Big Weeks For The Cats After Slow Start
Much has been made about Kentucky’s 2023 recruiting class or lack thereof. After years of bringing in top 30 classes and above the Cats hadn’t found much luck. Whether true or not many places the blame on Athletic Director Mitch Barnhart and his seeming unwillingness to jump headlong into the NIL business like many of his SEC brethren. However, by now you know to never count out Mark Stoops and the UK coaching staff. Let’s look at a big two weeks with our 2023 Kentucky Recruiting Update.
The Big Dog’s Playground
For our long-time readers here at Last Word, you know Vince Marrow has built a pipeline from Ohio to Lexington. That paid off once again as four-star wide receiver Anthony Brown chose the Cats on Saturday. The five foot ten, 170-pound Brown ranks as the top receiver in the Buckeye State and 10th best player overall. He picked Kentucky over Cincinnati, Michigan, Oklahoma, and Penn State. If you are scoring at home that’s half of last year’s college football playoff.
At Springfield High School Brown is coached by former Wildcat standout Maurice Douglass. In addition, he’s the fourth player from the school to join the Cats. As a junior, he helped his school make the Ohio Division I State Championship Game. On the year he hauled in 57 catches for 822 yards and nine touchdowns. He becomes the seventh of the 12 commits for next year brought in by the “Big Dog.”
An Award-Winning Connection
The Backstreet Boys, Sturgill Simpson, and Montgomery Gentry all have ties to the BBN. Now they can add another one. For those that don’t know Brown’s uncle is EGOT winner John Legend. The EGOT is an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony Award. All totaled Legend has garnered 33 wins in his career. He even chimed in after Brown committed to Kentucky.
Excited for my nephew, 4 star WR recruit, headed to Kentucky! https://t.co/yxkIQLJ3ql
— John Legend (@johnlegend) July 16, 2022
Of course, another current Wildcat Vito Tisdale’s dad was formerly a part of the Nappy Roots. UK could certainly put together a great concert with all the folks associated with the program.
Brown wasn’t the only commitment Kentucky got over the last couple of weeks. As we continue with our 2023 Kentucky Recruiting Update let’s look at some more future Cats.
Hitting Alabama Hard
The Cats got some fireworks on the 4th of July when Alabama running back Khalifa Keith chose the Cats. As a junior Keith ran for 1,877 yards and 28 touchdowns. He ranks as the 47th best player in Alabama. With the Cats having a number of upperclassmen he’s definitely seen a back of the future.
Two days later UK got another commit from Alabama in safety Avery Stuart. The six-foot-two, 174-pound Stuart chose Kentucky over Arkansas, Auburn, and Florida State. He rates as the 192nd best player in the country by 247 Sports. In addition, he’s listed as the 12th best safety in the country and 16th overall in Alabama. It’s a huge recruiting win for safeties coach Frank Buffano.
As if that wasn’t enough three days later UK picked up another commitment from Alabama in Koby Keenum. The nation’s third-ranked center prospect chose the Cats over Louisville, North Carolina, and the Mississippi schools. Many insiders thought he was Louisville bound. However, Keenum not only chose UK but instantly endeared himself to the Big Blue Nation.
100% COMMITTED‼️ Ls DOWN pic.twitter.com/h1tVYNK7bV
— KK74 (@keenum_koby) July 9, 2022
The next day UK got a pledge from Louisville Pleasure Ridge Park receiver Jakob Dixon.
Where They Stand
As we mentioned in the beginning a great deal has been made about Kentucky’s recruiting struggles in 2023. Meanwhile, in the span of about two weeks, the Cats have gone from somewhere in the 70s nationally to 47th. More importantly, they’ve jumped to eighth in the SEC.
Thanks for checking out our 2023 Kentucky Recruiting Update here at Last Word On College Football. The season’s getting close and we’ll have season predictions and position previews coming soon.