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COMMITTED: Kentucky’s 15 members of the 2018 recruiting class

With two new commitments over the holiday, including the program’s highest-ranked out-of-state linebacker ever in Xavier Peters, Kentucky’s 2018 football class is coming together and it is full of potential and star power.

A quick glance at the team rankings for the class shows the Wildcats are fourth in the SEC and No. 15 overall in both the 247Sports and rankings. It goes without saying that that is some uncharted territory for a school that couldn’t get a sniff of the top 25 under previous regimes.

So as excitement rides high and the dice stay hot, let’s meet the 15 UK commits as of today, listed in order by their rating in the 247Sports Composite:

Offensive Guard | 6-4 | 320 lbs.
Oak Park, MI | Oak Park
Committed: 5/8/17
ESPN No. 13 OG Top247 No. 4 OG
Rivals No. 4 OG Scout No. 6 OG

Marquan McCall committed to Kentucky as the top-ranked player in the state of Michigan. UK defensive backs coach Steve Clinkscale pulled McCall out of his home state and away from Michigan and Michigan State, from which McCall held scholarship offers, among many others.

Outside Linebacker | 6-4 | 225 lbs.
West Chester, OH | Lakota West
Committed: 7/4/17
ESPN No. 17 OLB Top247 No. 8 OLB
Rivals No. 32 OLB Scout No. 7 ILB

Xavier Peters’ 4th of July commitment gave Kentucky one of the best linebacker prospects in the entire country; however, Peters’ commitment doesn’t seem so solid 24 hours after he made the announcement. The highly-touted Ohioan sent out a Wednesday afternoon tweet saying, “I still have to sit down and think about some things.”

Offensive Tackle | 6-7 | 336 lbs.
Cleveland, OH | St. Ignatius
Committed: 4/30/17
ESPN No. 27 OT Top247 No. 18 OT
Rivals No. 21 OT Scout No. 16 OT

Darian Kinnard is widely considered a standout at offensive tackle and he wants to join John Schlarman’s line in Lexington. At 6-foot-7 and 336 pounds, Kinnard already looks the part to line up in the SEC.

Quarterback | 6-2 | 206 lbs.
Lawrenceville, GA | Central Gwinnett
Committed: 5/15/17
ESPN No. 9 DT-QB Top247 No. 9 DT-QB
Rivals No. 2 | 12 DT-QB Scout No. 28 QB

The distant future of the Kentucky offense will likely fall into the hands of quarterback Jarren Williams, one of the hottest names in football recruiting this summer. Williams added several elite offers after committing to the Cats last summer, but then decommitted in May to consider his many new options. The second round of his recruitment was short lived, though, and Williams re-pledged his commitment to the Wildcats once again to be the face and star QB of the class. He’ll soon see a jump in his rankings after showing out at this week’s The Opening Finals out in Oregon.

Safety/Linebacker | 6-1 | 200 lbs.
Detroit, MI | Cass Technical
Committed: 6/16/17
ESPN No. 47 OLB Top247 No. 30 S
Rivals No. 44 OLB Scout No. 20 OLB

What’s better than having the best player in Michigan? Adding another top player from the state to go along with him. That is what Coach Clinkscale did when he landed DeAndre Square, a defensive menace out of Detroit. It was another recruiting victory for Clinkscale and Kentucky over Michigan State in its own backyard.

Tight End | 6-5 | 230 lbs.
Cincinnati, OH | Archbishop Moeller
Committed: 3/10/17
ESPN No. 10 TE-Y Top247 No. 18 TE
Rivals No. 11 TE Scout No. 22 TE

Cincinnati tight end Brenden Bates has a father and a big brother who played for the hometown Cincinnati Bearcats, but Brendan is breaking the family trend and taking his talents across the river into Kentucky. Considered a four-star tight end by the Rivals folks, Bates is going with the school that offered him first in the summer before his junior season at Archbishop Moeller.

Defensive End | 6-3 | 225 lbs.
Dayton, OH | Wayne
Committed: 2/25/17
ESPN No. 17 DE Top247 No. 65 ATH
Rivals No. 38 WDE Scout No. 47 DE

Maybe the most outgoing of UK’s 2018 class, at least on social media, is defensive end Alex Reigelsperger, who seems to be recruiting more players as much as anyone. Reigelsperger, another Ohio kid, announced his commitment on a KSR basketball pregame show and now his focus is on getting his high school teammate, four-star wide receiver Blue Smith, to join him in Lexington.

Wide Receiver | 6-3 | 175 lbs.
Hollywood, FL | Chaminade-Madonna Prep
Committed: 2/21/17
ESPN No. 123 WR Top247 No. 123 WR
Rivals No. 73 WR Scout No. 156 WR

Marvin Alexander was one of two players from Chaminade-Madonna Prep in Hollywood, Florida to commit to Kentucky on the same day back in February. He and teammate Davoan Hawkins, a defensive end, pulled the trigger together with Alexander following Hawkins’ lead.

