I’m not sure there has ever been a more important off-season weekend for the Kentucky Football program. Seventeen high-level recruits will make trips to Lexington to meet with the new coaching staff, tour the facilities and attend Kentucky vs. Texas A&M in Rupp Arena. A lot of the names will be familiar, as they have been talked about for a couple of weeks now. There are others in the group that won’t be as familiar but are just as talented as the guys we have come know. Here is a full list of recruits that will make their way to the Bluegrass this weekend:
Committed elsewhere, but still considering Kentucky
Ra’Shaad Samples — Wide Receiver; 6’0â€³, 170 lbs.; Texas
Current Oklahoma State commit
Rivals: 4-Star, #35 WR
ESPN: 4-Star, #25 WR
Samples is currently committed to Oklahoma State, but has said in the past that Neal Brown, who recruited Samples at Texas Tech, was the coach who he felt the best connection with, which has caused him to give the Wildcats a look before National Signing Day. On Twitter, Ra’Shaad has definitely felt the love from the Big Blue Nation, tweeting his thanks for their support almost daily. Samples may be a slight longshot for the ‘Cats given his commitment to another Air Raid offense in Oklahoma State, but Brown’s relationship with him gives UK a chance. He said it himself, he want UK fans to make next weekend a “memorable” one for him.
Jason Hatcher — Defensive End; 6’2â€³, 240 lbs.; Louisville, Kentucky
Current USC Commit (recruited by Tee Martin)
Rivals: 4-star, #7 DE
ESPN: 4-star, #15 DE
Flipping Hatcher would be huge for Stoops. Hatcher is a powerful, bull-rushing DE that would be great in the Wildcats’ defensive end rotation. Stoops and company can sell Hatcher on the past success of Stoops’ pass rushers and also the idea that he would be immediately offered playing time.
Not signed, considering Kentucky
Asianti Woulard — Dual-Threat QB; 6’3â€³, 205 lbs.; Winter Park, Florida
Former USF commit
Rivals: 4-Star, #4 Dual-Threat QB, #120 overall
ESPN: 4-Star, #1 Dual-Threat QB, #146 overall
Woulard’s courtship by the Wildcats has picked up over the last couple of weeks after he sent a tape to Coach Stoops and staff following his decommitment. Based on the news coming out of his camp lately, there is definitely a mutual interest between the two sides. His dad told reporters last week that if his visit to UK goes well, a commitment may come soon after. Woulard has been impressive in his two years as a QB and won the MVP of the Elite 11 QB Camp after being the 24th QB selected.
Also considering: NC State, USF
Jojo Kemp — All-Purpose Back; 5’11â€³, 185 lbs.; DeLand, Florida
Former USF commit
Kemp was interested in the Cats before the coaching change, and has said the Cats have “been on me since Day 1.” He’s a dynamic athlete with the potential to play a variety of positions, and catches the ball very well out of the backfield. Kemp visited Pitt on December 7th. ESPN college football recruiting analyst Corey Long says he thinks the Cats are in the mix for him, along with Asiantii Woulard.
Also considering: Tennessee, Pittsburgh, West Virginia
Javess Blue — Wide Reciever; 6’1â€³, 194 lbs.; Babson Park, FL
This JUCO WR (Butler County C.C., Kansas) is one of the more sought after prospects in this class. He is a big wide receiver with great hands. Blue is also a precise route runner, who has the strength to shake off would-be tacklers to get yards after the catch. He’d be a great addition to Kentucky’s offense… and ready to contribute immediately. He and offensive coordinator Neal Brown are familiar with each other from his visit to Texas Tech in early December.
Also considering: Mississippi State, West Virginia, Texas Tech
Aregeros Turner — Running Back; 5’11â€³, 180 lbs.; Akron, Ohio
Former Cincinnati commit
Vince Marrow has been a busy man since joining Stoops’ staff. One of his first visits was to Aregeros Turner, who decommitted from the Bearcats after Butch Jones left for Tennessee. Turner liked what Marrow had to say so much that he’s coming to visit.
Also Considering: Cincinnati, Tennessee
MacKenro Alexander — Safety; 6’0â€³, 190 lbs.; Immokalee, FL
Almost the forgotten Alexander brother, MacKenro is a baller in his own right. As a safety, Alexander has great instincts that allow him to make a ton of plays in the back end of the Immokalee defense. He’s outstanding in zone coverage and isn’t afraid of taking an opposing wide receiver’s head off.
