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Kentucky has the best recruiting class in the Big East

It is no secret what Mark Stoops has done in his short time as head coach at Kentucky is truly amazing. The recruiting class he has built in just two months ranks as one of the best classes in UK history, ranking No. 28 nationally according to Rivals. Since 2007, Kentucky’s class hasn’t finished any better than No. 41 overall, and the two lowest classes in that time have come over the previous two seasons, in 2011 (No. 61) and 2012 (No. 62).

Despite the 28th-ranked class falling near the bottom of the Southeastern Conference, the skill gap has closed dramatically. Take a look at where Kentucky would rank in any other conference:

SEC: 13th best

Ahead of only Missouri (49th)

Pac 12: 5th best

Behind UCLA (9th), USC (13th), Washington (17th), and Oregon (21st).

ACC: 5th best

Behind Florida State (11th), Clemson (14th), Virginia Tech (22nd), and Virginia (27th).

Big XII: 4th best

Behind Oklahoma (15th), Texas (23rd), and West Virginia (24th).

Big Ten: 4th best

Behind Ohio State (2nd), Michigan (6th), and Nebraska (17th).

Big East: THE best

Kentucky would have the best class in the Big East. Louisville’s class is ranked No. 57.

Adjusting the national recruiting class rankings based on average recruit quality (total number of stars divided by the number of recruits), Kentucky’s class is as good as or better than four teams ranked ahead of it. If you want to use the Cats 3.05 average recruit ranking compared to others, Kentucky has the 24th best class in the nation. Just behind Texas… Like, the Texas Longhorns.

The potential for this class to grow even more is still possible, with a few surprises likely still in store. Four-star linebacker James Hearns is waiting a couple more days before signing, and four-star defensive tackle Tevin Lawson may flip from his commitment to LSU this weekend.

We Are UK.

Article written by Stuart Hammer

B.S. Broadcast Journalism from the University of Kentucky. @StuartHammerKSR

48 Comments for Kentucky has the best recruiting class in the Big East

  1. DB11
    5:20 pm February 6, 2013 Permalink

    That perhaps is the only depressing thing about the big picture. I love Stoops and I am incredibly excited about the program, but we’re still almost last in the SEC. We’re doing the best we can damnit!

  2. BUT
    5:27 pm February 6, 2013 Permalink

    Hugh, I don’t care if this class was ranked #1 in the Canadian football league. Last time I checked we play 1 Big East team, no PAC 12 team, no ACC team, no Big 12 team, no Big 10 team. You know who we do play???? 8 SEC teams.

  3. BUT
    5:28 pm February 6, 2013 Permalink

    Meant “ugh” , have no idea who Hugh is

  4. BigBlue
    5:32 pm February 6, 2013 Permalink

    2)Sounds hopeless doesn’t it! Let’s all start rolling in the floor crying calling for Joker back! The point is, even if we are second to last in the SEC in recruiting…we are twice as good as we were last recruiting wise and will only improve under Stoops.

  5. blueaville
    5:32 pm February 6, 2013 Permalink

    I would hope we’d have a better class than Big East and ACC school. We ARE a SEC school afterall. Even though we’ve been near the bottom, it’s still SEC

  6. We ARE UK
    5:32 pm February 6, 2013 Permalink

    Yeehaw. #24. Whatever.

  7. Chad
    5:32 pm February 6, 2013 Permalink

    Ladies and Gentleman Stoops had 8 weeks to recruit this year. He will have all year to recruit this year then we will talk about being almost last in the SEC. We have a brand new offense and defense. Before everyone gets soiled pants. Lets remember we are the 24th best recruiting class. Also it doesnt take a rocket scientist to know we have some catching up to do. For the time frame he has surpassed my expectations for this years class already. We have a great deal of young talent that will only get better. So everyone relax and enjoy the ride. Its going to be a bit bumpy before it gets better we know that its no secret. Go Big Blue. WeAreUK!

