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UK announces seven football recruits have enrolled early for spring semester

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Star QB discusses big games by Cameron Morgan and 'Shaw Baby'

As expected, seven members of UK’s football recruiting class of 2017 have enrolled early in college courses and will be with the team for spring practice.

UK officially announced the early enrollees Friday.

Danny Clark

Quarterback | 6-foot-2 | 230 pounds | Columbus, Ohio

Clark was committed to Ohio State — his favorite school growing up — for nearly three years before backing out of that pledge this fall and, soon thereafter, announcing his commitment to Kentucky. Rivals.com ranks him as one of the top 20 pro-style quarterbacks nationally for the class of 2017. “He’s always been known for being a big quarterback with a big arm,” Rivals.com’s Josh Helmholdt told the Herald-Leader. “He can hit all points on the field. And he has one of the biggest arms in this entire 2017 recruiting class.” Clark finished his senior season 117-of-213 passing for 2,122 yards and 15 TDs. He’s also left-handed.

Stoops says: “Danny is an exceptional leader, competitor and winner, having led his team to two state championships.”

Jamin Davis

Linebacker | 6-foot-4 | 210 pounds | Luduwici, Ga.

Davis was somewhat of a surprise commitment when he picked the Wildcats in early March. Though Davis is listed by Rivals.com as an inside linebacker, the UK coaching staff is recruiting him primarily at the weakside LB spot. Tulane was the only other program to offer Davis at the time of his UK commitment, though Louisville, Georgia Tech, N.C. State, Southern Miss and Purdue all extended scholarship offers within a few weeks of his commitment to Kentucky, and Florida was among the other schools monitoring his recruitment. Davis is another example of a player that UK’s coaching staff recognized and targeted before other power-five schools had even identified him as a possible recruit. He’s been clocked running a 4.65 40-yard dash, and has a 38-inch vertical leap. Davis finished his senior season with 126 tackles, with an impressive 89 solo tackles.

Stoops says: “Jamin is a prototype will (weakside) linebacker, a very athletic player with great length. He is an exceptional person and leader.”

Cedrick Dort

Defensive back | 5-foot-11 | 170 pounds | Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.

A bit of an under-the-radar recruit when he committed to the Cats over the summer, Dort is still ranked by Rivals as a two-star recruit but is very highly thought of by the UK coaching staff. Dort concentrated on basketball instead of football early in his high school career, returning to the gridiron during his junior year and immediately drawing the attention of college coaches. The young depth in the Wildcats’ secondary should give Dort plenty of time to continue to hone his football skills before being asked to make an impact. As a senior, he was named first-team All-Area by the Palm Beach Post and first-team All-County by the Sun Sentinel after recording 40 tackles, 14 pass breakups and six interceptions, returning one for a touchdown. He did not allow a TD pass, a first down pass or a pass over five yards during the regular season. Dort also did not miss a tackle all season and battled against six receivers who are expected to sign Division I scholarships.

Stoops says: “Cedric is a great cover corner. I’ve been familiar with that school for a long time and Cedric comes here from a winning program.”

Lonnie Johnson

Defensive back | 6-foot-3 | 215 pounds | Gary, Ind.

One of the top junior-college defensive backs in the country, Johnson chose Kentucky over fellow finalists Georgia and West Virginia, and he should be able to make an instant impact next season. He’s listed by 247Sports as the No. 2 safety in the juco ranks, but he can play anywhere in the defensive backfield. “He brings great length and athleticism to the secondary,” 247Sports national analyst Steve Wiltfong told the Herald-Leader. “We have him ranked as a safety, but he can play corner. So you got a guy who can play some nickel, play corner, player safety, can blitz ‘em. He’s got some serious traits. A big, long kid who can run.” Johnson will have two years to play two seasons at UK. He sat out the 2016 season to concentrate on academics.

Stoops says: “We’re very excited to add Lonnie. He has great size and athleticism, with the versatility to play multiple positions.”

Bryant Koback

Running back | 6-foot-0 | 200 pounds | Holland, Ohio

UK was the first program to extend a scholarship offer to Koback, doing so well before his highly productive junior season. The speedy running back — he’s a track standout, too — from Ohio ran for 2,015 yards and 31 touchdowns on 194 carries in 2015, picked up a few more offers and then decided to end his recruitment early and commit to the Wildcats. He was having an even better senior season before suffering a broken leg midway through the fall that ended his high school career, but he’s expected to be fully recovered by next fall. Prior to the injury, Koback had rushed 93 times for 1,096 yards and an impressive 21 total touchdowns (19 rushing and two receiving) in four games. He has been clocked with sub-4.4 speed at several camps and combines, and he’s also not afraid of contact.

