The University of Kentucky football team added another prospect to its recruiting class of 2015 on the eve of national signing day.
Mark Stoops and company are hoping for more good news in the near future.
Three-star cornerback Derrick Baity announced his commitment to UK over fellow finalist South Florida on Tuesday night. Baity also had a scholarship offer from Central Florida and late interest from Penn State.
The 6-foot-2, 170-pound prospect from Tampa, Fla., is considered a three-star player by all of the major recruiting services, and ESPN ranks him as the No. 83 cornerback in the senior class.
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Baity popped up on UK's recruiting radar relatively late in the process, taking his official visit to Lexington just last weekend.
At 6-2, he has tremendous size for a cornerback, and he said he's looking forward to helping UK continue its rebuilding process and compete in the Southeastern Conference.
"I think it's going to take size, and that's what they brought me in for," Baity told WFLA-TV, which aired his announcement live. "I'm coming in to compete as a tall freshman. I think I can open up and be just as fast as any guy. I think my size is going to matter, and that's what you need in the SEC."
UK now has 17 commitments — plus two incoming transfers — for the recruiting class of 2015. The addition of Baity pushed the Wildcats' class to No. 45 in the Rivals.com rankings.
There are plenty of other announcements to come, and those start Wednesday.
The biggest name left on UK's recruiting wish list is Marcus Lewis, the defensive back from Washington, D.C., who is ranked by Rivals as the No. 80 overall prospect in the class of 2015.
Lewis is a high school teammate and close friend of UK commitment Jabari Greenwood, who told the Herald-Leader last month that he has been in Lewis' ear every day about joining him in Lexington.
The two players took their official visit to Kentucky together back in December, and Lewis visited with two UK assistant coaches late last week in Washington.
The competition is stiff: Florida State, Miami and Texas are the other three finalists, and the Seminoles might be the slight favorite going into Wednesday.
Lewis is set to announce his choice at 9:45 a.m.
A few minutes before that, UK is expected to land a commitment from three-star receiver Therrell Gosier.
The 6-6 prospect from Florida took his official visit to Lexington last weekend. He tweeted Tuesday that he is down to UK, Louisville and West Virginia.
Gosier is expected to reveal his decision at 9:30 a.m.
Under-the-radar defensive back Will Jackson is currently committed to Western Michigan, but he is a candidate to flip his pledge to UK on Wednesday.
Jackson — a 6-3 prospect from Washington, D.C. — also visited UK last weekend and is expected to announce his decision at 9 a.m.
Even if all three of those players sign with Kentucky on Wednesday, the program will still have available scholarships to fill out the 2015 recruiting class.
It's possible that UK will accept commitments and/or transfers later in the year.
Four of the Cats' 17 commitments have enrolled in classes at UK and will be eligible for spring practice. The rest will officially sign with the school Wednesday.
UK received a surprise commitment Tuesday night from three-star running back Sihiem King. A 5-8, 175-pound prospect from Moultrie, Ga., King was the Class 6A offensive player of the year in Georgia this past season after rushing for more than 2,000 yards and 40 touchdowns and leading Colquitt County to the state title.
USA Today named him to the ALL-USA second team following last season, and ESPN ranks him as the No. 74 running back in the class of 2015. King was recruited at West Virginia by new UK offensive coordinator Shannon Dawson. He took official visits to Wake Forest and Washington State last month.
Madison Southern star Damien Harris was UK's top overall target in the class of 2015 and its main priority at the position. Harris chose Alabama last month, and it looked as though UK would not add a running back for 2015.
King will join returning running backs Jojo Kemp, Boom Williams, Mikel Horton and Josh Clemons.