This upcoming football season is going to hold the future of Mark Stoops and his success/failure as UK's head coach.
The first class Stoops brought in was a highly-touted group full of talent and potential. They haven't lived up to their expectations with Ryan Timmons having issues staying healthy and being able to catch a ball, along with the departure of Jason Hatcher.
What the best thing about the group is the stability of JoJo Kemp and the promising talent he has shown over his career. All that being said, I wanted to take a look at the incoming guys and see which ones could make an impact next season.
Landon has the opportunity to play on Sundays whenever he leaves this program. Whether he can play his way to the NFL has yet to be seen but this season will be a season of learning and adjustments for Young. He was the 6th-best tackle in the class of 2016 and has come into the spring practices eager for knowledge and carefully making the alterations necessary to be a big-time player.
This is a name you will soon get to know very well. He will get some decent minutes in a linebacker core that is searching for the next Wesley Woodyard, Danny Trevathan, Avery Williamson, or Josh Forrest. He is super explosive and diagnoses plays very well. Coach Eliot will have a great tool to work with this season in Walder and he should show out when his number gets called.
Jamar "Boogie" Watson is a 6'3" 225 lb. two-sport star from Forestville, Maryland. He starting playing football in high school in his junior year, which would be concerning if it wasn't for his huge impact for his Bishop McNamara Mustangs. His senior year saw a stat line with 59 tackles, 5 sacks, and 2 interceptions. Again DJ Eliot will have another great young linebacker to create depth and find another future NFL player!
The U.S. Army All-American from Versailles will be providing an experienced offensive line with depth and will push those playing his position to be their best. He will compete everyday at practice and Jackson will bring something most freshmen can't, leadership. At the All-American game, he was elected captain of the West squad and that tells you a lot about who Drake is.
Kash is a full-on Eastern Kentucky country boy. He also is a U.S. Army All-American and Mr. Football for Kentucky. He's the third linebacker on this list, and if I was a betting man, I'd say one of these young men might be donning a redshirt this fall.
From what we've heard so far, Kash was a little behind during the spring but once the speed of college football clicks with him, he could be a Wildcat we remember for a long time. I would be remiss if I didn't mention he's also a great periscope follow!