The Kentucky Wildcats have made a big addition to their defensive line via the Class of 2016.
It comes in the form of defensive tackle Naquez Pringle, who has signed with UK and is enrolled for the spring semester, according to Scout.com's Patrick Loney:
I've been told Naquez Pringle has signed his papers to enroll at Kentucky. #BBN— Patrick Loney (@PatrickLoney) January 15, 2016
Pringle, who originally hails from Carvers Bay high School in South Carolina, held offers from the Clemson Tigers, South Carolina Gamecocks and Marshall Thundering Herd among others coming out of high school in 2014. He was ranked as the third-best defensive tackle from the state of South Carolina and a high three-star prospect.
At one point during his high school career, Pringle was a highly sought after four-star prospect that was ranked 159th overall by 247Sports. However, the 6-2, 270-pound Pringle would be forced to take the JUCO route, and ultimately signed with Itawamba Community College in Mississippi.
As Former UK quarterback Freddie Maggard writes, UK BADLY needed some depth on the defensive line for next season:
UK defensive front returning statistics: 2.5 Tackles for Loss and 1 QB Sack. DE, DT, NT all grave positions need & immediate producers.— Freddie Maggard (@FredMaggard) January 15, 2016
Here is Pringle's ESPN scouting report back from 2014:
A prospect with adequate height, but he carries a good amount of bulk on his thickly-built frame and looks to possess a good wingspan for his height.
|Versus the Run||
Shows some explosive flashes, but he does need to work to improve his get-off as he can beat hesitant and overall displays adequate initial quickness. Flashes the ability fire out low, get under blockers' pads and uncoil at contact and knock them back, and when he keeps his pads down he can take on blocks and hold his ground. Can be stout interior run presence but does need to watch his pad level. Shows flashes of using his reach to his advantage, but must continue to work to improve hand usage and do a better job of consistently shooting and separating. Has a strong grip to bring down ball carriers when he can get hands on.
|Pass Rush Skills||
Has the ability to press the pocket with a bull rush and flashes the ability to work to half-a-man, but needs to develop the use of his hands and better utilize his reach to help him work past blockers.
Will pursue to the ball with adequate range and redirect ability.
It is quite possible Pringle could land on offense as a guard. We don't see an immediate contributor and feel a redshirt year could greatly benefit him as he needs to keep developing his game and be more consistent in areas. Has some raw tools to work with and shows some flashes that his best days on the gridiron could be ahead of him.
And here are some highlights of Pringle in action at Itawamba: