After signing no linebackers in this February's class, Kentucky is expected to make the position a major priority for 2014.
One prospect holding an offer at linebacker is three-star Marietta (Ga.) High School standout Ty Tomlin, who was able to make his way to the Bluegrass earlier this spring for a look at the Wildcats.
"I got up there for one of their spring scrimmages," Tomlin said. "It wasn't the spring game, but one of the scrimmages they had on the weekend. It was good. I liked the team and the coaches and how they were working hard. I got a little tour of the campus, too, and liked how everything looked."
Tomlin (6-0, 215) is coming off a junior season which saw him record 128 tackles, 20 tackles for loss, four forced fumbles and two interceptions. His impressive productivity has led to scholarship offers from UK, North Carolina, Clemson, Wake Forest, Tennessee, Missouri, Minnesota and Syracuse, among others. Programs like Auburn, Arkansas, Boston College, East Carolina and Georgia Tech have also been showing strong interest.
He says three leaders have begun to emerge -- North Carolina, Clemson and Wake Forest, and noted that the Tar Heels might be in the top position -- but likes what he's hearing from the Kentucky staff. UK assistant coach Derrick Ansley has been recruiting Tomlin for the Cats.
"I like how he's straight to the point, doesn't sugarcoat anything," Tomlin said. "He's got a lot of experience in the SEC with helping young guys like me reach their goals."
Asked what the UK staff likes about his skills, Tomlin said: "They say they really need some linebackers in this class, and how there's a good chance for a freshman to come in and compete for a starting job or at least get on the field a lot next year.
"They like how I get to the ball carrier, how I'm a striker, and my instincts. I don't have to be constantly told where to be and what to do."
Tomlin said he'll attempt to narrow his list this summer. The keys to his recruitment will be "my education and early playing time. They're both very important to me."
He noted that he sees that strong combination in UNC and Wake Forest right now. He cited his relationship with the Clemson staff as the Tigers' potential edge.
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