Kentucky’s 2020 football recruiting class is complete. It will go down as one of the best, if not THE best in school history.
Mark Stoops and Vince Marrow provided an exclamation point on National Signing Day by adding four-star athlete Michael Drennen. Along with five-star defensive tackle Justin Rogers, the two UK signees were first recruited by the Cats as eighth graders. The coaching staff’s early efforts paid dividends in 2020, signing 14 prospects ranked as four-stars by at least one recruiting service.
Kentucky’s Four-Star Signees
1. R.J. Adams (ESPN)
2. Beau Allen (ESPN, Rivals)
3. Sam Anaele (ESPN, Rivals)
4. Deondre Buford (247)
5. Mike Drennen (247, Rivals, ESPN)
6. Jeremy Flax (Rivals, 247)
7. Josaih Hayes (ESPN, Rivals)
8. JuTahn McClain (247, ESPN)
9. Octavious Oxendine (Rivals)
10. Justin Rogers (247, Rivals, ESPN)
11. Tre’vonn Rybka (Rivals)
12. Vito Tisdale (ESPN)
13. Joel Williams (ESPN)
14. John Young (Rivals)
National Class Rankings (SEC Finish)
- Rivals: 21 (8)
- 247 Composite: 23 (9)
- 247: 27 (10)
- ESPN: 22 (9)
ESPN’s recruiting analysts gave Kentucky a B+ grade for their top 25 finish.
The Wildcats inked a top-40 class for a fifth consecutive cycle, headlined by the wins on the defensive line in ESPN 300s Justin Rogers and Samuel Anaele. Three-star DT Tre’vonn Rybka was another key defensive line win. ESPN 300 ATH Joel Williams out of Louisiana will be an impact playmaker. On offense, ESPN 300 running back Michael Drennen II and four-star running back JuTahn McClain will bring quickness and playmaking. They will line up next to four-star QB Beau Allen in the future. A third RB in the class is Torrance Davis out of Ohio. ESPN JC50 OT Jeremy Flax could push for playing time early, as could four-star OG Reuben Adams. Three-star OT John Young was a big in-state victory over ACC and SEC competition, as was three-star OT Deondre Buford. Three-star WRs Kalil Branham and Earnest Sanders will head to SEC Country from Ohio and Michigan, respectively.
Kentucky’s class was in similar territory in USA Today’s rankings, coming in at ninth in the SEC.
If the best way to build a team is from the inside out, consider Kentucky on the right track. The Wildcats signed six players who rank as four-star prospects in the 247Sports composite rankings, and five of them are offensive or defensive linemen. This includes defensive tackles Justin Rogers (No. 1 player in Michigan, a five-star on Rivals.com) and Josaih Hayes (No. 4 player in Mississippi), both of whom are ranked among the top 250 players nationally according to 247Sports.
Beyond the trenches, Kentucky signed a couple of impressive skill guys: athlete Joel Williams, a four-star prospect, according to ESPN and 247Sports who will play defensive back in Lexington; and three-star all-purpose back Jutahn McClain, after running for 3,701 yards and 46 touchdowns across his last two high school seasons in Fairfield, Ohio.
Kentucky Football Class of 2020
|Justin Rogers||DT||Oak Park, MI||6-4||315||5-star, #16 Overall|
|Samuel Anaele||DE/OLB||Miami, FL||6-4||250||4-star, #208 Overall|
|Michael Drennen II||APB||Dublin, OH||5-11||190||4-star, #210 Overall|
|Beau Allen||QB||Lexington, KY||6-2||200||4-star, #13 QB|
|R.J. Adams||OG||Woodbridge, VA||6-3||320||4-star, #16 OG|
|John Young||OT||Louisville, KY||6-6||295||4-star, #36 OT|
|Tre'vonn Rybka||DL||Dickson, TN||6-4`||281||4-star, #26 DT|
|Octavious Oxendine||DT||Radcliff, KY||6-3||300||4-star, #30 DT|
|Josaih Hayes||DT||Horn Lake, MS||6-3||285||4-star, #151 Overall|
|Joey Gatewood||QB (Auburn)||Jacksonville, FL||6-5||230||4-star, #49 Overall|
|Jeremy Flax||OT (JUCO)||Dearborn, MI||6-6||315||4-star, No. 12 JUCO|
|Joel Williams||DB||Baton Rouge, LA||6-1||190||3-star, #34 S|
|Andru Phillips||CB||Mauldin, SC||6-0||180||3-star, #7 CB|
|JuTahn McClain||APB||Fairfield, OH||5-9||176||3-star, #14 APB|
|Vito Tisdale||DB||Bowling Green, KY||6-2||190||3-star, #10 KY|
|Kalil Branham||WR||Columbus, OH||6-1||205||3-star, #93 WR|
|Deondre Buford||OT||Detroit, MI||6-5||270||3-star, #48 OT|
|Izayah Cummings||WR||Louisville, KY||6-3||210||3-star, #9 KY|
|Earnest Sanders||WR||Flint, MI||6-2||190||3-star, #26 MI|
|D'Eryk Jackson||LB||Dexter, GA||6-2||235||3-star, #106 GA|
|Joshua Jones||OT||Phenix City, AL||6-6||300||3-star, #32 AL|
|Carrington Valentine||CB||Cincinnati, OH||6-0||218||3-star, #23 OH|
|Rickey Hyatt Jr.||S||Westerville, OH||6-1||195||3-star, #22 OH|