-7 | 245 lbs.
Maple Heights, FL | Maple Heights HS
Highlights
★★★
ESPN  — | — Top247  — | —
Rivals  — | — Scout  — | —

Bio: Abade-Fitzgerald has been a quiet secret for UK for several weeks now, hoping no one else would find out about this kid. Florida State, Florida, Penn State, and several others sniffed around late, but UK swayed his decision on official visit. Extremely raw prospect, will need time to develop. Staff is in love with his size, could develop into monster in a few years.

Signed with Kentucky over Florida.

Freddie Maggard’s Take: 6’6 260-pound defensive end has an unlimited ceiling. Extremely raw, played only one year of football. Trend continues of strong late commits-signings for Stoops.


SIGNED: TYRELL AJIAN


Screen Shot 2017-01-31 at 2.13.37 PM Tyrell Ajian
Safety| 6-0 | 190 lbs.
Mansfield, OH | Madison Comprehensive HS
Highlights
★★★★
ESPN  No. 244 | 17 S Top247 No. 168 | 5 ATH
Rivals  — | 26 S Scout  — | 57 S

Bio: Ajian is an extremely versatile prospect, played QB, RB, WR, DB, and returned kicks in high school. Impressive size, speed, and instincts. Will play safety at Kentucky. Nominated for 2017 U.S. Army All-American Bowl.

Chose Kentucky over offers from Michigan State, Tennessee, and Notre Dame.

Freddie Maggard’s Take: Top 2 athlete in this class. High level speed and affinity for contact which project at safety.


SIGNED: JOSHUA ALI


Joshua Ali
Wide Receiver | 6-0 | 180 lbs.
Hollywood, FL | Chaminade-Madonna
Highlights
★★★
ESPN  — | 89 WR Top247  No. 999 | 71 ATH
Rivals  — | 92 WR Scout  — | 205 WR

Bio: Ali committed to Kentucky last summer out of the talent-rich South Florida area. ESPN Recruiting calls him a “very sound, sharp and confident player” who is very competitive and “knows how to get open.” His overall speed won’t blow anyone away, but he is quick and explosive with good route-running technique. Eventual contributor in the passing attack.

Signed with Kentucky over Central Florida, South Florida, Cincinnati, Utah, Louisville and West Virginia.

Freddie Maggard’s Take: Smooth route running speedster. Immediately increases speed and Yards after Catch capacity at slot receiver.


SIGNED: QUINTON BOHANNA


Screen Shot 2017-01-31 at 2.10.57 PM Quinton Bohanna
Defensive Tackle| 6-4 | 315 lbs.
Cordova, TN | Cordova HS
Highlights
★★★
ESPN  — | 69 DT Top247  No. 1111 | 70 DT
Rivals  — | — Scout  — | 95 DT

Bio: Quinton Bohanna committed to Kentucky in February of last year, shortly after attending Junior Day in Lexington. A three-time All-State player in the state of Tennessee, Bohanna projects to eventually play nose tackle for the Wildcats, with a strong likelihood of a redshirt season in 2017.

Signed with Kentucky over offers from Louisville and Memphis.

Freddie Maggard’s Take: Active defensive lineman with heavy punch and rapid burst from stance to engagement.


SIGNED: LYNN BOWDEN


Screen Shot 2017-01-31 at 3.42.48 PM Lynn Bowden
Athlete| 6-1 | 185 lbs.
Youngstown, OH | Warren G. Harding
Highlights
★★★★
ESPN  — | 64 ATH Top247 No. 110 | 2 ATH
Rivals No. 197 | 17 ATH Scout No. 60 | 2 ATH

Bio: The Youngstown-native is the most explosive athlete in the class, arguably the most explosive athlete Mark Stoops has ever signed.  The runner-up for Ohio’s Mr. Football threw for 1,366 yards, rushed for 2,277 yards and accounted for 57 total touchdowns as a senior.  Bowden broke most of the school records held by Maurice Clarett.  In Ohio’s state record books, Bowden is ranked 6th in rushing yards and 10th in touchdowns.

