For the second time this week, the Wildcats have dipped into the deep talent pool at Blinn College in Texas to get some help on the defensive side of the ball.
Two days after landing a verbal from defensive back Shyquawn Pullium, Kentucky has added linebacker Ryan Flannigan to its 2014 commitment list.
The 6-foot-3, 230-pound Flannigan confirmed his pledge to the UK staff via Twitter Wednesday evening. He was also being pursued by Arizona State, Houston, Cincinnati, West Virginia and Texas Tech, among others.
The Missouri City, Texas, native was a three-star prospect ranked as the nation's No. 45 outside linebacker prospect when he originally signed with Texas Tech in the Class of 2012. He had a previous relationship with his UK recruiting coach, Chad Scott, who was on the Red Raiders' staff at the time.
"That was a big part of my decision (to commit to Kentucky)," Flannigan said. "I've known coach Scott for a long time, back to my high school days, and we've always had a great relationship. He's a real good guy, so I knew I could trust him when he started recruiting me for Kentucky. He just made me feel real comfortable about that situation."
Pullium's commitment earlier this week came as a pleasant surprise to Flannigan.
"I knew he liked them a lot, too, but I didn't know he was going to do it as soon as he did," Flannigan said. "After he did that, I got to thinking about it some more and decided I wanted to be there, too. It's cool because we've become good friends."
Flannigan gave a strong assessment on behalf of his current and future teammate.
"You all are going to like him a lot," he said of Pullium. "He's a big corner, a physical guy who really likes to get up into receivers and jam them. He can really play."
Flannigan played a hybrid outside linebacker/defensive end position for the Blinn Buccaneers with both pass-rushing and coverage responsibilities, something he's able to do thanks to his impressive 4.6 speed.
"That's my main thing," he said. "All the coaches who recruited me loved my speed. Some even thought I might be able to play safety."
The UK staff, Flannigan added, thinks he could compete for playing time at either outside linebacker position as soon as he steps on campus.
"That was another big thing with Kentucky," he said. "They need linebackers right now, and there's a real good chance I can compete right away. I don't expect to be handed a starting spot automatically, but I'm ready to come in and work hard and compete for it, and I think I'll be able to earn a lot of playing time right away."
Flannigan has yet to visit UK, but says he can already sense the excitement surrounding the program.
"It's a program on the rise," he said. "You read a lot of stuff on the internet and Twitter, all that stuff, and you see where people are really excited about them since coach (Mark) Stoops got there from Florida State. I think everybody's starting to pay attention to Kentucky now."
Flannigan said he plans to visit UK in September. "I should be up there for an official visit when they play Florida."
Kentucky now has 11 verbal commitments in the Class of 2014, including two linebackers in Flannigan and Ohio prospect Dorian Hendrix, as well as Maryland safety/linebaker Kobie Walker.
Scott Eklund of FOX Sports' JCFootball.com recently called Flannigan a "rising star" and a "multi-talented player with a lot of upside" at the next level.
CLICK HERE to view highlight clips of Flannigan in action from his prep days at Marshall High School in Missouri City, Texas.
Cats land another Blinn College defender
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