LEXINGTON, Ky. — Kentucky has 18 commitments in its 2018 class, and coach Mark Stoops and recruiting coordinator Vince Marrow expect the majority of them to put pen to paper during the upcoming early signing period.
Prospects in the 2018 class have a three-day window from Dec. 20-22 to sign rather than wait until the traditional National Signing Day in early February. College football coaches have to recalibrate their calendars as recruiting schedules have changed during the first year of the early signing period.
“It does change it quite a bit,” Stoops said. “As you know, we spend a lot of time with recruiting, but we’ve had to spend a lot of time with recruiting organization this early with planning our schedule, where we’re going. So, it’s gonna be busy weeks.”
Stoops said on his radio show Monday night that his staff is on the recruiting trail. There are about three weeks between now and the early signing period.
The December signing window is likely to become a bigger deal than the traditional National Signing Day. Marrow said he expects 90 percent of classes to sign in December.
“And then it tells us if they don’t sign, they must not be that serious with us,” Marrow said. “And then we’re gonna go out and recruit somebody else.”
Marrow said it’s always been the case that most prospects know where they want to go in December. But taking the decision into February gives time for other schools to swoop in late in the process.
“But now you can get a kid to sign in December instead of fighting that whole battle in February,” Marrow said. “In the past when we first started out, we had some kids that we identified, and not just us, other schools. And other schools would come in January, close to February, and pick them kids up. Signing in December is a good thing for a lot of people. I know a lot of coaches are for it.”
Kentucky has the No. 26 class in the country, according to 247Sports. It ranks ninth in the SEC. One of the Wildcats’ top priorities is finding a quarterback to replace former 4-star commit Jarren Williams. Junior college prospect Terry Wilson will be in Lexington on a visit in mid-December. Wilson, who spent a year at Oregon, has offers from Indiana, Baylor and Ole Miss.
Kentucky lost four of its last six games after a 5-1 start to the season. Following Kentucky’s 44-17 loss to Louisville in the regular-season finale, Stoops said he didn’t anticipate a loss in momentum leading up to the early signing period.
“I don’t think that will be an issue at all,” Stoops said. “We’ve got a solid class. We’ve been recruiting at a very high level. Guys are excited to come here. Most of the people we’re recruiting against had some ups and downs as well.”
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