“Recruiting is a lot like shaving. If you don’t do it everyday you’re going to look like a bum.” If Mark Stoops’ message to KSR applies this weekend, he’ll be bald for tomorrow night’s spring game.
The Kentucky football program is hosting dozens of elite recruits from across the country, featuring 2018 commits, legacy recruits, stars from the Commonwealth and many more.
Defensive end Alex Reigelsperger will return to Lexington once again with his five-star wide receiver teammate, L’Christian “Blue” Smith, the highest-ranked recruit Kentucky is pursuing in the 2018 class. However, nobody will arrive with more buzz than Jarren Williams.
The dual-threat quarterback is one the hottest names in the country, most recently offered by Alabama. Williams received a call from Stoops shortly after that offer was extended. He told Alabama’s SEC Country it matters that UK was there when other schools wanted him to switch positions.
“It matters that they were there,” Williams said. “You want to go somewhere where you’re a priority. You don’t want to go somewhere where nobody really knows who you are and the coaches aren’t high on you. I know I’m a priority at Kentucky. They took me in when I didn’t really know anything about recruiting. They have made me feel like I’m a part of the team.
“I’m firmly committed. People have asked me a lot lately where I stand and if I’m looking around. I wouldn’t say that the word is looking. It’s more so I’m listening to what others have to say.”
The Best of Ohio
The talented Lakota West duo will return to campus this weekend. Xavier Peters is one of the best linebackers in the country and a top 250 player in the nation. Defensive tackle Tyler Bentley returns to campus with offers from Alabama and LSU. Bentley’s recruitment has been a back-and-forth battle between the Cats and the Cars, but the SEC West offers will shake things up.
Even though the Cats already have one Ohio tight end committed in the 2018 class, Brenden Bates, Vince Marrow needs to stockpile his position group with Greg Hart and (potentially) C.J. Conrad departing after this season. Marrow is turning to Leonard Taylor, a four-star 6’4″ tight end who is ranked as the No. 61 player overall in the 2018 class by 247. Taylor’s Springfield High teammate, Cameron Hoelscher, will also be at UK, his first major college offer.
The Best in the Bluegrass
If you listened to last week’s Depth Chart Podcast, you heard Freddie hype the treasure trove of talent in the Kentucky’s 2018 class. Two of the best will be in Lexington for the Blue/White Game. Both have offers from Alabama and just about every college football program in the country.
Waggener cornerback Jairus Brents is a 4-star phenom, ranked No. 166 overall by the 247 Composite. Considered a Louisville-lean, he visited Florida State last week. Rondale Moore doesn’t have overwhelming size, but that doesn’t slow down the 5’8″ Trinity wide receiver. 247 ranks Moore as the No. 79 player in America. He most recently picked up an offer from Ohio State. Watch him do work:
The addition of Eddie Gran, Darin Hinshaw and Lamar Thomas have helped the Cats’ cause in Florida.
The best of the best from perennial national powerhouse St. Thomas Aquinas will be in the stands tomorrow night. Nik Bonitto has the most hype. The Top 100 4-star defensive end has all of the Florida schools fighting off Jim Harbaugh. His middle linebacker, Rocky Shelton, doesn’t have as many offers from top schools but he has the best linebacker name since Dick Butkus.
Three-star wide receiver Alonzo Clark does not attend Thomas Aquinas, but he is from Ft. Lauderdale. Hopefully he carpools with the other two. Running back/athlete Andrew Cunningham is making the trip from Tampa. The Cats’ toughest competition for Cunningham is from the Cardinals.
A pair of early enrollees, Jamin Davis and Danny Clark, have talented younger brothers. Caden Clark is a sophomore tight end with a scholarship offer from Kentucky. Jamin’s younger brother Treyon Davis will be a sophomore cornerback at Long County. For me, this isn’t newsworthy. If I enrolled early and my little brother didn’t come to the spring game, he’d learn his lesson on Easter Sunday.
Defensive end Tyler Baylor has a unique legacy. The grandson of NBA Hall of Famer Elgin Baylor was Joshua Paschal and Naasir Watkins’ teammate last year at Good Counsel High School in Olney, Maryland. He’s pretty good too, considered the No. 10 defensive end in the class by 247.
There is a lot more talent on the lengthy guest list, like Missouri running back Donovan Marshall, but I am not brave to steal Stoops’ RSVPs.