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Elam’s Decision May Be More Than Just Another Addition to the D-Line



Today’s decision has become more than just where Matt Elam will play collegiate football.  Tomorrow’s decision may be a turning point for the University of Kentucky’s football program.  During the last 12 months, Mark Stoops and his staff have been phenomenal on the recruiting front.  In just under 8 weeks, Stoops took a crumbling program and somehow brought in the 34th best recruiting class in the nation.  That seems near-impossible, but they pulled it off.  How?  By rounding-up the best recruiting staff possible, lead by Vince Marrow.  Now here we are a year later, the evening before the biggest recruiting announcement in the history of Kentucky’s football program.  Now some may argue that other players’ decisions, such as Tim Couch’s announcement, were more important.  While those are valid arguments, today’s technological world has totally changed the game, and here is why.

Since the online world of sports began ranking high school athletes, Kentucky has never, NEVER signed a five-star recruit in football.  That’s almost hard to believe, thinking that an SEC school has never brought in a five-star football player.  Then again we are Kentucky football, but that statement may soon change for the better (hopefully).  Doing some quick research, I had to see it to believe it.  Going back through the archives of most of the recruiting databases, I found that since the early 2000’s, Kentucky football has had zero players with a five-star rating.  I could have sworn that Micah Johnson was a five-star recruit coming out of Ft. Campbell, KY.  Nope.  How about another not-so-shocking fact?  From the years 2002-2012, Kentucky had only signed 14 four-star football recruits.  Anybody recall how many Mark Stoops has either got to commit or sign in the last year?  Seven!  According to the composites’ averages, Stoops’ Troops have brought in 5 years worth of four-star talent in a little over 12 months.  That’s called getting the job done right!  While the results on the field have yet to reach desirable levels, they will.  Rebuilding a football program takes a long time, luckily for us, Stoops has it kicked into overdrive.  Wins are coming folks, just be patient.

Then that brings us back to John Hardin’s five-star defensive tackle, Matt Elam.  All of Big Blue Nation will have their ears listening to KSR at noon, hoping to hear Elam pick UK.  If that happens, it will be a first of hopefully many five-stars to come in the future.  Not only would he be Kentucky’s first five-star recruit within the current ranking model, but he would also be giving Kentucky its first major recruiting victory over the powerhouse that is Roll Tide.  For years, many have said that you simply could not recruit top talent in the SEC at Kentucky.  The same was also said about South Carolina before the ole’ ball coach took over, and we know how that program has turned it around.  With Elam’s commitment to Kentucky, Stoops finally can say “Look, it’s not impossible to recruit against teams like Alabama, LSU, and Florida.”  The addition of Elam to the defensive front will be a huge gain alone, but the hurdle over Alabama and the five-star recruit goose egg will be far greater in the future.  It would prove that UK can stand its own ground while recruiting in the SEC, bringing in some of the nation’s top talent.  With social media being as big as it is, recruits across the nation will see Kentucky beat out Alabama for a top talent.  On top of that, it would also be a huge boost to the “come be a hero” slogan in-state, if players like Barker, Timmons, and possibly Elam succeed while at Kentucky.

If Elam does decide to play football for the blue and white, it will vault Kentucky’s current class ranking inside the top 20 nationally.  UK is currently ranked 23rd with their composite score currently at 219.20 points, following tonight’s big Yahtzee!  The addition of three-star offensive lineman Jervontius Stallings didn’t alter the composite score much, but his commitment would solidify Kentucky as a top 20 class depending upon Elam’s decision.  Using the class calculator, Matt Elam would add about another six points overall to Kentucky’s total composite score.  That would give the Wildcats the 19th best ranking with 225.06 composite points, just ahead of South Carolina whom has 223.47.  Once again, that would be another first in the history of Kentucky football – landing a top 20 recruiting class.

With the renovations to Commonwealth Stadium and the newly announced practice facility proposal, the university is definitely proving that it is “All-in” for its football program.  Will Elam be another plus which will help steer this program in the right direction?  I guess we will find out in about 14 hours.



Article written by Kory Henry

"We will kick, pass, and run, til the battle is won!" Bleeding blue since 1990. @KoryHenryKSR

37 Comments for Elam’s Decision May Be More Than Just Another Addition to the D-Line

  1. Aaron
    10:21 pm January 29, 2014 Permalink

    Micah Johnson was a 5 star recruit according to ESPN rankings. He was the #1 ranked middle linebacker in the nation. Number 9 ranked player overall.

