Grant Bingham is one of the most important recruits on Kentucky’s radar.
A four-star offensive tackle prospect out of Johnson Central High School in Paintsville, KY, Bingham is one of the most coveted recruits in the 2022 class for the Wildcats. Standing at a monstrous 6-foot-6 and weighing over 300 pounds, several outlets have him tabbed as a four-star recruit and one of the top-ranked players across the entire state of Kentucky. Bingham released his top 8 potential college destinations earlier this month and it featured plenty of high-profile schools such as Notre Dame, Michigan, and Miami (FL), among others. Kentucky was among the top 8, as well, and appears to be in a favorable position with Bingham as he winds down his recruitment.
The high school junior recently told KSR that he likely won’t make a final decision until his senior football season begins in the fall and that he is still gathering additional information from outside programs, but he likes where he’s at right now in the process and with his top 8. Bingham also told KSR that he spent an evening last week on a Zoom call with several members of the Kentucky coaching staff that included head coach Mark Stoops, associate head coach Vince Marrow, new offensive line coach Eric Wolford, director of player development Courtney Love, graduate assistant C.J. Conrad, and members of the strength staff.
Building relationships is key to his recruitment, Bingham said, and he feels like he’s done that with Coach Wolford, who took over as the offensive line coach following the passing of John Schlarman. The late Coach Schlarman also got to know Bingham during his recruitment.
“Right when he [Coach Wolford] got there, we connected and started talking,” Bingham told KSR. “We talk often actually. Even him and my mom talk. He’s just a great guy. I like the way he coaches the game. He’s almost like a–not a father figure, but he’s supportive, he’s going to be there for you. Away from home, he’s going to provide what is needed.”
And what is needed, according to Bingham, are two specific things: player development and the ability to build relationships. Those are the two traits he’s looking for closest when considering where to spend the next four or so years of his life. Kentucky has shown the ability under Coach Stoops to develop talent at a successful rate while creating those connections, especially when looking at the Big Blue Wall, which Bingham said plays a role in his recruitment process with UK.
“I want to be developed to the best I can and to the next level,” Bingham added. “Building relationships, knowing the coach and what traits they have and what standards they have for us. Knowing them and player development is a really important thing for me.”
Coach Wolford has only been on the Kentucky staff for a few months now but has known Bingham for a while. The two already have a solid relationship and it was a seamless recruiting transition when Wolford made the move to Lexington. Wolford was the offensive line coach at South Carolina from 2017-20 before joining UK this past December.
“I think that relationship is very good,” Johnson Central assistant coach Justin Arms told KSR. “Coach Wolford shooting Grant pictures of dinner and what he’s having for dinner. It’s kind of a joke that the key to a lineman’s heart is through food. But I know Coach Wolford was very interested in Grant when he was at South Carolina and he had a really great relationship with Coach Schlarman. He [Grant] went down there as a sophomore and had the opportunity to meet him and they were communicating throughout. Coach Wolford has done a very good job. He’s picked up where that relationship ended and wants to keep Grant in-state.”
Other schools have reached out to Bingham, including the likes of Alabama, Clemson, Stanford, Oregon, and Ohio State, although no offers have come at this time. The Buckeyes are apparently a school that he would look into more seriously if they were to decide to jump into his recruitment a bit harder. Bingham continues to stay in contact with OSU head coach Ryan Day and also said he has a good relationship with Miami (FL) offensive line coach Garin Justice.
Coach Arms told KSR that Bingham said a couple of years back that a scholarship from Kentucky would be a “dream offer” and also noted that Bingham’s grandfather once played for Kentucky back in the day.
“He is definitely very high on them,” Arms said about Bingham’s relationship with Kentucky. “But wants to make sure that he goes through the whole process and makes the most informed and best decision for him and his career.”