Of all the recruits in Kentucky's 2013 signing class, none have been with the Cats as long as Jacob Hyde, The 6-foot-2, 313-pound defense tackle from Clay County committed to the old Kentucky staff of Joker Phillips last March 1.
In a sense, Hyde has been with the Wildcats even longer than that.
"My family has always been UK fans," Hyde said. "For me to go to Kentucky and play, it's a childhood dream."
After Phillips and his staff were fired, Hyde acknowledged some anxious moments when he wondered whether the new UK coaching staff would have a place for him. Two days after Mark Stoops got the UK head coaching job, he called Hyde to let him know his scholarship offer was still good.
"It was great. It really amazed me that he called me after two days. It was such a relief to me," Hyde said. "Kentucky is where I always wanted to play, and I did not want to have to open my recruiting back up."
Hyde said UK coaches have told him he will start out getting a chance to play defensive line.
Clay County Coach Evan Napier said Hyde will need to improve on technique in adapting to life in the Southeastern Conference.
"He's a raw kid," Napier said. "He's got raw strength, which is something you can't teach. And he's got great foot speed for a kid his size, which is something else you can't teach. He can be a good one."
Mark Story: (859) 231-3230 Twitter: @markcstory Blog: Markstory.bloginky.com.