Crootin’ season never stops in the college football world and here at KSR we are going to keep you updated on all of the ins and outs with Kentucky’s class of 2021 in addition to what you need to know nationally. COVID-19 has slowed down everything, but somehow it has helped speed up recruiting.
KSR’s Recruiting Roundup is where you will find everything important that has happened on the trail. All eyes are focused on 2021, but some vital legwork is being done for the class of 2022.
Kentucky’s Golden Opportunity
This past week we saw the team at 247 Sports release their first top 247 rankings for the class of 2022 and there were two players from the state of Kentucky present. Frederick Douglass wide receiver Dane Key was expected and he showed up at No. 223 and is listed as a top-30 wide receiver. However, the state’s QB1 was the story.
Owensboro’s Gavin Wimsatt was ranked No. 37 overall and is listed as the No. 2 dual-threat quarterback in the class. I did not see that coming and it presents a big time opportunity for the staff to land a marquee player at the sport’s most important position.
Wimsatt is fresh off a season that saw the sophomore throw for 2,729 yards and rush for 564 yards while completing 54.7 percent of his passes with a 7.77 yards per attempt average. Wimsatt accounted for 43 touchdowns as the Red Devils finished the year 12-2 with a semifinal loss to Frederick Douglass.
The young quarterback tore it up on the camp circuit and now he has the attention of a bunch of college coaches. Since Kentucky offered him in early May, we’ve seen Vanderbilt, Louisville, West Virginia, Missouri, TCU, Virginia Tech and Nebraska all lend out offers. There should be many more to follow.
Kentucky is hoping the relationship created by being first on the scene and having Vince Marrow run point in the recruitment will pay off in the end. The state of Kentucky just doesn’t produce blue-chip talents at quarterback very often and Wimsatt is one of the few that falls into this category. Securing a commitment means that UK continues to bolster the talent in its quarterback room in addition to giving the class of 2022 a hot start and a chance to have another top-25 class.
Damon Payne’s End Date
The state of Michigan has treated the defensive line room at UK very well in the recent classes with the Wildcats securing recruiting wins for both Marquan McCall and Justin Rogers who were both ranked as top-three players in the Great Lake State. Steve Clinkscale has built some deep roots and in the class of 2020, UK reeled in four players from the state.
That success gave the program a ton of momentum entering the class of 2021 and that meant a legit shot in the recruitment of five-star defensive tackle Damon Payne. The No. 1 defensive tackle in the class hails from the suburbs of Detroit and is wanted by all the big boys in college football.
Belleville (Mich.) senior-to-be Damon Payne, the 247Sports Composite's No. 1 DT nationally, will announce his college commitment on @CBSSportsHQ this Sunday. Details here: https://t.co/9WhPxiQ6GE pic.twitter.com/ACeBELGCtA
— Allen Trieu (@AllenTrieu) July 20, 2020
Payne will be announcing his decision on Sunday with all signs pointing to an Alabama commitment. Kentucky was able to stay in the hunt for the entire race, but it appears they are going to come up just short in this recruiting battle.
In the class of 2021, UK has 13 verbal commitments in the fold with just four defensive players. It’s a side of the football that hasn’t really been addressed yet but expect to see some commits on that side of the football coming soon. One important position that must be addressed is corner.
Andrew Wilson-Lamp is a high three-star prospect who is ranked as a top-15 prospect in the state of Ohio. The wide receiver/cornerback has been committed to West Virginia since January, but Kentucky is still recruiting the 6-foot-3 prospect. The long corner fits what UK’s staff looks for on the perimeter, but they have some work do to when it comes to Wilson-Lamp’s recruitment.
Last week, we saw Kentucky go into Michigan and offer low three-star corner Maxwell Hairston who hails from the Detroit metro area. Hairston now has received 31 offers with Kentucky, Purdue and Minnesota each reaching out last week. Cincinnati, Kansas and Temple appeared to be the favorites but the Kentucky offer could change things.
— ??????? ?. ???????? ¹? (@MHairston22) July 16, 2020
Due to Mark Stoops’ track record coaching defensive backs combined with the recent success Steve Clinkscale has had recruiting Michigan, UK should now be considered the favorite for Hairston and don’t be surprised if that commitment happens soon.
Alabama’s Ridiculous OL Haul
The Crimson Tide got off to a very slow start in the class of 2021, but we have seen that change since about the middle of June. Over the summer, Bama has flipped a corner from Ohio State, an athlete from Mississippi State and currently has 11 top-200 prospects pledged. Yeah, not much as changed but it is important to focus on their offensive line haul.
This past week, Alabama landed the Brockermeyer Twins out of Fort Worth and that was a very big recruiting win. Tommy is ranked as a top-five overall prospect and is the number one tackle in 2021. He will join fellow five-star JC Latham who is ranked as the fifth best tackle. Tommy’s twin James is rated as the top center in 2021 and he also is in the fold.
The offensive line crop was again bolstered over the weekend when Bama landed a commitment from top-50 prospect Terrence Ferguson who is ranked as the second best guard in 2021. Why is all this important? It could limit competition for Jager Burton.
The Lexington native who is currently ranked as the seventh best offensive guard in the class and a top-120 overall prospect has a recruitment going that could last awhile. Burton, of course, has a top-five but many think it’s a three-horse race between Alabama, Kentucky and Ohio State. The success Bama is having could take them out of the race and we could see a Kentucky-Ohio State battle. The Buckeyes have won more than they’ve lost when this has happened, but it’s important to remember that UK won out for Chris Oats and will look to score another big head-to-head win over the Buckeyes on the trail.