LEXINGTON, Ky. - Head coach Mark Stoops and his coaching staff have finalized their 2014 recruiting class for the Kentucky football program, and what a class it turned out to be.
28 players officially signed their letter of intent Wednesday, making up what is the best recruiting class in the history of Wildcat football. Rivals.com ranks Kentucky's class 14th in the nation, while ESPN has the class ranked 20th.
Here are the bios of all 28 players who make up the 2014 recruiting class.
Dorian Baker, Wide Receiver, 6-3, 205, Fr-HS, Cleveland Heights, Ohio (Cleveland Heights) – A four-star prospect according to Rivals.com who is a mixture of size and speed at wide receiver … Rated a three-star prospect by 247Sports.com, Scout.com and ESPN.com … Rivals.com ranks him the 16th-best prospect in the state of Ohio and 42nd-best wide receiver in the nation … Had 24 receptions as a senior for 573 yards and six touchdowns … Averaged 23.9 yards per reception his senior year, including a season-long reception of 66 yards … Helped lead his team to the state playoffs two of the last three seasons, including the school’s first-ever playoff win his senior season … Team finished with a 10-2 record … Coached by Jeff Rotsky … Chose Kentucky after numerous offers, including Indiana, Minnesota, Pittsburgh, Illinois and Vanderbilt.
Coach Stoops says: “Dorian is definitely going to be the big, strong receiver we need. I love how physical he plays.”
Drew Barker, Quarterback, 6-3, 217, Fr-HS, Burlington, Ky. (Conner) – One of the most prolific performers in Kentucky high school history … Strong-armed, accurate passer who also made plays with his legs … Four-year letterman and three-year starter at Conner HS in Hebron, Ky. … Led Conner to the state quarterfinals as a sophomore and the second round of the playoffs as a junior and senior … During his career, completed 65.9 percent of his passes for 6,264 yards and 62 touchdowns … Ran for 3,931 yards and 51 TDs … Threw for 2,671 yards and 34 scores during stellar senior season … First-team all-state by The Associated Press … Named to the “Class of the Commonwealth” team by the Lexington Herald-Leader … Finalist for “Mr. Football” … District Player of the Year … Four-star prospect according to Rivals.com, Scout.com and ESPN.com … The No. 1 prospect in Kentucky according to Rivals and the No. 6 quarterback in the nation … Attended the Elite 11 Quarterback Camp during the summer of 2013 … Played in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl in San Antonio in January, 2014 … Completed 4 of 6 passes for 54 yards and led two touchdown drives for the winning West team … Coached by Dave Trosper, who said, “Drew has an exceptional arm, one of the best I’ve seen in 22 years (of coaching), and great touch. I’ve always said that good players become great by being a hard worker and student of the game. That’s what separates him – he’s a student of the game.” … All-district honoree in basketball … Honor-roll student …Member of the Future Business Leaders of America … Did community service work with the Never Give Up Foundation … After numerous scholarship offers, chose Kentucky over South Carolina and Tennessee … “Staying at home and representing the state,” Barker said of his decision. “I know that the coaching staff will bring in good players. This is the best decision for me athletically and academically.”
Coach Stoops says: “It was very important (to sign him) because Drew is one of the top players in the state along with being a national recruit. It’s very important to get great players from your home state. Not only is he an Elite 11 quarterback he also has the leadership skills we look for in a quarterback.”
Blake Bone, Wide Receiver, 6-5, 200, Fr-HS, Woodruff, S.C. (Woodruff) – A four-star recruit by Rivals.com and three-star prospect by 247Sports.com, Scout.com and ESPN.com … Rivals.com ranks him the ninth-best player in the state of South Carolina and the 49th-best wide receiver in the nation … Scout.com’s Kerry Fair says of Bone, “Should he continue his rate of growth and improvement we’re comfortable saying he’ll be a national level recruit … really smooth athlete with good size who will continue to add weight, get stronger and faster. Utilizes his size and body control well” … ESPN.com give him high marks for his hands and catching in traffic … First-team Class AAA all-state as a senior by the High School Sports Report … Had 72 receptions for 1,247 yards and eight touchdowns … Was selected to play in the 2014 Offense-Defense All-American Bowl … Also played in the Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas, matching the South Carolina vs. North Carolina all-stars, and caught seven passes for 55 yards … Great junior year featured 65 catches for 1,150 yards and 14 touchdowns … Was named all-state, all-conference and all-county as a sophomore with 60 receptions for 1,057 yards and 10 touchdowns, helping his team to the state title game … Coached by Brian Lane … Also an all-state performer in basketball as a junior as selected by the South Carolina Basketball Coaches Association … Picked Kentucky after offers from Arkansas, Clemson, Louisville, Ole Miss and South Carolina.
Coach Stoops says: “Blake has great size and is a playmaker. He also has the ability to catch the ball in traffic.”
Tymere Dubose, Defensive End, 6-5, 280, Fr-HS, Youngstown, Ohio (Youngstown Christian) – A three-star recruit by Rivals.com, Scout.com, 247sports.com and ESPN.com … Ranked as the 40th-best player in the state of Ohio and 33rd-best strongside defensive end in the nation by Rivals.com … Considered the 46th-best defensive end in nation by Scout.com … 247Sports.com gives him high praise for his size and athleticism … Big, physical player that played on the defensive line and at tight end in high school … Second-team Division VII All-Ohio in 2013 by The Associated Press … Still has a lot of upside as he has only played two years of high school football … Coached by Brian Marrow … Also was a star basketball player in high school … Picked Kentucky after offers from Michigan State and West Virginia … Name is pronounced “du-BOSE.”
Coach Stoops says: “Tymere is a very athletically gifted player. He has very good agility for a player his size.”
Mike Edwards, Defensive Back, 5-11, 185, Fr.-HS, Cincinnati, Ohio (Winton Woods ) – A four-star prospect by Rivals.com and Scout.com … Three-star prospect by 247Sports.com and ESPN.com … Ranked as the 14th-best prospect in the state of Ohio and 25th-best safety in the nation by Rivals.com … Scout.com ranks him the 29th best cornerback in the nation and 256th-best prospect in the country … Explosive athlete who not only played defensive back in high school but also returned punts and kickoffs … Great senior season with six interceptions, two fumble recoveries and 46 tackles to go along with 13.7 yards per punt return including one for a touchdown … Had two interceptions in his team’s first round playoff game in 2013, helping the squad advance to the second round … Named first-team Division II All-Ohio as a defensive back … … Had 92 tackles his junior year with five interceptions, including three returned for touchdowns and two fumbles forced … Returned nine kickoffs junior year for 248 yards and one touchdown … Was named special-mention all-state his junior year … Coached by Andre Parker … Had numerous offers but chose Kentucky over Louisville, Missouri, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Nebraska and Vanderbilt.
Coach Stoops says: “Mike is a complete defensive back, with great ball skills, a good tackler and an understanding of the game.”
Matt Elam, Defensive Tackle, 6-7, 375, Fr-HS, Elizabethtown, Ky. (John Hardin) – Big, physical defensive line prospect that is a five-star recruit by 247Sports.com and four prospect by Scout.com and ESPN.com … Rivals.com ranks him the No. 2 prospect in the Commonwealth of Kentucky … 247Sports.com ranks him the No. 13 defensive tackle in the nation and No. 164 prospect in the nation … Scout.com rates him the 11th-best defensive tackle prospect in the nation … Named a MaxPreps 2013 Medium Schools All-American … Named second-team All-USA by USA Today … Won the Paul Hornung Award as the Kentucky Player of the Year as a senior, totaling 85 tackles and four quarterback sacks … First-team all-state by The Associated Press and the Louisville Courier-Journal … Selected to the “Class of the Commonwealth” team by the Lexington Herald-Leader … Played in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl … Had 65 tackles as a sophomore with 19 tackles for loss, four sacks and three fumbles forced … Helped lead his high school to the semifinals of the 5A state playoffs his sophomore, junior and senior seasons … Was named first-team all-state by the Associated Press as a sophomore … Coached by Chad Lewis … Picked Kentucky over Alabama and Notre Dame … Numerous offers from Indiana, Louisville, Ohio State, Tennessee and others.
Coach Stoops says: “Matt was very important to our recruiting class because he is a rare athlete, combining size, power and athletic ability. He has the physical ability to change a game.”
Nico Firios, Linebacker, 6-2, 220, Fr-HS, Longwood, Fla. (Lyman) – Four-star recruit by ESPN.com and three-star prospect by Rivals.com, Scout.com and 247Sports.com … ESPN.com ranks him the 19th-best linebacker in the nation and gives him high grades for diagnosing skills and tackling … Scout.com ranks him the 48th-best outside linebacker prospect in the nation … Scout.com says strength are aggressiveness, lateral movement and tackling technique … Jamie Newberg of Scout.com: “Firios is a tough and physical linebacker that is really good against the run. When things come his way he can fill the hole and make the play. Firios can shed the blocker and get to the ball. He can play sideline to sideline and get to the perimeter … He plays with outstanding instincts and is a good, sound tackler” … Ranked No. 7 in the Orlando Sentinel’s 2014 Central Florida Super60 … Named First-Team Class 8A Preseason All-State by FloridaHighSchoolFootball.com … Had 40 tackles his sophomore season with nine tackles for loss, one sack and two fumbles forced … Coached by Jeff Gierke … Had many offers but eventually chose Kentucky over Louisville, Wisconsin and Arizona … Name is pronounced “NEE-ko FEER-ee-ose.”
