Junior-college defensive back Michael Mathis will not play football for Kentucky after all.
Mathis committed to UK during the 2014 recruiting cycle but was not among the 28 players who signed with the Wildcats last February. He told the Herald-Leader in April that he still intended to enroll at Kentucky in the fall after he finished up some summer classes, but it became increasingly clear as the summer went on that Mathis was unlikely to be a Wildcat this season.
Mathis told the Herald-Leader on Saturday morning that he now plans to enroll at Kansas University in the spring after finishing up one more class at Kilgore College (Texas) this fall. He said he will have two years of remaining eligibility after going through spring practice with the Jayhawks next year.
Mathis thanked the Kentucky fans and coaches for the attention they’ve shown since he committed to the Cats in September, but said he thought he would have a better opportunity for playing time at Kansas.
“It’s really not about the classes, I just felt like KU was a better place for me and I can play a much bigger role in their defense,” Mathis told the Herald-Leader. “I looked at what they will be bringing back in the spring at the corner/safety position (and) KU is much better for me just because I have two years left.”
The 6-foot-2, 225-pound prospect was considered a three-star prospect by ESPN and 247Sports. He was a cornerback at Kilgore but said UK’s coaches had also talked about playing him at safety and linebacker. Mathis had four interceptions and seven pass breakups in nine games as a sophomore.
UK signed 28 players in its 2014 recruiting class, and 27 of them are now on campus and ready to go through fall camp, which begins Monday. Junior-college linebacker Ryan Flannigan arrived in town Friday.
The only 2014 signee who will not be a Wildcat this fall is Ohio defensive back Mike Edwards, who will have shoulder surgery this month and plans to enroll at UK in the spring.
Read more UK football and basketball recruiting news on Ben Roberts' Next Cats blog.