Kentucky’s Recruiting Roll Continues

Kentucky's Recruiting Roll Continues

The Dice Are Smokin’

It was just last week when we ran through the impressive commitment haul the UK staff had landed. The Cats picked up five players in the span of a week. As if that wasn’t enough Mark Stoops, Vince Marrow, and the entire staff have those “Yahtzee” dice downright smoking. Let’s break down the most recent pickups as Kentucky’s Recent Recruiting Roll continues.

Big Cog In The Big Blue Wall

The Wildcats got a 4th of July Yahtzee when Dayton, Ohio offensive lineman Jermiel Atkins picked Kentucky. Playing at Trotwood-Madion High School Atkins had offers from Arizona State, Minnesota, Virginia Tech, and West Virginia but ultimately offensive line coach Eric Wolford and Marrow convinced him to come to Lexington. Atkins camped at Kentucky earlier this summer, then took an official visit and that was enough to get a commitment.

Standing at 6-foot-8 and 290 pounds Atkins ranks as the 19th best player in Ohio and 47th best tackle in the nation. Because of his height, he mostly played basketball growing up. However, his high school football staff convinced him to try football and it’s paid dividends.

Help At A Position Of Need

Back in the Spring, we went position by position through the Wildcats roster. One area we said needed to be addressed in the future was the defensive line. Whether the BBN wants to admit it, unless something crazy happens Deone Walker is gone after this year.

To that end, the staff has made a concerted effort at that position. They added to the haul with the commitment of Kalen Edwards. Standing 6-foot-4 and 325 pounds Edwards took visits to Auburn, Kentucky, Louisville, and Memphis during June and chose the Cats on Wednesday. Edwards ranks as the 10th-best player in Tennessee and 37th best defensive tackle in America.

Co-defensive coordinator Brad White and defensive line coach Anwar Stewart led the effort getting him to Lexington. He plans on enrolling in January to get a head start on his career. The Cats could lose several players up front after the season so defensive line help is a priority.

Let’s look at the third commitment in three days as Kentucky’s recruiting roll continues.

Keeping The Best At Home

Over the last few years, Kentucky has made a priority of keeping the top in-state players at home. They kept that streak going when the number one player in Kentucky, Javeon Campbell, committed to the Cats. Hailing from Western Hills High School in Frankfort, the 6′-5,”  265-pound edge rusher decided to stay home. Of course, Kentucky fans know Western Hills is the same high school as former Cats great and current New York Giant Wan’Dale Robinson.

In addition to being the state’s top player Campbell is the 15th best defensive lineman in the nation and 109th best overall project. What makes his story even more remarkable is he only started playing football last year. During his junior year, Campbell recorded 14.5 sacks. He already holds the school record in basketball for points scored in a career.

He’s gone from unheard of to a top recruit. A who’s who offered him scholarships including Alabama, Georgia, Michigan, and Ohio State. Once again Stoops, Marrow, and the staff get in early on talent before the “marquee” schools try to poach them away.

Bolting Up The Charts

Three weeks ago Kentucky’s recruiting class sat 55th in the nation. After this most recent flurry, they’ve risen faster than a new Sabrina Carpenter single. As it stands right now the Cats have 17 commitments which puts them 16th in the country according to 247 Sports and seventh in the SEC.

The great thing for the Big Blue Nation is this recent flurry may not be done yet. Junior college defensive lineman Dennious Jackson from Contra Costa College in California is set to announce his school on Monday. Kentucky is the heavy favorite in landing the 6-5, 335-pounder. With the season-ending injury to Josaih Hayes and several other injuries up front, UK needs bodies. Good for them Jackson would be part of the 2024 class and could start immediately.

Kentucky’s recruiting roll continues and thanks for following along with us here at Last Word On College Football. Next time out we’re ranking the Wildcats’ 2024 opponents. Following that, we’ll go position by position looking at the 2024 team.

 

Kentucky's Recruiting Roll Continues
Photo courtesy: Ken Ruinard / staff / USA TODAY NETWORK

 

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