  8. wheeler bear
    5:33 pm February 6, 2013 Permalink

    way to go KSR just got a shot out on espnU

  9. DB11 is Cripsy
    5:34 pm February 6, 2013 Permalink

    You’re burnt DB11. And you’re a moron and stupid. 71 days and one of the best classes that we’ve ever had. Again, you sir are crispy.

  10. Howard the Duck
    5:37 pm February 6, 2013 Permalink

    First step is trying to get in the middle of the pack in the SEC. If our class is comparable to Vandy, Tennessee, Miss St, Arkansas, etc….then we are moving in the right direction.

  11. Isaac in Long Beach
    5:37 pm February 6, 2013 Permalink

    8) They were talking about the live blog on

  12. give it time
    5:38 pm February 6, 2013 Permalink

    Stoops has been on job for 3 months, he can’t change years of ineptitude over night. So far he’s doin a great job, believe in this staff until they show they don’t deserve it.

  13. White Castle Sliders
    5:39 pm February 6, 2013 Permalink

    Didn’t UK have the #1 class this year in basketball???? Takes a “team” to win. I don’t give a rats ass that we are below the other SEC schools in recruiting. Air raid – with the talent we have coming in will suprise people and Stoops knows how to coach Defense…. No worries!! Hell we had no where to go but up!!!! You’ll can be depressed or real or whatever you wanna call it. I’m pumped…. Stoops and his staff put together one of UK’s best of all time recruiting classes in a matter of weeks….. Bring on the sirens!!!

  14. Isaac in Long Beach
    5:40 pm February 6, 2013 Permalink

    By the way, this is where all Joker’s decommits ended up. We’re moving in the right direction.

    Jalen Battle – Illinois St.
    Ander Bodkin – Jacksonville University
    Jake Boynton – Unknown
    Darren Dowdell – East Carolina
    Jevontey Smith – Middle Tennessee St
    Deangelo Yancey – Purdue
    David Washington – Unknown

  15. random a-hole
    5:41 pm February 6, 2013 Permalink

    I keep hearing that Kearns is a no-go next year due to eligibility, is this true?

  16. 3cats
    5:43 pm February 6, 2013 Permalink

    To bad we don’t play in the Big East. We have one of the best recruiting years ever and will still ranked 14th in the SEC. How highs the water momma? 10 feet high and rising.

  17. Tampa Satchel
    5:44 pm February 6, 2013 Permalink

    Some of you d-azzes sound like the spoiled ingrate at Christmas who complained he got an iPad2 instead of an iPad3. You would probably complain that it was too hot when you went to the beach. We get it. You hate your life and misery loves company.

    Stoops had a few weeks to recruit kids that weren’t even considering us and he reeled in the best recruiting class since at least before disco.

    Obviously, there is a lot more they have to do before we are accepted as a consistently dangerous team in the SEC, but Stoops & Co. are off to a tremendous start and if you can’t recognize that then your head is in your ass! Take your wet blanket and go home.

  18. Maxbps8
    5:44 pm February 6, 2013 Permalink

    Ok. Ok. I’m as pumped as everyone else and the most ever for UK Football. But can we get some basketball news.

  19. StoopsoverEverything
    5:46 pm February 6, 2013 Permalink

    UK can sign up to 25, and it seems like the coaches were wanting to use all of them for this class, yet there’s 3 spots left and only two recruits are mentioned in Tevin Lawson, who looks like he will end up at UK (hopefully) and Hearns if his grades are up. What about that last scholarship?

  20. random a-hole
    5:46 pm February 6, 2013 Permalink

    14 wow great info

  21. Reality
    5:48 pm February 6, 2013 Permalink

    And UK will still lose to the only Big East team they play. Hang a banner for your recruiting class, Stoops seems to be doing well.

  22. KSR Spin Spin Spin
    5:48 pm February 6, 2013 Permalink

    KSR, why don’t you mention what Scout, 247, and ESPN rank the class?

