UK Recruiting

National analyst: UK in good shape with Elam

John Hardin defensive tackle Matt Elam tried to deflect a pass during a game against Highlands on Sept. 14.
John Hardin defensive tackle Matt Elam tried to deflect a pass during a game against Highlands on Sept. 14. News-Enterprise national football recruiting analyst Mike Farrell was asked by Twitter followers this week to share his thoughts on top Kentucky target Matt Elam.

Those thoughts surely pleased UK fans.

Farrell responded that he considered the four-star defensive tackle to be a “Kentucky lean and theirs to lose.”

The Rivals analyst confirmed that position and expounded on it during an interview with the Herald-Leader on Wednesday.

“I believe that, I really do,” Farrell said. “I think Matt’s the type of kid that likes the attention. I think Matt’s the type of kid who will take his visits, who will be flattered by the big schools. Almost awe-inspired by some of them. I think it’s extremely tempting to be recruited (at that position) at Notre Dame, where Louis Nix is. Or at Alabama, where they’ve put like the last three of those guys in the NFL.

“But when all is said and done, I think he wants to stay home. That’s just my feeling.”

Farrell twice referred to Elam as an “extremely important” recruit for Coach Mark Stoops and the 2014 class. Not just because of his play on the field, but also due to his status as a top in-state target coveted by the nation’s best.

“It’s more important that he’s an in-state guy that Alabama, Notre Dame and others want,” he said. “If they can keep him, it would be similar to (getting) Drew Barker.”

Barker — the Conner quarterback considered by most services to be the No. 1 prospect in Kentucky — committed to the Wildcats earlier this year. Elam has grown close to the affable quarterback and UK’s other commitments during the course of his recruitment. He tweeted Wednesday night that Barker is the “best QB in the country.”

Elam won’t be announcing his own college decision until Jan. 4. Officially, he’s still considering UK, Alabama, Notre Dame, Tennessee, Ohio State and Louisville.

The John Hardin standout told the Herald-Leader this month that UK, Alabama and Notre Dame could be considered the favorites. He made a trip to South Bend last weekend and already has official visits scheduled for Lexington and Tuscaloosa in December.

A lot can happen between now and January, but Farrell likes UK’s position at the moment.

“Recruiting is unpredictable, but I think right now he’s going into this and he’s comparing everything to Kentucky. And that’s a good thing.”

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