Coach Stoops says: “Nico is a prototypical middle linebacker – has a nose for the football and is very bright. I look forward to him taking charge in the middle of our defense.”
Ryan Flannigan, Linebacker, 6-3, 230, Jr-JC, Missouri City, Texas (Marshall/Blinn College) – Impressive junior college linebacker with good size and athleticism that has also seen time as a defensive back … Three-star prospect by Rivals.com, 247Sports.com and ESPN.com … No. 90 in Rivals.com juco Top 100 and No. 18 juco inside linebacker … Ranked as the 111th juco prospect by 247Sports.com … Strong freshman year at Blinn with 45 tackles, three tackles for loss and one sack … Also played well his sophomore season with 22 tackles with two interceptions, including one for a touchdown … Coached at Blinn by Ronny Feldman … Had a great career at Marshall High School (Missouri City, Texas), earning all-district and all-state honors … Was on the Rivals.com Texas Top 11 and ESPN Top 200 out of high school, ranked as the sixth-best outside linebacker in the state of Texas … Put up amazing numbers his junior and senior years of high school, recording 120 tackles with eight sacks, two fumble recoveries and one touchdown as a junior … Senior year he had 101 tackles with three sacks and two touchdowns … Chose Kentucky after offers from Arizona State, Cincinnati, Houston and Texas Tech.
Coach Stoops says: “Ryan is an athletic linebacker with the ability to make plays from sideline to sideline. He also has good playing experience in junior college.”
Dorian Hendrix, Linebacker, 6-0, 230, Fr-HS, Huber Heights, Ohio (Wayne) – The first commitment of Kentucky’s 2014 signing class … Two-year All-Southwest Ohio linebacker at Wayne HS in Huber Heights, Ohio … Helped lead Wayne to an 11-2 record and a berth in the Division I (largest classification) state quarterfinals as a senior … Made 126 tackles as a senior, with three quarterback sacks, two fumbles caused and two blocked kicks … Totaled approximately 125 as a junior … Earned first-team All-Greater Western Ohio Conference honors both years … Four-year letterman and three-year starter … The nation’s No. 26 inside linebacker according to Rivals.com … Rated No. 15 at the Best of the Midwest combine … Coached by Jay Minton … “It takes a special player to play in the SEC and he has that ability,” Minton said. “He is explosive to the football and has awareness of the game. He has great character and leadership. He’s a competitor.” … Also involved with track and field and basketball … Ran the 4x100- and 4x200-meter relays and was an all-conference performer in the shot put … President of the junior class and member of the student council … Honor-roll student … Received the Rotary Club Scholastic Achievement Award … Also considered Illinois and Indiana, and was receiving significant interest from numerous other schools, but decided to commit early and go with UK … “The excitement going on with Coach Stoops,” Dorian said of his decision on Kentucky. “I believe in him and his staff. I wanted to play in the SEC and I loved the campus and the fan base.”
Coach Stoops says: “Dorian was an early commitment for the 2014 class and has been solid all the way through. I’m very excited about the leadership he brings at linebacker.”
Mikel Horton, Running Back, 6-1, 223, Fr-HS, West Chester, Ohio (Lakota West) – Talented running back with a mix of athleticism and power … A four-star prospect by Rivals.com, who also ranks him as the No. 3 prospect in Ohio and No. 12 running back in the nation … Four-year letterman and three-year starter at Lakota West HS in West Chester, Ohio … Rushed for 178 times for 1,203 yards, an average of 6.8 yards per carry, and 13 touchdowns as a senior … The team’s leading receiver with 19 catches for 249 yards and two TDs … Helped lead his team to a championship of the Greater Miami Conference … First-team all-conference as a junior and senior … First-team All-Southwest Ohio as a senior … Played in the Semper Fidelis All-American game in Carson, Calif., in Jan. 2014 and caught a 13-yard touchdown pass … Will rejoin former teammate Kyle Meadows, who is a freshman offensive lineman at UK … Lakota West also produced former UK fullback John Conner, four-year NFL veteran now with the New York Giants … Coached at LWHS by Larry Cox … “Mikel’s combination of size, speed and pure athleticism set him apart,” Cox said. “What takes him a notch higher is his ability to catch the ball.” … Participated in wrestling and track and field … Competed in the 4x100-meter relay, 200-meter dash and 110-meter hurdles … Member of the school’s leadership program board … Selected UK with final consideration to Florida State, Louisville, Michigan State and Vanderbilt … “The family atmosphere,” Mikel said of his decision for UK. “I wanted to be part of changing the program and making it something special. I’m friends with Dorian Hendrix. I fell in love with it.” … Name is pronounced “my-KELL.”
