By Will Marshall and Hank Rippetoe
Jervontius Stallings C/OG
Spain Park HS
The 6'3'' 305 pound Stallings is the last member of the 2014 Signing Class, making his official commitment one week ago on 29 January. Stallings is rated as the 15th best center in the country, according to 24/7 Sports. The coaches apparently wanted him bad enough that they risked driving and walking through Alabama and Georgia last week during the "Snowpacalyse" and for their hard work they were rewarded Stallings' pledge. Kentucky's main rival for Stallings' commitment was Mississippi State. It sounds like Stallings worked hard in his final high school season to improve on the field and in the classroom. Stallings was primarily recruited by offensive line coach John Scharlman.
Stallings is an intriguing prospect who I can't say I knew much about until he made his official visit to UK in a few weekends ago. In the linked articles above, his HS coach says he's a great character kid but is still a little raw. Even if he is raw, he may be called upon this year to contribute given Coach Brown's statements during the fall that the interior offensive line was suffering from serious issues. Last year the coaches were forced to move Jon Toth from his old position of offensive tackle to center because they didn't have anyone else. Now they do with Stallings. After watching his HUDL highlights two things immediately struck me: one, Spain Park runs a lot of shotgun and so does UK, so Stallings should be comfortable snapping the ball in that format while reading the defense; and two, Spain Park asked him to pull quite a bit and he seemed to have good feet doing so for a kid who is still "raw". Stallings may not be the flashy "National Signing Day surprise" that fans look forward to having, but he is a solid recruit that has the look of a multi-year starter on the offensive line and that is exactly what this class needed.