Credit Mark Stoops and the UK coaching staff for fighting until the end, but their pursuit of local five-star offensive lineman Jedrick Wills proved futile.
Wills stuck with his commitment to Alabama, officially signing with the Crimson Tide on Wednesday after spending this past weekend on UK’s campus as an official recruiting visitor.
Rivals.com ranks Wills as the No. 5 offensive tackle and No. 25 overall prospect in the class of 2017, and he’s been UK’s top priority in this group since the beginning of the recruiting cycle.
Instead, Kentucky finished second to Nick Saban and mighty Alabama, which pulled five-star running back Damien Harris out of the Bluegrass two years ago after a similarly dogged recruiting effort by the UK coaches.
Stoops didn’t give up easily, visiting Wills at his high school last week, taking the talented recruit and his family out to dinner and then hosting the 6-foot-5 lineman for an official visit on campus over the weekend.
Even without Wills, the Wildcats are expected to sign a Top 25 class nationally.
In a bit of added drama Wednesday morning, the official Alabama football Twitter account deleted its tweet announcing Wills as a Bama signee. Lafayette Coach Eric Shaw confirmed to the Herald-Leader, however, that Wills has indeed signed with the Crimson Tide.
There will be a special ceremony for Lafayette football players Wednesday afternoon.