UK Recruiting

Player who committed to Louisville football will be UK’s special guest on Saturday

One expected visitor for Saturday’s football clash between Kentucky and Louisville will have an eye on both squads.

Class of 2016 wide receiver Seth Dawkins is committed to the Cardinals — and has been since early May — but he’s scheduled to be at Commonwealth Stadium on Saturday as an official visitor and guest of the Wildcats.

UK, which is looking at the possibility of adding one more wide receiver to its next recruiting class, seems to have locked on Dawkins as its top target at that position.

“Big and physical describes him right off the bat,” said Scout.com’s Allen Trieu. “He’s a kid who had a really big senior season, and I think he answered some of the questions that were out there about how fast he is. He made a lot of big plays. He’s a big, physical kid who can run.

“He’s also got polish. He’s not just a big, raw kid. He really is a big kid who knows how to play the game. Knows how to get open, create separation.”

Dawkins — a 6-foot-3, 205-pound prospect from Columbus, Ohio — had 66 catches for 935 yards and finished with a total of 22 touchdowns in 10 games for Franklin Heights High School. His scoring total included multiple return touchdowns.

He also plays for his school’s basketball team and advanced to the state finals in the long jump. He ran a 40-yard dash in 4.5 seconds during his senior season.

That’s the type of size, speed and athleticism UK’s coaches have been looking for at wide receiver as they try to build a corps that can compete in the Southeastern Conference.

The Cats already have commitments from 6-6 junior-college receiver Kayaune Ross and 6-7 high school senior Dakota Holtzclaw, as well as 6-1 receiver Zy’Aire Hughes out of McCracken County High School.

UK also is expected to return all of its pass catchers from this season, many of them still underclassmen. Class of 2015 signees Jabari Greenwood and Tavin Richardson are sitting out this season as redshirts and will be listed as freshman receivers in 2016.

Dawkins — a four-star recruit, according to ESPN — would be one more solid addition to UK’s recruiting corps, but the Cats first will have to change his mind on the pledge to Louisville.

His father, Anthony “Bernie” Dawkins, played for the Cardinals in the 1970s, but the younger Dawkins is a close friend of Jaylin Bannerman, a fellow Ohioan who is committed to the Cats and who also will be in Lexington for his official visit this weekend.

Dawkins hasn’t said much about his interest in Kentucky, but an official visit would speak volumes.

“He’s been pretty quiet,” Trieu said. “We always say, ‘Look at what they’re doing more than what they’re saying.’ And if he’s willing to take a visit, and it’s public and he knows that the Louisville coaches are obviously going to find out — I think that means that he would have to have some pretty serious interest to even take this visit.”

Other visitors

As previously mentioned, Bannerman will be in Lexington this weekend for his official visit. The defensive lineman/linebacker from Ohio is seen as one of the Wildcats’ most promising recruits in the class of 2016.

Cleveland-area running back AJ Rose also will be at UK for his official visit. Rose put up big numbers during his senior season and is one of two running backs — the other is Benny Snell — committed to the Cats for 2016.

Junior-college offensive tackle Tate Leavitt told the Herald-Leader that he would attend the UK-Louisville game on an unofficial visit Saturday.

Leavitt, whom ESPN ranked this week as the No. 32 overall junior-college prospect in the country, is expected to compete right away for a starting spot on the offensive line.

He said Tuesday that he remained on track to graduate in December and join the Cats for the spring semester, which would allow him to go through spring practice with the team.

Ben Roberts: 859-231-3216, @NextCats

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