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 happened on the trail. We all got some depressing news regarding the 2020 season this week, but there is still some important things to follow regarding the future.
Tampa Carrollwood Day tight end Michael Trigg is ranked as the fifth best tight end in the class of 2021 and is just outside of the top-150. The two-sport star considered Kentucky for a very long time, but it appears that the talented flex tight end has moved on.
— Steve Wiltfong (@SWiltfong247) August 7, 2020
Kentucky was unable to make the final cut as Trigg appears to be a heavy South Carolina lean with a ton of predictions currently going to the Gamecocks. The Wildcats gave it a good run, but are going to come up a bit short. That means all eyes on Jordan Dingle.
The high three-star tight end from Bowling Green is now UK’s top remaining target not named Jager Burton and it will be essential to scoop him up after not pulling in a tight end in the class of 2020. Currently, it appears that Vanderbilt is trending in this recruitment and a decision may be happening soon. That is not good news.
UK may have to look to the transfer portal to fill their need at tight end in 2021.
Maxwell Hairston Announcement
The state of Michigan has treated UK very well in recent memory with the Wildcats entering the 2021 season with six players from the state on the roster and it’s still clear that they are making the area a point of emphasis. UK lost out on five-star defensive tackle Damon Payne, but there are still plenty of other targets remaining.
Everyone knows about Rayshaun Benny, but there are other options available. UK is in heavy pursuit of junior college corner Kamal Hadden who hails from the state, but low three-star Maxwell Hairston is announcing this weekend and UK appears to be the heavy favorite.
Hairston was once considered a Kansas lean before offers came rolling in from Kentucky, Purdue, Virginia Tech, Minnesota this summer. The Wildcats quickly became the favorite and they’ll look to record another recruiting win in Michigan this weekend when the corner announces his choice on Sunday.
Mike Leach’s Strategy
Mississippi State made the biggest splash in the coaching carousel by letting Joe Moorhead go after a loss to Louisville in the Music City Bowl and immediately turning around and bringing Mike Leach back to the SEC.
— John Cohen (@JohnCohenAD) January 9, 2020
The former offensive coordinator at Kentucky and Oklahoma had his Air Raid offense set a ton of records at both Texas Tech and Washington State as he accumulated a .607 winning percentage over 18 years with six top-25 finishes. People always wanted to know if he would get a crack in the SEC and at the age of 59, State is giving him a chance.
We all know what to expect on field as the Bulldogs will likely lead the league in passing very soon while ranking last in rushing. Leach uses a ball control offense that stretches defenses horizontally with dink-and-dunk precision passing. The numbers this style accumulates will sell itself and we’ve seen that in the work Leach’s staff has put in with their first full recruiting class in Starkville.
The Bulldogs have reeled in six top-600 prospects and they went heavy at the skill positions. Leach headed back to Lubbock to land his first blue-chip quarterback in top-150 prospect Sawyer Robertson while also landing blue-chip wideout Theodore Knox out of the Lonestar State in addition to three more high three-star receivers. It’s no surprise to see the offensive recruiting success.
However, Mississippi State has long been a program built on defense with five top-30 SP+ defense since 2005. In 2018, State finished No. 1 overall with a defense built by Dan Mullen and Todd Grantham that allowed just 13.2 points per game. That is going to change under Leach and the early returns in 2021 prove that.
The Bulldogs have five high school defensive players committed and none rank higher than a low three-star. Junior college recruiting will always allow State to fill holes, but you still need to accumulate high level high school talent. That is something that is currently not happening. If it doesn’t, it could be a very short tenure for Leach in Starkville.