Word has come down from Hank, via Justin Rowland, that 2014's Stanley "Boom" Williams, the #1 all-purpose running back in the nation and another Rivals 4-star, has verbally committed to Kentucky.
BOOM! Stanley Williams, the nation's No. 1 all-purpose back, has committed to Kentucky.— J.Rowland (@RowlandRIVALS) June 13, 2013
This is the biggest and most significant recruit for Stoops & Co. so far, and yet more evidence that the Georgia pipeline that provided Kentucky with some success during the Joker Phillips and Rich Brooks tenures is still alive and well.
Let's take a look at the schools who had offered Williams scholarships:
- Auburn Tigers
- Clemson Tigers
- Georgia Bulldogs
- Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets
- LSU Tigers
- Missouri Tigers
- Mississippi St. Bulldogs
- South Carolina Gamecocks
- Tennessee Volunteers
- West Virginia Mountaineers
... among other "lesser" schools.
I don't care who you are, taking a Georgia kid away from the Dawgs is something you hang on your wall and look at daily for inspiration. It's absolutely gobsmacking, and even though the rest of the SEC powers are sitting around saying, "Look, the Wildcats got a few four-stars. How cute," I think I'm pretty much in the tone of the majority when I think about Ralph Kramden: "One of these days ... one of these days ... POW! Right in the kisser!" Only this time, we're talking about teams that are used to using us for a guarantee game.
Let's look at Boom's measurables, courtesy of Rivals.com:
Ht:5'8" Wt:186 lbs 40:4.39 secs Bench Reps:18 Shuttle:3.91 Vertical:34 inches Class:2014 (High School)
Rivals rating: 5.9. For the record, 6.0 is a five-star, and he still has his senior year to go. Obviously, he's a little undersized for an SEC running back, despite his serious SEC speed. But this is just the kind of guy you want catching the ball out of the backfield or getting into space with a shovel pass.
Kyle Tucker of the Courier-Journal has more:
Williams' commitment pushes the Cats further into uncharted recruiting territory. Their 2014 class is now ranked third nationally by Rivals. UK has never finished higher than 29th.
Furthermore, in the 11 classes before Stoops arrived, the Cats signed just two players ranked in Rivals' top 250; they've landed seven such players in six months under Stoops, including five this year: Williams, quarterback Drew Barker (No. 117), running back Mikel Horton (No. 131), safety Darius West (No. 185) and receiver Thaddeus Snodgrass (No. 205).
Finally, this is priceless:
Top three football recruiting classes in the nation per Rivals? Texas A&M, Tennessee and...Kentucky. Really. http://t.co/hAEAOB7AUP— Clay Travis (@ClayTravisBGID) June 13, 2013