We’ve officially reached the home stretch, Wildcat fans. National Signing Day is just over two weeks away, and the Kentucky football staff is racking up their SkyMiles trying to keep the Class of 2017 intact, along with securing a few final commitments in the process.
To start the year, even Mark Stoops admitted this would be a small recruiting class, with just over 20 signatures likely to be accepted. But here we are. UK is now up to 23 commitments, and they’re not done yet. My understanding is that Kentucky has 2-3 more spots available in this class, with each likely being high-profile recruits.
Let’s take a look at final list of prospects for Kentucky:
Four-star OT out of Massillon, Ohio
Munford’s situation is extremely interesting, as it seems this recruitment is coming down to both UK and Ohio State, and a single offer can (and would) sway his decision. If Ohio State offers Munford, my understanding is that’s where he’s going. Ohio State recently paid him a visit at his basketball game, but an offer did not come.
Ohio State has several high-ranked prospects left on their board, but just two scholarship spots remaining. They only have two offensive line commitments right now, so do they go more for position need or best player available? Let’s hope for the latter.
A new piece of information I have heard is Ohio State is preparing for a current commitment to flip, and they would likely use that open scholarship for Munford. If the flip occurs, Munford gets the offer, and likely becomes a Buckeye shortly thereafter.
This recruitment will likely lead right up to the final few days of January, and Kentucky will continue to push until pen meets paper. UK is holding one of their last few spots for Munford, making him the biggest remaining priority.
Four-star WR out of Miami Gardens, Florida
As we told you guys a few weeks back, Kentucky is the favorite for Dingle, and will likely receive his signature on National Signing Day… if there’s space. When I last talked to him, he couldn’t stop raving about the Wildcats, the coaching staff, and how excited he was to get to Lexington for his official visit. He said, “I think this visit is going to finalize things for me, especially with Signing Day being the week after. My visit to Kentucky is going to tell me where I want to be, give me faith in my decision when I sign my paperwork.”
The players and coaching staff like this kid a lot, but wide receiver is not a position of need right now, and would like to focus on some of the “big name” options. Having a four-star like Dingle with the interest he has in Kentucky says a lot about the program and the progress they’ve made. Tell me again when UK has had the ability to keep a four-star “on hold” before?
If Kentucky misses out on Munford, I believe Dingle signs with the Cats.
Four-star ATH out of Cocoa, Florida
He visited with both Oregon State and Oregon coaches this past weekend, and by look of his social media feed, he enjoyed his time. He’s currently committed to USF, but it seems almost certain he’ll be signing elsewhere on February 1st.
UK and Oregon have been the two favorites for a few weeks now, and I believe one of those schools will be his final destination. Oregon seems to be the team to beat right now, as the commitment of Lynn Bowden puts a spin on things. UK recruited both of them to play similar positions, where getting the ball in their hands was the biggest priority. The staff doesn’t see a need for both, but could use him if he’s dying to pull the trigger. I see Bowden more in the slot and Judson as a primary rusher, so there’s room for both.
One interesting note on Judson: He and former UK receiver Jeff Badet are good friends and remain in contact, with Kentucky coming up in several conversations in the past. Did Badet’s transfer impact Judson’s interest? Who knows, but it’s something to keep in mind.
Judson is an interesting case that will likely come down to the final few days before Signing Day, with Kentucky very much in contention leading up to then.
Per his Twitter, Judson just switched out his official visit to Kentucky on January 27th to USF, meaning the Wildcats are likely looking elsewhere for one of their final few spots.
Four-star WR out of Springfield, Ohio
As of now, I believe the four-star WR out of Ohio will be headed elsewhere, despite UK being the overwhelming favorite in his Crystal Ball on 247 Sports. There was a time it seemed that Davis was a lock to Kentucky, but contact seems to have faded out from both sides. He’s a top 100 prospect and a consensus four-star, so the lack of communication has to have some reasoning behind it, especially with Vince Marrow as his lead recruiter.
Sources have told KSR that the reason for Davis’ lack of interest is, in fact, due to grades. According to an Ohio source, interest was high throughout the top schools in the nation, but they soon realized there would be a major roadblock on the academic side of things for Davis and he may not qualify. Thus, interest is low and not many are wanting to take the chance on him.
It seems West Virginia is still making an effort on Davis, and I would consider them the favorite right now.
Things could shake up in the last two weeks where the UK coaching staff makes a big push, but I don’t see it right now. If that does happen, it will be one or the other between Davis and Dingle, both will not be coming.
Four-star DB out of Miami Gardens, Florida
Does UK really need another commitment from a defensive back? Not really. But this is Mark Stoops we’re talking about, a guy that lives and breathes for freak athletes in his secondary.
He’ll be visiting Kentucky in the final week of January with teammate Kevaughn Dingle, and reportedly loves the Wildcats. With offers from Oregon, LSU, Arkansas, South Carolina, and countless others, the dude is no slouch, and bringing him in at such a critical time of the recruiting season certainly means something. I don’t think the staff has made him a major priority, but if they miss out on some other guys, I’m hearing he would be a take for the Wildcats.
I’m working on getting an interview with him either before or after his official visit to Kentucky, so I’ll try to keep you guys updated with anything I hear.
Three-star DE out of Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Ford is the recruit I’m having the most trouble with. The staff has made him a big priority, and I certainly believe there is mutual interest, with Kentucky being in his top two schools right now. That being said, it just seems way too quiet between both sides, and he still raves about Miami (the school he’s committed to) on a consistent basis on social media.
He’s going on an official visit to UK this weekend, so he’ll be able to see the basketball game against South Carolina on top of UK football’s sales pitch. He’ll be able to interact with some crazy fans and get a real feel for campus life, two positives for Kentucky. If all goes well, I could see UK taking the lead after this weekend, even with an official visit to Miami coming the following weekend.
Ford would be a massive get both literally and figuratively. At 6’5, 250 lbs., he’s a freak of nature on the defensive line, and would just add to Stoops’ best DL class to date. The staff wants him bad, and they’ll be fighting their hardest for him right up to the end of the process.
As of now, the Kentucky staff is preparing for signatures from each committed prospect, and the general consensus is that this class will remain intact entirely. Every year there’s always a couple guys that surprise the coaching staff, but I feel that this class is extremely solid and they’ll all follow through on their word.
Should there be a few surprises, look at the list above and plug them in accordingly. UK has guys lined up and ready to go in preparation of a full class, meaning the War Room will be a fun one on February 1st.
Two weeks away, folks. Get ready.