Coach Stoops says: “Mikel is a big back who is very agile and athletic. He’s the whole package with the character and personality that is a great fit for our program.”
Cory “C.J.” Johnson, Defensive Tackle, 6-3, 275, Jr-JC, Columbia, S.C. (Chambersburg (Pa.)/ ASA College) – Had a great two years at ASA College in Brooklyn, N.Y., at defensive tackle … First-team All-Northeast Football Conference as a sophomore … Paced ASA College in tackles with 49 stops, including 15 tackles for loss, 4.5 sacks and a pass breakup … Leading the team in tackles is a rare feat for a defensive lineman … Played in seven games as a true freshman with the Avengers, posting 23 tackles, including 9.5 tackles for loss, one fumble forced and one fumble recovery … Helped lead ASA to a two-year record of 18-2, including two NFC championships with spotless 5-0 records each season … Helped the Avengers to the first postseason win in school history with a 23-3 victory over the College of DuPage in the 2013 Carrier Dome Bowl … ASA won their last nine in a row en route to a 9-1 record and achieved a final ranking of No. 7 in the nation … Only loss was to Georgia Military College, which advanced to the 2013 national championship game …ASA led the National Junior College Athletic Association in scoring defense, allowing just 9.1 points per game … ASA head coach is Dennis Orlando … A four-star recruit according to Rivals.com and 247Sports.com, while Scout.com and ESPN.com rank him a three-star prospect … Ranked as the 31st-best junior college player in the ESPN.com Junior College Top 50 … ESPN.com ranks him the eight-best juco defensive lineman, while 247Sports rates him the ninth-best at his position … Chose UK over Miami (Fla.) and Texas Tech … “The city of Lexington, the people are great, the fans are great,” C.J. said when asked of his reasons on picking UK. “I got along with the players (during his visit), so I knew Kentucky as the right choice.”
High School: Originally from Columbia, S.C., he played three years at Chambersburg (Pa.) High School under Coach Mark Saunders … Played defensive tackle and end … Had more than 100 tackles his senior season, including a single-game high of 20 stops … Also participated in the shot put on the school’s track and field team … Set the indoor school record in that event … Signed with Temple out of high school before going to junior college.
Coach Stoops says: “Cory comes from a very successful junior college, won a lot of games. He is a very active, productive player. The fact that he led his team in tackles as a defensive lineman is very impressive. I look forward to adding a big, strong lineman to help at tackle.”
Garrett Johnson, Wide Receiver, 5-11, 175, Fr-HS, Winter Garden, Fla. (West Orange) – A three-star recruit by Rivals.com, 247Sports.com, Scout.com and ESPN.com … Rivals.com ranks him the 96th-best player in the state of Florida and the 99th-best wide receiver in the nation … ESPN.com rates him the 84th-best prospect in Florida and 64th-best wide receiver in the nation … Scout.com lists his strengths as elusiveness with catch, hands and concentration and running ability … Jamie Newberg from Scout.com says, “Johnson is a wide receiver that has played as an outside guy and in the slot … Johnson does a real nice job of catching the ball and getting up field. Johnson has good speed but better quickness. As a pass catcher he looks natural and it seems to come easy for him. He shows he can be explosive and get behind a secondary” … First-team all-state as a senior by the Associated Press … Ended senior season with 49 receptions for 1,187 yards and 19 touchdowns … Great sophomore season with 58 receptions for 1,014 yards and 11 touchdowns and followed that with 49 receptions his junior season for 685 yards and seven touchdowns … Also rushed some in high school with nearly 500 yards rushing and seven rushing touchdowns … Helped lead his team to the regional quarterfinals in the 8A Florida state playoffs … Named all-area his senior year by the Orlando Sentinel … Coached by Bob Head … Picked Kentucky after offers from Arizona, Boston College, Florida, Georgia Tech, Iowa State, Northwestern, South Florida and Vanderbilt.
Coach Stoops says: “Garrett is versatile, can play any of our wide receiver spots – inside or outside. He also has very good speed and plays strong.”
Josh Krok, Offensive Lineman, 6-8, 325, Fr-HS, Niles, Ohio (McKinley) – Talented and physical offensive line prospect who is a three-star recruit by Rivals.com, Scout.com, 247Sports.com and ESPN.com … Division III All-Ohio second team in 2013 … Ranked as the No. 23 player in the state of Ohio and the No. 39 offensive tackle in the nation by Rivals.com … ESPN.com ranks him the 54th-best offensive tackle in the nation … Named Associated Press Northeast Inland District Division III first team … Was named the No. 2 offensive performer at the Pittsburgh Rivals Camp … Helped his team to eight wins his junior season … Coached by Brian Shaner … Tabbed Kentucky over West Virginia, additional offers included Cincinnati and Louisville.
