Another Solid Class For The Wildcats
It was another very successful early signing day for Mark Stoops, lead recruiter Vince Marrow and the entire coaching staff. With 18 signees UK’s class ranks 38th in the country by 247 Sports and 11th in the SEC. That’s just slightly below where Kentucky normally is. However in taking fewer players in December they’re stressing quality over quantity. Of course with the new rules allowing for another year there could be some seniors who return. Let’s take a look at the 2021 recruiting class with our Kentucky early signing day recap.
Filling A Position Of Need
One of the places the coaching staff hit hard in the early signing period was wide receiver. Long time True Blue Fans know production at that position has been problematic for a few years. As a result nearly 25 percent of the class is at receiver. Heading the list is Christian Lewis a four star player out of Pleasant Grove, Alabama. During his senior season he caught 70 passes for 1,238 yards and 18 touchdowns.
𝕀’𝕞 𝕋𝕙𝕖 𝕆𝕟𝕖 𝕎𝕚𝕥𝕙𝕠𝕦𝕥 𝔸 𝔻𝕠𝕦𝕓𝕥 & 𝕀 ℝ𝕠𝕔𝕜 𝕂𝕖𝕟𝕥𝕦𝕔𝕜𝕪 𝔹𝕝𝕦𝕖 𝕆𝕟 𝕐𝕠𝕦 👦🏾 💙🤍 pic.twitter.com/aYvaazSYJG
— Christian Lewis~DEUCE~ 🎭 (@ChrisLew__) December 16, 2020
Lewis committed to Kentucky on June 3oth. The Widcats then had to hold off late charges from Ole Miss and Texas A&M to keep him in the fold. He’s the kind of playmaker who should thrive in new offensive coordinator Liam Coen’s offense.
In addition to Lewis another receiver the staff is high on is Chauncey Magwood from Lee County High School is Leesburg, Georgia. During his junior campaign he caught 29 passes for 378 yards and six touchdowns. However due to necessity Magwood played quarterback as a senior giving Kentucky fans flashbacks to Lynn Bowden.
Continuing on with our Kentucky early signing day recap let’s now look at how the Cats continue to dominate in state recruiting.
Hitting The Home State Hard
Over the last few years one thing Stoops and the coaching staff has done is recruit the state of Kentucky well and the 2021 class is no exception. As a result four of the top five players in the state are all heading to Lexington. In addition it shows how well high school football has improved in the state during the eight years Stoops has been here. Heading the list is four star offensive lineman Jager Burton of Frederick Douglass High School in Lexington. Burton ranks as the 135th best player in the nation and number one in the state. He chose the home state school over Alabama, Clemson, and Ohio State among many others.
Burton’s teammate wide receiver Dekel Crowdus is another key player who stayed home. He chose the Cats over from Auburn, Baylor, Cincinnati and Duke. During his senior year Crowdus caught 25 passes for 331 yards and nine touchdowns for a team that made it to the state semi-finals. Looking ahead the Cats have their eye on another player from Douglass 2022 receiver Dane Key, the second best player in Kentucky.
With Joey Gatewood and Beau Allen already in the fold quarterback wasn’t a high priority for the Cats. However they did sign one of the best in the state. Kaiya Sheron from out of Somerset High School committed to Kentucky on March 23 of this year. His senior year he threw for 1,478 yards for 14 touchdowns. However his junior year was spectacular. In leading his team to the Class 2A State championship Sheron threw for 3,218 yards and 28 touchdowns. In addition he ran for another 959 yards and nine more scores.
UK QB commit Kaiya Sheron had 9,009 total yards, 81 career touchdowns, had 31-5 record as starter.
Completed 413 of 640 passes for 7,080 yards, 56 TD. 64.5 completion % , 17.4 yards per reception. 16 interceptions — 1 for each 40 passes thrown
Ran 248 times for 1,929 yards, 25 TD pic.twitter.com/mIXKSWpUq3
— Vaughts' Views (@vaughtsviews) December 5, 2020
Rebuilding The Big Blue Wall
With Luke Fortner, Drake Jackson and Landon Young all set to graduate another area of concentration was the offensive line. In addition to Burton UK also signed Paul Rodriguez and David Wohlabaugh both out of the Ohio to Kentucky pipeline. Ranked at the 31st and 36th best players in Ohio respectively by 247 sports they committed to Kentucky on the same day February 20th. Kentucky’s new offensive line coach Eric Wolford will certainly be happy to get them on campus.
Continuing our Kentucky early signing day recap let’s look at a couple of surprises which went in Kentucky’s favor.
Some Unexpected Additions
It wouldn’t be a signing day without a couple of surprises. Sometimes they go your way and sometimes they don’t. However Kentucky got two really good surprises on Wednesday. The first was the commitment of Devonte Ross, a three star player from Cartersville, Georgia. While Ross originally pledged to Marshall on November 20th, the Cats never gave up on him. As it turns out their hard work paid off as he flipped to the Cats. Recruiting experts all say he’s an under the radar talent. That fits Kentucky’s history of finding and developing players.
When Bowling Green tight end Jordan Dingle pledged to the Cats most didn’t know it would be a two for one deal. His brother Justice Dingle, who had entered the transfer portal from Georgia Tech, announced he was also coming to Kentucky. The sophomore defensive end had eight tackles and a sack in limited playing time for the Yellow Jackets. He adds depth to a position of need for the Cats.
More To Come?
Eight of the 18 signees plan on enrolling in January. This of course gives them a head start on learning the system. In addition Stoops alluded they may be eyeing to the transfer portal as well. With a record number of players expected to declare their may be more transfers heading to Lexington than Dingle.
Thanks for checking out our Kentucky early signing day recap here at Last Word On College Football. We should know the Wildcats’ bowl matchup on Sunday. We’ll have a complete preview of that game plus every bowl leading up to the National Championship on January 11th.