Just because Kentucky already has most of its 2014 recruiting class already filled out doesn’t mean there isn’t going to be high drama in the weeks leading up to National Signing Day.
The Wildcats would still like to add four more and are still in the hunt for some big game.
The latest on where Kentucky stands with its top five targets:
Elizabethtown (Ky.) John Hardin
Ht: 6-6 | Wt: 350
Official Visit: Dec. 13
The Players: Kentucky, Alabama
The Latest: Sounds as though Kentucky has regained all the momentum in Elam’s recruitment following his official visit to Lexington last weekend.
Many have felt as though Elam already carried himself like a UK commit and both his physical and emotional proximity to the program weigh heavily in the Cats’ favor, even against the planetary pull of Nick Saban and Alabama.
On paper, Kentucky has no business competing against the likes of an Alabama for a 5-star prospect and no one would blame him or bat an eye if he chose the Crimson Tide. But it’s going to come down to more than program prestige.
Elam has a lot of pressure on him to stay home and I think ‘being a hero’ and being a part of the class that helped turn UK around is something that Elam values a great deal.
As someone else noted, I just think Elam’s ‘heart is in Lexington.’
Cleveland (Ohio) Glenville
Ht: 6-5 | Wt: 325
[Committed to Ohio State]
Official Visit: Dec. 7
The Players: Ohio State, Kentucky, Alabama
The Latest: Had generally been skeptical of Kentucky’s chances to flip Jones from Ohio State but information from multiple sources over the past several days leads me to believe the Wildcats have a much better chance than I originally thought and am now projecting Jones to flip to UK on his 247Sports Crystal Ball.
Jones, who is rated as the No. 9 offensive guard in the country by 247Sports, didn’t have the type of senior season that some had anticipated and while Ohio State would like to hold onto him, I am told it wouldn’t be “the end of the world,” for the Buckeyes end if Jones ended up elsewhere.
Getting Jones on campus for an official visit Dec. 7 was huge and Vince Marrow is close with Glenville coach Ted Ginn Sr.
Jones may, or may not, be making an announcement at the U.S. Army All-American Game in San Antonio Jan. 4. If he does, that would certainly bode well for the Wildcats. Why make the announcement that you’re still headed to the school you are currently committed to?
Weak-Side Defensive End
Louisville (Ky.) Seneca Academy
Ht: 6-5 | Wt: 235
[Committed to Vanderbilt]
Official Visit: Jan. 17
The Players: Vanderbilt, Kentucky, Purdue
The Latest: The Wildcats face an uphill battle to flip the 4-star defensive end from his Vanderbilt commitment, but getting Tubman on campus for an official visit Jan. 17 could go a long way in doing so.
Mark Stoops’ and D.J. Eliot’s experience in developing defensive linemen could make the Cats an attractive option and Vandy coach James Franklin continues to be an intriguing darkhorse in the Texas coaching search.
Cleveland (Ohio) Shaker Heights
Ht: 6-5 | Wt: 270
Official Visit: TBA
The Players: Kentucky, Cincinnati, Georgia Tech, Washington State
The Latest: It’s clear that Bowen still has some academic hurdles he has to clear, but has made enough progress to where he could end up being a take.
Offensive line continues to be a position of need and the pickings are slim. If Bowen makes the leap academically, odds are very favorable he’ll be a Cat.
Tampa, FL (Tampa Catholic)
Ht: 6-1 | Wt: 210
Official Visit: Jan. 17
The Players: Louisville, Florida State, Ole Miss, Kentucky
The Latest: Harrell fits the role of playmaker that Kentucky would like to add to round out this class, but it’s safe to say they have significant ground to make up on leader Louisville.
Doesn’t hurt that Harrell’s cousin is UK running backs coach Chad Scott.
Harrell’s scheduled official visit to Lexington Jan. 17 looms large.
Other UK targets:
Hampton (Ga.) Lovejoy
Ht: 6-2 | Wt: 212
[Committed to Ole Miss]
Birmingham (Ala.) Spain Park
Ht: 6-3 | Wt: 305
Tallahassee (Fla.) Florida State Univ. School
Ht: 6-4.5 | Wt: 290
Ht: 6-4.5 | Wt: 260
For more recruiting scoop, give us a look at CatsPause.com.
Follow Chris Fisher on Twitter @ChrisFisher247