Coach Stoops says: “Josh has great size and work ethic. He is very tough, loves to play physically. He is very well-developed for a high school player, which shows his commitment to the weight room and his work ethic.”
Jarrett LaRubbio, Offensive Lineman, 6-6, 280, Fr-HS, Middletown, Ohio (Lakota East) – A three-star prospect by Rivals.com, Scout.com, 247Sports.com and ESPN.com … Rivals.com ranks him the 27th-best player in the state of Ohio and 20th-best offensive guard in the nation … Scout.com ranks him the 28th-best offensive guard in the nation … Physical and athletic lineman had a great senior season, helping his high school team rush for nearly 3,000 yards, averaging 6.2 yards per carry … Named 2013 first-team Division I All-Ohio by The Associated Press … Helped his team win eight games his junior year, including its first-round playoff game … ESPN.com gives him high marks for his space blocking and physicality … Named to the U.S. National Football Team … Picked UK over North Carolina State, Pittsburgh, Wisconsin, Nebraska, North Carolina, Washington, Louisville, Maryland, Georgia Tech and Arizona State … Name is pronounced “lah-RUE-bee-o.”
Coach Stoops says: “Jarrett has good strength and projects as an inside lineman. I like the way he plays tough and finishes blocks.”
Darryl Long, Tight End, 6-4, 225, Fr-HS, Westerville, Ohio (South) – Three-star tight end by Rivals.com, Scout.com, 247Sports.com and ESPN.com … ESPN.com rates him the 19th-best tight end in the nation and the 33rd-best prospect in the state of Ohio … Columbus Dispatch All-Metro Football Team special mention … Helped his team win eight games his junior season, while the Wildcats won nine games his freshman season … Coached by Rocky Pentello … Chose Kentucky over a host of schools, including offers from Louisville, Missouri, Minnesota, Indiana, North Carolina, Purdue, Illinois and Boston College.
Coach Stoops says: “Darryl has the body type you like to see. He has good length and is an athletic pass catcher. As he continues to develop physically, he’ll be what you look for at tight end.”
Adrian Middleton, Defensive Tackle, 6-3, 275, Fr-HS, Bowling Green, Ky. (South Warren) – Three-star prospect by Rivals.com, Scout.com, 247Sports.com and ESPN.com … Ranked the fourth-best player in the Commonwealth of Kentucky … Considered the 55th-best defensive tackle in the nation by ESPN.com … First-team all-state as a senior by The Associated Press and the Louisville Courier-Journal … Class of the Commonwealth selection by the Lexington Herald-Leader … Max Preps 2013 Small Schools All-American First-Team Defense honoree … Had 67 total tackles as a senior, including an astounding 26 tackles for loss, with nine quarterback sacks … Had two fumble recoveries and one fumble recovery for a touchdown … Helped his team advance to the KHSAA state quarterfinals his junior and senior seasons … Finished 11-2 his senior season … Had 59 tackles has a junior … Played in the 2014 Offense-Defense All-American Bowl … Coached by Mark Nelson … Chose Kentucky after scholarship offers from Louisville, Indiana and Missouri … First player in the three-year history of the school to sign a scholarship with a Division I school.
Coach Stoops says: “We’re excited to get another outstanding in-state player. Adrian can tackle or end and he showed the ability to create negative-yardage plays.”
Kendall Randolph, Defensive Back, 6-0, 175, Fr.-HS, Tallahassee, Fla. (Lincoln) – Four-star prospect by Rivals.com and ESPN.com … Three-star prospect by Scout.com and 247Sports.com … Rivals.com ranks him the 50th-best prospect in the state of Florida … ESPN.com rates him the 48th-best prospect in the state of Florida and the 21st-best cornerback in the nation … No. 284 in ESPN’s Top 300 … ESPN gives him high praise for his zone coverage, ball skills, run support and instincts … Had a great senior season with 59 tackles, three tackles for loss, one interception, seven pass breakups and one fumble recovery … First-team Class 7A all-state by The Associated Press … Junior year was also good with 27 tackles, two tackles for loss, six interceptions, seven pass breakups and one fumble recovery … Skilled kickoff and punt returner … Also played some at quarterback, completing over 60 percent of his passes … Helped his team advance to the regional semifinals of the state playoffs his senior season … Won the 7A state championship as a freshman and was 7A runner-up his junior season … Coached by Yusuf Shakir … List of offers included Oklahoma, Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, Florida State, Georgia, Louisville, Miami (Fla.), Ole Miss, South Carolina, Stanford, Tennessee, UCLA and Vanderbilt.
Coach Stoops says: “I’ve watched Kendall play a lot of football. He comes from a great high-school program. He’s a versatile player, a complete defensive back with outstanding leadership qualities.”