  23. Maxbps8
    5:50 pm February 6, 2013 Permalink

    Stoops is clearly building something and, like Cal, knows how to manage the process including the media-world. Stoops’ has created at atmosphere of fun and success that has already paid off in a BIG way. And this is only the beginning. CoachCal better get going or Coach Stoops is going to…Nah, never happen. Glad to finally be a BOTH school, tho. Go KATS!!!

  24. daytoncat
    5:51 pm February 6, 2013 Permalink

    There is very little difference from 20 to 30 rated class, plus 3 star recruits can then out to be really really good or drop off the radar. Most classes are full of three stars so we will have to see how it plans out on the field. Looking forward to the season! Celebrate today!

  25. Carolina Blue is past tense for CAROLINA BLOWS
    5:52 pm February 6, 2013 Permalink

    Some of the people on here kill me. Just give some credit where it is due. For the love of Bear Bryant, just admit that things have improved and are looking much better than (as opposed to “then”) this time last year, the year before that and …..

    I have no idea what is going to happen with this class or what will happen with schools “ranked ahead of us”. What I do know is that there is a coach working his tail off to improve the current situation and the mindsight of the players, fans, media, etc. I would be bet you dollars to flat bill hats that if given the same talent to the previous coaches that this current group would be able to get more out of the players and play a much more pleasing style of ball–win or lose.

    The guy has been here two months. Brought in better group of leaders and teachers. Added better talent that fits a system and style we want to play. Connected with the fans and players and caused a buzz that has not been seen in a long time if ever. Do the math………you forgot to carry the one. Try that again.

    There you go. Now you’re right. Answer is: Sit back and enjoy the ride and let the “Blue Chips” fall where they may.

    Carry on.

  26. Crizzle
    5:52 pm February 6, 2013 Permalink

    21. Enjoy is year little brother in 3 years time your football program is going to be in the dumpster, your incoming talent is disgustingly bad.

  27. Troops
    5:57 pm February 6, 2013 Permalink

    Very excited about the progress…. but BBN is NOT in the Big Least. We will win because I believe this staff has a will to win with very good talent coming in.

  28. Sammydog
    5:58 pm February 6, 2013 Permalink

    There is no logical reason for anyone to be disappointed with this class just because we rate next to last in SEC. Hopefully Coach Stoops and his recruiters have more than stars in their eyes when they decide who to recruit. Character, background, intelligence, personality, leadership are all part of the picture and can make up for stars. AKA Randall Cobb. In addition, there is not a lot of difference between 3* and 4*; and 4* and 5*. Given the amount of time to recruit, I think the staff have done an outstanding job and we should be excited for the future. I remember those exciting few years when we were competitive most games in the SEC and ranked as well. If Coach Brooks could do it with his players it can be done again…and sooner than we might think.

  29. 3cats
    5:59 pm February 6, 2013 Permalink

    #17 I love the class and talking Football this time of the year is GREAT! I have my new season tickets and can’t wait for September! Stoops is th man.Go Cats!

  30. brain
    6:01 pm February 6, 2013 Permalink

    I guess if we were in the big east this would be news but we’re not and it’s not.

  31. UK Freshmen
    6:23 pm February 6, 2013 Permalink

    Hey, dummy, Rivals ranking is heavily weighted on numbers. UK had available scholarships that they filled with 3*.

  32. Blinded
    6:28 pm February 6, 2013 Permalink

    Louisville only had 14-16 available scholorships. I’d hope UK would be better

  33. bob
    6:32 pm February 6, 2013 Permalink

    #16 Yours is already in dumpster…always has always will be…be proud Uk was 3rd best in state last year.

  34. Ndo
    6:53 pm February 6, 2013 Permalink

    33 yeah kind of like when we beat the cards and then morehead whooped you too in the first round. Haha yeah its just like that actually

  35. Jason
    7:17 pm February 6, 2013 Permalink

    What’s with the negativity around this recruiting class? Stoops did an amazing job in the short amount of time he had. Give him a full year on the field and recruiting. It only gets better from here.

    And when was the last time there was this much buzz around football during basketball season??? I’d say never!

