Mark Stoops and his staff have done a fantastic job building the football program to the level that it is at today.
However, one thing that has been a more inconsistent part of his tenure has been the wide receiver room.
Now, they are taking a big leap in the right direction as 5-star wide receiver Barion Brown has committed to the Kentucky Wildcats. He announced the news Wednesday on Twitter.
On3 currently has brown ranked as the No. 14 overall player in the country and has him as the No. 2 overall wide receiver in the 2022 class. He comes the highest-ranked wideout to ever commit to Kentucky.
For a while, it looked like Alabama was the runaway favorite to land the Tennessee native, but in late October, the Crystal Ball and FutureCast predictions started flipping to the Cats, and now he is Lexington bound.
Brown becomes the second 5-star to join Stoops’ 2022 class along with offensive tackle Kiyaunta Goodwin who is ranked as the No. 16 overall player and the No. 1 overall offensive tackle, according to On3.
There is no question that the change in Kentucky’s ability to recruit elite wide receivers like Brown is due to the hire of Liam Coen and the revamped Kentucky offense.
Kentucky has now shown the ability to throw the ball down the field at a high success rate and recruits are wanting to be a part of this offense.
Here is the scouting report on Brown from 247 Sports’ analyst Gabe Brooks, which includes a comparison to Dyami Brown, a former North Carolina star and 2021 third-round NFL Draft pick of the Washington Football Team.
“Above average height with a lean, wiry build that should hold some more mass in college. Proven three-phase playmaker with big-play ability fostered by great functional athleticism. Long-striding gait that builds top-end speed, but does not hinder above average short-area change of direction. Varied positional background with snaps at quarterback (largely wildcat), running back, receiver, defensive back, and kick/punt returner. More subtle than violent when stringing together moves but more than capable of doing so for chunk yardage. Good downfield ball-tracking concentration. Possesses press traits at corner and flashes closing speed and arriving conviction in pursuit. Elite track profile for a football player with a 10.49 100 and 21.37 200. May not play quite that fast on the field, but nevertheless is the fastest player on the field in vast majority of situations. Has some slippery strength but lack of mass affects contact balance. Beats high school opponents with superior physical traits/athleticism and will need to hone technical side of playing receiver. Majority of touches have come in the run game so getting reps as a route runner and hands catcher will be key. Outstanding projection at cornerback, but current signs point to playing receiver, which still provides a great fit with high-ceiling upside. Provides great special teams value as a return man and potential coverage gunner. Big-play machine who projects to the high-major level as a possible difference-making weapon with a ceiling beyond the college game.”
It goes without saying that Brown is not only one of the biggest recruiting wins of the Mark Stoops era, but he is one of the highest ranked recruits in the history of the Kentucky program.
BBN has a lot to be excited about with the football program, and the addition of Brown is only going to continue building the excitement in Lexington.