The players arrived Sunday and will practice this week in preparation for Saturday’s game. Since that time, there have been three developing story lines to follow for Kentucky fans:
1) Tide turning for Matt Elam?
On Sunday, Elam reiterated his recent comments on KSR, telling 247Sports’ Barton Simmons that while he hasn’t made a final decision, he feels more comfortable with the UK program as a whole, citing his relationships with the UK staff and current crop of commitments.
Those comments led to a momentous shift in Elam’s Crystal Ball where 15 of the last 17 picks have gone to the Wildcats, who are now projected (60/40 percent) to land the 5-star defensive tackle.
Elam, who measured at nearly 6-foot-5 and 372 pounds, was named one of the top performers on the East squad during Monday’s practice.
He is one of 11 players that will announce their college decisions Saturday and will choose between Kentucky and Alabama.
2) Can UK flip Ohio State commit Marcelys Jones?
After telling reporters Sunday that he planned to enroll at Ohio State Jan. 6 and that his official visit to Kentucky the weekend of Dec. 7 was “a vacation,” rumblings have continued to grow more and more audible in San Antonio this week that UK continues to be a legitimate potential landing spot for the Glenville (Ohio) 4-star offensive lineman and Ohio State commit.
Jones is rooming with Elam, who Sunday predicted that Jones would flip to UK, fueling speculation that Elam is actively recruiting Jones to join him in Lexington.
While sources on UK’s end of things still feel confident, Jones has played things very close to the vest and this one more or less amounts to a coin flip.
Offensive line continues to be a position of need for the Wildcats in closing out its 2014 recruiting class.
3) Drew Barker representing UK
Cold and windy weather conditions, combined with a new offense, terminology and receivers, were not conducive to stellar quarterback play during Monday’s workouts, but the UK commit is still trying to make his presence felt both on and off the field in San Antonio this week.
In addition to cementing his status as one of the premier pro style quarterbacks in the country, Barker is also doing his best to actively recruit Elam to Kentucky and feels good about UK’s chances, putting it at a “7.5 out of 10.”
“I’m not betting my life on it,” Barker said, “but I feel pretty good about it.”
Barker, who is playing opposite of Elam on the West squad, says he’d even be willing to take one for the team if it meant getting Elam in blue and white.
“If it makes him come to Kentucky, I’ll gladly take a sack from him.”
Barker will enroll at UK in January and take part in winter conditioning and spring practice, where he is expected to compete for the starting quarterback job.
For more recruiting scoop, check out CatsPause.com.
Follow Chris Fisher on Twitter: @ChrisFisher247