LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - Mark Stoops announced the signing of two junior college players Wednesday. They will join five freshmen enrolling for the spring semester. All seven will take part in the off season program and spring practice.
Cory "C.J. Johnson is a defensive tackle out of Columbia , South Carolina, he played junior college ball in New York. Johnson picked Kentucky over Miami. ESPN.com rates him the eigth-best junior college defensive lineman. " Very productive player." said Stoops. "Big physical guy, very mature, again very active on the D-line."
A.J. Stamps is a cornerback out of Vicksburg, Mississippi who went to East Mississippi Community College. He picked Kentucky over Ohio State. "Just did a fantastic job. Big strong corner, again a guy coming in at mid-year can really help us. Physical guy, 6-foot, 195 pounds."
For Stoops and his staff the competition was stiff. Stoops said Stamps wasn't convinced to come to UK until this morning. "Believe me we were working all night last night. This deal, one of these deals didn't get closed until about an hour ago. We were working all the way through and it's not easy."
Johnson and Stamps will enroll and take part in spring practice. They'll be joined by five freshmen who will also enroll early including quarterback Drew Barker out of Conner. " The junior college guys are always a little bit different." said Stoops. "But with the high school guys coming out, it's really unique the way this is falling into place and it's a credit to the players we're recruiting and a credit to the staff. So some good things are going on."
Stoops is excited seven new players are coming in early and he credits the people involved for the recruiting success. "Ya know the people, really more than anything, it's the fans, it's the staff, it's the people that are affecting these kids and are around these kids every day are doing a great job of just being themselves."
Also enrolling in January with Barker are linebacker Dorian Henrix, running back Mikel Horton and receivers Thaddeus Snodgrass and T.V. William .