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Kentucky's 2016 Football Recruiting

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Unlike the 2015 class, the 2016 class looks more like the 2014 class. It seems as if Mark Stoops hopes to get a real jump in the early commitment game and he's done a good job. Kentucky ranks 4th in the 247 Sports 2016 rankings. Here's some known and not so well known information about our recruiting efforts.

Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

This past weekend, Kentucky held its first post signing day Junior Day Camp. It was by invitation only. Here's a list of players invited. A checkmark is shown for those who have been confirmed as having  attended. I may have missed some because the information is hard to come by unless money is spent for inside information. If I missed any who attended, apologies are offered.

Obviously weather played a role for those who did not make it to Lexington. According to Scout's Patrick Loney, one who did not make it was supposed to commit. I have no idea who that is, but Loney believes we may soon get the commitment anyway.

Committed:

Tobias Gilliam

Zy'Aire Hughes

Drake Jackson

Davonte Robinson

Roland Walder

Landon Young

Benny Snell - (5.5) 3* RB from Westerville, OH (Central) - offered on 12/08/14 after a visit on 11/2/14. Committed on 2/23/15. Did not make it to Lexington for the Jr. Day Camp. Kentucky's 9th commitment.

Asim (AJ) Rose - unrated ATH from Cleveland, OH (Garfield Heights) - offer date unknown - Had a good visit per his twitter. He had a good enough time to announce his commitment to the BBN on 2/23/15 and became Kentucky's 10th commitment. Check out his Hudl Highlight video and shed no tears over losing Quinton Baker.

Kentucky has moved to 4th in the 247 Sports 2016 Team Rankings.

Note: Kayaune Ross will visit on the 28th

Offered:

Trent Maynard - (5.6) 3* OL from Indianapolis (Decatur Central) - offered 2/15/15 - great visit per his Twitter

Austin Kendall - (6.0) 4* QB from Charlotte, NC (Christian) - offered 3/11/14 - Committed to Tennessee 8/3/14

Messiah deWeaver - (5.8) 4* QB from Huber Heights, OH (Wayne) - unofficial visit 9/14/13, offered 2/10/14, Jr Day visit 2/15/14, unofficial visit 4/05/14, committed to Michigan 6/18/14, de-committed when Hoke was fired, in-home visit  by Shannon Dawson and Derrick Ansley 1/27/15

Justin Rigg - (5.5) 3* TE from Springboro, OH (Springboro) - UK camp 7/18/14, offered 2/11/15 - Great visit per his Twitter

Brandon Chapman - Not Rated TE/DE from Grove City, OH (Grove City) - UK first to offer on 2/15/15

Sam Letton - (5.5) 3* TE from Marietta, GA (Walton) - Offered by Neal Brown unknown date

Luke Fortner - (5.5) 3* OT from Sylvania, OH (Northview) - UK offered 9/18/14, unofficial visit 10/11/14.

Jack Wohlabaugh - unrated OG/C from Cuyahoga Falls, OH (Walsh Jesuit) - UK offered 2/15/15

Jaylin Bannerman - (5.6) 3* LB from Pickerington, OH (Central) - offer date unknown

Jonah Morris - (5.6) 3* TE from Akron, OH (Archbishop Hoban) - offer date unknown

Todd Sibley (2017 Recruit) - Unrated RB from Akron, OH (Archbishop Hoban) - UK offered 1/24/15

Thomas Schaffer - (5.7) 3* TE/OL from Lake Forest. IL (Lake Forest Academy) - UK offered 2/12/15

Anthony McFarland (2017 Recruit) - NR RB/WR from Hyattsville, MD (DeMatha Catholic) - UK offer on 2/21/15 - Had a good visit per Patrick Loney

Tyler Simmons - NR WR from Power Springs, GA (McEachern) - UK offer on 2/21/15 - had a great visit per his twitter

Prospects:

Jeffrey Pooler - unrated DT from Dayton, OH (Chaminade-Julienne) - unofficial visit 4/18/14, unofficial visit 10/4/14

