I thought we would take a look at the most important recruits by category. The categories are committed to UK, uncommitted and committed to other schools. Typically, the most important recruits are the ones a team already has committed. Most people don't realize how difficult it becomes to hold off other programs when they come calling. Below is the breakdown.
The three most important committed recruits today are Jon Davis (ATH), Glen Faulkner (S) and Clint Tucker (DT). All three of these players have high ceilings and will contribute early at the next level. First, Jon Davis is from Kentucky and may be the best overall football player in the state. The Cats can’t afford to lose him. Glen Faulkner and Clint Tucker are teammates who will help create a new pipeline for the program. Not to mention, they have the potential to be game changers at the next level. All three are being pursued by other programs weekly. The staff will have their hands full signing them on signing day.
Of the uncommitted recruits the Cats are pursuing, the number one priority is Lamar Dawson (LB) from Boyle County, Kentucky. Lamar has offers from USC, Florida, Tennessee and more are calling every week. After Dawson, the next two priority recruits appear to be Nick Martin (OL) and Zach West (OL). The Cats struck out with offensive linemen in last year’s class so they must make up ground in 2011. Martin’s father played at UK and his brother plays for Notre Dame. If the Cats land Martin, it’s another way to measure the success of the program. West is another local product from Lexington who is still considering UK along with Cincinnati, Penn State, Auburn and Tennessee. In recent years, no one would have given UK a chance to land a recruit with an offer list comparable to West’s. For the Cats, it’s imperative they protect their home ground and sign West.
Committed to other schools
There are nearly 75 known recruits who the Cats have offered, but committed to other programs. The three most important in this category are DaMarcus Smith (QB), Jamon Brown (DT) and DeVante Parker (WR). Why? All three are from Louisville and all three have given verbal commitments to play for the Cards. Smith is a Pro-Style quarterback who the Cats don’t want to face. He will be in the running for “Mr. Kentucky” along with the other names mentioned. Jamon Brown is a light footed run stuffer, who will help anchor a defensive line at the school he chooses on signing day. DeVante Parker could be the best overall athlete in the state and the Cats would love to add him to their program. Athlete’s like Parker don’t come around very often and he has a chance to be special.
Clearly Joker Phillips has placed an emphasis on recruiting when you consider the staff changes he has made. It’s important for fans to understand Joker realizes Charlie Strong is a great recruiter. However, there is only so much recruiting the head coaches can do, therefore Joker has increased the programs instate recruiting power by adding Mike Summers, David Turner and Greg Nord to the staff.