    • UK101
      10:35 pm January 29, 2014 Permalink

      Notice how he mentioned he could’ve sworn Micah was a five star. However, ESPN was the only one to rate him as a 5-star (which no longer even shows on his profile there), I think Kory was going by composite rankings. Rivals lists him as a 4-star. Don’t be so quick to bash.

    • MRob
      11:31 pm January 29, 2014 Permalink

      espn ranking don’t count

  2. wait
    10:21 pm January 29, 2014 Permalink

    Wasn’t micah Johnson a 5 star? I know espn had him as a top 10 recruit

  3. UpperSectionStudent
    10:23 pm January 29, 2014 Permalink

    Apparently I’m not the only one aware of Micah Johnson… Can I start writing on this site too?

  4. S.C. Fan with ties to E-Town and Hardin HS
    10:26 pm January 29, 2014 Permalink

    Don’t get your hopes us boys, he’s going to Alabama.

    • mashburnfan1
      12:22 am January 30, 2014 Permalink

      hope so, out of shape and lazy. Bama has talent to wait 2 or 3 years to see if he can work his self into SEC shape, we don’t.

  5. Brenda
    10:27 pm January 29, 2014 Permalink

    I hope we get Elam but I think it will be Alabama. Nonetheless, Stoops and his staff have done an astonishing job with recruiting. However, I am not yet convinced that they are able to successfully coach in the SEC. We could blame the 2-10 season on a lack of talent and that would be fair IF Stoops had not made so many mistakes during games like utilizing the wrong players, poor play calling and game management errors. Therefore, can they really coach? We cannot with any degree of certainty blame the losses on a lack of talent. It could be due to poor coaching.

    • Ukfan
      9:03 am January 30, 2014 Permalink

      Got to have a quarterback Brenda to make it work. Stoops didn’t have much to work with on the offense this year. Be patient and see how much better he does in the next 1-2 years.

    • Cognus
      10:20 am January 30, 2014 Permalink

      I’d say you could definitely blame last seasons record on talent. It was obvious how much bigger and faster other SEC teams were compared to us. The fact that we even had a chance to win a couple of the games should tell you that we at least have coach who knows what he is doing.

  6. Fat Albert
    10:28 pm January 29, 2014 Permalink

    Does Elam’s gut get a separate scholarship?

  7. S.C. Fan with ties to E-Town and Hardin HS
    10:28 pm January 29, 2014 Permalink

    Stoops made a great effort but from what I hear he doesn’t think UK is his best option. Saban convinced him that AL will get him to the NFL.

    • Cats
      11:06 pm January 29, 2014 Permalink

      Maybe Matt should look at one of the teams playing in the Super Bowl if he doubts UK can get him to the NFL.

      Yes, I’m sure Bama has more players in the NFL. They should have. We haven’t brought in an amount of talent that even comes close to the level they bring in.

      Bottom line: If he wants to play early and often, be close to home so family/friends can watch him play, and be on a team with his buddies….. UK should be his choice.
      If having a great shot to win a championship is what’s most important, he should choose Bama.

      He can play on Sundays and in a Super Bowl no matter which school he chooses.

  8. Bradley
    10:41 pm January 29, 2014 Permalink

    Who has Elam ranked as a 5 star? Just curious. I thought 1 service did, but recently dropped him in their rankings.

  9. OneAndDone
    10:45 pm January 29, 2014 Permalink

    S.C. Fan from…. Let me guess. You are in your mom’s basement in Shively, KY? If you were a “S.C.” Fan, or any collegiate fan for that matter, I would assume that you would have identified yourself as SC fan?? So, in your words are you a U.L. Fan??? L-yes you are

  10. Gave it our best try
    10:46 pm January 29, 2014 Permalink

    Saban commands enough respect that he would have made Elam tell him straight up if he was going to get a ‘No’ before making the trip up here. No way he would have made the trip unless he knew it was to support his newest player. Elam most likely met with UK today to tell them no thanks and then he will spend tomorrow with his new coaching staff.

  11. binarysolo
    10:54 pm January 29, 2014 Permalink

    Hey, all I’m saying is if Emmanuel Mudiay can pick SMU over us, Elam can pick us over Bama.

