A last-minute flurry of commitments left the University of Kentucky with a larger football recruiting class than had been anticipated going into national signing day Wednesday.
As expected, the Cats added defensive back Will Jackson and wide receiver Therrell Gosier.
In a bit of a surprise, they also added junior-college defensive linemen Alvonte Bell and Courtney Miggins.
The four additions pushed UK's class of 2015 to 23 players — counting Nebraska transfers Greg Hart and Courtney Love — and gave Mark Stoops and his coaching staff the No. 35 class nationally, according to the Rivals.com rankings.
That's not as good as last year's No. 17 ranking, but it's still better than any pre-Stoops UK class in the Rivals era, which dates to 2002.
Jackson — a 6-foot-3 prospect from Washington, D.C. — went first, choosing the Wildcats over a late scholarship offer from Wake Forest.
All of the major recruiting services rank Jackson as a two-star player, but the UK coaching staff was drawn to his length and versatility at the defensive back position.
"Will is a long, rangy corner — physical with great footwork," Stoops said. "Having also played receiver in high school, he has good ball skills. It's exciting to have this kind of size in the secondary."
A few minutes after his announcement, UK announced that Gosier had also joined the class.
The 6-6 wide receiver was committed to Miami for months before backing out of that pledge a couple of weeks ago. He also had scholarship offers from Clemson, Nebraska, West Virginia and several others at various points in his recruitment.
Scout.com ranks him as the No. 74 wide receiver in the class of 2015.
"He was just one who stuck out to us," said wide receivers coach Tommy Mainord. "He wanted to be a Wildcat, and we wanted him.
"We're fortunate to get him — he's a good player."
It looked like that might be it for Wednesday, and more than two hours passed with no unexpected news.
Then, UK landed Bell and Miggins, teammates at Pearl River Community College (Miss.).
Miggins emerged as a major Kentucky target over the past few weeks, but the Cats were not seen as the favorite going into Wednesday.
"I think the guy has the potential to be an excellent defensive lineman," said defensive coordinator D.J. Eliot. "He's athletic enough that he can play on the end, but he's big enough and physical enough to play inside. He's a versatile defensive lineman, too, and he was a very good get for us."
Stoops and Eliot recruited Bell as assistant coaches at Florida State, but he committed to UK instead. Joker Phillips was the head coach at the time, and Bell stuck with the Cats after Stoops was hired a couple of months before signing day 2013.
A four-star defensive end coming out of high school, Bell's name was not mentioned as a possible "re-commitment" leading up to Wednesday.
That's the way Stoops planned it.
"The more quiet, the better," he said. "I didn't want anybody to know about him. We didn't talk about him. None of y'all knew about him. We didn't say a word about him.
"He's a very good football player, very explosive. Our coaches have gone there and watched him practice and been around him. We feel like he's got a very bright future."
■ Four-star defensive back Marcus Lewis was UK's top-rated target going into Wednesday, but he signed with Florida State.
UK also received a commitment from junior-college wide receiver Kayaune Ross, who plans to enroll at UK by next January as part of the recruiting class of 2016.
Ross — a 6-6 prospect from Ohio — currently attends Phoenix (Ariz.) College.