Also Considering: Clemson, Louisville, Miami, Rutgers
MacKensie Alexander — Safety; 5’10â€³, 180 lbs.; Immokalee, FL
ESPN: 5-star, 4th-rated CB in the nation
MacKensie is a playmaker, plain and simple. Alexander has a prior history with both Stoops and Kentucky. He toured the Kentucky facilities this past summer and was recruited to Florida State by Stoops. The combination of the two could land him at Kentucky, when it’s all said and done. Landing one brother will get you the other, so this is an important get for the Wildcats.
Also Considering: Clemson, Louisville, Miami, Rutgers
Alex Montgomery — Wide Receiver/Safety; 6’2â€³, 190 lbs.; Cypress Bay, FL
Montgomery plays both sides of the ball and does a great job at both positions. He is said to be looking to sign with the Cats pretty soon, so a solid weekend here will probably get a letter of intent from him.
Also Considering: Duke, East Carolina
James Clark — Wide Receiver; 5’10â€³, 170 lbs.; New Smyrna Beach, Florida
The Cats hope to lure this 4-star WR to Kentucky this weekend by showing how effective his talents can be used in the spread offense. Clark is speedy, shifty wide receiver who can do a lot on the football field.
Also considering: Florida, Clemson, Nebraska, Northwestern
Kyle Meadows — Offensive Tackle; 6’5â€³, 280 lbs.; West Chester, OH
Up to this point, Stoops has made his presence felt in his home state of Ohio. He will continue to do so as he brings Meadows to UK for a visit this weekend.
Also considering: Rutgers, West Virginia, Louisville, Oklahoma
Regie Meant — Defensive Tackle/ Defensive End; 6’5â€³, 271 lbs.; Caple Coral, FL
Meant plays almost ever position on the defensive line, something that is hard to find. Although he’s not highly regarded, you can’t teach size and that’s something this guy was blessed with.
Also Considering: Iowa State, NC State, Kansas State
Boaz Joseph — Cornerback; 6’1â€³, 190 lbs.; Cypress Bay, FL
Joseph was part of a Florida DB contingent that visited Kentucky this summer. Joseph, the Alexander Brothers and Purdue-commit Austin Logan all visited the Kentucky facilities. The Wildcats still have a chance to land three out of the four recruits, which would shore up the Kentucky secondary for years to come. Joseph is a physical corner who loves to help in the run game. He forces fumbles and has a nose the football, too. Joseph is familiar with Kentucky from his prior visit, something that only help the new coaching staff’s pursuit.
Antoine Miles — Defensive End; 6’3â€³, 250 lbs.; Canton, Ohio
Former Nebraska commit
Miles was recruited at Nebraska by Vince Marrow and has opened his recruitment back up since Marrow joined Stoops’ staff. His relationship with Marrow makes a commitment to the Cats next weekend a legit possibility, and even a lock according to some analysts. He also has a visit to Purdue lined up for January 18th.
Also considering: Nebraska, Purdue
Committed to Kentucky
Jaleel Hytchye — Cornerback; 5’11â€³, 170 lbs.; Cincinnati, OH
The speedy corner committed to play for the Wildcats last weekend. His combination of experience, instincts, and great man to man coverage skills makes it hard for me to imagine him not starting in Stoops’ defense next year. Hytchye is a track star as well and will possibly compete for UK on that front, too.
Blake McClain — Cornerback; 5’11â€³, 181 lbs.; Winter Park, Florida
Despite committing to Kentucky on June 27th, McClain visited Pitt on December 7th because of the Cats’ coaching change. McClain cited his family’s relationship with Joker Phillips as a primary reason for his commitment, so hopefully Stoops and company can make a good impression next weekend.
Alvonte Bell — Defensive End; 6’5â€³, 218 lbs.; Miramar, Florida
Bell is a tall, lean athletic lineman, who is 6’5â€³, 218 pounds and has had an impressive early summer. Regardless if the Wildcats land Hatcher or not, Bell is primed to immediately compete for playing time. He held offers from Florida State, Clemson, Notre Dame, West Virginia and Louisville among others.