    • MRob
      11:34 pm January 29, 2014 Permalink

      I like this

    • mashburnfan1
      12:24 am January 30, 2014 Permalink

      SMU is a better TEAM than we are right now so Mudiay probably made the right call.

  12. Rei
    10:54 pm January 29, 2014 Permalink

    247 is a horrible ratings site. As much as I dislike ESPN at times, I think they’re pretty accurate (and right to drop Matt out of the top 300). Rivals is a lot better too. If Matt is a 5 star, 247 would put me as a 2.

  13. Dan
    10:59 pm January 29, 2014 Permalink

    Anyone see Kansas beating the number 16 ranked team tonight? They are full of freshman and they actually seem to be getting better. Wiggins has 27 tonight.

    • mashburnfan1
      12:25 am January 30, 2014 Permalink

      They have a great coach in Self, easily top 3 in country with Izzo and Jimmy B at Cuse.

    • Jeff
      10:08 am January 30, 2014 Permalink

      So your saying Coach K isn’t one of the top 3 coaches in college basketball? Billy Donovan and Sean Miller should be put in that conversation as well.

  14. esteban
    11:05 pm January 29, 2014 Permalink

    wouldn’t surprise me if Elam knew UK all along and was just playing AL….he would have to be a real prick to turn down his home school that is rolling out the red carpet for him in every way…that can offer immediate playing time and has a proven record of producing quality pros (both the supposed reasons he would pick alabama) and that he has strung along forever…he would be hated forever in his home state…however it also wouldnt surprise me if he was the biggest douche ever and went to AL after the crap move he pulled at the allstar game postponing the announcement! but

    • scorpiocard
      11:15 pm January 29, 2014 Permalink

      They have RED carpets at uk? Cool.

    • Ukfan
      8:54 am January 30, 2014 Permalink

      Don’t mind ScorpioCard, he is just a little brother fan who obsessing over everything UK

  15. esteban
    11:05 pm January 29, 2014 Permalink


  16. Jack Nicklaus
    11:06 pm January 29, 2014 Permalink

    Do we know where Elam’s girlfriend is going to school? That may be a hint.

    • C'mon...Think!
      12:21 am January 30, 2014 Permalink

      Probably wherever he doesn’t go because he’s the only one that thought she was his girlfriend. Geez us… Have you taken a close look at this guy?

  17. Petty little puddytats
    11:46 pm January 29, 2014 Permalink

    Who is the pissant moderator who is pulling legitimate discussion comments that are not even trolling?

    Man you people are weak and pathetic.

  18. StuckinOhio
    11:51 pm January 29, 2014 Permalink

    I like KSR an awful lot, but I wish you guys wouldnt play this kid up so damn much. The only recruiting service that has Elam as a 5 star player is 247. Rivals had him as a 5 star but dropped him to 3. ESPN has had him at 4, and for a while he was in their top 300, but they’ve dropped him recently as well. I’m really not all that impressed by him. It seems like all this attention he’s been getting may have swelled his head up bigger than his ass. I would still like to have him on the team. But I’m way more excited about the kids like Barker, who bought in and have enrolled early and are already puttin in work to help make the program better.

  19. tron
    12:25 am January 30, 2014 Permalink

    Seven? Dude we have ten this year alone. Elam is a 3 star. 247 rankings don’t count. Rivals is legit.

  20. Pauley
    7:52 am January 30, 2014 Permalink

    Good read! Just one suggestion, Lou Holtz actually helped South Carolina get out of the basement of the SEC. The ole Ball coach just kept it going at a high level. It would be the same here if Stoops had taken over for Brooks instead of Joker. But the past is the past. Stoops is doing a amazing job and he will turn it around here.

  21. Ukfan
    9:01 am January 30, 2014 Permalink

    Matt Elam

    ESPN – ****
    Rivals – ***
    Scout – ****
    247 – *****

    Solid 4 star recruit, nothing more…nothing less. That would make us a boatload of 4 star recruits. Thats how you lay the foundation for a good football team.Go Cats

    • Cognus
      10:23 am January 30, 2014 Permalink

      Here, Here!

    • Cognus
      10:24 am January 30, 2014 Permalink

      Hear, Hear oops!