  36. dave
    7:41 pm February 6, 2013 Permalink

    31/32-good effort, trolls
    recruits rated 5.7 or higher — UK: 10 UofL: 5
    recruits rated 86 or higher — UK: 11 UofL: 9
    recruits rated 78 or higher — UK: 11 UofL: 6
    scholarship numbers had nothing to do with these rankings.
    and no one would rather have mizz’s class over UKs

  37. kingrex
    8:10 pm February 6, 2013 Permalink

    Let us not forget the main excitement which should be coming from addition by subtraction. We got rid of what equated with a high school coaching staff and replaced it with one of the most exciting and most productive offensive minds in the game, who has a Kentucky background, as well as the coordinator who worked under Stoops to create one of the most dominant defenses in all of college football. In addition, I guarantee they can do more with what we already have on campus than the last regime did. This is the real difference. Imagine the excitement the new staff is bringing to the guys already on campus. They must all feel as though they won the lottery. We will have the toughest schedule in the country, but I think it is going to be a positive. We will be on TV a lot next year playing big games which can only help recruiting. I also think with the defense much improved we will be in all games.

  38. ust Good le LOL! Again
    8:16 pm February 6, 2013 Permalink

    If any of you think these feshman are going to come in and beat the defending Sugar Bowl championns, you’re barking mad. Don’t forget that Louisville’s average number of sars per recrit is still slightly higher, and the number per actie player i about twice as high. But, congratz on your first decent class. Oh, also remember that a 5* recruit who red-shirted for Louisville last year fwill be healthy again. LOL! anyone want to take that $5,000 bet yet? You take Kentucky, I take the winners, the Cards.

  39. George
    8:56 pm February 6, 2013 Permalink

    38, Cant wait till you join a conference. FLA st, miami, clemson will kill louisville yearly, if they are still in the acc. UL couldnt even fill the Pizza bowl last year in Louisville for their games. Maybe you could go back to school and learn to spell!

  40. Nate
    8:59 pm February 6, 2013 Permalink

    Umm 38 u need to look again…the uk class is also ranked higher in avg star rating.. suck it

  41. Louisville
    9:05 pm February 6, 2013 Permalink

    I see the catyuts need validation. Even with a good class ( finally) lol we still going to win! Happy now cry lata hata!

  42. UKCoach
    9:21 pm February 6, 2013 Permalink

    #41 – I just teabagged you–now I’m taking my giant schlong home and slapping your buddies in the face with it.

  43. T
    9:37 pm February 6, 2013 Permalink

    Awesome class! Believe!

  44. T
    9:45 pm February 6, 2013 Permalink

    You negative ppl are on dope! Have you looked at the players we have gotten in the past? We have some real steals from teams like Florida, Louisville, and against others… The truth is Louisville was kicking our arse in recruiting and their talent showed(against us) on the field. They beat Florida in a bowl game> A top SEC Florida team. Come on people. Louisville is a good team and I am especially happy we have a great recruiting class that we can beat them and at least 5 other teams with. We can be competitive and win some games this next year. Louisville by the way will compete in the ACC, mark it down. By the way, I hate Louisville with a passion (since 1976) but I am just being honest.

  45. theSkinny81
    10:21 pm February 6, 2013 Permalink

    38 – Again, but this time in English.

  46. The fake TiptoN On Louisville
    10:33 pm February 6, 2013 Permalink

    This does not bode well…Not only has this yearning institution fallen behind in the arms race now to Kentucky. They can’t even compete with the likes of, YIKES!!!, Virginia in recruiting. Bumping your chest, and showing up when you feel like it to games, in conference USA and the Big East, may prove to be a little more challenging in a real conference. Gonna have to play real games against real opponents every time out. Not feeling it for an extremely high paid coach.

  47. Reality
    11:09 pm February 6, 2013 Permalink

    Last time I was banned Matt said to come around anytime because hits makes him money. I’m willing to give the hits, but I still get my posts deleted? What’s up? Thin skin like I suspected?

  48. Reality
    11:10 pm February 6, 2013 Permalink

    Nevermind. Sorry KSR, just realized my post is still there. Way to man up!