Kentucky Football: Where have all the Flowers Gone?

Sony Michel is one of 2014's 5-star recruits - SB Nation Recruiting

Let’s assume 5-star and 4-star players are the flowers of the recruiting flower basket. Most college football teams are made up mostly of 3-star players with 4- or 5-star players sprinkled in for good measure. This is a numbers game.

If you check the Rivals Top 250, the players listed are all 4- or 5-star players. 247 Sports puts out their Top 247 and Scout puts out their Top 300. Three-star players are not ranked at a national level except by position. For example, UK commit Dorian Hendrix is a Rivals 3-star with a rating of 5.7. He holds no ranking because he's not a 4-star player. However, he is ranked as the nation's 21st ranked Inside Linebacker.

Where have the 5 stars gone?

Rivals lists fourteen players as 5-stars in their Rivals Top 250 players. That leaves 236 four-star players. Only two of the fourteen 5-star players have made a commitment: 4th ranked DB Quinn Blanding (VA) has committed to Virginia and 11th ranked QB Deshaun Watson (GA) has committed to Clemson. So, UK has a chance? Right? 9th ranked DE Lorenzo Carter (GA) is the only Rivals 5-star that we've offered.

Where have the 4 stars gone?

Stoops & Company have concentrated on the 4-star players and offered 59 of these players so far. That's an even 25%. I am not going to get into the committable/non-committable game. What I'm telling you is that I have confirmed an offer (any type or kind) from two of the four recruiting services. The reason I don't care is because the Letter of Intent sent to the recruit is the only bona fide offer that could be cause for litigation because it is essentially a contract. When the recruit signs that LOI and returns it to the school, it becomes the only bona fide commitment: Bona fide offer and a bona fide writing. I just want to be clear on this. I'll let others argue over the meaningless nuances.

Of those 59 offers to 4-star players, one has made a verbal commitment to Kentucky: Thaddeus Snodgrass. His national ranking in the Rivals Top 250 is 198th. His position ranking as a Wide Receiver is 24th best in the nation.

The majority haven't yet made a commitment. Some are waiting for a particular school to offer and some have contingency offers and are waiting to see how things play out. Here's a list of the schools with 4 star verbal commitments: Alabama (2), Arizona (2), Arizona State (1), Arkansas (2), Baylor (1), Cal (1), Clemson (1), Florida (6), Florida St. (4), Georgia (2), Iowa (2), Iowa St. (1), Kansas (1), Kentucky (1), LSU (5), Miami (5), Michigan (4), Michigan St. (1), Minnesota (1), Ole Miss (4), North Carolina (1), Northwestern (1), Notre Dame (3), Ohio St. (3), Oklahoma (3), Oklahoma St. (1), South Carolina (1), South Florida (1), Stanford (1), Tennessee (4), Texas (6), Texas A&M (6), USC (3), Utah (1), Vanderbilt (1), Virginia (1), Virginia Tech (1), Washington (1), and Wisconsin (2). This shows that 88 have committed. That leaves a total of 148 Rivals 4-star players yet to commit. See how early it is?

We are about to begin the 2nd quarter of the recruiting cycle and we will begin to see more movement.

The BIG Buford for Kentucky is at the quarterback position. We've put all our eggs into one basket: Drew Barker. Why? He's the top recruit coming out of Kentucky this year which makes him a priority. Here's his Rivals profile: Drew Barker. So far, he's the only Rivals 4-star coming out of Kentucky, but it might be possible for Matt Elam to make that level with a really good season.

Rivals has Barker as the No. 6 pro-style quarterback in the country and shows him as No. 153 in its overall national rankings. To be honest, I'm not sure why he's listed as a pro-style quarterback. Statistically, he's not,unless I am misreading his stats. Check them out and you tell me.

Barker is down to two schools, unless Notre Dame offers (his words not mine), according to Justin Rowland at Cats Illustrated. He has shown a little interest in Tennessee, but he's basically down to Kentucky and South Carolina. Steve Spurrier has recruited him much longer and harder than UK ... until Stoops arrived. Like UK, Barker is the Gamecocks first choice at quarterback.

If Barker chooses South Carolina, then who will Kentucky take? It is assumed we will take Deshone Kizer or D.J. Gillins. Rivals and Scout say we haven't offered Gillins. 247 Sports doesn't agree, nor does ESPN. As for Kizer, three of the services say we have offered while Rivals says no. Who are you going to believe? I guess it is your choice.

I'd say the Cats are in pretty good shape for quarterback unless Gillins and/or Kizer get impatient waiting on Barker's decision. With three sophomores and a freshman at quarterback plus a walk-on, I'm not sure why the position is a priority. I say we need linemen on both sides and we need wide receivers, linebackers and secondary players and I'd like to see some high 3-stars and some 4-stars sign their Letters of Intent come February. Am I right or am I missing something?

One final question for the readers: Does anyone know what happened to these two 2012 quarterbacks: Blake Bir of Covington Catholic or Donovan McCoy of Ft. Thomas Highlands? Also, how about Brenan Kuntz of Simon Kenton? I just wonder why he hasn't been rated. According to the Cincinnati Enquirer all three passed for more yards than Barker.

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