The UK football team brought a bunch of players back to campus this week and offseason workouts are officially underway as the college football world is moving forward with the 2020 season starting on time. Things are beginning to become more normal, but one thing that hasn’t changed is recruiting.
Summer visits have been stripped and we’re not sure if schools will be able to host recruits this season, but it has not slowed down things on the recruiting trail.
Morning of May 28: 886
Last year's class on this date: 381
The gap grew again.https://t.co/plzt0mRvXT
— Bud Elliott (@BudElliott3) May 28, 2020
Programs have been able to land early commitments much easier during the COVID-19 pandemic that has limited recruiting to a virtual only activity. How things look moving forward will be something very interesting to follow.
Now is time to get up to speed and tell you where things stand for the Kentucky program on the recruiting front. The Wildcats currently have 10 verbal commitments and sit at No. 43 overall in the 247 Sports Composite rankings. Their average star rating ranks 11th in the SEC with Vince Marrow leading the way scoring six of the recruiting wins.
UK Makes Top 10 For Blue-Chipper
Michael Trigg is TE5 in the class of 2021 and the Tampa native just released his top 10 with one big surprise.
— Trigg (@mtrigg_23) June 7, 2020
Florida State had long been considered the favorite in Trigg’s recruitment and it appears they are out of the running after they accepted a commitment from high three-star Jackson West last week. We are unsure of when a decision will come, but the Wildcats are in good company at a position of need. Trigg is at the top of Kentucky’s recruiting board and figures to be a flex tight end who could create a ton of matchup problems when the offense operates out of 12 personnel (one running back, two tight ends, two wide receivers).
Jager Burton Update
There is no hiding from the fact that Lexington Frederick Douglass OL Jager Burton is the top priority for UK’s staff and the top-175 prospect appears to be down to Alabama, Kentucky and Ohio State.
Burton recently talked with Buckeye Grove’s Dave Lackford and opened up on NIL in addition to believing Kentucky’s program is in a great position to keep growing.
Very excited to present @RivalsDave ’s first piece as part of @OhioStateRivals where he has an extended sit-down (Zoom call) with #Buckeyes target @jager_burton. Don’t miss this in-depth look into the #Rivals250 OL recruitment. https://t.co/tTigI1MA32 pic.twitter.com/eXj6uHztJ8
— Kevin Noon (@Kevin_Noon) May 31, 2020
The recruitment is a long way from over and our own Freddie Maggard caught up with the blue-chipper this week and confirmed he is still moving forward with his scheduled announcement in August.
Junior College Recruiting
When used correctly, effective JUCO recruiting can help take your program to the next level. It should never be something you lean on every cycle, but it can help fill gaps on a year-to-year basis. Mark Stoops has had some success with this recruiting strategy on the defensive side of the ball landing draft picks Za’Darius Smith and Lonnie Johnson.
After missing out on some of their top prospects at inside linebacker, UK headed to Independence Community College in Kansas and scored a commitment from off-ball linebacker Joko Willis. Over the weekend, corner Khyree Jackson listed his finalists and Kentucky made the cut.
— KJ (@Real_Khyree) June 6, 2020
The secondary has constantly been a spot where UK has gotten effective junior college help with A.J. Stamps, Lonnie Johnson and Brandin Echols turning into high quality starters. Now they are making a play for Jackson in addition to recruiting Independence’s Kamal Hadden.
The biggest story in the recruiting world over the past month or so has been the success Jeremy Pruitt’s staff is having. The Vols were up to 24 commits before Memorial Day and had the No. 2 class in the country trailing only Ohio State. National media has been giving them all kinds of love, but things are going to change a lot before National Signing Day arrives.
Tennessee’s average star rating for the class is currently lower than last year’s crop and that would mean a class that didn’t land in the top-10 and would be middle of the pack in the Southeastern Conference. So we need to expect for a run of decommitments to come. We just got the first.
— Nate Evans (@Naateevans) June 4, 2020
Mid three-star cornerback Nate Evans was the second lowest ranked player in Tennessee’s class and he decided to change course and commit to NC State despite Dave Doeren sitting on quite a hot seat in Raleigh. Expect more of these to happen as the Vols chase some higher ranked players in the coming months.
Pruitt won the recruiting title during quarantine, but this is a marathon not a sprint. Tennessee did a really well scoring some public brownie points, but they’ll have to deliver on the field and close hard on the recruiting trail if the want finish with a top-five class.