The Kentucky Wildcats just scored a massive commitment in the 2017 class.
According to Rivals.com's Justin Rowland, four-star prospect Joshua Paschal has committed to UK.
BREAKING: Four-star Olney (Md.) Good Counsel DE Josh Paschal commits to Kentucky, per a source.— Justin Rowland (@RowlandRIVALS) December 13, 2016
Paschal, who hails from Our Lady of Good Counsel High School in Maryland, picked UK over the likes of Oklahoma and Notre Dame. Paschal may very well be the best player Stoops lands in the 2017 class, as 247 ranks him 285th overall in addition to being the 11th-best defensive end prospect in 2017.
The younger brother for former Wildcat TraVaughn Paschal, Joshua took his official visit to UK the weekend of Dec. 3, but while the visit went great, it was followed up by an official to Notre Dame, who has been a real threat to land the four-star linebacker/defensive end and eighth-ranked prospect from Maryland.
But UK was able to hold on and land Paschal, who also held offers from Ohio State, Alabama, Oklahoma, Louisville, Michigan State, Clemson, Iowa, Nebraska, Ole Miss, Penn State, Tennessee, USC, Texas A&M, Wisconsin, and Virginia Tech among many others.
All of the major recruiting services have Paschal tabbed as a four-star prospect, though his position varies between defensive end and outside linebacker. At 6-4 and 253 pounds, he's already big enough to play linebacker at the college level, which is where UK may start him off at to get him on the field as much as possible next year. Then he can bulk up and grow into a defensive end overtime.
Regardless of where he plays, Paschal is easily one of the biggest recruits UK has scored under Mark Stoops. Ratings are one thing, but it's been a rarity for UK to ever land a prospect with the kind of offers Paschal has.
The lead recruiter on Paschal was tight ends coach Vince Marrow, who continues to be a force on the recruiting trail for UK.
It may have helped that Paschal has actually played some tight end in high school, though defense is where his college future lies. Now it's just a matter of holding on to Paschal through National Signing Day. He's the kind of prospect that big-time programs will try and steal late, but UK is in good position to hold onto him.
Here are some highlights of the big-time pass-rusher in action: