Kentucky has long struggled to get a foot in the door at the state's premier high school program, Trinity High School in Louisville, and that sometimes results in the Wildcats backing off the Shamrocks' players early in the process.
That may have been the case in regard to four-star running back Dalyn Dawkins, who up until lately, was not featured prominently on UK's recruiting radar.
"I think it was partly due to me and party due to them thinking I wasn't interested," said Dawkins, who made an unofficial visit to Lexington this weekend to meet with the UK staff and check out the Cats' game against Mississippi State. "My dad played for UofL, so I think they always thought that there was no chance I would want to play for UK. And they had invited me to games before, but I had never gone until now. I decided to go over and let them know I am interested in them."
Kentucky dropped to 1-5 after the loss to the Bulldogs, but Dawkins said he still sees positives in the program.
"They're kind of rebuilding right now, but the future looks good. They have some good, young players in the program," he said. "I like the coaches. I got to meet with coach (Greg) Nord and coach (Joker) Phillips before the game and talk to them a little bit. They were happy to see me there. It sounds like they're real close to offering me.
"I also like the fact that it's in the SEC and it's real close to home."
Dawkins said his current top four includes Cincinnati, Illinois, Purdue and Colorado State.
"Cincinnati would be my leader," he said. "They have a really nice coaching staff, and it seems like they really want me there. There's a chance for early playing time, and the system really fits me as a player."
Dawkins has taken unofficial visits to Cincinnati and Illinois. He doesn't plan to take any official visits until the Shamrocks wrap up their season.
"I'm just focused on helping us win another championship right now," he said. "I'lll do those visits when the season is over."
Dawkins (5-10, 180, 4.5) rushed for 1,478 yards and 25 touchdowns as a junior in helping Trinity win the Class 6A state championship. Many national outlets also named the Shamrocks their No. 1 high school team in the country last year.
Trinity is 7-0 and the heavy favorite to win another state championship this year. Dawkins has done is part with 703 yards rushing, 171 yards receiving and 11 total touchdowns.
Dawkins' recruitment picking up steam?
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