UK Football

One of UK’s top football targets announces commitment to the Cats

UK Coach Mark Stoops, right, and recruiting coordinator Vince Marrow secured yet another high-profile recruiting victory in the state of Ohio with the commitment of Alex King on Saturday.
UK Coach Mark Stoops, right, and recruiting coordinator Vince Marrow secured yet another high-profile recruiting victory in the state of Ohio with the commitment of Alex King on Saturday. palcala@herald-leader.com

Alex King became the latest high school football standout to commit to the University of Kentucky on Saturday, pushing the Wildcats past Alabama in the national recruiting rankings and signaling another major victory in the state of Ohio.

King — a 6-foot-3, 225-pound prospect from Mason, Ohio — is ranked by Rivals.com as the No. 23 weakside defensive end in the class of 2017, but UK has targeted him as its biggest priority at the “jack” linebacker position. He is one of the most explosive pass rushers off the edge in the Midwest, and Rivals has given him its highest three-star designation.

The announcement gave UK a total of 11 commitments for the class of 2017, which Coach Mark Stoops said recently would be smaller than previous classes by the time it’s completed, and moved the Wildcats past Alabama in the 247Sports team rankings. UK now has the No. 1 recruiting class in the Southeastern Conference and the No. 6 class nationally.

The only schools with higher-ranked classes at this early stage in the recruiting cycle — still 10 months from national signing day — are Ohio State, Miami, Oklahoma, Clemson and Notre Dame.

King had reported scholarship offers from Tennessee, Wisconsin and West Virginia, among several other top programs. He was one of three highly rated recruits from Ohio to visit Lexington last weekend, taking in the Wildcats’ open practice at Commonwealth Stadium.

UK now has the No. 1 recruiting class in the Southeastern Conference and the No. 6 class nationally.

Another player in that trio — four-star wide receiver Javonte Richardson — committed to Kentucky last Sunday. The third recruit is defensive back Tyrell Ajian, who ESPN ranks as a top-100 overall player in the class of 2017 and is still strongly considering Kentucky.

A 247Sports national analyst recently predicted that Ajian, too, will ultimately commit to the Cats.

Rivals.com ranks King as the No. 19 prospect from Ohio, and UK now has commitments from five of the top 30 recruits from that state for the class of 2017. The others are Richardson (No. 2), defensive end James Hudson (No. 7), and running backs Michael Warren (No. 28) and Bryant Koback (No. 29). Ajian is ranked as the No. 10 player in the state.

Vince Marrow is King’s primary recruiter for the Wildcats.

Ben Roberts: 859-231-3216, @NextCats

UK’s football commitments for the class of 2017

Player

Pos

Ht

Wt

Hometown

Rivals

Scout

ESPN

247Sports

Quinton Bohanna

DT

6-4

300

Cordova, Tenn.

***

**

***

Jamin Davis

LB

6-2

190

Ludowici, Ga.

**

***

Austin Dotson

OL

6-6

290

Belfry, Ky.

**

James Hudson

DE

6-5

270

Toledo, Ohio

****

***

****

Mac Jones

QB

6-3

185

Jacksonville, Fla.

****

****

***

***

Alex King

LB

6-3

225

Mason, Ohio

***

***

***

Bryant Koback

RB

5-11

190

Holland, Ohio

***

***

***

Javonte Richardson

WR

6-4

210

Maple Heights, Ohio

****

****

***

****

Michael Warren

RB

5-10

200

Toledo, Ohio

***

***

****

****

Walker Wood

ATH

6-0

190

Lexington, Ky.

***

***

***

Russ Yeast

ATH

5-10

175

Greenwood, Ind.

***

****

****

***

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