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.
Similar to what we did last week, KSR’s Recruiting Roundup is where you will find everything important that happened on the trail this past week. The Wildcats didn’t score any commits, but they are making some very positive steps in landing some big time players.
UK Makes Cut in New Jersey
It certainly does feel like every football recruit in America is releasing a list on Twitter and Kentucky has made their fair share of a few. One of note occurred from a high three-star linebacker out of the Garden State.
TOP 5? #irvingtontuff #cornhuskers #hottytoddy #Gowildcats #GoGreen #Mountaineers @TodderickHunt @AlexBroggi @RivalsFriedman @ryanwpatti @ShawnB_247 @BobbyDeren @DemetricDWarren pic.twitter.com/UXEnHrW6IA
— Mikai Gbayor? (@MGbayor) June 9, 2020
Kentucky finds itself with some familiar recruiting competition in the pursuit for Mikai Gbayor who is ranked as the 16th best player in the state of New Jersey. The 6-foot-2 and 210-pound backer is a tweener that could play both Mike and Will in addition to Sam. Position versatility has been something UK has valued lately on defense and Gbayor fits that role.
Ground to Make Up in Michigan
We’ve talked about Jager Burton a lot and he is still UK’s top priority in the class of 2021, but not far behind him is Oak Park’s Rayshaun Benny. The same high school in Detroit that produced both Marquan McCall and Justin Rogers has another blue-chip talent on the line with UK being in a great position to win another big recruiting battle in Michigan.
Rivals’ Dave Lackford caught up with the top-200 prospect and revealed Michigan, Michigan State appear to be the leaders but Benny is going to take his time making a decision. This is a recruitment that could last awhile and the blue-chip wants to take all five of his official visits. UK should make that cut and be in the running for the star lineman.
Jager Burton All-American Bowl
It’s going to be hard to do one of these without providing an update on UK’s top recruiting target and this week is no different.
Blessed to be committed to the All American Bowl! pic.twitter.com/fOtQOhVvPR
— Jager Burton (@jager_burton) June 11, 2020
Similar to Drake Jackson, Darian Kinnard and Landon Young, Jager Burton will also be playing in the All-American Bowl come January in San Antonio. The same place we saw Vito Tisdale pick UK last year could have some more Big Blue flavor this coming season.
UK has had a very strong hit rate with blue-chip offensive lineman and they hope that Burton will be the next.
Wide Receivers Are Needed
After pulling in three high three-star receivers (Kalil Branham, Izayah Cummings, Earnest Sanders IV) in addition to blue-chip utility player Mike Drennen II who will likely be used as both a running back and slot receiver, Kentucky is still recruiting receivers hard. Despite the recent talent influx, UK is again focused heavily on adding talent to the wide receiver position.
So far, Kentucky has a commit from a blue-chipper (Dekel Crowdus) and two high three-stars (Chauncey Magwood, Armond Scott). The three highest-ranked players in the class of 2021 play receiver and the staff is not done recruiting the position.
High three-stars Christian Lewis and Malachi Bennett out of Alabama in addition to four-star, top-300 prospect Keon Coleman out of Opelousas, Louisiana are just a few players the program is looking to add to Jovon Bouknight’s position room. It’s pretty blatant that the staff is determined to fix the passing game and they are trying to accomplish it with successful high school recruiting.
Don’t be surprised if UK gets up to 5-6 wide receiver signees come signing day.
Blue Chip Ratio
Bud Elliott of 247 Sports created the Blue Chip Ratio back in 2013 while he was at SB Nation to create a baseline of who the true national champion contenders were. Per Elliott, “to win the national championship, college football teams need to sign more four- and five-star recruits (aka “Blue Chips”) than two- and three-star players over the previous four recruiting classes”. Pretty simple stuff.
This year it’s the expected cast of characters.
— 247Sports (@247Sports) June 11, 2020
Alabama, Georgia and Ohio State continue to do wonders on the recruiting trail and that work is making them yearly national championship contenders. Of the all the big time programs, no one evaluates and develops better than Clemson. They are recruiting at a level that should get them close to 80 percent very soon. Texas is a team to keep an eye out for this season with a four-year starter at quarterback surrounded by what should be one of the best rosters in the sport.
It is important to recognize that this ratio only counts signees on national signing day, so transfers will not count. Therefore, Joey Gatewood, Kelvin Joseph and Xavier Peters don’t go into UK’s numbers. By my calculations, UK’s blue chip ratio currently sits at 21.17 percent with 18 players who were blue-chippers when they signed with UK. The Wildcats are closing the gap, but there is still a long way to go to catch up with the cream of the crop.