Barker will be joined by linebacker Dorian Hendrix (Huber Heights, Ohio), running back Mikel Horton (West Chester, Ohio), wide receiver Thaddeus Snodgrass (Springfield, Ohio) and wide receiver T.V. Williams (McKinney, Texas).
"This is a great start to our 2014 recruiting class," said UK head coach Mark Stoops, who announced the signings in conjunction with the program's new Commonwealth Stadium redesign plans on Monday afternoon. "They will benefit from enrolling in January. Going through our winter conditioning program and spring practice will give them a much greater ability to compete for playing time next season. In addition to being outstanding players, their academic commitment is shown by graduating high school in three and a half years."
Stoops added that UK could bring in some additional early signees for January. The Wildcats' class is currently ranked No. 11 nationally and is expected to add two or three more players before National Signing Day in February.
Drew Barker, Quarterback, 6-3, 217, Fr-HS, Burlington, Ky. (Conner) – One of the most prolific performers in Kentucky high school history … Strong-armed, accurate passer who also made plays with his legs … Four-year letterman and three-year starter at Conner HS in Hebron, Ky. … Led Conner to the state quarterfinals as a sophomore and the second round of the playoffs as a junior and senior … During his career, completed 65.9 percent of his passes for 6,264 yards and 62 touchdowns … Ran for 3,931 yards and 51 TDs … Threw for 2,671 yards and 34 scores during stellar senior season … District Player of the Year as a senior with more honors to come … Four-star prospect according to Rivals.com, Scout.com and ESPN.com … The No. 1 prospect in Kentucky according to Rivals and the No. 6 quarterback in the nation … Attended the Elite 11 Quarterback Camp during the summer of 2013 … Will play in the Army All-American Bowl in January in San Antonio … Coached by Dave Trosper, who said, "Drew has an exceptional arm, one of the best I've seen in 22 years (of coaching), and great touch. I've always said that good players become great by being a hard worker and student of the game. That's what separates him – he's a student of the game." … All-district honoree in basketball … Honor-roll student …Member of the Future Business Leaders of America … Did community service work with the Never Give Up Foundation … After numerous scholarship offers, chose Kentucky over South Carolina … "Staying at home and representing the state," Barker said of his decision. "I know that the coaching staff will bring in good players. This is the best decision for me athletically and academically." Personal: Born in Edgewood, Ky. … Son of Terry and Ellie Barker … Major is undecided.
Coach Stoops says: "It's very important because Drew is one of the top players in the state along with being a national recruit. It's very important to get great players from your home state. Not only is he an Elite 11 quarterback he also has the leadership skills we look for in a quarterback."
Dorian Hendrix, Linebacker, 6-0, 230, Fr-HS, Huber Heights, Ohio (Wayne) – The first commitment of Kentucky's 2014 signing class … Two-year All-Southwest Ohio linebacker at Wayne HS in Huber Heights, Ohio … Helped lead Wayne to an 11-2 record and a berth in the Division I (largest classification) state quarterfinals as a senior … Made 126 tackles as a senior, with three quarterback sacks, two fumbles caused and two blocked kicks … Totaled approximately 125 as a junior … Earned first-team All-Greater Western Ohio Conference honors both years … Four-year letterman and three-year starter … The nation's No. 26 inside linebacker according to Rivals.com … Rated No. 15 at the Best of the Midwest combine … Coached by Jay Minton … "It takes a special player to play in the SEC and he has that ability," Minton said. "He is explosive to the football and has awareness of the game. He has great character and leadership. He's a competitor." … Also involved with track and field and basketball … Ran the 4x100- and 4x200-meter relays and was an all-conference performer in the shot put … President of the junior class and member of the student council … Honor-roll student … Received the Rotary Club Scholastic Achievement Award … Also considered Illinois and Indiana, and was receiving significant interest from numerous other schools, but decided to commit early and go with UK … "The excitement going on with Coach Stoops," Dorian said of his decision on Kentucky. "I believe in him and his staff. I wanted to play in the SEC and I loved the campus and the fan base." Personal: Born in Dayton, Ohio … Son of Devonna Hendrix and Darryl Brooks … Major is undecided.
Coach Stoops says: "Dorian was an early commitment for the 2014 class and has been solid all the way through. I'm very excited about the leadership he brings at middle linebacker."