Bowden will play right away, but where exactly remains uncertain.  A quarterback for Warren G. Harding, Bowden will likely play some Wildcat with Benny Snell.  He’ll improve the short passing game by catching screen passes from the slot and running back spot.  When Bowden enters the game, don’t blink, you might miss him.

Freddie Maggard’s Take: Will become Kentucky’s best overall athlete on day one on campus. Could play significant role in Eddie Gran’s offense in 2017.


SIGNED: YUSUF CORKER


Yusuf Corker 
Cornerback| 6-0 | 190 lbs.
Stockbridge, GA | Woodland
Highlights
★★★★
ESPN  No. 221 | 21 CB Top247 No. 646 | 62 CB
Rivals — | 50 CB Scout No. 261 | 27 CB

Bio: A major recruiting move by the Cats, Corker picked UK over Tennessee, Florida, Clemson, Georgia and Michigan State.  Like many other cornerbacks Stoops has recruited to Kentucky, Corker is physically gifted.  The cover corner does not waste energy, fluidly transitioning from back pedal to sprint, utilizing quick-twitch muscles to react quickly to the ball.

Freddie Maggard’s Take: Top CB in state of Georgia. Possesses preferred skill set to lock down receivers in one-on-one situations.


SIGNED: SEBASTIEN DOLCINE


Screen Shot 2017-01-31 at 3.44.16 PM Sebastien Dolcine
Offensive Guard/Tackle| 6-5 | 300 lbs.
Hollywood, FL | Miramar HS
Highlights
★★★
ESPN  — | 74 OG Top247  — | 31 OG
Rivals  — | — Scout  — | —

Bio: Dolcine is an extremely physical prospect with a ton of potential. Great agility for a guy of his size, but needs to build more upper-body strength. Raw, but has the tools to become successful under John Schlarman.

Signed with Kentucky over UCF, USF, NC State, and Wake Forest

Freddie Maggard’s Take: Extremely raw talent with a nasty disposition and high ceiling. Steal of the class.


SIGNED: AUSTIN DOTSON


Austin Dotson
Offensive Tackle| 6-6 | 310 lbs.
Belfry, KY | Belfry
Highlights
★★★
ESPN — | 80 OT Top247 No. 1023 | 94 OT
Rivals — | — Scout — | —

Bio: The Kentucky kid led a dominant offensive line to four consecutive state championship games.  A tackle for Phillip Haywood, Dotson could make the move down to guard at Kentucky.  An aggressive, hard-hitter with a “mean streak,” I pity those who lined up against him over the last four years. In no need to play right away, it will be interesting to see Dotson’s development under John Schlarman.

Freddie Maggard’s Take: Line of scrimmage mauler reminiscent of Logan Stenberg.


SIGNED: ISAIAH EPPS


Screen Shot 2017-01-31 at 3.45.52 PM Isaiah Epps
Wide Receiver| 6-3 | 185 lbs.
Jenks, OK | Jenks HS
Highlights
★★★
ESPN  — | — Top247  No. 1040 |  141 WR
Rivals  — | — Scout  — | —

Bio: Epps is a college-ready receiver who had a remarkable senior season at national powerhouse Jenks High School. He set a Jenks HS receiving record with 1,209 yards, 59 receptions, and 12 touchdowns.

Very new to the game, but a natural at the receiver position. Has starter potential after learning Kentucky’s system. Extremely underrated prospect with high ceiling.

Signed with Kentucky over Illinois.

Freddie Maggard’s Take: Pure receiver with sharp angles out of break. Can execute every route in a college passing tree.


