Three Major Areas Kentucky Addressed With 2018 Recruiting Class
The 2018 Kentucky Wildcats recruiting class ranked 30th overall in the nation by Rivals and 11th in the SEC. Both of those numbers are close to what the Cats have averaged under Mark Stoops. However when you consider Kentucky lost their top committed offensive and defensive player that rating looks even better. While there is help for the future at all positions three in particular stand out. Let’s look at the Three Major Areas Kentucky Addressed With The 2018 Recruiting Class.
Help On The Offensive Line
Of the 24 commitments in the 2018 class five of them are offensive linemen. Before it is all over this could be one of the best classes up front for the Cats ever. The group is headed by US Army All-American Darian Kinnard. The six foot six 318 pound tackle out of Cleveland St. Ignatius chose Kentucky over a host of Big Ten schools. For more info on Kinnard check out his recruiting profile.
Offensive guard Marquann McCall ranks as the Cats’ top incoming player. The six foot three 323 pound McCall ranks as the third best player in the state of Michigan and number 138 in the nation. Previously that state had never been recruited by Kentucky. McCall chose the Cats over Jim Harbaugh and home state Michigan.
The 2018 Kentucky offensive line class is so strong the coaching staff is planning on moving McCall to the defensive line. By switching sides of the ball he helps a definite position of need for the Cats.
In addition to Kinnard and McCall the 2018 class is rounded out by Nick Lewis, a six foot eight tackle who flipped from Washington State to Kentucky.
— Kentucky Football (@UKFootball) February 7, 2018
Along with Lewis the Cats also have Quinton Wilson and Kenneth Horsey to round out an impressive class. All of whom will be contributors before their Kentucky careers are over.
Finding Benny Snell’s Replacement
It is no secret barring something happening during the year 2018 is going to be Benny Snell Jr.‘s last in Lexington. The SEC’s top returning rusher needs 1,412 yards to pass Sonny Collins to become the school’s all-time leader.
To that end Stoops and offensive coordinator Eddie Gran took great strides to plan for the future. When freshman Bryant Koback decided to leave school that left only Sihiem King and A.J. Rose on scholarship with Snell.
Stoops picked up a huge commitment on signing day when Kavosiey Smoke declared for Kentucky. Smoke chose Kentucky over Florida Atlantic and North Carolina. The 29th best running back in the nation by Rivals fills a huge need for the Wildcats going forward.
In addition to Smoke Kentucky also has Chris Rodriguez, a six foot running back out of Georgia. Rodriguez ranks as the 91st best player in the Peachtree State and is considered a sleeper in the 2018 class.
Special Teams Help
As we continue with Three Major Areas Kentucky Addressed With The 2018 Recruiting Class time to look at the the final group. The two special teams players signed in this class have the potential to be four year contributors.
Special teams coach Dean Hood has the unenviable task of replacing the school’s all-time leading scorer in Austin Macginnis. However the Cats think they have their guy in Chance Poore. Ranked as the number one combination kicker in the 2018 class Poore is the only kicker on scholarship for Kentucky.
In his career at Westside High School Poore had a career long field goal of 48 yards and converted 65 extra points. In addition he handled the punting duties averaging nearly 44 yards per punt.
Even though Poore could punt for the Cats they tapped their Australian pipeline once again in Max Duffy. He follows fellow Aussie Matt Panton who averaged 42 yards per punt in 2017 after transferring to Lexington from Columbia.
Duffy rates as the number number one punter in the 2018 class. He will be 25 years old when the 2018 season stars and has three years of eligibility remaining. Despite their youth the Cats should be in good shape in the kicking game this season.
Thanks for checking out the The Three Major Areas Kentucky Addressed With The 2018 Recruiting Class. Next time is going to be a look at the two new additions to the Kentucky coaching staff.