The recruiting momentum has slowed down a bit for Kentucky Football after hauling in the majority of its 2022 class since the start of April. The most recent player to commit to the Wildcats was Nikolas Hall, who did so by surprise during his visit in late June. Prior to that? Kentucky had not received a commitment since early May.
The class of 2022 is still in good shape, though. There are 11 commitments as of today, four of them ranking as four-star prospects, according to 247 Sports, with plenty more expected to join by the time it’s all said and done. Kentucky’s Big Board will likely change a bit over the summer as prospects pick other schools or the staff looks down new avenues, but there are a slew of rising high school seniors still in significant contact with UK.
Below is a list of recruits from the class of 2022 that Kentucky is still focusing its efforts on heading into the middle of the summer.
Aamil Wagner (No. 110): 6-foot-6, 265-pound OT (Dayton, OH)
It’s a five-school race for the highest-rated undecided recruit currently left on Kentucky’s Big Board: Ohio State, Notre Dame, Penn State, Maryland, and UK. However, the sense right now is that Notre Dame, Ohio State, and Kentucky are the perceived leaders. Wagner currently has a Crystal Ball pick in favor of the Buckeyes, but the ‘Cats and Fighting Irish might actually be the frontrunners as of today. Vince Marrow has made him a priority for a while now and he would make for an excellent addition to what is already proving to be a historic offensive line class for UK.
Tegra Tshabola (No. 185): 6-foot-5, 340-pound OT (West Chester, OH) [committed to Ohio State]
Despite his status as a Buckeye commitment, don’t count out a possible flip to Kentucky by the time it’s all said and done. Back in May, Tshabola publicized that he had an upcoming official visit to Lexington. One day later, he tweeted out that he would no longer take the visit and was 100 percent committed to Ohio State. From our perspective, that doesn’t sound all that 100 percent. Tshabola is another prospect being recruited heavily by Marrow.
Dane Key (No. 226): 6-foot-2, 170-pound WR (Lexington, KY)
Arguably the most important prospect left, Dane Key is a must-get for Kentucky for multiple reasons. For starters, he’s a homegrown kid who plays his high school football at Frederick Douglass in Lexington. Secondly, his father, Donte, played linebacker for Kentucky back in the mid-90s. And finally, he’s one of the nation’s top pass-catchers and would be a massive recruiting win for the new offense that offensive coordinator Liam Coen hopes to incorporate. Losing him to Oregon or South Carolina would be a failure by all accounts.
Deone Walker (No. 325): 6-foot-6, 340-pound OT (Detroit, MI)
Kentucky made the top five for Walker, which he dropped just a few days ago. However, all signs are indicating that he’ll stay home and sign with Michigan. The ‘Cats and new offensive line coach Eric Wolford have done a good job keeping themselves in the mix, but with Steve Clinkscale now on the Wolverines’ staff, pulling Walker out of Michigan sounds about impossible.
Ryan Baer (No. 327): 6-foot-7, 320-pound OT (Eastlake, OH)
Of all the prospects we cover in this post, Baer is one of the closest to making a decision. He’s down to Illinois, Virginia, Michigan State, and Kentucky, but he’s currently trending toward Michigan State. He would make for an excellent addition to the Big Blue Wall and even took an official visit to Lexington last month, but the Spartans are in control right now.
Ja’Kobi Albert (No. 366): 5-foot-11, 175-pound ATH (Fairfield, AL)
It was a shock to most when Albert left Kentucky out of his top three on July 7, but we aren’t ready to knock UK completely out of the race quite yet. Auburn, Maryland, and Michigan made the cut for the versatile athlete, however, we expect the ‘Cats to stay involved and see if they can wiggle their back into the picture.
Chris Rapley (N0. 399): 6-foot-1, 200-pound ATH (Belleville, MI)
It’s tough to say where Kentucky stands in the recruitment of kids from the state of Michigan following the departure of Clinkscale, but Rapley does come from the same high school that current commit Jeremiah Caldwell plays at. That might not exactly play into Kentucky’s favor though, with speculation that Caldwell could potentially flip to Michigan in the end. With that in mind, Michigan has yet to offer Rapley, so who knows where his decision takes him or what his timeline looks like.
Quinton Conley (No. 408): 6-foot-5, 190-pound TE (Kansas City, MO)
In the end, it might come down to whether or not Kentucky wants to add another tight end to this class. Conley’s official visit to Lexington in June “exceeded expectations” and his communication with the other school in contention, Nebraska, has fallen off significantly. If Kentucky wants Conley, they can get him.