SIGNED: PHIL HOSKINS


Screen Shot 2017-01-31 at 3.46.35 PM Phil Hoskins
Defensive Tackle| 6-5 | 280 lbs.
Toledo, OH | Whitmer, Highland C.C.
Highlights
★★★
ESPN JUCO — | 11 DT Top247 No. 41 | 4 DT
Rivals JUCO No. 21 Scout — | —

Bio: The JUCO transfer might be the most important recruit in the ’17 class.  In need of defensive lineman, Hoskins has the size and ability to play any of the front three spots in UK’s 3/4.  An aggressive pass rusher with an exceptional spin move, Hoskins can play situationally until he’s ready to handle the every down grind.  The only concern: Hoskins will need shoulder surgery and could miss some of fall camp.  Hoskins chose Kentucky over Arkansas, Baylor, Colorado and JUCO factory Miss. State.

Freddie Maggard’s Take: Versatile, high-effort defensive lineman with ability and size to play all 3 positions along the line-of-scrimmage.


SIGNED: ALEX KING


Alex King
Outside Linebacker | 6-4 | 225 lbs.
Mason, OH | William Mason
Highlights
★★★
ESPN — | 72 DE Top247 No. 637 | 38 WDE
Rivals — | 30 DE Scout — | 43 DE

Bio: The outside linebacker shares many qualities with Kentucky’s Josh Allen.  Built more like a basketball player, King’s long arms are beneficial in the pass rush and his wide shoulders will support significant weight gain.  A dynamic pass rusher with 7 sacks and 14 TFL in his senior season, King will likely spend his first year as a redshirt to gain weight and learn drops in pass coverage.  King also considered Maryland, Tennessee, Wisconsin and West Virginia before choosing Kentucky.

Freddie Maggard’s Take: Prototypical “Jack” LB with superb speed, motor, and aggression.


SIGNED: MICHAEL NESBITT


Michael Nesbitt
Cornerback| 6-0 | 185 lbs.
Fort Lauderdale, FL | Boyd Anderson
Highlights
★★★
ESPN  — | 43 CB Top247  No. 1163 | 128 CB
Rivals  — | 60 CB Scout  — | 136 CB

Bio: One of the top corners in the state of Florida, where he went against several of the best wide receivers in high school football, Michael Nesbitt is a proven defensive back who can also play a little safety or nickel, if needed.

Signed with Kentucky over offers from Arkansas, Auburn, Louisville, South Carolina and Central Florida.

Freddie Maggard’s Take: “Havoc” stat producer, Nesbitt is a perfect, diverse defensive back in Mark Stoops’ scheme.


SIGNED: JOSHUA PASCHAL


Screen Shot 2017-01-31 at 2.44.59 PM Joshua Paschal
Defensive End | 6-4 | 255 lbs.
Olney, MD | Good Counsel
Highlights
★★★★
ESPN  — | 29 DE Top247  No. 191 | 8 DE
Rivals  — | 10 DE Scout  No. 292 | 29 DE

Bio: The younger brother of TraVaughn Paschal, a former linebacker at Kentucky under Mark Stoops, Joshua Pashcal is the star of the class and an immediate contender for playing time as a true freshman. One national analyst called him the most athletic defensive end in the country, and if you watch his film, you will agree. This is a HUGE get for the Wildcats.

Signed with Kentucky over Alabama, Notre Dame, Clemson and USC, among others.

Freddie Maggard’s Take: Instinctive, productive, and disruptive defender that could make an immediate impact. Elite edge rusher.


SIGNED: JAVONTE RICHARDSON


Screen Shot 2017-01-31 at 3.40.02 PM JaVonte Richardson
Wide Receiver| 6-4 | 230 lbs.
Maple Heights, OH | Maple Heights HS
Highlights
★★★★
ESPN  — | 24 WR Top247 No. 227 | 32 WR
Rivals No. 114 | 5 WR Scout — | 47 S

Bio: Richardson is a freak of nature athlete with an NFL body, ready to contribute immediately. Fights for 50/50 balls, goes for the extra block, all-around winner. Great hands and body control, makes tough catches. Imagine Dorian Baker without the drops.

As a senior at Maple Heights, he compiled 1,190 all-purpose yards and earned a 2017 U.S. Army All-American Bowl nomination.

