UK Football

Quarterback Mac Jones backs out of commitment to Kentucky

Four-star quarterback Mac Jones committed to Kentucky last July, but he backed off of that pledge on Tuesday and announced that he is now committed to Alabama.
Four-star quarterback Mac Jones committed to Kentucky last July, but he backed off of that pledge on Tuesday and announced that he is now committed to Alabama.

One of the University of Kentucky’s most celebrated football recruits in recent years announced Tuesday night that he is no longer committed to the Wildcats.

Four-star quarterback Mac Jones posted a short message on Twitter to say that he is now committed to Alabama, the national powerhouse that extended him a scholarship offer two months ago.

“I would like to thank the University of Kentucky for recruiting me, however, an opportunity of a lifetime has presented itself to my family and me,” Jones said. “I am happy to say I will continue my football and academic career at the University of Alabama. I am 100 percent committed. Roll Tide!”

Jones — a 6-foot-3 prospect from Jacksonville, Fla. — was originally recruited at UK by former offensive coordinator Shannon Dawson, who was let go following the 2015 season. Dawson spotted Jones at a UK camp last summer, extended a scholarship offer and accepted the quarterback’s commitment at a time when few other college programs were recruiting him.

When Jones committed to UK last July, he became the Cats’ first pledge for the class of 2017.

Since then, his recruiting stock has skyrocketed.

Earlier Tuesday, Rivals.com ranked Jones as the No. 165 overall prospect in the class of 2017 and now lists him as the No. 8 pro-style quarterback in the country.

Scholarship offers from other major college programs started rolling in earlier this year. Illinois, Arizona State, Washington State, Southern Miss, Indiana and Rutgers all extended scholarship offers within an 11-day period in February, but Jones maintained that he remained solidly committed to the Cats.

After visiting Arizona State and California in March, Jones took another trip to UK in April and told the Herald-Leader afterward that he did not plan to visit any more schools, basically declaring his recruitment over.

Five days later, Alabama offered Jones a scholarship.

Louisville, California, Texas A&M, Mississippi and Missouri all followed suit with scholarship offers to Jones, who finally flipped his commitment to the Crimson Tide on Tuesday night.

Jones joins fellow four-star quarterback Tua Tagovailoa in Alabama’s recruiting class of 2017. Rivals.com ranks Tagovailoa as the No. 56 overall prospect and No. 3 dual-threat quarterback in the country.

UK, which also lost commitments from highly touted Ohio teammates James Hudson and Michael Warren late last month, is now left with a total of 10 commitments for the class of 2017. The Wildcats’ class is now ranked No. 27 nationally, according to Rivals.com. Alabama’s 11-player class moved to No. 2 nationally with the addition of Jones.

Lafayette quarterback Walker Wood is now the only QB in UK’s 2017 class, though he’s generally listed as an “athlete” by the recruiting services, meaning he could play a number of different positions at the college level.

UK’s coaches told Wood — a 6-foot prospect — at the time of his commitment that he would be given an opportunity to play quarterback 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

247

Tyrell Ajian

DB

6-1

185

Mansfield, Ohio

****

***

****

****

Quinton Bohanna

DT

6-4

300

Cordova, Tenn.

***

**

***

Jamin Davis

LB

6-2

190

Ludwici, Ga.

**

**

***

Austin Dotson

OL

6-6

290

Belfry, Ky.

**

**

Phil Hoskins

DL

6-5

275

Toldeo, Ohio

***

***

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

****

****

****

****

Walker Wood

ATH

6-0

190

Lexington, Ky.

***

***

***

***

Russ Yeast

ATH

5-10

175

Greenwood, Ind.

***

****

****

***

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