2014 Signing Day has ended for UK, but the glow will last a few months longer, much, much longer than the retinal burn the two new, chrome, UK Football helmets will leave in the eyes of their opponents. The chrome with blue checkerboard sits between Mitch and Tom in the photo here (9672037.jpeg) .
Photo courtesy UKAthletics.com
The great thing about recruiting (and signing day in particular) is that there are unlimited upsides and this is the time to delve into them. Forget about reality for now. Let's talk about the pure potential of this UK record setting class in the grand scheme of things.
Among the 29 signees, 15 were ranked a 4 star or higher by at least one of the 3 main services. FIFTEEN. (Did I mention 15?) Drew Barker and Stanley "Boom" Williams on offense, Darius West on defense, are the only recruits ranked 4 stars by 247, ESPN, and Rivals. Matt Elam, Cory "CJ" Johnson, Kendall Randolph, Thaddeus Snodgrass, and Denzel Ware, are all rated at least 4 star by 2 of the 3. The rest rated 4 stars with at least one service or aspect, are Dorian Baker, Blake Bone, Mike Edwards, Nico Firios, Mikel Horton, Nick Richardson, and Lloyd Tubman.
When looking at this class, of course, it's not just the star ratings that stand out. The offer sheets for quite a few of those rated under the 4 star radar, are more telling than the ratings.
Tymere Dubose- Michigan State
Ryan Flannigan- Arizona, Baylor, West Viginia (HS), Arizona State, Cincy, Houston, Texas Tech
Garrett Johnson- Florida, BC, Arizona, Georgia Tech, Iowa State, Northwestern, Vanderbilt
Josh Krok- Akron, Cincy, Louisville, West Virginia
Jarrett LaRubbio- Arizona State, Cincy, Louisville, Maryland, Nebraska, UNC, Pitt, Vanderbilt, Washington, West Virginia, and Wisconsin
Darryl Long- BC, Illinois, Indiana, Louisville, Minnesota, Missouri, UNC, Pitt, Purdue
Jervontius Stallings- Miss State, Colorado, other late interest
T.V. Williams- Cal, Houston, Iowa, Nebraska, Oregon State, SMU, Utah, and Navy
Jared Tucker- Cincy, Connecticut, Florida State, Indiana, Ohio State, South Carolina, Vanderbilt
Kobie Walker- BC, Hawaii, UofMiami, Ohio State, Syracuse, Wisconsin, Rutgers
Dorian Hendrix committed so early and never really marketed himself off of the UK offer or considered other schools, though he had offers from Illinois and IU early. AJ Stamps got late interest and offers from other schools, including Ohio State, though offers aren't listed on the recruiting sites. Adrian Middleton had a few offers at his former position, but with his solid commitment to UK and position change, most were no longer listed, but he did have them from Indiana, Louisville, Missouri and WKU.
These last 3 are among the most underrated you'll find. Middleton looks like a beast with a solid chip on his shoulder, Hendrix, according to the staff is an absolute gem, and Stamps is versatile, experienced, and possesses all the traits they were looking for in the secondary.
The teams UK beat out for each one of these recruits are a Who's Who of college football both traditionally and/or at the time of each recruit's commitment.
Offers to the current class came from Alabama, Arizona, Auburn, BC, California, Clemson, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, Houston, Illinois, LSU, Miami, Michigan State, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Oregon, Penn State, Pittsburgh, Purdue, South Carolina, Southern Cal, SMU, Stanford, Syracuse, Tennessee, Texas, TCU, Texas Tech, UCLA, Washington, Washington State, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and many others.
In other words… ALL of the UK recruits are PLAYERS with visible, tangible, and tremendous upside.
Looking at this from a more subjective perspective, the following is an example of this potential. The average relative position rank of our recruits based on their highest national position rank is 13.8. This means that on average only 13 teams have better recruits at each position than UK. Again, 15 recruits' best ranking is in the top 12 at their position.
If you're going to talk about filling needs, this class does it in a way that few other classes do. This is not a reload, but this is breaking in the guns, and tightening up the sights with high quality ammo. If you aren't excited, you're not a UK football fan. Let's fill Commonwealth Stadium for this Spring Game and show the SEC, if they still have questions, that last year was not just a fluke or a flash in the pan. The coaches have done it. Now it's our turn!