Mikel Horton, Running Back, 6-1, 223, Fr-HS, West Chester, Ohio (Lakota West) – Talented running back with a mix of athleticism and power … A four-star prospect by Rivals.com, who also ranks him as the No. 3 prospect in Ohio and No. 12 running back in the nation … Will play in the Semper Fidelis All-American game in Carson, Calif., in January … Four-year letterman and three-year starter at Lakota West HS in West Chester, Ohio … Rushed for 178 times for 1,203 yards, an average of 6.8 yards per carry, and 13 touchdowns as a senior … The team's leading receiver with 19 catches for 249 yards and two TDs … Helped lead his team to a championship of the Greater Miami Conference … First-team all-conference as a junior and senior … First-team All-Southwest Ohio as a senior … Will rejoin former teammate Kyle Meadows, who is a freshman offensive lineman at UK … Lakota West also produced former UK fullback John Conner, four-year NFL veteran now with the New York Giants … Coached at LWHS by Larry Cox … "Mikel's combination of size, speed and pure athleticism set him apart," Cox said. "What takes him a notch higher is his ability to catch the ball." … Participated in wrestling and track and field … Competed in the 4x100-meter relay, 200-meter dash and 110-meter hurdles … Member of the school's leadership program board … Selected UK with final consideration to Florida State, Louisville, Michigan State and Vanderbilt … "The family atmosphere," Mikel said of his decision for UK. "I wanted to be part of changing the program and making it something special. I'm friends with Dorian Hendrix. I fell in love with it." Personal: Name is pronounced "my-KELL" … Born in Cincinnati … Son of Donty Horton and Mimi Horton … Donty played college baseball in New Mexico … An uncle, Rodney Heath, played football at the University of Minnesota and in the NFL for Atlanta and Cincinnati … Considering a major in psychology.
Coach Stoops says: "Mikel is a big back who is very agile and athletic. He's the whole package with the character and personality that is a great fit for our program."
Thaddeus Snodgrass, Wide Receiver, 6-1, 180, Fr-HS, Springfield, Ohio (Springfield) – Highly regarded wide receiver … Four-star prospect by all the national recruiting services … Rivals.com ranks him No. 13 in the state of Ohio while ESPN.com praises him for his impressive speed, route running, ability to catch in traffic and a knack for getting yards after the catch … Has been timed under 4.4 seconds in the 40-yard dash … Four-year letterman and three-year starter at Springfield (Ohio) HS … Caught 29 passes for 535 yards and six touchdowns as a senior … Snagged 18 balls for approximately 400 yards as a junior … Two-year member of the Greater Western Ohio Conference and two-year special mention All-Southwest Ohio … Coached by Eric Gillespie … "Thaddeus is extremely athletic, running 4.33 (seconds) in the 40 (yard dash). His explosive athletic ability gives him all the potential in the world to be a great player in college." … Scout.com recruiting analyst Dave Berk wrote that Snodgrass "brings great speed to the field with the ability to beat defenders at the line of scrimmage with a quick move." … Three-year member of the track team, running the 100- and 200-meter dashes … Honor-roll student … Tabbed Kentucky over West Virginia, Louisville and South Carolina … Thaddeus noted UK's "family atmosphere type of offense and excitement around the team" as his reasons for joining the Wildcats.... Personal: Born in Springfield, Ohio … Son of Rentia Snodgrass and Thaddeus Traylor … A cousin, Keith Traylor, played 16 years in the NFL with Miami, New England, Chicago, Denver, Kansas City and Green Bay … Another cousin, Mykel Traylor-Bennett, plays football at Akron … Major is undecided.
Coach Stoops says:"Thaddeus was a very early commit for us. He's a bigger receiver that we're looking for. Not only is he a national recruit, he also has great character and work ethic."
T.V. Williams, Wide Receiver, 5-10, 165, Fr-HS, McKinney, Texas (McKinney) – Swift wide receiver who has been timed as fast as 4.31 seconds in the 40-yard dash … Caught 30 passes for 454 yards and five touchdowns as a senior at McKinney (Texas) HS … Caught 45 balls for 789 yards and 10 scores as a junior … First-team all-district as a senior, second team as a junior … Also played running back and some wildcat quarterback in high school … Three-year starter … Most Valuable Player of the National Underclassman Camp … Played in the USA vs. Canada All-Star Game in January, 2013 … Invited to the Texas vs. the USA All-Star Game and the NUC All-Star Game … Coached by Jeff Smith … "T.V. is one of the most explosive players I've ever coached," Smith said. "He is so quick and so fast with a lot of big-play ability. He also understands the game, a savvy, heady player who can read coverages and adjust routes." … Three-year letterman in track … Best time of 10.6 seconds in the 100-meter dash … Also competed in the 4x100- and 4x200-meter relays … Honor-roll student … Chose Kentucky over Houston, Oregon State, Nebraska and Iowa … "I trust Coach Stoops, Coach Brown and Coach Mainord," Williams said of his decision. "The recruits are really close and the UK fan base has been amazing. I can't wait to put on a Kentucky jersey and play." Personal: Born in Bakersfield, Calif. …. Son of A.C. and Santa Williams … Comes from an athletic family … A.C. played college baseball at Southern University … A cousin of Homer Bush, who played major-league baseball for the New York Yankees, Toronto Blue Jays and Florida Marlins.
Coach Stoops says: "T.V. is a very quick, electric receiver with playmaking ability. I'm excited about his commitment and getting into Texas."