√  Matt Wilcox (2017 Recruit) - Unrated WR from Akron, OH (Archbishop Hoban)

Dakota Holtzclaw - unrated WR from Worthington, OH (Kilbourne)

√ Johnathon Jennings - unrated WR from Charlotte, NC . He's a good friend of Austin Kendall, according to Justin Rolwand over at Cats Illustrated. According to Rowland, the two are joining forces at Cuthbertson High School this year. If Kentucky offers and Jennings commits, will Kendall flip from Tennessee since his brother is already at UK as a walk-on? Something to keep an eye on. Here's his Hudl Highlights.

Other News:

While he hasn't visited since the first Jr. Day, (5.6) 3* DT T.J. London from Columbus, GA (Carver) lists Kentucky as his favorite. Rivals says he's the # 42 DT in the land.

On Monday, Kentucky's Derrick Ansley offered three players from Moultrie, GA's Colquitt County High School. Two are bookend OLBs/DEs: Dee Walker and Jaquan Blakely. The other is DB Rakeem Hightower. All three are currently unrated. If you'll recall, Kentucky signed Sihiem King on February's NSD. King is also from Colquitt County HS. It looks like Stoops and Company are trying to build a pipeline. Colquitt County is a 6-A powerhouse, much like Stone Mountain's Stephenson HS.

One thing to know about Colquitt County HS is the fact that Rush Propst is the head coach. On the bad side,he is the high school version of Bobby Petrino. On the good side he built Hoover (AL) into a national powerhouse from 1999 -2007. Under his coaching, Hoover won five class 6A championships between 2000 and 2005. At Colquitt County, the previous coach had a 20-23 record. When Propst became the head coach in 2008, he began a rebuilding process which culminated in 6A GHSA Championship for the 2014 season by beating Archer 28-14. The 6A division is the large school division. Colquitt County finished the season with a 15-0 record and beat Hoover 30-6 in the process.

Speaking of pipelines, Kentucky has a foothold in the DMV (District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia), thanks to Tommy Mainord. He's landed Kobie Walker (Maryland), Levon Livingston (D C), Jabari Greenwood (D C), and Will Jackson (D C).  So far, for 2016, he's offered 21 players from the DMV. Remember, he's going up against Virginia, Virginia Tech, Maryland and Penn State on a consistent basis.

As I suspected, Kentucky is no longer recruiting Ashland RB Quinton Baker, according to Scout's Patrick Loney. When he de-committed, UK dropped their pursuit of him. It may have been due to the run- around that Damien Harris put on Stoops last year or it may have been due to Shannon Dawson's evaluation of Baker. Baker will most likely commit to Marshall since he's listed the Thundering Herd as his new favorite. You can read about it here, if you're willing to subscribe. Baker de-committed after Neal Brown left and before Shannon Dawson was hired. Not to worry, Kentucky has offered eight uncommitted running backs. Kentucky has received interest from Atlanta's Elijah Holyfied, Orlando's Tyrek Tisdale and Benny Snell of Westerville, OH. Links are to each player's Hudl Highlights.

Kentucky commit Drake Jackson was named the top overall performer at the Best of the Midwest Combine in Indianapolis. Players from Kentucky, Ohio, Michigan, Illinois and, of course, Indiana participated. Jackson is leading the commitments efforts in assisting the coaching staff's recruiting. You can follow the players' efforts on twitter.  In spite of Jackson's commitment to the Cats he's keeps on piling up with offers.

The rest of the Top Five offensive players who are UK recruits were:

2.  Keion Wakefield was named the best receiver

5. Messiah deWeaver was named best QB

You can read about the results in this article by Steve Wilfong at 247 Sports.

Finally, Bud Dupree's powerful performance at the NFL combine has probably earned him a first round pick. He could wind up getting drafted by the Bengals. What does that have to do with recruiting? Well, high school players follow the draft and can see where Dupree goes in the draft. The kids know how the coaches and Erik Korem have developed Dupree and "Big Z" (Za'Darius) Smith.