As National Signing Day comes to an end, marquee teams like the Alabama Crimson Tide, the Michigan Wolverines, the Florida Gators, the Notre Dame Fighting Irish and The Ohio State Buckeyes have deepened their already talented rosters, while the SEC’s whipping boy the Kentucky Wildcats only managed to ink two of the top 300 blue chip players this time around.
I know what you’re thinking. Why even mention Kentucky and football in the same sentence? But if you look at the numbers, you’ll understand. Kentucky can’t just give up on their football program, but new coach Mark Stoops will have to sign better prospects if he wants to keep his job for long.
To start, the Auburn Tigers and Kentucky had the same number of SEC conference wins last season, zero. Yea that’s right zero, nothing, nada! Auburn had one more overall win than Kentucky ending their season at 3-9.
The major difference between these teams now is Auburn did some major recruiting and picked up top 300 recruits Carl Lawson, Montravius Adams, Elijah Daniel, Jeremy Johnson, Tony Stevens, Dominic Walker, and Earnest Robinson. With such an impressive class of new talent, I doubt Auburn will be 0-8 in conference play after this season.
Kentucky, on the hand, only got letters of intent inked up from two ranked players, Jason Hatcher and Ryan Timmons, both of whom are solid players and Kentucky hometown heroes. That bluegrass is quite enchanting, but Kentucky’s’ recruiting staff needs to tap some outside markets in their search for key players.
Clearly, the Auburn coaching staff is positioning their team to compete in the SEC by pursuing and signing top quality players, but why can’t the Wildcats do the same thing? Well, I’m not absolutely sure however I would assume that basketball at Kentucky is far more important than football and they figure why even try. Everyone wants to play for Bama and can you blame them, have you seen Alabama’s training facility?
What I do know is it’s going to take more than two top recruits to revive the struggling Wildcat program, especially when conference rivals like the Ole Miss Rebels and the LSU Tigers are literally building armies of gifted players.
Kentucky needs to steal a page from the Auburn recruiting playbook and expand their reach.
In the SEC, traveling to Lexington for football is like a scrimmage game or a really hard practice. Nobody takes them seriously, and until they put a priority on football like they do on basketball, the Kentucky public relations staff and I will be the only people writing stories about Kentucky football.
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