Signed with Kentucky over Michigan, Purdue, Michigan State, and Illinois

Freddie Maggard’s Take: Competitive, team-first athlete with freakish athletic ability and size/strength to win 50/50 situations.


SIGNED: NAASIR WATKINS


Naasir Watkins
Offensive Tackle| 6-5 | 300 lbs.
Olney, MD | Our Lady of Good Counsel
Highlights
★★★
ESPN  — | 94 OT Top247  — | 92 OT
Rivals  — | — Scout  — | —

Bio: Watkins converted from a tight end to play right tackle, has agility to back that up. Extremely athletic and long, but still very raw. He will need a year to redshirt, but certainly has starter potential.

Signed with Kentucky over Pittsburgh and Virginia.

Freddie Maggard’s Take: Built like a power forward, Watkins has the size and athletic ability to play Guard, Center, and Tackle.


SIGNED: CHRISTOPHER WHITTAKER


Screen Shot 2017-01-31 at 3.48.08 PM Chris Whittaker
Defensive End| 6-4 | 260 lbs.
Hollywood, FL | Chaminade-Madonna Prep
Highlights
★★★
ESPN  — | 106 DE Top247 No. 1004 | 55 DE
Rivals  — | — Scout  — | —

Bio: Whittaker is easily one of the most underrated players in the class, despite being rated as a three-star prospect. As a senior, he had 77 tackles (22 for loss), 10.5 sacks, and two fumble recoveries. The staff is extremely high on him because of his high motor combined with size and speed.

Signed with Kentucky over Georgia Tech, Notre Dame, Tennessee, and Georgia.

Freddie Maggard’s Take: “Jordan Jones” motor with stunt devil nerve. Fast and violent defensive lineman.


SIGNED: JORDAN WRIGHT


Jordan Wright
Defensive End| 6-5 | 250 lbs.
Fort Lauderdale, FL | Dillard HS
Highlights
★★★
ESPN  — | 46 DE Top247  — | 28 DE
Rivals  — | 25 DE Scout  — | —

Bio: Wright is an absolute athletic freak of nature with aggressiveness and high motor. He’s raw as a prospect, and may need a redshirt year to develop, but will absolutely make an impact at defensive end in a few years.

Signed with Kentucky over Alabama, Florida State, Miami, Florida, South Carolina, and Georgia.

Freddie Maggard’s Take: Sky is the limit for Wright. Elite athlete, will rapidly improve with technical advancement. Preferred measurable for an edge rusher.


ENROLLED: DANNY CLARK


Screen Shot 2017-01-31 at 3.18.16 PM Danny Clark
Quarterback | 6-4 | 223 lbs.
Akron, OH | Archbishop Hoban
Highlights
★★★
ESPN — | 13 Dual-QB Top247 No. 567 | 22 Pro-QB
Rivals — | Pro-QB Scout — | 25 QB

Bio: Clark committed to Ohio State early in his high school career and went as far as tattooing the Buckeyes logo on his arm, but when Ohio State continued to recruit his position, Clark reopened his recruitment and eventually became a Wildcat.

Expect him to start in 2017 and then compete for the starting QB job in 2018 and on. Don’t be surprised if he is Kentucky’s starter under center one day.

Comment from Coach Stoops: “Danny is an exceptional leader, competitor and winner, having led his team to two state championships.”

Freddie Maggard’s Take: Brash, bold, strong-armed QB that led his team to back-to-back state championships.


ENROLLED: JAMIN DAVIS


Jamin Davis
Linebacker| 6-4 | 210 lbs.
Ludawici, Georgia | Long County HS
Highlights
★★★
ESPN — | 53 OLB Top247 No. 902 | 58 OLB
Rivals  — | — Scout  — | —

Bio: Davis is a massive linebacker with elite tackling ability. He has a high football IQ and takes smart angles to the ball carrier, making him a force on the field.

