While recruiting momentum is at an all-time high for the Kentucky Football program, one position has had a slower than expected start for some Wildcat fans. With the high-powered, pass-heavy offense that Neal Brown is expected to install in Lexington and in addition to having one of the nation’s top quarterback prospects in Drew Barker already on board, one might reasonably expect the country’s number three ranked class to be loaded with talented wide receiver prospects. In fact, only two of Kentucky’s nineteen current commitments are from wide receivers (T.V. Williams & Thaddeus Snodgrass). This fact has left a portion of the Wildcat faithful questioning why this is the case. While this is a fair question to ask, is there any real cause for concern? The short answer is no. Not yet anyways.
The 2014 recruiting class is off to a monstrously fast start. Kentucky fans have been pulling out their Yahtzee boards on what seems like a weekly basis since the beginning of summer. For whatever reason, Kentucky’s receiver targets have not been falling at the same rate as other positions. One reason for this may be the volume of recruits that the staff is currently targeting at this position. This seems to be in contrast to a majority of the other positions in which Stoops and Company selected a small handful at each position and then focused their attention on those individuals (Barker at QB, Horton/Williams at RB, Long at TE etc.). The wide receiver spot is obviously a great need in this class and the staff has cast a wide-net over a group of players. This likely means that unlike the other positions that have been filled quickly, not every “offer” out to wide receivers is necessarily a committable one. I think that we probably saw this situation play out with Tyre Brady, the Florida wide receiver who reportedly committed to the Cats earlier last month. In my view, many of the wide receiver offers out are probably similar to Tyre Brady’s and this could explain the lack of commitments at the position.
The staff is obviously aware of the vital importance of the wide receiver position in the Air Raid (not to mention our current lack of talent and depth at the position) and because of this, they are wisely biding their time before accepting commitments–at least from most players. If internet chatter is correct, UK will take three-four more wide receivers. I think that before the entire situation can play out, Kentucky covets two players in particular. After Thaddeus Snodgrass (current UK commit) and Derek Kief (who committed to Alabama), all signs indicate that the following two players are at the top of the wide receiver board and their decisions will dictate how the wide receiver spot fills out in 2014.
Blake Bone-6’5” 183 lbs/4 stars
With a 4.7 forty yard dash time, Bone isn’t going to burn anyone with his speed. He has built his four star reputation with an effective use of his 6’5” frame. ESPN touts his ability to catch the ball in traffic as well as his sure hands. As has thankfully been the case lately, Kentucky will have to fend off some of the nation’s premiere programs to secure Blake Bone’s services. Along with Kentucky, Bone’s home state schools, South Carolina and Clemson are the presumed front runners in this sweepstakes. Bone has visited Lexington.
If Kentucky misses on Blake Bone (and even if they don’t) familiarize yourself with these names:
Josh Malone ( huge 4 star recruit–visited Kentucky yesterday–his level of interest remains to be seen)
Braxton Berrios- 5’9” 180 lbs/4 stars
Berrios, as a result of his connection with fan-favorite Drew Barker, has become somewhat of a fan-favorite himself. It is not only his friendship with Drew Barker that has propelled him into this role, however. Those that watched The Opening football camp were treated to an impressive display of athleticism from Berrios as he competed in the Nike Sparq competition finals. While his speed wasn’t blazing (though 4.48 is nothing to scoff at), his insane quickness was showcased during his impressive shuttle time which topped the list of performances in that event. Berrios fits the mold of prototypical slot receiver and for that reason, he is at the top of the staff’s wish list. Berrios has also visited Lexington.
In lieu of or in addition to Braxton Berrios, Kentucky may turn to these players:
While recruiting at the wide receiver position hasn’t progressed as quickly as some would hope, there is clearly no shortage of available options. The list of mentioned players is by no means exhaustive–and with the way this staff recruits, there will undoubtedly be a few more names crawl out of the wood work.