Meet Kentucky's 2014 football recruiting class

broberts@herald-leader.comFebruary 5, 2014 

Lakota West running back Mikel Horton fought off a tackle by Lakota East's Justus Zamarron on Nov. 1, 2013, in West Chester, Ohio. Horton has signed to play for the University of Kentucky.

TONY TRIBBLE — Associated Press

DORIAN BAKER

UK's top-rated WR since Aaron Boyd in 2008, according to the Rivals.com rankings, which have Baker at No. 45 in the class. "He's got a good combination of size and speed, for sure," said Rivals.com national analyst Mike Farrell.

DREW BARKER

One of the most highly touted in-state prospects in years and the presumed "quarterback of the future" at UK. He passed for 2,702 yards and 34 touchdowns, and ran for 849 yards and nine TDs as a senior.

BLAKE BONE

The 6-5 receiver will give the Cats some size at the position that they lacked last season. He had 80 receptions for 1,347 yards and 11 touchdowns in 2013. Farrell said Bone is probably "the most college-ready" of UK's new receivers.

TYMERE DUBOSE

Rivals.com ranks him as the No. 33 strongside defensive end in the senior class, and he didn't even start playing football until his junior year — opting for basketball until then. Dubose's high school coach is the older brother of UK's Vince Marrow.

MIKE EDWARDS

Nicknamed the "Badger," he had six interceptions in an impressive senior season last year. He was bumped up to four-star status by Rivals and is versatile enough to play all over the secondary.

MATT ELAM

He's the first Top 100 player to sign with UK since Micah Johnson in 2006. Elam — at 6-7, 375 pounds — is also literally one of the biggest UK recruits in recent memory. Getting him to join this class was a major priority for Coach Mark Stoops.

NICO FIRIOS

ESPN ranks him as the No. 19 inside linebacker in the senior class. He committed to UK back in June, picking the Wildcats over Louisville.

RYAN FLANNIGAN

The No. 90 overall junior-college player in the country, according to Rivals.com. Flannigan is expected to be a contributor at the outside linebacker position this season.

DORIAN HENDRIX

Hendrix was receiving major interest from top national programs when he decided to become the first commitment of UK's recruiting class last March. The No. 26 inside linebacker in the class according to Rivals.

MIKEL HORTON

A big back who could give UK some punch in the running game. Horton is ranked as the No. 12 running back in the class, and he'll have a chance to compete for considerable playing time as a true freshman.

C.J. JOHNSON

Seasoned junior-college prospect will be a top candidate to earn a starting spot on the defensive line. Miami was one of many top programs that offered him a scholarship during his recruitment.

GARRETT JOHNSON

A playmaker who has the speed to be effective in the slot but is also big enough to line up on the outside. Johnson racked up 1,187 receiving yards and caught 19 touchdown passes during his senior season.

JOSH KROK

The tallest of UK's signees — some websites list him at 6-9 — is a physical lineman who was committed to West Virginia before flipping to Kentucky after a visit last month.

JARRETT LARUBBIO

LaRubbio's game film shows a strong interior lineman who finishes plays and puts defenders on the ground. He's the 20th-best offensive guard in the class, according to Rivals.

DARRYL LONG

"I think, unanimously, our whole staff liked him," said tight ends coach Vince Marrow of UK's early evaluations of Long. He's a top-20 player at his position in the ESPN rankings.

ADRIAN MIDDLETON

Perhaps the least touted of UK's four in-state signees, Middleton had 26 tackles for loss during his senior season and is a player who UK's coaches started recruiting almost as soon as they got to Lexington. He's listed as a defensive tackle but is versatile enough to play all over the defensive line.

KENDALL RANDOLPH

An important late addition to UK's class, Randolph was recruited by Stoops going back to the UK coach's days at Florida State. "He was meant to play for me and to play with this team," Stoops said Wednesday.

NICK RICHARDSON

The most highly touted of UK's four additions to the offensive line, Richardson is considered the No. 8 overall prospect in all of Ohio for this class. He's one of the top offensive linemen in the country.

THADDEUS SNODGRASS

One of UK's first commitments, Snodgrass was instrumental in helping keep the class together and he is expected to play immediately. Like Baker, he has an impressive blend of size and speed and should add to the depth in the receiving corps.

JERVONTIUS STALLINGS

Stallings was a late addition to the class and could compete for playing time as a true freshman, which is uncommon for an offensive lineman in the SEC. He's a true late-bloomer who flew under the recruiting radar until late in his senior season.

A.J. STAMPS

Junior-college additions are expected to play right away, and Stamps is seen as a player who could challenge for a starting spot at cornerback. He ultimately chose UK over Ohio State and was an honorable mention All-American last season.

Lloyd TUbman

The final member of UK's recruiting class and a huge late addition for Stoops, who is looking to lock in Kentucky's top players. Tubman is just scratching the surface of his potential on the football field.

JARED TUCKER

The No. 43 safety in the senior class, according to Rivals.com, Tucker is another solid addition at an area of need for the Cats. He's one of many players that Stephenson High (Ga.) has sent to UK in recent years.

KOBIE WALKER

A versatile defender who is listed as a defensive back by many of the recruiting sites but is projected as a linebacker at UK. "Kobie is a long, athletic linebacker," says Stoops.

DENZEL WARE

He told schools such as Florida State and Auburn that he wasn't interested when they tried to flip his commitment from UK late last year. Ware is the Cats' highest-rated signee according to ESPN, which ranks him as the No. 113 overall prospect in the class and the 12th-best defensive end nationally.

DARIUS WEST

The only signee other than Barker to be considered a four-star prospect by Rivals, Scout, ESPN and 247Sports. He's been nursing a leg injury over the past few months, but Stoops expects him to be ready for fall camp and said he'd be "shocked" if West does not make an immediate impact at defensive back.

STANLEY "BOOM" WILLIAMS

The No. 1 player in UK's class, according to the Rivals.com rankings. Several UK coaches described Williams as a "home-run hitter" at the running back position. The 5-9 speedster can also play as a slot receiver. Look for the Cats to use his talents all over the field in 2014.

T.V. WILLIAMS

Described as a "water bug" by Rivals.com analyst Mike Farrell, Williams is almost impossible to catch once he gets loose in the open field. He's been timed at 4.31 in the 40-yard dash and has plenty of moves to make defenders miss.

WALK-ONS

UK already has preferred walk-on commitments from St. Xavier's Charles Walker, Lexington Catholic's David Bouvier, Tates Creek's Jake Ryan, Harlan County's Carson Whitehead and Betsy Layne's Blake Spencer.

The Cats are expected to add more in-state walk-ons in the coming weeks.

Ben Roberts: (859) 231-3216. Twitter: @NextCats. Blog: ukrecruiting.bloginky.com.

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