UK Football

National analyst predicting UK will land several four-star football recruits

UK will host dozens of football recruits Saturday.
UK will host dozens of football recruits Saturday. Herald-Leader

It could be a very good weekend for UK’s 2018 football recruiting efforts.

247Sports national analyst Steve Wiltfong logged four Crystal Ball picks in favor of Kentucky on Friday night, the eve of the program’s big “junior day” event set for Saturday.

Wiltfong is now picking the Wildcats for four-star athlete L’Christian Smith, four-star linebacker Xavier Peters, four-star tight end Brenden Bates and four-star offensive lineman Blaine Scott, all players from Ohio who are expected to be on UK’s campus this weekend.

Though all four recruits are not expected to make college decisions this weekend, Wiltfong’s predictions are a positive sign for the Wildcats, who are looking to sign another nationally ranked recruiting class in 2018.

Smith — a 6-foot-5, 215-pound prospect from Huber Heights — would be one of Mark Stoops’ biggest commitments yet. ranks him as the No. 1 athlete and No. 23 overall prospect nationally in the class of 2018, and he has reported scholarship offers from Ohio State, Alabama, Michigan, Notre Dame and several other top schools.

He visited UK twice during the fall.

Peters — a 6-4, 220-pounder from West Chester — is ranked by 247Sports as the No. 9 outside linebacker in the 2018 class. Penn State, Oregon, Louisville and several other schools have offered.

Bates — a 6-5, 220-pounder from Cincinnati — is one of UK’s top tight end targets in the class of 2018, and that will be an area of need for the Wildcats in this cycle. 247Sports ranks him as the No. 9 tight end nationally in 2018.

Scott — a 6-4, 300-pound offensive guard from Portsmouth — is considered a four-star recruit by He narrowed his list Friday to 13 schools: UK, Arkansas, Cincinnati, Duke, Illinois, Iowa State, Louisville, Miami, Michigan State, Minnesota, Mississippi, Oregon and Rutgers. He has offers from all of those schools.

Vince Marrow is UK’s lead recruiter on all four of those players.

Related stories from Lexington Herald Leader