Yesterday, Mark Stoops revealed that he intends for his 2014 recruiting class to be slam-packed with 28 players. As it stands now, the 7th ranked recruiting class in all of the land sits at 25. Assuming that this class stays intact–which is never a safe assumption in football recruiting–that leaves only a little bit of work left to do for 2014. After crunching the numbers, it is clear that that there are but three, coveted spots left in this already legendary recruiting class. Adding to this excitement, Kentucky still has a few large fish left to fry in this class that could make for a dynamite finish. Who are the most likely recruits to round out this crop of program-changers? Let’s take a look at a few possibilities.
The most obvious candidate to take one of these final spots is, of course, E-Town’s Matt Elam. While he is the recruit we hear the most about, I wouldn’t start counting your Elam’s before they hatch. I know many who follow football recruiting consider it a foregone conclusion that Elam will eventually end up in Kentucky blue but I would be quick to temper your optimism–even if only a smidgen. I get it, he has a great relationship with our current class as well as the staff, but with Elam, Kentucky is going up against the biggest of the big dogs. This includes, Alabama (who covets Elam as much as Kentucky does), Notre Dame (he visited there last weekend and all indications are that he enjoyed it thoroughly), and Ohio State. With all this in mind, however, and having absolutely no inside information, I still think that Elam ends up a Wildcat. That leaves two more spots
Avery Gennesy/Marcelys Jones/some other offensive lineman
From here on out, things get a little murkier. It is only speculation (after Elam) as to exactly what direction the staff intends to take the final two spots. With that being said, and given our continued recruitment of a few offensive linemen, I think it is fairly safe to say that the staff still plans to add one more big man to stand in front of Drew Barker in this class. Avery Gennesy, a JUCO offensive lineman out of Mississippi would be my first pick to fill this spot. This four star stud (according to Rivals) also has offers from college football’s gold standard programs but he is one to keep an eye on. Gennesy is friends with Za’Darius Smith and attends the same JUCO that Smith attended. We may hope that this relationship gives Kentucky an inside track. If not Gennesy, rumors still abound that Kentucky is receiving consideration from Ohio State commit, Marcelys Jones. I, however, am not buying it and believe that we are more likely to land either Gennesy, or a name not familiar to us yet. But what do I know? I trust you will lovingly tell me how little in the comments section.
Defensive back/best available type guy
Especially after considering Matt Elam and an offensive lineman, predicting which how the last spot will be filled is even more of a crap shoot. I believe that this football staff has a Calipari-like mentality of simply wanting to sign the best players regardless of position. If they believe there is a more talented guy out there who is going to help them win football games, I suspect that one of the last three spots will serve to fill this all-purpose need. A name that is highest on my wishlist is Marshon Lattimore, an athlete who many consider to be the best player in the state of Ohio. As has been the case with most of the guys on this list, Lattimore has offers from the college football big boys and is considered by most services to be a top-50 player nationally. I might need to be pinched if Stoops were to reel him in. If not Lattimore, and if the Cats do indeed land Elam, would Kentucky consider taking another defensive tackle ala Jarran Reed? Like I mentioned before, if the staff thinks he is talented and will help them win games, I think they take him regardless of whatever else happens to be in the cupboard.
Other names to keep an eye on might include, Roger Lewis (wide receiver), DJ Smith (cornerback), and Daniel Ross (defensive tackle). One thing is for certain and that is that this class could end in a variety of ways.