Deondre Buford, a senior offensive tackle from Michigan, committed to the University of Kentucky football team on Monday.
Less than 24 hours later UK got a commitment from Tre’vonn Rybka, a senior defensive end from Tennessee, giving the Wildcats two additions in as many days to their 2020 recruiting class. Both are considered four-star prospects by at least one scouting service; Rivals rates Rybka as a four-star and the 18th-best player nationally at his position while 247Sports has Buford as a four-star and the No. 24 offensive tackle in the country.
Rybka was UK’s 16th commitment as part of the 2020 class, which both services currently have ranked in the top 25. The Cats are ranked 22nd nationally and 10th among Southeastern Conference teams — ahead of Tennessee, Arkansas, Missouri and Vanderbilt — according to 247Sports and are 24th nationally in Rivals’ rankings, ahead of the same four SEC squads.
‘Feeling in my stomach’
Buford, the third commit in the 2020 class who hails from Michigan, committed to UK’s coaching staff in June but didn’t reveal his decision until Monday, which would have been his late father’s 45th birthday. He took his first official visit and quickly grew infatuated.
“The coaches, I felt like they kept it real,” Buford said in a phone interview. “They showed genuine love. When I was there, I just always got this feeling in my stomach, like I just liked it. I like the place, I like the players, I like the city. I love Lexington.”
Buford, a 6-foot-4, 273-pounder, was part of a quintet who visited Kentucky on April 26. All five of those players — Buford plus five-star defensive tackle Justin Rogers, four-star in-state prospects Beau Allen and John Young, and three-star defensive back Andru Phillips — have since committed to the Wildcats.
Buford made his decision independently of those other commits, but they share a common goal.
“We’ve seen UK turn things around,” Buford said. “They’re on the come up. We feel like we’re gonna jump in at the right time and then we’re just gonna take off.”
Rybka, a 6-4, 281-pound prospect, committed to UK over a final four that also included Oklahoma, Oregon and Tennessee. In a commitment video posted to YouTube by D1 Highlights, Rybka said he is a “raw player” who doesn’t have a lot of fundamentals.
“I want a coach to build me up and make me the best player I can be,” Rybka said. “… I want to be surrounded by a lot of people who care, a lot of people that show me they care.”
In the video Rybka briefly held up a Tennessee T-shirt while alluding to speculation that he would ultimately pick the Volunteers.
“For the next four years, I decided to not stay home and be different,” Rybka said as he revealed a UK shirt underneath a zipped hoodie. “Go BBN.”