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.
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"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."