The Kentucky Wildcats made a huge splash with their 2014 recruiting class. For the first time in the history of recruiting rankings, Kentucky was in the Top 20 nationally.
Head coach Mark Stoops deserves much of the credit for that recruiting class. Since his arrival in Lexington nearly 18 months ago, Stoops has given the UK program a spark that it had been lacking for quite some time.
However, there was another major “recruiter” for the 2014 class. Quarterback Drew Barker, who had several offers but chose Kentucky over the South Carolina Gamecocks, was a big part of putting the 2014 class together. Barker became a leader in the group, and actively recruited other players to head to Lexington to be a part of the rebuilding of the program.
Now, Barker will have a chance to put his words into action. With a strong spring game on Saturday, Barker could become the favorite to be Kentucky’s starting quarterback in 2014. The departure of Jalen Whitlow and the uncertainty about the health of Maxwell Smith mean that there are really only three candidates for the job: Barker, Patrick Towles and Reese Phillips.
If Barker can win the job as a true freshman, he figures to reap the benefits of the many talented players he helped recruit to Lexington. The 2014 class has gifted receivers, talented offensive linemen and strong running backs, all of which should make the Wildcats’ “Air Raid” offense even better this season.
Barker, who was a four-star recruit, will be given every opportunity to win the job. Taking control of the situation will be up to the talented signal caller.
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.