Daughtry Richardson (No. 460): 6-foot-4, 285-pound OT (Miami, FL)
With a commitment date scheduled for July 26, Richardson is closing in a decision. He took all five official visits in June and one of them was spent at Kentucky. Coach Wolford is a major reason the ‘Cats are still involved at this point and seen as one of the leaders, but all signs are pointing towards Richardson picking Florida State and staying close to home.
Jordan Anthony (No. 556): 5-foot-11, 160-pound ATH (Tylertown, MS)
One of the fastest players in the entire country, Anthony has become a priority at wide receiver for the UK staff, especially after missing out on his Tylertown teammate Jeremiah Dillon. He just received an offer from Florida State (for both football and track) but Kentucky has picked up momentum after offering him in early June. Anthony was previously an under-the-radar prospect, but his blinding speed has him on the map now and he would make for a perfect match in Coen’s new offense. He’s announcing on July 27th.
Drew Bobo (No. 627): 6-foot-5, 280-pound OT (Auburn, AL)
With an offer now in hand from his dad (the new offensive coordinator at Auburn), the odds of Bobo not picking the Auburn Tigers feels less and less likely by the day. Kentucky has been on him since December and Bobo took an official visit to Lexington near the end of June, but Auburn offered on June 7 and now it’s tough to say where the ‘Cats stand. His plan is to make a decision at the end of July.
Grayson Morgan (No. 815): 6-foot-6, 270-pound OT (Nashville, TN)
Another potential addition to the Big Blue Wall, Morgan visited Kentucky the last weekend in June but nearby Vanderbilt is making a big push to keep him close to home. Maryland and Mississippi State are both involved, as well, but it feels like a two-horse race at the moment between the Wildcats and Commodores.
Jawuan Northington (No. 917): 5-foot-11, 185-pound RB (Louisville, KY)
The offer for Northington from Kentucky didn’t come until late June, but it still might have arrived in time. The UK coaching staff hasn’t placed too much of an emphasis on adding a running back to this class, but Northington’s family history with Kentucky and playing up at Manual High School in Louisville makes for an interesting connection. He also doesn’t hold too many high-profile offers. Northington is another recruit that Kentucky should be able to secure if the staff decides to go all in.
Brandon White (No. N/A): 5-foot-9, 165-pound WR (Cincinnati, OH)
Similar to Jordan Anthony, White has only recently jumped onto the recruiting scene. West Virginia and Kentucky are the two frontrunners right now for the speedy wideout from Moeller High School. Once again like Anthony, White possesses lethal speed that Coen is looking to incorporate moving forward. As a reminder, Kentucky already has two players from Moeller on the roster and a tight end from the class of 2022 committed.
Hunter Mclain (No. N/A): 6-foot-5, 285-pound OT (Daleville, VA)
Mclain is easily the most intriguing prospect on this list. He’s unranked by most recruiting services and holds just one other Power 5 offer from Iowa State. But Mclain took an official visit to Kentucky in June and continues to be a piece they recruit for the Big Blue Wall. It’s just tough to say right now what his potential is. He could be one of those hidden gems we find out about years down the road. We’ll have to wait and see.
Mykel Williams (No. 26): 6-foot-5, 265-pound DL (Columbus, GA) [committed to USC]
Without trying to stoke too much optimism, talking heads are questioning whether Williams will remain committed to a program on the other side of the country from his home in Georgia. Kentucky has always been near the top of his preferred destinations and he even had an official visit scheduled before committing to USC and canceling the trip to Lexington. Flipping him will be an incredibly tough challenge, but Kentucky is going to continue fighting for the top-30 talent.
Jaron Willis (No. 157): 6-foot-2, 230-pound LB (Leesburg, GA) [committed to Georgia Tech]
Willis has been a Georgia Tech commit since May 1, but he’s still being heavily recruited by assistant coach Jon Sumrall and company. One of his former Lee County High School teammates, Chauncey Magwood, is a freshman at Kentucky and Willis is expected to take some sort of visit to Lexington in the fall. We believe this recruitment is far from over.
Kalib Perry (No. 810): 6-foot-4, 215-pound LB (Georgetown, KY)
Another kid from around the area, Perry came onto Kentucky’s radar late (he picked up his offer from the ‘Cats on June 23 after a camp visit) but he’s one the staff has placed great value in trying to land. He took June visits to Cincinnati, Purdue, and Tennessee. The longer his process drags along, the better position Kentucky is in.
Tomiwa Duorjaiye (No. 1,027): 6-foot-4, 255-pound DL (Middletown, DE)
One of the top players from the small state of Delaware, Durojaiye recently included Kentucky in his top five and plans to visit Lexington before making a final decision. He’s already taken four visits so far this summer but is making it a point to see Kentucky in person.