UK Football

Who are the UK football coaches already targeting for the class of 2018?

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Kentucky defensive coordinator Matt House talks about the 2017 signees on his side of the ball.
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Kentucky defensive coordinator Matt House talks about the 2017 signees on his side of the ball.

There are no rest stops in recruiting, and Mark Stoops and the UK coaching staff — fresh off of signing one of the program’s top classes in recent memory — will immediately begin working on the next group of Wildcats.

The UK coaches have already sent out dozens of scholarship offers to prospects in the class of 2018 — some highly touted players, some under-the-radar recruits — and they’ll be looking to capitalize on their recent success with another talented class.

Quarterback Jarren Williams is the Wildcats’ lone commitment for next year, and he’ll likely help out his future coaches in the coming months by serving as a recruiter behind the scenes.

It’s early, and UK’s list of targets is long, but here’s a look at some players who might end up signing with the Wildcats a year from now:

Tyler Bentley, defensive tackle: Kentucky is the early favorite for Bentley, a 6-foot-3, 285-pound native of West Chester, Ohio. West Virginia recently followed UK’s lead and became the second power-five school to offer Bentley, who attends the same high school that produced UK linemen George Asafo-Adjei and Kyle Meadows.

Jairus Brents, cornerback: The No. 1 prospect in the state of Kentucky for the 2018 class, Brents is ranked by 247Sports as the No. 15 cornerback and No. 125 recruit nationally. Competition will be steep for the Waggener standout, who has reported offers from Alabama, Florida, Michigan State, Tennessee, Louisville and several others.

Jerome Carvin, offensive lineman: UK and Louisville are among the early favorites for Carvin, a 6-4, 305-pound tackle from Cordova, Tenn., and a friend and teammate of UK signee Quinton Bohanna. 247Sports ranks Carvin as the No. 51 offensive tackle in the class. Expect some other Southeastern Conference schools to show interest in this recruitment.

Malcolm Davidson, running back: The Cats are likely to take at least one running back in this class, and Davidson is a 5-10, 180-pound speedster from Florida who the UK coaches like early in the process. A bit of an under-the-radar recruit, his only major offer so far is from Kentucky.

Justice Dingle, linebacker: Dingle moved from Tennessee to Kentucky before last season and now plays for Bowling Green High, recording 68 tackles for the undefeated 5A state champ Purples this past fall. Rivals.com ranks the 6-2 prospect as the No. 14 inside linebacker nationally, and UK seems to have a good shot at his commitment.

Cameron Hoelscher, linebacker: UK was the first school to offer Hoelscher, a 6-2, 210-pounder from Springfield, Ohio. Vince Marrow is on the case early, and 247Sports ranks Hoelscher as the No. 20 inside linebacker in the class. Expect some high-profile Big Ten programs to keep an eye on him moving forward.

Rondale Moore, wide receiver: The third in-state player on this list, Moore sat out most of this past season following a transfer to Trinity, where he had 20 catches for 464 yards and nine TDs in just four games after being ruled eligible. The 5-8 prospect has big-play ability, and UK was the first school to offer. U of L is also showing serious interest.

Jordan Redmond, defensive tackle: UK was the first power-five program to offer Redmond, a 6-2, 285-pounder from Florida who is ranked by 247Sports as the No. 48 defensive tackle in the class. He has publicly referred to the Wildcats as his No. 1 choice.

Alex Reigelsperger, defensive end: It’s unlikely that any 2018 recruit has spent more time on UK’s campus than Reigelsperger, who has now visited nearly 10 times in the past year. ESPN ranks the Dayton, Ohio, native as a top-200 national recruit and the No. 14 defensive end in the class. Other reported offers include Wisconsin, Pittsburgh, Iowa and West Virginia. More Big Ten schools could join that list.

A tight end: UK will add at least one player at this position in 2018, but it’s unclear who the most likely candidate is at this point. Four-star Ohio natives Leonard Taylor and Brendan Bates are among several tight ends with offers from the Wildcats. Three-star Alabama native Anthony Lewis Jr. is another possibility.

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