This afternoon, KSR’s Matt Jones broke the news on the site that former four-star Kentucky commitment Xavier Peters will transfer from Florida State… and Lexington is a possible destination for the star pass rusher.
“KSR has learned that former 4 star Linebacker/Defensive End and ESPN Top 150 recruit Xavier Peters has put his name into the College Football transfer portal,” he said. “You may remember that Peters is from Ohio and picked Florida State over Kentucky last year. KSR has learned he is now seeking a transfer and Kentucky, along with two Big Ten schools, are his top choices.
“I suspect Kentucky has a VERY good chance of getting Peters, and for those of you who listen to KSR, he was my #2 transfer possibility I have been talking about for the past 2 weeks.”
So what would a potential Peters transfer to Kentucky mean for the program?
Let’s start with a profile breakdown:
A consensus four-star prospect out of Lakota West (OH), Peters eventually chose Florida State over Kentucky, along with offers from Alabama, LSU, Ohio State, Georgia, Florida, Tennessee, and Michigan State, among others.
The Under Armour All-American was considered the No. 5 overall prospect in Ohio and the No. 15 outside linebacker in the country by 247 Sports. Rivals listed Peters as the No. 5 player in the state and the No. 75 recruit overall, while ESPN had him listed No. 12 overall in Ohio.
As a senior in high school, the 6-foot-4, 225-pound pass rusher finished with 78 tackles, six sacks, two forced fumbles and one fumble recovery. He was named a first-team All-Greater Miami Conference selection and second-team Southwest Ohio all-district selection.
July 4, 2017: Peters commits to Kentucky
The Wildcats got a 4th of July surprise from one of the most dominant pass rushers in the nation.
The Kentucky football Twitter account sent out a #Yahtzee message to celebrate the massive commitment:
— Kentucky Football (@UKFootball) July 4, 2017
Kentucky commitments even followed up with congratulatory tweets directed toward the newest Wildcat:
— DeAndre Square (@d_square10) July 4, 2017
— Brenden Bates (@BatesBrenden) July 4, 2017
He followed it up by deleting the tweet and sending out the following…
I still have to sit down and think about some things ?? #life
— ?xavier peters? (@xavierpeters22) July 5, 2017
December 15, 2017: Peters officially visits Kentucky
After months of will he/won’t he questions, the four-star Wildcat commitment officially visited Lexington, making fans at least a little more comfortable with keeping him on board.
December 20, 2017: Peters doesn’t sign with Kentucky
The Lakota West product was the lone Kentucky commit to not sign on the dotted line during the Early Signing Period…
January 10, 2018: Peters says he is “solid” with Kentucky
After dominating in the Under Armor All-American Game, Peters’ phone rang off the hook from elite programs about flipping his commitment to another powerhouse.
Nonetheless, the Wildcat commit told his high school coach that he was “solid” with Kentucky, but said he was going to wait until National Signing Day before making an official decision.
“I’m solid,” Peters told Lakota West head coach Larry Cox. “But before I walk down that aisle, I want to make sure it’s the right one.”
January 26, 2018: Peters officially visits Florida State
The Wildcat commit made the first of many steps in the wrong direction, officially visiting Florida State on January 26:
— ?xavier peters? (@xavierpeters22) January 27, 2018
January 28, 2018: Peters flips from Kentucky to Florida State
After months of speculation, the four-star prospect made it official by decommitting from Kentucky and committing to Florida State
— Josh Newberg (@joshnewberg247) January 28, 2018
He would sign on the dotted line on February 7th to make it official.
August 10, 2018: Peters enrolls at Florida State, redshirts
Playing in just one game as a Seminole, Peters finished with one tackle and one pass deflection in a victory over Wake Forest.
December 26, 2018: Peters puts his name in the College Football transfer portal
Kentucky joins two other unknown Big Ten schools in his recruitment, but sources tell KSR that Lexington is likely the landing spot for the former four-star pass rusher. And it would be a big one.
Matt added a pretty clear prediction on his Periscope tonight:
“I really think Kentucky is going to get him,” he said.
Reading the Tea Leaves
Just going down his Twitter feed, Peters seems to be a big fan of the Wildcats…
Just looking at what Kentucky has done with dominant pass rushers throughout the Mark Stoops era, it would certainly be a solid decision on his part.
Team impact at Kentucky
The Wildcats just signed the most impressive group of front seven recruits since Mark Stoops has been in Lexington, and adding Peters to that would make it even more absurd.
They already have Jared Casey, J.J. Weaver, Shawnkel Knight-Goff, KD McDaniel, Cavon Butler, and Tra Wilkins signed on the dotted line for 2019. Guys like Boogie Watson, DeAndre Square, and Chris Oats have already looked like future stars in their short time at Kentucky. A group with such little depth a few years back could soon be one of the deepest and most talented units on the entire roster.
When Peters decommitted from Kentucky originally, signing four-star linebacker Chris Oats out of Cincinnati, OH was a must for the program. Now, there’s a chance both suit up in Blue and White next year.
Here are Peters’ impressive highlights from his senior season at Lakota West, where he racked up 78 tackles, six sacks, two forced fumbles and one fumble recovery:
Soon, he could be a Kentucky Wildcat.
Come on home, Mr. Peters.