Stoops Troops’ got a big bump in the recruiting rankings on Friday with the official commitment of 2018 tight end Brenden Bates.

Bates, listed by 247Sports Composite as a three-star recruit and the No. 13 player at his position. Bates will take his talents to Lexington this fall barring any setbacks and assuming he sticks with his commitment until National Signing Day.

The 6-5, 230-pound tight end is listed as the Wildcats’ best recruit in the class, and he bumps the group up to No. 18 nationally and fifth in the SEC. Recruiting has certainly picked up under Mark Stoops, who has increased the Cats national rankings in each of the last seasons. With Bates already in the bag, this may start the ball rolling on another big class for Kentucky.

The Cincinnati, Ohio, native continues Kentucky’s impressive win streak in the state. While it’s Stoops’ home state, the Cats have put a target on the state and have been very successful.

With incumbent starter C.J. Conrad entering his junior year in 2016, it sets the stage for Bates to compete for the job in 2018.