In his senior year, Davis finished with 126 tackles (89 solo), good for 14 tackles a game. Also had a sack, a fumble recovery, forced two fumbles, and blocked both a punt and a field goal.

Signed with Kentucky over Georgia Tech, Louisville, and NC State.

Comment from Coach Stoops: “Jamin is a prototype will (weakside) linebacker, a very athletic player with great length. He is an exceptional person and leader.”

Freddie Maggard’s Take: Seeks intelligent contact with high tackle production. Tall-rangy linebacker; leader.


ENROLLED: CEDRICK DORT


Cedrick Dort
Cornerback| 5-11 | 170 lbs.
Palm Beach Gardens, FL | Dwyer
Highlights
★★★
ESPN — | 121 CB Top247 — | 157 CB
Rivals — | — Scout — | 124 CB

Bio: The early enrollee chose Kentucky over Wisconsin, Minnesota and Syracuse.  One reason why Dort came to Lexington early was to add bulk in UK’s strength and conditioning program.  Through two weeks he’s gained 8 pounds.  Dort boasts an extremely impressive stat from his senior season: he did not allow a TD pass, a first down pass or a pass over five yards during the regular season.  On a less serious note, Dort’s high school head coach is Jack Daniels.

Comment from Coach Stoops: “Cedric is a great cover corner. I’ve been familiar with that school for a long time and Cedric comes here from a winning program.”

Freddie Maggard’s Take: Didn’t allow a TD or miss a tackle as a high school senior. Former basketball player has only played 2 seasons of football. Boundless potential.


ENROLLED: LONNIE JOHNSON


Lonnie Johnson
Defensive Back (JUCO) | 6-3 | 190 lbs.
Gary, IN | Garden City CC/Gary West Side
Highlights
★★★
ESPN — | — Top247 JUCO No. 51 | 4 S
Rivals — | — Scout — | —

Bio: It was a long road to the University of Kentucky for Lonnie Johnson, who will compete for playing time right away. The highly-touted defensive back out of Gary, Indiana committed to Ohio State out of high school, but turned to junior college when he couldn’t make the grade. After stops at San Bernardino Valley College and Garden City Community College, plus a failed attempt to enroll at Iowa State, Johnson buckled down and focused on his academics, allowing him to enroll at UK this spring.

Read more on Johnson’s long and difficult journey here.

Comment from Coach Stoops: “We’re very excited to add Lonnie. He has great size and athleticism, with the versatility to play multiple positions.”

Freddie Maggard’s Take: Can play CB, Safety, and Nickel. Immediate contributor on defense and special teams. Exceptional size/speed combination.


ENROLLED: BRYANT KOBACK


Bryant Koback
Running Back | 5-11 | 191 lbs.
Holland, OH | Springfield HS
Highlights
★★★
ESPN — | 50 RB Top247 No. 531 | 32 RB
Rivals — | 39 RB Scout — | 47 RB

Bio: Bryant Koback’s senior season in Ohio got off to an amazing start, until a horrific leg injury put him out for the remainder of his high school career. The speedy back, once an Ohio State commit, enrolled at UK early to focus on rehabilitating the injury, and will sit out the spring as a precautionary measure. He could see touches as a freshman if he gets back to 100 percent before the fall.

Comment from Coach Stoops:Bryant is a great kid and a home run threat on the field.  He is an electric runner, with excellent vision and top-end speed.”

Freddie Maggard’s Take: Multiple cut, highly productive runner with 4.3 speed.


ENROLLED: CLEVAN THOMAS


Clevan Thomas
Wide Receiver| 5-11 | 190 lbs.
Miami, FL | Charles W. Flanagan
Highlights
★★★
ESPN — | 143 WR Top247 — | 150 WR
Rivals — | 70 WR Scout — | 173 WR

Bio: The early enrollee’s father, Clevan Sr., was the starting cornerback for Florida State’s 1999 National Championship team.  Clevan Jr. knew he was legit once he beat his dad.  An explosive, physical receiver, Thomas immediately becomes the Cats most-physically gifted slot receiver.  With a semester of growing pains ahead, Thomas should be ready to receive significant playing time in the fall.  Thomas chose UK over UofL, Michigan, Syracuse and Vanderbilt.

