Mark Stoops inked 20 Wildcats during the inaugural December Signing Period. He later received pledges from WR LiAllen Dailey and OT Nick Lewis. But, the Cats are far from completing the Class of 2018. February 7th marks the traditional National Signing Day. Football recruiting followers (Me included) have made the first Wednesday in February an unofficial holiday for decades.
Kentucky could complete the class with three players that would provide an instant, on-field impact. Let’s take a look:
Running Back Kavosiey Smoke
–Measurables: 6’0, 215-pounds
-Hometown: Wetumpka, Alabama
-High School: Wetumpka High
-Rivals #29 RB in the nation
-Offers: Kentucky, South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia Tech, Missouri, Florida, Virginia Tech, more.
-Summary: Tough, tough, football player that is well versed/coached in the intricacies of playing the position. Led Wetumpka High School to state championship game. Visiting Kentucky on January 26th which is a good sign for Vince Marrow. Plus, running back is a critical position of need for offensive coordinator and RB coach Eddie Gran. Gran’s track record of developing running backs for the NFL is stellar and lengthy.
Benny Snell Jr. could possibly be entering his final year in Lexington if he decides to depart Lexington for the NFL following his junior season. The Music City Bowl exhibited UK’s paramount need for a RB that can not only spell Snell; but present troubles for opposing defenses.
Smoke’s running style is similar to Benny Snell and incoming freshman Chris Rodriguez. His game film highlights a power RB with deceptive, pull-away speed and excellent cut-back vision. He excels in a 1-cut offense which is what Eddie Gran operates at Kentucky. Smoke is also familiar with the Wildcat formation as he executed the scheme in high school in the Red-Zone as well as other circumstances. Smoke is a perfect fit for Kentucky. Kentucky would be a perfect stylistic fit for Smoke.
Outside Linebacker Chris Oats
-Measurables: 6’4, 215-pounds
-Hometown: Cincinnati, Ohio
-High School: Winton Woods (Mike Edwards alma mater)
-Ranking: 247Sports 4-star
-Offers: Kentucky, Ohio State, Michigan, Oklahoma, Georgia, Miami, Nebraska, West Virginia, Pitt, many more.
-Summary: Instant impact player. Never left the field for Winton Woods High School including special teams. Like all Winton Wood products, Oats is technically sound and well coached. Team-guy; multi-sport athlete. Was the best athlete on the field in games I watched. Quick recognition from Will/Sam/Mike linebacker positions. Compares to and project tosame position as Josh Allen. Sideline to sideline defender with quick recall of run/pass. Can rush the passer, strong vs. the run as well as he appears comfortable dropping into pass coverage.
Outside Linebacker Xavier Peters
-Measurables: 6’4, 225-pounds
-Hometown: West Chester, Ohio
-High School: Lakota West (Same high school as George Asafo-Adjei, Kayaune Ross, Kyle Meadows)
-Ranking: 247Sports 4-star
-Offers: Committed to Kentucky on July 4th, 2017. Other suiters: Florida State, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, LSU, Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas, South Carolina, Tennessee, USC, UCLA, Wisconsin, more…
-Summary: Excelled in All American Game. Big time football player from a big time high school football program that readies players for college football on an annual basis. Extremely well coached, technically sound. Played Mike LB, but can play all four LB positions in college. Preferred size to play immediately. Quick closing speed to tackle; takes accurate pursuit angles. Takes on blockers with proper shoulder prior to shedding to tackle. Can run. Sideline to sideline tackler and effective vs. the pass or pass.
What does all this mean?
Smoke, Peters, and Oats are elite prospects that could help Kentucky in 2018. All three are college ready and will push for immediate clock. I’ve stayed true to my word by declaring the Class of 2015 as the Cat’s best haul over the past five years.
However, the Class of 2018 will be Mark Stoops’ best IF Vince Marrow and staff can close on these three.