Since posting the A Sea of Blue Big Board a week or so ago, Mark Stoops & Company have made several more offers to come play football for the Wildcats and the University of Kentucky. Here's a list for you to ponder:
Thompson is a 5'10" 170lb cornerback who plays for St. Paul's Episcopal in Mobile, Alabama. He's rated as a (5.5) 3* by Rivals. Considering his offer sheet looks like this, you would have to say Rivals isn't giving him his due. 247 Sports says he's a 4*. He ranks #90 by Rank by Offers which shows a total of 24 offers last week with 6 offers from top 25 programs. He picked up an additional two offers this week: Kentucky on May 10th and Purdue on May 14th. He is on the Watch List for Nike's The Opening. Thompson also plays wide receiver for St. Paul's. According to 247 Sports, he will most likely commit to Florida. St. Paul's finished with a 10-3 record last year, losing in the playoffs to Saraland HS.
Like Thompson, Thingstad plays for St. Paul's Episcopal. He's being recruited as a 6'-5" 275lb DE, but he currently plays as an OT/DT. Troy has impressive vitals: Benching 355lbs and squatting a whopping 500lbs. He holds offers from Louisville, South Alabama, Southern Mississippi, Kentucky, and South Carolina. While he doesn't have a listed favorite, he's got the warm fuzzies for the first three listed. Derek Ansley is our primary recruiter. Rivals has him as an unrated player while 247 Sports shows him as a 3*. He attended Louisville's April 5th Jr. Day camp where he was offered by the Cards. UK offered on May 12th.
Ford is a DE who plays for Gibsonton (FL) East Bay HS. He was offered by Kentucky on May 7th, by Minnesota and Mississippi State on May 9th, North Carolina on May 13th and Louisville on May 14th giving him a new total offer list of 26 offers, including 5 top 25 offers. He's unrated by Rivals, but 247 Sports shows him as a 3* prospect. His last ranking by Rank By Offers lists him at 132 nationally in terms of offers. This is a player who Nike missed, considering the number of offers. His favorites are Miami, Rutgers and USF. He tapes in at 6'4" and 217lbs. East Bay finished with an 8-4 record and lost to (Tampa) Sickles in the state playoffs.
Lakeland (FL) produces some very good players and have done so over many years. Brown plays linebacker for Lake Gibson HS. He has two offers: Kentucky and Utah. Chad Scott is UK's recruiter. He's an under the radar player who is rated as a 3* by 247 Sports and he's is not in Rivals database. One reason he isn't rated might be due to the fact that he doesn't have a highlight video that anyone is aware of. There's just not much in the way of information about him.
Jones is another Lake Gibson product who is much more well-known than Brown. Chad Scott offered him as well as Brown on May 13th during a visit to Lake Gibson HS. Jones has 18 offers, including top 25 Michigan State. He's projected by 247 Sports to commit to West Virginia. You can see his offer sheet here. Rivals lists him as a (5.5) 3*. He's a 6'4" 220lb DE who has attended a Nike Training Camp who verified his Sparq numbers as 30.7" Vertical, 30' Powerball, 335 Bench Press, and a 445lbs Squat.
Johnson is a big defensive tackle (6'3" and 326lbs) for Ellenwood Georgia's Cedar Grove HS. As of May 7th he had 25 offers. Since then, he's received offers from Kentucky (May 8th), Iowa State (May 12th) and Tennessee (May 13th). He also has offers from 9 top 25 programs. While he has no favorites, the "experts" at 247 Sports say he'll commit to either Arkansas or LSU. Rivals says he's a (5.6) 3*. Jimmy Brumbaugh is Kentucky's lead recruiter. Check out his offer sheet. It's pretty impressive. You must assume from it that he's just another example of an under-rated player. He‘s been SPARQ verified at 5.91 in the forty, a 5.37 shuttle, and a 23.6 vertical. He currently stands at #72 in the numbers of offers.
Hill is another example of the Stoops' venture into Virginia and he's another example that tells us that defensive ends are a priority. Virginia Tech is currently his favorite and the 247 Sports predictors say he'll commit to the Gobblers. However, he could end up at North Carolina, his second choice. He's a Virginia Beach Salem HS player with 14 offers and three from the top 25. Whoever gets him will be getting a good player. He's 6'4" and weighs 225lbs. He's on Nike's The Opening Watch List and a Rivals (5.6) 3*.
This linebacker is 6'3" and weighs 240lbs, and is another Virginia product (Ashburn) who plays for Stone Bridge HS. He'll likely commit to Virginia Tech, but Tommy Mainard thinks he can influence him to choose Kentucky. He has nine offers. Rivals has him as a (5.5) 3*.
In other recruiting news
You're probably already aware that Matt Elam is predicting that UK's 2015 recruiting class will be historical. It was through twitter, but has showed up on just about every recruiting site. See what Larry Vaught had to say about it.
The Cats have commitments from nine and three are Rivals 4* players. Eli Brown is a (5.9) 4*, C.J. Conrad and Luke Hiers are both (5.8) 4*'s, Jordan Jones and Alex Stump are both (5.7) 3*'s, Logan Stenberg is a (5.6) 3*, and Levon Livingston, Larry Wells and Mason Wolfe are Rivals (5.5) 3* players. I'm not sure why offensive linemen are generally rated low when that is one of the most needed positions across all of college football.
Kentucky is currently ranked # 18 in the Rivals Team Rankings with an average star rating of 3.33. Kentucky is 9th in the SEC, ahead of #21 Arkansas, #25 Missouri, #27 Florida, #44 Ole Miss and #68 Vanderbilt. Just for what it's worth, Kentucky is ranked higher than Texas (#20), Michigan (#26), Oregon (#35), Oklahoma (#47), Ohio State (#60), and Louisville (#89).
Varsity Preps recently interviewed Virginia Beach Ocean Lakes DB Jahque Alleyne. He has no favorites, but the 247 Sports experts indicate the Rivals (5.6) 3* will likely commit to Kentucky. You can read his interview here.
Indiana Linebacker Darrin Kirkland was a visitor this week. He's a Rivals (5.8) 4* from Indianapolis Lawrence Central. He's ranked as the 15th best player in Nike's top 100 players. In terms of offers, he ranks #29 in the Rank By Offers ranking with 27 total offers, including 6 top 25 offers. He apparently enjoyed his visit. You can read about it at KSR. The good news is Kentucky has climbed to the top of his list.
Finally, rumor has it that with Conrad's commitment, the Wildcats have stopped recruiting TEs.
The coaching staff has been on the road visiting mostly 2016 and 2017 prospects, but also managed to visit some 2015 recruits as well. One thing we can be sure of as fans is that this coaching staff is relentless when it comes to recruiting.