Best Kentucky football recruiting class ever … a strong statement? Maybe. But even Paul ‘Bear’ Bryant would likely have been pleased with this Kentucky recruiting class, and he coached the Wildcats way back in the 1950s. This is arguably Kentucky’s best recruiting haul ever, and easily the best since the online recruiting services followed the beat day-by-day.
How often does Kentucky football beat out Alabama for a prospect? Well, on Thursday it happened when coveted lineman and Elizabethtown (Ky.) native Matt Elam decided to stay home and join coach Mark Stoops’ incredible 2014 class. Stoops kept the top two in-state players from going anywhere else (QB Drew Barker and Elam) and mined talent-rich neighbor Ohio like few SEC programs have ever done–with 11 commits coming from that state. The Wildcats now have 28 prospects on board and are solidly inside the national top 20 in rankings. Seven are all ready on campus as early enrollees.
Elam told reporters he was impressed with Alabama’s ability to produce NFL players, but exclaimed: “If you’re good you’re good” and that you don’t have be just at Alabama to one day have pro potential. It was a huge recruiting victory for Kentucky, and arguably the biggest pickup for the program since Tim Couch came aboard in 1995. Elam is 6-foot-5, 370 pounds and incredibly strong, but also can move well for a big man. Recruiting services are divided on how to rank him, with some calling him a five-star prospect and others ranking him lower. The 247Sports.com composite ranking has him as the No. 164 prospect in America, but some rankings have him as high as a top 25 prospect.
On a much, much quieter note, the Wildcats beat out Mississippi State Wednesday night for three-star center Jervontius Stallings (6-3/305). He is an Alabama product and his stock had been rising in recent weeks, as both SEC schools offered scholarships in mid December.