On Saturday Mark Stoops received his 3rd verbal commitment from the class of 2014. 4-star Mikel Horton joins 4-star Thaddeus Snodgrass and potential 4-star LB Dorian Hendrix. Kentucky Football isn’t used to seeing this many stars. While we don’t know how well Ryan Timmons’ speed will transfer to the on-field speed of the SEC, we can compare their ratings to current players on the team. You will see a trend depicting that Stoops is just now gaining momentum in the recruiting process. With a little time and some on-field success (I can’t believe I’m saying this), the sky is the limit for Kentucky Football recruiting.
[Disclaimer: Ratings vary by site but these are all from Rivals. These can be deceptive so I tried to further illustrate their skills by listing the best teams that were also interested in them.]
Max Smith- 3-Star without offers from any nearby West Coast Schools (I believe UK was his only offer, but Google isn’t 100% sure).
Jalen Whitlow- 3-star with offers from Arkansas State, Florida International, and Middle Tennessee State.
Drew Barker (possible Fall 14)- 4-star prospect ranked as high as #6 pocket passer in the country and overall Top-150. South Carolina and Tennessee are UK’s toughest competition.
Josh Clemons- 3-star power running back was the 54th best at his position in 2010. Clemons turned down the likes of Miss. State, Vandy, and Wake Forest.
Dyshawn Mobley- 3-stars for the power running back that didn’t see heavy recruiting outside of Miss. State and Vanderbilt.
JoJo Kemp (Fall 13)- 3-stars go to the 10th ranked running back in the nation. The speedy all-purpose back turned down Nebraska, West Virginia, Arizona State, and Mississippi State.
Braylon Heard (eligible Fall 14)- 4-star Braylon Heard was the #5 RB in the nation (#57 overall) when he committed to Nebraska in 2010.
Mikel Horton (Fall 14)- 4-stars for the #22 RB in the nation. You can read plenty more about him here.
Demarcus Sweat- 3-starred Sweat played well as a true freshmen, but has plenty to prove this year. He received offers from Indiana and West Virginia before choosing blue.
Daryl Collins- 3-stars for Collins are deceptive; he was one of Joker’s best commitments after fighting off Alabama, Florida State, and Louisville for his services. Collins hasn’t made a lot of noise for the Cats so far; let’s see how the new coaches work for him.
Demarco Robinson- 3-stars for UK’s most proven returning wideout, Robinson chose UK over Louisville and Marshall.
Ryan Timmons (Fall 13)- Timmons only has 3-stars but it’s hard to judge him based off that, when the local phenom chose the Cats over Florida and Ohio State.
Javess Blue (Fall 13)- The 3-star JUCO transfer is expected to make an immediate impact in the fall after turning down Texas A&M and West Virginia to play for UK.
Thaddeus Snodgrass (Fall 14)- 4-starred Snodgrass is the nation’s #24 WR (#198 overall) in the Class of 2014; it’s worth mentioning that he’s a member of Ohio’s recruiting pipeline.
Mister Cobble- Cobble is a dominant force on UK’s DLine, but only received 2-stars and never received any other offers.
Bud Dupree- Bud was recruited by Auburn to play Linebacker, but the 3-star player is now getting comfortable in a 3-point stance. Beating Auburn is impressive, but Georgia Tech and Jacksonville State, not so much.
Za’Darius Smith (Fall 13)- Za’Darius was one hell of Za’4-star player and rated as the best player DLinemen in all of Jr. College this past year.
Jason Hatcher (Fall 13)- 4-stars for the 8th ranked Defensive End that de-committed from USC and turned down Louisville to play for Mark Stoops. He even mocked UK at one point early in his recruiting. My how times are a changin’.
Avery Williamson- Avery may have led the SEC in tackles for the majority of last season, but he wasn’t a big prospect in high school with only 3-stars to his credit and offers from New Mexico and Arkansas State.
Dorian Hendrix (Fall 14)- Hendrix is a 3-star commit for the time being but is *this close* to receiving his 4th star. He is the #21 LB in the nation, receiving multiple Big 10 offers before making an early commitment to the Cats.
Tre Williams (possible Fall 14)- The overall #35 player in the nation, Williams is a superstar in the making. The 4-starred #2 ILB in the country has offers from every big school out there: Alabama, USC, Florida State, LSU, plus many more. UK is a darkhorse in his recruitment but who knows what will happen after he attended last week’s Blue/White game.
Ashely Lowery- The most experienced player in the unit is a former 3-star that was ranked as high as #59 amongst all safeties.
The Blaylock Twins- Both players were 3-stars two years ago, receiving little notoriety in the process. The twin thing helped them get offers from Louisville, Cincinnati, and Duke before they decided to head to Lex.
Jaleel Hytchye (Fall 13)- 3-stars for Stoops’ 1st high school commit and the #48 cornerback in the nation. He could very well be your starting CB in the fall after choosing UK over Louisville, Arizona State, and Penn State.
Nate Willis (Fall 13)- One of Mark Stoops’ JUCO transfers, the 3-starred Willis will likely be a starter in the Fall. Willis’ 4.4 speed attracted the likes of Kansas State, Baylor, WVU, Miss. State, and Ole Miss.