Stoops says: “Bryant is a great kid and a home run threat on the field. He is an electric runner, with excellent vision and top-end speed.”

Clevan Thomas

Wide receiver | 5-foot-11 | 190 pounds | Miami, Fla.

Thomas had reported scholarship offers from Michigan, Louisville and Vanderbilt and is ranked by Rivals.com as one of the top 100 wide receivers in the 2017 recruiting class. He was one of the standout performers at UK’s biggest camp of last summer, and he committed to the Cats one day after that event. The son of former Florida State player Clevan Thomas, he projects as a slot receiver in college. He’s enrolling in classes in January.

Stoops says: “Clevan is an exciting wide receiver, an extremely tough competitor who has shown the athletic ability to play multiple positions. His father was a great player at Florida State and I see a lot of the same qualities in Clevan.”

Walker Wood

Quarterback | 6-foot-0 | 190 pounds | Lexington, Ky.

Wood — a teammate of UK offensive lineman Landon Young — caught the eye of UK’s coaching staff during his impressive junior campaign as the starting quarterback at Lafayette High School. This past season, he completed 203 of 321 passes (63.2 percent) for 3,047 yards and 30 touchdowns in leading the Generals to a 13-2 overall record and an appearance in the Class 6A championship game for the second straight year. Wood saw varsity action as a freshman and finished his career with 8,230 passing yards and 74 touchdowns, along with 4,199 rushing yards and 73 touchdowns. Wood also had a scholarship offer from Louisville, but he committed to UK less than two weeks after picking up the offer from the hometown Wildcats.

Stoops says: “Both of the quarterbacks in this class have similar qualities – Walker is an exceptional leader, competitor and winner. He’s a dual-threat quarterback who can be the most dangerous when a play breaks down.”

Star QB discusses big games by Cameron Morgan and 'Shaw Baby'

 

 

UK football commitments for the class of 2017

Player

Pos

Ht

Wt

Hometown

Rivals

Scout

ESPN

247

Tyrell Ajian

DB

6-1

185

Mansfield, Ohio

****

***

****

****

Josh Ali

WR

6-0

175

Hollywood, Fla.

***

***

***

***

Quinton Bohanna

DT

6-4

300

Cordova, Tenn.

***

***

***

***

Danny Clark

QB

6-2

230

Columbus, Ohio

***

****

****

***

Yusuf Corker

CB

6-0

185

Stockbridge, Ga,

***

****

****

***

Jamin Davis

LB

6-4

210

Ludwici, Ga.

***

***

***

***

Sebastien Dolcine

OL

6-4

285

Hollywood, Fla.

**

**

***

**

Cedrick Dort

CB

5-11

170

Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.

**

***

***

***

Austin Dotson

OL

6-6

290

Belfry, Ky.

**

**

***

***

Isaiah Epps

WR

6-3

185

Jenks, Okla.

***

**

***

***

Phil Hoskins

DL

6-5

275

Toldeo, Ohio

***

***

***

***

Alex King

LB

6-3

225

Mason, Ohio

***

***

***

***

Lonnie Johnson

DB

6-3

215

Gary, Ind.

***

***

***

***

Bryant Koback

RB

6-0

200

Holland, Ohio

***

***

***

***

Michael Nesbitt

DB

6-0

175

Lauderdale Lakes, Fla.

***

***

***

***

Joshua Paschal

DE

6-4

255

Olney, Md.

****

****

****

****

JaVonte Richardson

WR

6-4

210

Maple Heights, Ohio

****

****

****

****

Clevan Thomas

WR

5-11

190

Miami, Fla.

***

***

***

***

Naasir Watkins

OL

6-5

300

Olney, Md.

***

**

***

***

Chris Whittaker

DE

6-4

250

Hollywood, Fla.

***

***

***

***

Walker Wood

QB

6-0

190

Lexington, Ky.

***

***

***

***

Jordan Wright

DE

6-5

230

Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

***

***

***

***

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