UK Recruiting

Next Cats: UK commitment fits new mold of tight ends

Charles Reeves, a tight end in the class of 2017, has committed to the University of Kentucky. (Rivals.com photo)
Charles Reeves, a tight end in the class of 2017, has committed to the University of Kentucky. (Rivals.com photo)

Two days after picking up a scholarship offer from the University of Kentucky, four-star tight end Charles Reeves decided he didn't need to wait around for anybody else.

Reeves — a 6-foot-5, 230-pound prospect from Steubenville, Ohio — announced his commitment to the UK on Thursday, picking the Wildcats over a previous offer from Michigan.

The high school junior was being evaluated by several other big-name schools and will almost certainly land more scholarship offers as his prep career continues. Scout.com ranks him as the No. 6 tight end nationally in the class of 2017.

Reeves is also a standout player on the basketball court — averaging 14.2 points and 10.3 rebounds as a sophomore — and his body type and playing style fit the new mold of tight ends, says Scout.com analyst Allen Trieu.

"The more offenses have opened up, the less important it is to have a tight end that's essentially another offensive lineman," Trieu told the Herald-Leader. "Now you want a guy who's a pass-catching threat, a guy who can move into the slot and play outside.

"I think any time you have the 6-5, 6-6 guy who can put on the weight — that's an almost impossible matchup for any cornerback size-wise, and it's a tough matchup for any linebacker speed-wise. Defenses will have a tough time guarding them man-to-man, and you see that in the Rob Gronkowskis and Jimmy Grahams of the world."

Trieu said Reeves has above-average speed for the tight end position. His game film indicates a player talented enough to take short passes and pile up yards after the catch, or use his size and speed to create mismatches down the field.

He also carries his current weight "extremely well," according to the analyst.

"He looks like a kid who can still add some weight," Trieu said. "It'll be up to the UK strength and conditioning staff to decide how much weight to add to him while helping him continue to improve his speed. But there's certainly room to grow there."

UK's active roster currently includes two scholarship tight ends — freshmen C.J. Conrad and Darryl Long — and the Cats have a commitment from Ohio tight end Justin Rigg from the class of 2016. Sophomore tight end Greg Hart is sitting out this season after transferring from Nebraska and will be eligible to play for Kentucky in 2016.

Reeves is UK's sixth commitment for 2017, and that group is ranked No. 8 nationally by 247Sports. Among SEC schools, only Alabama and Auburn have higher-ranked classes.

He's also the fourth 2017 commitment from the state of Ohio, joining running back Michael Warren, defensive end James Hudson and athlete Russ Yeast, who is expected to play wide receiver at Kentucky.

Quarterbacks Mac Jones (from Florida) and Walker Wood (from Lexington) are the other two early commitments for the Cats. Both of those guys started recruiting Reeves via social media as soon as he announced that he had received a scholarship offer from UK.

Reeves specifically mentioned Jones and Yeast when announcing his commitment Thursday.

Those are good signs for UK's recruiting efforts moving forward, says Trieu.

"You want outgoing kids who are going to get active and recruit other guys," he said. "It sounds like that definitely happened with Reeves. As soon as he got offered, he was talking to the other commitments. You want kids who have bought in and want to get in on the act and help recruit."

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