Comment from Coach Stoops: “Clevan is an exciting wide receiver, an extremely tough competitor who has shown the athletic ability to play multiple positions. His father was a great player at Florida State and I see a lot of the same qualities in Clevan.”

Freddie Maggard’s Take: Extremely quick burst-change of direction receiver. Physically ready to play slot receiver now.


ENROLLED: WALKER WOOD


Walker Wood
Dual-Threat Quarterback | 6-1 | 187 lbs.
Lexington, KY | Lafayette
Highlights
★★★
ESPN — | 34 DT-QB Top247 No. 1279 | 25 DT-QB
Rivals — | 22 DT-QB Scout — | 62 QB

Bio: Walker Wood, a Lexington native, will get his shot at quarterback, where he completed 203 of 321 passes (63.2 percent) for 3,047 yards and 30 touchdowns in his senior season at Lafayette. But with the depth and potential at the QB position, many expect Wood to ultimately make a position change if he is going to see the field.

Comment from Coach Stoops: “Both of the quarterbacks in this class have similar qualities – Walker is an exceptional leader, competitor and winner. He’s a dual-threat quarterback who can be the most dangerous when a play breaks down.”

Freddie Maggard’s Take: Highly productive quarterback that will benefit from early enrollment to rehabilitate injured knee.

Article written by Drew Franklin

I can recite every line from Forrest Gump, blindfolded. Follow me on Twitter: @DrewFranklinKSR

15 responses to “Complete list of Kentucky’s new class of Wildcats”

  1. Duuuuuude

    First of all, great job to Stoops and the rest of the staff! I am excited to see these guys wearing blue!

    Judging recruiting classes is difficult to say the least. My take is that over time, the quality of the classes are improving. Every year, we are getting more players who are the calibur schools like Alabama, Florida, Ohio State offer. I like the progress the program is making.

  2. itsabouttheblue

    Strong recruiting pipe line from OH & Fla , where would we be without those 2 states ?

    1. Mathlete

      FCS football, probably

  3. ukblue22

    Least dramatic signing day in the 7 years. And that’s a good thing.

  4. @GoCayts

    Great that nobody flipped away from UK … and a little shoutout to every negative commenter every time we got a verbal and somebody said it didn’t mean anything until they signed. People were saying we might lose Bohanna, so glad he’s in here. Really thought we’d have a 25th guy with all the names that had popped up in the last month. Alabama is really in a class of their own, I heard on ESPNU this morning that 12 of their guys in the class are early enrollees and have already been working … TWELVE … that’s incredible.

    Baby steps … better recruiting … more wins … winning record … bowl games … keep trending upward

  5. @GoCayts

    right now it looks like the class is between 26-33 depending on which site you look at

  6. CATandMONKEY

    No flips/defections. More than just a solid recruiting day. Great job coaches. Stoops should buy Marrow a six-figure ride as a Christmas present.

    1. UK Big Board Update

      Sometimes the fans need to give a coach a little time, especially in football.

      Remember the numbskulls who wanted Stoops gone in his second year? They’ve been pretty quiet since about Nov. 19th. of 2016…. 😉

    2. runningunnin.454

      I remember the numbskulls that wanted to fire him this year!
      Stoops and the Cats shut them down….41-38.

  7. AGSlater

    Well done coaching staff. Almost ready for football again after suffering through these recent bball games.

    1. UK Big Board Update

      Yeah. Duke is definitely sucking….

    2. UK Big Board Update

      I mean, at UK is still in the top 10, amirite? 😉

  8. 1wildcatfan

    my son attends HS with Watkins and Paschal. They both were impressive to watch this fall.

  9. huntcalvert

    Does anyone else think Bowden should play qb?

    1. InigoMontoya

      NO.