The University of Kentucky added a major piece to their 2020 class by getting a commitment from all-purpose back Michael Drennen II, who announced his commitment on National Signing Day.
The four-star prospect is ranked as a top-five player in the state of Ohio by 247 Sports Composite. This means that Mark Stoops and his staff went into the heart of Buckeye Country and secured a commitment from a highly-touted offensive weapon.
Ironically, Drennen is expected to help replace an all-time UK great that also came from Ohio in Lynn Bowden Jr., who is now off to the NFL. While Drennen is listed as an all-purpose back by all the major recruiting services, he’s expected to play wide receiver in UK’s offense, and with Bowden gone, there’s a major need at the position.
Ohio State was another school that was in the mix to land Drennen, while USC and Florida were also major players in his recruitment, while LSU, Alabama, Auburn, Georgia, Michigan and Notre Dame had also previously offered scholarships.
This is an impressive commitment when you consider some of the nation’s very top programs had the chance to give their pitch. It’s obvious why Drennen was so highly sought after when you see his athleticism on display.
This commitment is significant for UK in more ways than just signing a potentially game-changing offensive player. Drennen was considered to be the biggest remaining offensive option on the Cats’ radar for this signing period, so adding him was important to this class as a whole.
Mark Stoops and his staff got in early on his recruitment and it paid off big time. The majority of predictions were going UK’s way before the official announcement was made, which speaks to Drennen’s passion to come to Lexington.
In December, Drennen spoke with Bill Green of 247 Sports and discussed the experience he had being recruited by Kentucky.
“They were the first school to offer back when I was in the eighth grade, and I have been there so many times already.” Drennen said.
Four years later, that 8th grader grew into a 5-11 190 pound shifty four-star prospect who will add some depth to the Cats’ offense.
There was, however, some late drama in Drennen’s recruitment when word came down that Youngstown State was eying UK recruiting coordinator Vince Marrow as its next head coach. Marrow, of course, has been a recruiting force in Ohio, and Drennen admitted the situation was affecting his recruitment.
Thankfully, Marrow remained in Lexington, and that helped UK ultimately seal the deal with this game-changing recruit.
Even with the expectation of Drennen playing receiver, one would assume UK will find ways to get him the ball in the backfield. Eddie Gran has accomplished incredible success this past season by pounding the ball with a record-setting rushing attack that ended their regular season by thrashing the Louisville Cardinals for 517 yards, then ran for 331 more in the Belk Bowl win over the Virginia Tech Hokies.
Even with Bowden leaving for the NFL draft, you still have to assume that the ground game will continue to be a priority for Gran’s scheme moving forward, and Drennen can be a part of that.
But with a more traditional QB under center in Terry Wilson, Drennen can make a bigger impact as a pass-catcher while AJ Rose, Chris Rodriguez and Kavosiey Smoke lead the backfield.
Adding Drennen to this class is a major victory for a program that is already in the midst of a historically special period.