What a Sunday it’s been for the future of the Kentucky Wildcats defense!
Earlier today, standout edge defender J.J. Weaver announced he was returning to Kentucky for the 2023 season. He figures to be the Wildcats’ top pass rusher this fall.
Now, Kentucky has landed a commitment from one of the top defensive players in the transfer portal, as North Carolina Tar Heels defensive lineman Keeshawn Silver has committed to Mark Stoops’ program.
Silver made the announcement on Twitter following a weekend visit to Lexington.
Originally a five-star recruit in the 2021 class, the North Carolina native signed with the in-state Heels while holding scholarship offers from the Alabama Crimson Tide, Georgia Bulldogs, Florida Gators, Penn State Nittany Lions, Oklahoma Sooners, Notre Dame Fighting Irish, Texas Longhorns, and Oregon Ducks among many others. He was also an Under Armour All-America game selection.
To give you an idea of how big of a recruit Silver was, he was the No. 8 overall recruit and No. 3 defensive end in the 2021 class via ESPN. 247 Sports had him ranked No. 28 overall and No. 6 among defensive lineman.
Of course, Silver played sparingly over two years in Chapel Hill, so he has yet to live up to those lofty recruiting rankings. He’s appeared in four games while making four total tackles.
But anytime you can get a talent like this is a major win, especially since he has three years of eligibility left. He’ll be a redshirt sophomore in 2023.
With Kentucky losing Justin Rogers to the transfer portal, you couldn’t have asked for a better answer to that loss than a former top recruit like Silver. We know Brad White is as good as it gets when it comes to defensive coordinators, so if anyone can get Silver to realize his potential, it’s Kentucky’s Mr. White.
And you probably recall how Rogers didn’t play a lot through his first two years before really breaking out in Year 3, so here’s to hoping Silver does the same in what should be a loaded defense next season.
Check out some high school highlights of Silver in action.
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