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Kentucky February Recruiting Recap

Kentucky February Recruiting Recap

Cats Pick Up Several Good Players

Generally, most of the heavy lifting when it comes to recruiting happens during the December signing period. However, that doesn’t mean February isn’t meaningful. In fact, over the years Kentucky’s had great success in the second recruiting cycle and this year is no exception. Let’s look at who Mark Stoops and the staff brought it with our Kentucky February Recruiting Recap.

A Big Time Addition

When Jim Harbaugh left Michigan after winning the national championship players were given the opportunity to reopen their recruitment. Kentucky reaped the results as West Charlotte linebacker Jaden Smith found a new home.

The four-star player was recruited heavily by the Cats but committed to Michigan in June of 2023. However, when Harbaugh left he was let out of his commitment. Though some heavy hitters like Florida State, Miami, and USC were after his services he chose Brad White and the Cats.

Rated as the 11th best athlete by 247 Sports the Charlotte native recorded 91 tackles, including 25 for a loss. In addition, he had 10 sacks, three blocked punts, and two blocked field goals. As a result, the Charlotte Observer named him their high school defensive player of the year.

How He Fits In

Smith’s pledge lifts the Wildcats class to  24th in the national rankings. He’s also the seventh commit with a consensus four-star rating. He joins Brian Robinson, Jacob Smith, Antwan Smith, Devon Smith and Steven Soles. This has the potential to go down as the best defensive recruiting class in school history. On a side note, there are five players with the last name of Smith in this class.

Continuing our Kentucky February Recruiting Recap let’s look at a few more players headed to Lexington.

High Reward Prospect

Over the years the Wildcats have had great success in taking under the radar kids and developing them into great players. A prime example is Josh Allen, a former two-star recruit who’s now an NFL All-Pro. UK looks for lightning to strike again with Quintavion Norman.

The 6-foot-3 205-pound linebacker from Covington, Georgia is new to the game. Last fall was his first playing football and he was unranked by all the major recruiting services. Norman planned on going the junior college route. However, the coaching staff really liked his athleticism and offered him a spot. He quickly accepted and is now a three-star prospect by 247Sports. With so many players coming in Norman can learn and be ready to contribute in a year or two.

As we wrap up our Kentucky February recruiting recap let’s look at two guys already committed for next year.

Two For 2025

Ever since Stoops and Vince Marrow have been on the recruiting trail Ohio has been a huge priority. That pipeline paid off once again when UK landed Quintin Simmons. The four-star wide receiver from Cincinnati chose the Cats over the hometown Bearcats Michigan, Penn State, and Syracuse among his final schools.

According to 247 Sports Simmons ranks as the 156th best player in the country. In addition, he’s listed as the 15th-best receiver in the nation and sixth-best player overall in the Buckeye State. New offensive coordinator Bush Hamdan has to be excited about getting Simmons on campus.

While the two major signing periods are December and February let’s face it recruiting never stops. That rang true as the Cats got a pledge from Philadelphia running back Isaiah West on Friday night. He visited Kentucky’s junior day on February 3rd and pretty much made up his mind about where he was heading. While Nebraska, North Carolina, and Wisconsin were heavily involved he’s going to be a Wildcat.

West joins former teammate David Washington who is an incoming freshman. Currently, he is not rated by 247 Sports but that will change shortly. Other services have him as a high three-star player. He plans on enrolling in December to get a jump start on his college career. Simmons and West join quarterback Stone Saunders of Pittsburgh as members of the 2025 class.

That’s our Kentucky February Recruiting Recap here at Last Word On College Football. With spring practice beginning on March 19th, it’s time to look at the current Cats as we’ll go position by position looking at Stoops’ 12th Kentucky squad.


Kentucky February Recruiting Recap
Photo courtesy: Spruce Derden-USA TODAY Sports


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