Nick Richardson, Offensive Lineman, 6-4, 270, Fr-HS, Westerville, Ohio (Central HS) – Talented offensive lineman from Ohio who is a four-star prospect by Rivals.com … Ranked as the eighth-best player in the state of Ohio and the No. 217 overall prospect in Rivals.com Top 250 … Three-star prospect by Scout.com, 247Sports.com and ESPN.com … Played in the 2014 Offense-Defense All-American Bowl … ESPN.com gives him high praise for his physicality … Named first-team Division I All-Ohio by The Associated Press … Helped Westerville Central High School to a 10-2 record his senior season … His blocking up front helped the Warhawks rush for over 237 yards per game and score 44 rushing touchdowns … Played some defense in high school with 11 tackles last season … Helped lead the team to the second round of the state playoffs and a No. 28 final state ranking … Coached by John Magistro … Chose Kentucky after offers from Cincinnati, Illinois, Michigan State, Ole Miss, Vanderbilt and West Virginia.
Coach Stoops says: “Nick is a rangy offensive lineman, athletic and light on his feet. He’s also shown good pass-protection skills.”
Thaddeus Snodgrass, Wide Receiver, 6-1, 180, Fr-HS, Springfield, Ohio (Springfield) – Highly regarded wide receiver … Four-star prospect by all the national recruiting services … Rivals.com ranks him No. 13 in the state of Ohio while ESPN.com praises him for his impressive speed, route running, ability to catch in traffic and a knack for getting yards after the catch … Has been timed under 4.4 seconds in the 40-yard dash … Four-year letterman and three-year starter at Springfield (Ohio) HS … Caught 29 passes for 535 yards and six touchdowns as a senior … Snagged 18 balls for approximately 400 yards as a junior … Two-year member of the Greater Western Ohio Conference and two-year special mention All-Southwest Ohio … Played in the Offense-Defense All-America Bowl following his senior season … Coached by Eric Gillespie … “Thaddeus is extremely athletic, running 4.33 (seconds) in the 40 (yard dash). His explosive athletic ability gives him all the potential in the world to be a great player in college.” … Scout.com recruiting analyst Dave Berk wrote that Snodgrass “brings great speed to the field with the ability to beat defenders at the line of scrimmage with a quick move.” … Three-year member of the track team, running the 100- and 200-meter dashes … Honor-roll student … Tabbed Kentucky over West Virginia, Louisville and South Carolina … Thaddeus noted UK’s “family atmosphere type of offense and excitement around the team” as his reasons for joining the Wildcats.
Coach Stoops says: “Thaddeus was a very early commit for us. He’s a bigger receiver that we’re looking for. Not only is he a national recruit he also has great character and work ethic.”
Jervontius “Bunchy” Stallings, Offensive Lineman, 6-3, 320, Fr-HS, Hoover, Ala. (Spain Park) – A three-star prospect by 247Sports.com … 247Sports.com ranks him one of the top-20 offensive centers in the nation and a top-40 recruit in the state of Alabama … Helped his team to the 6A Region 4 Championship last season … Started his high school career in Mississippi before moving to Alabama … His play in 2013 helped his team rush for 1300 yards and 14 rushing touchdowns … Coached by Shawn Raney … Picked Kentucky over Mississippi State and Colorado … Name is pronounced “jer-VON-tee-us” … Brother of Tre’ Stallings, former offensive lineman at Ole Miss and the NFL’s Kansas City Chiefs, who now works for the Southeastern Conference.
Coach Stoops says: “Jervontius is very athletic – a talented snapper who moves his hips and feet quickly after the snap. He has the ability to play center or either guard position.”
A.J. Stamps, Cornerback, 6-0, 190, Jr-JC, Vicksburg, Miss. (Vicksburg/East Mississippi CC) – Was an outstanding cover corner for East Mississippi Community College, helping the Lions to the 2013 national championship … Lead the team’s defensive backs with 51 tackles, including one sack, seven tackles for loss, one fumble forced … Strong pass defender with four interceptions and nine pass breakups … Returned one pickoff for a touchdown and also returned a punt for another TD … Part of the NJCAA’s No. 2-ranked defense, allowing a mere 9.8 points per contest … Earned NJCAA All-Region 23 honors and was honorable-mention All-America … Was a wide receiver in 2012 for EMCC, making nine catches for 73 yards before moving to defensive back for his sophomore season … Head coach at EMCC is Buddy Stephens … Was teammates with current UK defensive end Za’Darius Smith in 2012 at EMCC and was a player at EMCC when current UK defensive line coach Jimmy Brumbaugh was on staff … Chose Kentucky over Ohio State … Regarding his reasons for tabbing UK, A.J. said, “The relationship with the coaches and players when I visited, also the city of Lexington and the fan support.”