Center | 6-3 | 290 lbs.
Cincinnati, OH | Walnut Hills
Committed: 5/14/17
ESPN No. 8 C Top247 No. 10 C
Rivals No. 5 C Scout No. 61 OG

Cincinnati has been a recruiting hot bed for Mark Stoops’ staff and Quintin Wilson is another example of that success. A top-10 center nationally, Wilson announced his commitment on Mother’s Day.

Defensive End | 6-4 | 246 lbs.
Hollywood, FL | Chaminade-Madonna Prep
Committed: 2/21/17
ESPN No. 56 DT Top247 No. 33 SDE
Rivals Scout No. 93 DE

Hawkins became the second member of Kentucky’s 2018 class when he committed back in February. Minutes later, his high school teammate, Marvin Alexander, made it two commitments from Chaminade-Madonna Prep on the same morning.

Athlete | 5-10 | 175 lbs.
Hollywood, FL | Chaminade-Madonna Prep
Committed: 6/20/17
ESPN No. 50 ATH Top247 No. 95 WR
Rivals Scout No. 160 WR

Yet another prospect from Chaminade-Madonna Prep made it three in UK’s 2018 class when Akeem Hayes flipped his commitment from Louisville to Kentucky earlier this summer. Hayes became the fifth player from Chaminade-Madonna to pick Kentucky over the last two years, all of whom were recruited by Eddie Gran. How’s that for a pipeline?

Defensive Tackle | 6-3 | 295 lbs.
West Chester, OH | Lakota West
Committed: 6/11/17
ESPN No. 39 DT Top247 No. 67 DT
Rivals Scout No. 52 DT

Tyler Bentley hails from the same Ohio high school as new stud linebacker commit Xavier Peters. And like Peters, Bentley picked the Cats over offers from SEC powerhouses like Alabama, Florida, Tennessee and LSU.

Tight End | 6-7 | 225 lbs.
Lima, OH | Lima Senior
Committed: 7/1/17
ESPN Top247 No. 41 TE
Rivals No. 33 TE Scout No. 25 TE

The first of the two 4th of July weekend commitments came from Keaton Upshaw, an athletic tight end out of — you guessed it — Ohio. Kentucky loves Upshaw’s upside and he adds a different dynamic to the tight end position than 2018 commit Brendan Bates.

Cornerback | 5-10 | 190 lbs.
Highland, KS | Highland C.C. (JC)
Committed: 6/15/17
ESPN Top247 No. 2 JUCO CB
Rivals Scout

Domonique Williams is the lone JUCO transfer in Kentucky’s current haul and a familiar name to UK assistant Dean Hood. A Knoxville native, Williams originally signed with Eastern Kentucky out of high school when Hood was the head coach, but he failed to qualify academically. He then committed to Colorado State and eventually made his way to Highland Community College, where he had 52 tackles, three interceptions and 11 pass breakups as a freshman last season.

Kicker | 6-3 | 200 lbs.
Anderson, SC | Westside
Committed: 6/6/17
ESPN Top247
Rivals Scout No. 2 | 2 PF

That’s a hell of a name for a kicker, but he trained with NFL kickers when he was only 14 years old and kicked his first 40-yarder in middle school.


Who’s next?

Hi, Blue Smith.

Article written by Drew Franklin

I can recite every line from Forrest Gump, blindfolded. Follow me on Twitter: @DrewFranklinKSR

5 Comments for COMMITTED: Kentucky’s 15 members of the 2018 recruiting class

  1. jaws2
    9:58 pm July 5, 2017 Permalink

    Sorry, but I’ll be excited when they all show up on campus.

    • satcheluk
      11:42 pm July 5, 2017 Permalink

      Thanks for sharing your pessimistic view on life. Misery loves company so, I guess the only way you can find another miserable person is to let everyone know you are that way.

      The rest of us will enjoy the hype and hope for the best.

    • TBW3011
      6:23 am July 6, 2017 Permalink

      If reality offends you so much, perhaps you shouldn’t be telling another how miserable they are. Actually having the awareness that a commitment means nothing yet doesn’t mean you have a pessimistic view on life. But hey, you keep pumping sunshine over a 17 yr olds meaningless “decisions”.

    • jaws2
      3:10 pm July 6, 2017 Permalink

      satcheluk, I’m just speaking frankly and from past experience with commitments over the last 44 years as a football fan. No one is a more dedicated UK football fan than myself, but please just consider the track record, especially in the last 7-8 years.

      YOU sound like a guy that’s reeeeeal fun to be around. If anyone here sounds miserable, it’s you. I pity your loved ones sir.

  2. willmenser
    2:07 pm July 6, 2017 Permalink

    If Blue Smith commits, I’ll flip out. He’d be so huge to have for the future of this program both in play and in recruiting.