Ja'Quize Cross — a three-star defensive lineman from Alabama — announced his commitment to the University of Kentucky on Wednesday night.
Cross chose the Wildcats over fellow finalists Minnesota and Pittsburgh. He also had scholarship offers from Army, Navy, Western Kentucky and several other schools.
Georgia, Mississippi State and Vanderbilt had expressed interest in his recruitment in recent weeks.
The 6-foot-3, 305-pound prospect from New Market, Ala., made a trip to Lexington to participate in one of the program's camps earlier this month, and he impressed the UK coaching staff during that visit. He picked up a scholarship offer from the Wildcats last weekend.
247Sports ranks Cross as the No. 70 defensive tackle in the class of 2016. Scout.com pegs him as the No. 81 defensive tackle among rising seniors. Both of those recruiting services consider Cross to be a three-star prospect.
UK defensive backs coach Derrick Ansley, an Alabama native, was the Wildcats' primary recruiter for Cross.
Kentucky now has 18 commitments for the class of 2016, and Cross joins Ohio standout Kordell Looney as the second defensive tackle in that group. Cross is also only the second recruit from outside of Kentucky or Ohio to commit to the Cats for next year. Georgia cornerback Jordan Griffin is the other.
The latest commitment moved UK past Auburn into the No. 17 spot in the Rivals.com team rankings for 2016. The Cats are seventh in the Southeastern Conference.