High School: Played safety and wide receiver at Vicksburg (Miss.) High School … First-team all-state as a senior by the MAC and second-team all-state by the Jackson Clarion-Ledger … Senior stats included 114 tackles, two pass interceptions and three pass breakups on defense; at receiver he caught 77 passes for 1,289 yards and 19 touchdowns … Was named one of the top individual performances of the 2011 season by MaxPreps.com when he had 19 receptions for 285 yards and five TDs vs. Northwest Rankin … Final two years he totaled 112 receptions for 2,310 years and 29 touchdowns … Had 210 tackles his final two years of high school, including two interceptions, seven pass breakups and two fumble recoveries … Played in the Mississippi-Alabama All-Star Game … Coached at Vicksburg by Alonzo Stevens … Also played basketball (guard/forward) and baseball (right field) … Helped the basketball team advance to the state championship game his junior year … Member of the Key Club.
Coach Stoops says: “A.J. brings a winning attitude, coming from the junior-college national champion team. He is versatile, having played cornerback and wide receiver in high school and junior college. He is a playmaker with the physical makeup to be an impact player right away.”
Lloyd Tubman, Defensive End, 6-5, 225, Fr-HS, Louisville, Ky. (Seneca HS) – Four-star recruit by 247Sports.com and a three-star prospect by Rivals.com, Scout.com and ESPN.com … Rivals.com ranks him the No. 4 player in the Commonwealth of Kentucky and No. 34 weakside defensive end in the nation, while 247Sports.com rates him No. 3 prospect in Kentucky and No. 12 weakside defensive end in the nation … Second-team all-state by The Associated Press in 2013 … Had a great junior year with Seneca High School with 79 tackles, 22.5 sacks and seven fumbles caused … Coached by Lavell Boyd … Performed at the Columbus Nike Football Training Camp and was a standout performer … Chose Kentucky after having favored Vanderbilt and Penn State earlier … Also had offers from Louisville and Nebraska.
Coach Stoops says: “Lloyd has a good frame and great range. He plays with relentless pursuit of the football. He’s hard to block because of his length and his pursuit.”
Jared Tucker, Defensive Back, 5-11, 170, Fr-HS, Stone Mountain, Ga. (Stephenson) – Three-star recruit by Rivals.com, Scout.com, 247Sports.com and ESPN.com … Ranked as the 49th-best player in the state of Georgia by Rivals.com … Led his team to the second round of the playoffs last year, while advancing to the quarterfinals his junior season … Strong senior season with 25 tackles and one tackle for loss to go along with a strong showing in kickoff and punt returns … Great junior season with 50 tackles with three tackles for loss and five interceptions … Also an outstanding track athlete at Stephenson High School … Will rejoin former Stephenson stars Ronnie Shields and Jabari Johnson at UK … Coached by Ron Gartrell … Picked Kentucky after offers from Cincinnati, Connecticut, Florida State, Indiana, Ohio State, South Carolina, South Florida and Vanderbilt.
Coach Stoops says: “Jared has great speed, also a star athlete in track. He has a knack for getting to the ball and making big plays.”
Kobie Walker, Linebacker, 6-3, 200, Fr-HS, Olney, Md. (Our Lady of Good Counsel) – Three-star prospect by Rivals.com, Scout.com, 247Sports.com and ESPN.com … Ranked as the No. 17 player in the state of Maryland by Rivals.com … ESPN.com ranks him the No. 11 player in the state and No. 35 safety in the nation … 2013 Private School First-Team All-State … Had 35 tackles as a senior, including seven for loss, two fumbles caused, a pass interception and four pass breakups … Good junior year with 29 tackles and two interceptions … Named a 2013 MaxPreps Maryland Preseason All-State honoree … Helped his team to a state championship his sophomore season and an 11-1 record his junior year … Was selected to play in the 2014 Offense-Defense All-American Bowl … Coached by Bob Milloy … Chose Kentucky after offers from Boston College, Hawaii, Miami (Fla.), North Carolina State, Oklahoma State, Old Dominion, Rutgers, Syracuse and Wisconsin.
Coach Stoops says: “Kobie is a long, athletic linebacker. He also plays physically in addition to making plays all over the field.”
Denzel Ware, Defensive End, 6-2, 240, Fr-HS, Crestview, Fla. (Senior) – A four-star prospect by 247Sports.com, Scout.com and ESPN.com and a three-star recruit by Rivals.com … Scout.com ranks him the No. 26 defensive end in the nation listing his strengths as backside pursuit, lateral range and speed … Rivals.com says, “Ware has a lot of raw ability. He is athletic and can run well. He has very long arms for someone 6-foot-3. Has a quick first step coming off the ball. He also pursues the ball very well from the backside and show the ability to play from sideline to sideline … Has some great tools to work with at the next level” … ESPN.com ranks him No. 113 in its ESPN Top 300 list ... ESPN.com ranks him the 20th-best prospect in the talent-rich state of Florida and the 12th-best defensive end in the nation … Class 7A third-team all-state as a senior … Accumulated 56 tackles, 12 quarterback sacks and three caused fumbles … Was a first-team all-state selection as a junior … Selected to play in the 2014 Offense-Defense All-American Bowl … Coached by Tim Hatten … Chose Kentucky after offers from Alabama, Clemson, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Ohio State, Ole Miss, Texas, USC and Vanderbilt.
