Most of the University of Kentucky's football signees for the class of 2015 are expected to arrive in Lexington this weekend to enroll in summer classes and get acclimated to college life.
Many in the next wave of football Wildcats will also be in town.
Over the next few days, UK's coaching staff will hold several camps for high school prospects — making this the program's biggest recruiting period in the month of June.
Several UK commitments for the class of 2016 have already said they will attend the camps. Ohio standouts Jaylin Bannerman, Tobias Gilliam and Kordell Looney — all coming off stellar camp performances in Columbus last weekend — are among the confirmed visitors for this weekend.
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Paintsville High School linebacker Kash Daniel — possibly UK's top uncommitted target in the class — said Friday that he plans to be in Lexington on Monday. Highly touted, uncommitted wide receiver Eddie McDoom is also expected to be in town.
Scout.com Midwest analyst Allen Trieu said weekends like this are important first steps in building a family environment within a recruiting class.
"Now, the kids recruit each other just as much, if not more, than the coaching staff does," Trieu told the Herald-Leader. "And those are the guys that you're going to spend a lot of your time with. Those are going to be your roommates, those are going to be your friends. So, I think a lot of the time, kids want to see how they fit into the social environment as well as the football team."
Those players attending the camps will also get hands-on instruction from UK's coaching staff. The schedule begins with Saturday evening's "Prime Time Camp" and continues through Thursday. Another major series of UK camps is set for next month.
The Cats are already off to another great recruiting start under Coach Mark Stoops, who has secured 16 total commitments for the class of 2016 — all but one of them from Kentucky or Ohio.
Scout.com ranks the class 16th nationally, and the group is No. 10 overall in the 247Sports composite ranking of all the major recruiting services.
"I think the class is really good, and that's nothing different from what they've done the past couple of years," Trieu said. "Just look at the other schools that have wanted these guys that Kentucky is pulling in. I think those offer lists speak for themselves."
Trieu is speaking of such players as Woodford County center Drake Jackson — who chose UK over offers from Ohio State and Alabama — and Lafayette offensive tackle Landon Young, who is still being recruited hard by several major programs.
Those two players — both four-star prospects — won't be in Lexington this weekend.
Instead, they'll be in Baltimore competing at the Rivals Five-Star Challenge, an event that attracts many of the best prospects in the country. Jackson and Young both visited UK earlier in the week, touring the under-construction Commonwealth Stadium with offensive line coach John Schlarman, recruiting coordinator Vince Marrow and Lafayette offensive lineman Jedrick Wills, a major UK recruiting target for the class of 2017 who will also be at the Five-Star Challenge this weekend.
Jackson has repeatedly said that he is 100 percent committed to the Wildcats and doesn't plan on taking any other visits. Young, who committed to UK nearly two years ago, also remains firm in his pledge, though he did take a trip to Ohio State last weekend and also plans to see Alabama and Auburn sometime soon.
Bannerman, Looney and Gilliam — the three confirmed visitors for this weekend — also continue to be recruited by other major programs.
It's a déjà vu situation for Kentucky football fans, who saw eight commitments bolt the class in the run-up to 2015's signing day.
Nationally, it was a recruiting cycle rife with "decommitments," though no program was hurt more by it than UK.
It's possible that could happen again this time around, making weekends like this one all the more important.
"They have some really good players in this class, and some of those guys are already starting to get some other attention and taking other visits," Trieu said. "They're going to have schools pursuing them to the end. And that's going to be something that UK has to continue to guard against.
"I know that's not the news Cats fans want to hear, but, yes, what happened last year is certainly possible again. But going through it a second time, I think maybe you have some of the experience in dealing with all of the poaching that's going on."