One of Kentucky’s top recruiting targets in the class of 2021 is down to five schools, with UK remaining as one of the finalists.
This afternoon, five-star forward Daimion Collins cut his list to five, with UK, Oklahoma, Texas, Kansas, and Texas Tech remaining in contention.
Collins, a 6-foot-9, 210-pound forward out of Atlanta, TX, is considered the No. 10 overall prospect and No. 5 power forward in the 2021 Rivals player rankings. 247Sports lists Collins at No. 19 overall and No. 4 at his position, while ESPN has him ranked No. 24 overall and No. 6 at his position.
The five-star prospect earned a scholarship offer from Kentucky back on Aug. 26, joining Jaden Hardy, Patrick Baldwin Jr., Hunter Sallis and Bryce Hopkins as 2021 prospects boasting offers from John Calipari and the UK program.
Despite the recent offer and coming on later than some of the other programs remaining on his list, Kentucky has cemented itself as a serious contender in Collins’ recruitment for several reasons. For starters, the five-star forward has been rumored to want to stay closer to home, with Texas and Oklahoma previously being seen as the two likeliest destinations. Once UK’s interest began ramping up, though, speculation and momentum soon shifted in favor of the Wildcats as one of the lone programs able to pry Collins away from the Big 12 favorites.
On top of Kentucky’s status as a blue blood powerhouse program, UK recruiting coordinator and special assistant to the head coach Jai Lucas previously served as Collins’ lead recruiter at Texas, certainly an added bonus for the Wildcats in the home stretch of his recruitment.
While Texas has been seen as a top destination for the 6-foot-9 forward – there were rumors that a commitment in favor of the Longhorns was imminent back in August – Oklahoma and Kentucky should be seen as the co-favorites, with the Sooners holding a slight lead at this point in time.
Collins’ good friend, Bijan Cortes, committed to Oklahoma back in January and is pushing the five-star forward to join him in Norman. Kentucky, who has ramped up its recruiting efforts exponentially in recent months, has Jai Lucas on the staff and has a long history of preparing elite big men for the NBA.
Which side will win out in the end?
While we wait for his decision, check out some of Collins’ most recent highlights below: