Now that the coaching carousel is starting to slow down, many top football recruits are on the verge of making their final commitments. Here is where the Kentucky Wildcats stand with many of their notable targets.
Matthew Baldwin, QB
As of late Thursday night, the former Colorado State commit is off the board. Baldwin is a 3-star prospect from Texas that was being heavily recruited by Kentucky and Minnesota, but he ultimately committed to the Ohio State Buckeyes and adds to their No. 1 ranked recruiting class.
Ranked as the No. 12 pocket passer in the 2018 class, Baldwin became a top target for many schools after reopening his recruitment. But as many recruiting analysts predicted, Ohio State jumped to the top of the list and stayed there after they offered Baldwin a scholarship.
Bryant Pirtle, LB
Once a star defensive end at DeSales High School in Louisville, Pirtle has made a name for himself as an outside linebacker at Pima Community College in Arizona. He has received 26 Division I scholarships after an outstanding sophomore season in junior college, and he is set to visit Kentucky this weekend.
Other schools of interest for Pirtle, who many believe may end up at inside linebacker before it is all said and done, are Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas A&M, Arizona, Arkansas, and Utah. According to Pirtle’s father, geography may give an advantage to Kentucky...or it may not.
“He only has two years to get it done, so it’s got to be a school that fits him,” Pirtle Sr. told Jon Hale of the Courier Journal. “If Utah betters suits him, then that’s probably where he will go. I mean, we want him to be close to home, but at the end of the day it’s what he wants to do and the best chance he has to get to the next level, which is his ultimate goal.”
Pirtle plans to finalize his commitment by the December 20th signing day, so it looks like it may be down the schools he has visited (Oregan, Utah) or the ones he will visit before then (Kentucky, Louisville).
Aaron Maddox, DB
Another Pima Community College standout, defensive back Aaron Maddox will be taking his official visit to Kentucky this weekend as well. After only getting offers from FCS schools out of high school, Maddox has increased his stock at the junior college level.
Maddox is considering Kentucky, Louisville, NC State, and Colorado. It is unclear whether he will sign during the fall signing period, but with him having official visits on four consecutive weekends it seems likely.
Remember the last JUCO transfer Kentucky got from the west coast? That’s right, Stephen Johnson. Perhaps Pirtle and Maddox could bring similar magic to Lexington.
Akeem Hayes, ATH
The Hollywood, Florida native recently doubled down on his commitment to Kentucky. A former Louisville commit, Hayes told CatsPause.com what it was like to flip to the Wildcats and what he likes so much about the coaching staff in Lexington.
I talk to a different coach every day. That's the thing I love about Kentucky. They are going to keep in contact with me regardless. I talk to the quarterback coach a lot. Me and coach Lamar [Thomas] talk a lot. Me and coach [Eddie] Gran talk week to week. Me and coach [Mark] Stoops, we talk week and week.
As the No. 73 ranked athlete in the 2018 recruiting class, it looks like Kentucky plans to use Hayes at wide receiver and it looks like he would make a dangerous combination alongside Lynn Bowden. Hayes plans to sign before the December 20th deadline, but will not be able to enroll early.
Trey Dean, S
Trey Dean de-commited from Tennessee this week, which is two weeks after most of their top recruits. The 4-star safety from Hampton, GA is back on the market and making visits. He recently visited Alabama and is schedule to go to Florida this weekend.
Kentucky and South Carolina have reached out to Dean, although he has yet to show real interest in either school. If Kentucky could get in the mix, though, Dean would be a huge get for the program.
Several of these players could commit to a school in the next 10-12 days, so check back often for updates. Unlike other recent commits that have changed their minds, a player officially signing during the fall period would be locked in as a Wildcat.
Terry Wilson, QB
Arguably the most important left on Kentucky’s big board, Terry Wilson is taking his official visit to Lexington this week. He is also considering Nebraska, but they’re also in the running for Tennessee commit Adrian Martinez, who looks like the No. 1 QB target on their big board.
If Nebraska is able to pry Martinez from the Vols, that could clear an easy path for Kentucky to land Wilson, who will sign late this month. Florida did offer Martinez earlier this week, but they already have a young promising QB on their roster in Feleipe Franks, not to mention a commitment from 2018 four-star quarterback Matt Corral.
Which of these guys would you like to see rock Kentucky blue?