Kentucky is in the process of trying to haul in its best recruiting class in program history, and the rankings are starting to reflect that.
Earlier on Wednesday, 247 Sports updated its Top247 football rankings for the recruiting class of 2022 and there was plenty of movement from top to bottom. Kentucky has two current commits who made the cut, Kiyaunta Goodwin at no. 56 and Keaten Wade at no. 244. Goodwin actually dropped two spots from the previous update while Wade was bumped up one spot. There are also several targets among the Top247 prospects who are considering joining the ‘Cats in the future.
NEW RANKINGS: The updated Top247 for 2022 features mid-spring moves.
— 247Sports (@247Sports) April 21, 2021
In terms of the most realistic options for UK, OT Aamil Wagner (brother of former Kentucky WR Ahmad Wagner) moved up 12 spots to no. 76, ATH Christian Rapley fell 15 spots to no. 226, in-state WR Dane Key jumped one spot to no. 228, WR Jayden Gibson exploded with a 45-spot improvement to no. 232 and four-star status, while WR/TE Quinton Conley dropped 16 spots to no. 234.
Other players to keep an eye out on are DT Mykel Williams (+8, no. 39), RB Omarion Hampton (+7, no. 142), OLB Jaron Willis (-7, no. 146), WR Antonio Gates Jr. (-4, no. 206), and OLB Torren Wright (-7, no. 216). Rutgers commit and native of Owensboro, quarterback Gavin Wimsatt, dipped slightly from no. 93 to no. 91.
Looking back through past classes, Kentucky’s 2021 recruiting class featured two current Wildcats among the Top247. In fact, Trevin Wallace and Jager Burton finished with impressive rankings of no. 35 and no. 67, respectively, but UK didn’t have anyone else included among the bunch. The 2018 class included three in the Top247: Darrian Kinnard (no. 178), Marquan McCall (no. 196), and Chris Oats (no. 246). The class of 2017 was one of the best in the Mark Stoops era, with Lynn Bowden Jr. (no. 110), Tyrell Ajian (no. 168), and Josh Paschal (no. 191) all making the Top247.
But 2016 was arguably the premier group for Stoops and Kentucky, when they landed Landon Young (no. 12), Kash Daniel (no. 74), and Drake Jackson (no. 94). The class of 2014 was also impressive at the time, featuring Matt Elam (no. 21), Drew Barker (no. 110), and Lloyd Tubman (no. 225).
All this is to say that Kentucky has not signed four players from the Top247 under Stoops and they have a legitimate shot at doing so with the 2022 class. Key, who plays for Frederick Douglass in Lexington, is viewed as a heavy-Kentucky lean while the other prospects listed all have a real interest in joining the ‘Cats.