Today, Kentucky Wildcats and Alabama Crimson Tide fans' long-awaited news about where 2014 defensive tackle Matt Elam would attend college was answered, and the answer is Kentucky. That's great news for the Wildcats, and Elam is a critical piece for Mark Stoops to get the Wildcats where they need to be.
Elam is a Rivals.com 3-star prospect, but a 5-star prospect on 247sports.com. Elam played his high school football at John Hardin High in Elizabethtown, Kentucky, and Mark Stoops has been recruiting him very hard for quite some time. It is too Stoops' credit that he has been able to get Kentucky to the status of finalist for a player like this against Nick Saban and Alabama.
Elam was originally going to commit during the Army Bowl, but at the last minute, he decided to wait, apparently until after he finished his final visits to Kentucky and Alabama, with Kentucky being his last visit just this past weekend. Neal Brown (offensive coordinator) is said to be the recruiter for Kentucky, and Lance Thompson (linebackers coach) for Alabama.
Kentucky was undoubtedly watching this commitment far more intensely than Alabama, as Alabama gets players like this, and even better, all the time. Kentucky, on the other hand, tends to lose guys this good to teams with bigger football reputations, which is completely understandable due to their lack of success on the field. But if Stoops is ever going to change the culture at UK, getting players like Elam is important. Now that Kentucky has succeeded in getting a major piece of their defense for the future, it will really help the Wildcats going forward convince better and better players to play football at UK.
[Video added: 01/31/14 -a2d2]
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