Coach Stoops says: “Denzel is a player we’ve recruited for a long time. We could move him around in our defense. He is extremely athletic and explosive, with the size to play end and the speed to play linebacker.”
Darius West, Defensive Back, 6-0, 200, Fr-HS, Lima, Ohio (Central Catholic) – Four-star recruit by Rivals.com, Scout.com, 247Sports.com and ESPN.com … Ranked as the No. 219 overall prospect in Rivals.com Top 250 and ninth-best in the state of Ohio … ESPN.com ranks him the eighth-best player in the state of Ohio and the 18th-best cornerback in the nation … ESPN.com also ranks him No. 248 on the ESPN Top 300 and praises his zone coverage and ball skills … Scout.com ranks him the No. 21 safety in the nation … Played in only two games as a senior because of injury … According to 247Sports.com, he had 47 tackles as a junior with five interceptions, two fumbles forced, one fumble recovery and one interception returned for a touchdown leading his team to the second round of the state tournament … As a sophomore, he had 69 tackles, one interception and one fumble forced as his team went to the state semifinals … Coached by Jerry Cooper … Picked Kentucky over a long list of offers, including Cincinnati, Illinois, Louisville, Michigan State, Minnesota, Penn State, Pittsburgh, Purdue, Vanderbilt, West Virginia and Wisconsin.
Coach Stoops says: “Darius plays with great instincts. He’s also very physical and is explosive to the ball.”
Stanley “Boom” Williams, Running Back, 5-9, 190, Fr-HS, Monroe, Ga. (George Walton Academy) – Four-star recruit by Rivals.com, 247Sports.com and ESPN.com … Ranked as the No. 118 overall prospect in Rivals.com Top 250 and the eighth-best player in the state of Georgia … At one point, Rivals.com ranked him the No. 1 all-purpose back in the nation … Ranked No. 208 in ESPN.com’s Top 300 … ESPN.com ranks him the 16th-best running back in the nation and 19th-best player in the state of Georgia … Played in the 2014 Offense-Defense All-American Bowl, rushing six times for 45 yards and a touchdown, earning Most Valuable Player honors in the process … Rushed for 1,416 yards and 21 touchdowns as a senior … Atlanta Journal-Constitution All-Metro first team selection in 2013 … Great junior season with 207 carries for 1948 yards and 24 rushing touchdowns … Coached by Don Williams … Originally committed to Georgia before coming to Kentucky and chose the Wildcats over offers from Auburn, Clemson, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, Georgia Tech, LSU, Middle Tennessee, Mississippi State, Missouri, Notre Dame, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee and West Virginia.
Coach Stoops says: “Stanley is a very dynamic player with the ball in his hands, talented, quick and can make people miss. He is the kind of player who can change the scoreboard.”
T.V. Williams, Wide Receiver, 5-10, 165, Fr-HS, McKinney, Texas (McKinney) – Swift wide receiver who has been timed as fast as 4.31 seconds in the 40-yard dash … Caught 30 passes for 454 yards and five touchdowns as a senior at McKinney (Texas) HS … Caught 45 balls for 789 yards and 10 scores as a junior … First-team all-district as a senior, second team as a junior … Also played running back and some wildcat quarterback in high school … Three-year starter … Most Valuable Player of the National Underclassman Camp … Played in the USA vs. Canada All-Star Game in January, 2013 … Invited to the Texas vs. the USA All-Star Game and the NUC All-Star Game … Coached by Jeff Smith … “T.V. is one of the most explosive players I’ve ever coached,” Smith said. “He is so quick and so fast with a lot of big-play ability. He also understands the game, a savvy, heady player who can read coverages and adjust routes.” … Three-year letterman in track … Best time of 10.6 seconds in the 100-meter dash … Also competed in the 4x100- and 4x200-meter relays … Honor-roll student … Chose Kentucky over Houston, Oregon State, Nebraska and Iowa … “I trust Coach Stoops, Coach Brown and Coach Mainord,” Williams said of his decision. “The recruits are really close and the UK fan base has been amazing. I can’t wait to put on a Kentucky jersey and play.”
Coach Stoops says: “T.V. is a very quick, electric receiver with playmaking ability. I’m excited about his commitment and getting into Texas.”