Want to know just how different things are in Kentucky football recruiting these days? A top prospect is deciding between Alabama, Louisville…and Kentucky. Elizabethtown giant Matt Elam is the 24th best defensive tackle in the nation, and says that right now, all three schools are neck-to-neck:
“I will say of the offers I have right now, it’s a three-horse race between Alabama, Kentucky and Louisville,” Elam told LEX18. “Kentucky and Louisville are so close to home, [they’re] great atmospheres, I love the coaching staffs at both schools. And then Alabama — national championships, that’s just a great opportunity to have.”
In the past, recruits that have offers from Alabama wouldn’t look twice at Kentucky. However, Mark Stoops, Neal Brown and the rest of the UK staff have made keeping in-state talent in-state a priority, and after top 2014 QB Drew Barker committed to the Cats a few week ago, the “come be a hero” campaign has a lot of momentum. However, it was two-time defending National Champion Alabama that gave Elam his first offer, when the talented defensive tackle went to a camp in Tuscaloosa:
“We went in his office — it was me and my coach — and we sat down on his [Nick Saban’s] couch and he was just right in front of me. You hear about him all the time, but [I’m thinking] I’m never going to meet this guy or let alone talk to him and get an offer. It was just very surreal meeting him.”
Alabama’s only negative? It’s not close to Elizabethtown. Fortunately, UK is only an hour and a half away.