Wildcats Thunder Football/Recruiting Analyst
I present these names at this time because this discussion helps to describe Randy Sanders' recruit board, and our staff's positional approach to the next class. For the sake of clarity, I am not predicting where any of the following prospects will sign, unless I specifically say so in the discussion of an individual prospect.
QB: Randall Cobb (Alcoa, TN) and Gene McCaskill (Chester, SC) have already verballed, but they will not play QB at UK. Matt Roark (Acworth, GA) has a scholarship offer from UK, but may play WR in college. Johnson Central HS QB JK Ratliff wants to verbal to UK, but has not received a scholarship offer. Our staff continues to pursue MarQueis Gray (of Indianapolis), but UK will have to outrecruit several Big Ten programs to sign him. Our staff has been in touch with Aramis Hillary (Columbia, SC), but Hillary has not accepted an invitation to visit Lexington yet.
RB: Although UK's backfield is already deep, Coach Brooks would joyfully accept a commitment from Darius Willis (Indianapolis) or Xavier Avery (Ellenwood, GA). Both are uphill battles, though. Quentin Trotter (Cincinnati) and Sam Buckingham (Portland, OR) are other RB prospects who could end up in UK's class under circumstances, but neither is likely at this time.
WR: The aforementioned Gene McCaskill will probably be developed as a WR at UK, and it is likely that Randall Cobb may be, too (see QB discussion). UK will take at least two other commitments from WRs. At least six other scholarship offers have been made to prospects who could play WR at the collegiate level. Those most likely to accept UK's offers are EJ Fields (Frankfort), Aaron Boyd (Lexington), Corey Heard (Atlanta), and/or possible the aforementioned Matt Roark. Of those, Heard and Roark may be leaning toward UK, Fields has narrowed his decision to UK and Wisconsin, and UK is making up ground with Boyd. So this may boil down to who makes their decisions first.
TE: Bowling Green's Ryan Wallace has been offered by UK, and is thought to be leaning toward the Cats.
OL: Matt Smith (Louisville) and Chandler Burden (Oxford, OH) have already verballed to UK. Trevino Woods (Athens, GA) verballed to UK, but then decommitted. Woods could still end up in UK's class, but his HS coach wants him to play closer to home. David Ulinski (Louisville) is thought to be a UK-lean. Ryan Benzick (Fern Creek) would be happy to receive an offer from UK.
DL: The Commonwealth's #1 prospect, Brandon Newman (Louisville) verballed to Notre Dame. At this point, Newman's verbal is considered solid, although UK continues to recruit him. DT prospect Arterio Arnold will choose between UK and Clemson. DE prospects Sam Robey (Louisville), Michael McAdoo (Antioch, TN), Glen Harbin (Mobile, AL), Willie Bohannon (Mobile, AL), Eric Everhardt (Suwanee, GA), and Jamarcus Savage (Huntsville, AL) are considering UK. Arnold, Robey, McAdoo, Harbin, and Bohannon are known to have been offered UK scholarships. Aside from possibly Arnold, none of them are currently UK-leans, but UK will probably get campus visits from four or five names on this list. Harbin is the highest-rated player on that list, and UK is thought to be in his top five. The aforementioned Ryan Wallace (TE discussion) might be developed as a DE if not needed at TE. Lexington DE prospect DL Wilhite has not received a UK scholarship offer yet, but could get into the picture at some point.
LB: UK's staff is recruiting LB prospects very selectively this season. Coach Brooks would like to sign Jerrell Harris (Gadsden, AL), but that is not likely. However, nationally-ranked DeAndre Jones (Memphis, TN) is thought to have narrowed his decision to UK and Stanford.
DB: The names to remember are Winston Guy (Lexington), Charles Whitlock (Chester, SC), Brian Sommer (Alcoa, TN), Robert Lester (Foley, AL), and the aforementioned Xavier Avery (see RB discussion). Guy has verballed to Arkansas, but is still being recruited by (and is still listening to) UK. Lester is thought to have narrowed his decision to Bama, Clemson, and UK. Whitlock, Sommer, and Avery are nationally-ranked prospects who are considering UK, but won't be easy to sign. Whitlock is a HS teammate of current UK verbal Gene McCaskill.
Saturday, September 01, 2007