There was an immediate payoff to the University of Kentucky football program's big recruiting weekend.
A day after hosting many of his top targets from the class of 2015, UK Coach Mark Stoops landed two of them Sunday. Twin brothers Andrew and David Dowell — two four-star prospects from Ohio — publicly announced their commitments to the Wildcats after coming to Lexington for Saturday's upset victory over South Carolina.
Andrew Dowell is considered one of the top 30 running backs in the senior class by both Rivals.com and Scout.com, though he has switched to safety for his senior season and is projected to play that position in college.
Rivals.com analyst Josh Helmholdt said Andrew — a 6-foot, 200-pound prospect — is still being evaluated as a safety, but he was impressed with his play at the new position.
"He came up and filled the hole and popped a kid good," Helmholdt told the Herald-Leader. "He's no doubt making his mark at safety."
Helmholdt added that Dowell's commitment to Kentucky should have no negative impact on Madison Southern running back Damien Harris, who visited Lexington for Saturday's game despite suffering a leg injury the night before.
Harris remains the Cats' top recruiting priority for the 2015 class.
David is the higher rated of the two brothers and is ranked as a four-star prospect by Rivals, Scout, ESPN and 247Sports. Warren East linebacker Eli Brown is UK's only other commitment with that designation.
All four major recruiting services rank David as one of the top 15 seniors from Ohio, and Scout.com has him pegged as the No. 158 national prospect in the class.
David is listed as an athlete, wide receiver and safety by the various recruiting services. He projects as a defensive back at the next level.
"He's a very good wide receiver, but he's kind of settled in as a cornerback," Helmholdt said. "He has good size and could certainly play that free safety position. So, where Andrew would be more of a strong safety, David would be more of a free safety.
"But right now he's pretty settled in as a cornerback."
The Dowells originally committed to Northwestern in April before backing out of that pledge three months later. Helmholdt said he doesn't expect a second decommitment, adding that the brothers took more time than expected before making their latest choice.
"They took a step back and wanted to make sure they made the right decision," he said.
The Dowells are high school teammates of Alex Stump, a four-star wide receiver who has remained committed to Kentucky after landing a coveted scholarship offer from Ohio State last month. Stump is still contemplating that offer and has given no timetable on a final decision between the Cats and the Buckeyes.
Even if Stump flips to OSU, it's not expected to have an effect on the Dowells.
"Having Alex there was another positive for Kentucky," Helmholdt said. "But, at the same time, there's plenty of other things about Kentucky that they like."
With Sunday's addition of two four-star prospects, UK's class moved up 15 spots to No. 19 nationally in the Rivals.com rankings. Among the schools UK passed in the rankings were Oregon, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Wisconsin, Virginia Tech, Louisville and Ole Miss.
Eight of UK's 16 commitments are considered four-star recruits by at least one of the major services. Five of those players are from Stoops' home state of Ohio, which accounts for eight of UK's commitments so far.
"Certainly you don't want to have a drop off in the state of Ohio, because it's been so good to them," Helmholdt said. "So the more momentum you can create, then recruiting in the state of Ohio will continue to feed future classes."
Just minutes after UK's upset of South Carolina, four-star cornerback Jordan Griffin announced his commitment to the Cats for the class of 2016.
Griffin — a 6-foot prospect from Jonesboro, Ga. — toured the UK campus Saturday morning and was at Commonwealth Stadium hours before kickoff.
ESPN ranks him as the No. 7 cornerback in the country for the junior class. He also has reported scholarship offers from Clemson, N.C. State, Ole Miss, Cincinnati and Wake Forest.
The Cats now have three commitments for the class of 2016, with Griffin joining in-state standouts Landon Young of Lafayette and Zy'Aire Hughes of McCracken County.