The Kentucky Wildcats posted a 2-10 record in 2013, the first year under new head coach Mark Stoops. While Stoops and his team did not have a lot of success on the field, the recruiting trail has been good to the Wildcats.
Kentucky’s 2014 class is rated in the Top 20 nationally by nearly every recruiting service. And that’s something that fans in the Bluegrass have never seen before. In fact, Stoops’ 2013 class, which ranked in the Top 40 nationally, was the highest-rated class to ever come to Kentucky.
Stoops has a chance to add another huge piece, literally and figuratively, to the 2014 class. Matt Elam, a 6-6, 350-pound nose tackle from Elizabethtown, Ky., has narrowed his choices to Kentucky and the Alabama Crimson Tide. Elam will announce his plans on January 4 at the U.S. Army All-American Game.
Elam could be an important piece to the Kentucky puzzle. If he signs with the Wildcats, Elam would likely start on the defensive line immediately. Kentucky needs help on the interior defensive line, and Elam would be a perfect fit in that spot.
Getting Elam would also be a coup for Stoops. Recruiting head-to-head against Alabama, and winning, could help to elevate the UK program from the depths of the Southeastern Conference. If other players see someone like Elam heading to Kentucky, it could open doors for Stoops and his staff.
Elam would be the first five-star player to sign with Kentucky since linebacker Micah Johnson did so in 2006. And that would help Stoops as he continues Kentucky’s rebuilding process.
Tim Letcher is a contributing writer for RantSports.com and a member of the Football Writers Association of America. Follow him on Twitter @TimLetcher , on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.