Kentucky played host to dozens of prospects during its annual Blue-White Spring Game last weekend. In Part II of our AllWildcats recap of the visits, we caught up with several 2015 recruits, a 2016 target and a 2017 in-state player with family connections to the Wildcats.
Class of 2015:
Jaylin Hayward, a three-star cornerback from Amos P. Godby High School in Tallahassee (Fla.), has 10 scholarship offers, including one from the Cats along with other major programs like Florida, Florida State, Miami, LSU, Ole Miss, North Carolina and Tennessee.
"The visit was amazing," he said. "I was really caught off guard by the beauty of the campus and facilities. The fan base at Kentucky is real about their football team.
"I was able to talk to coach (Derrick) Ansley before and after the spring game. A couple of my teammates were with me on the visit, and they were having a blast. During the conversation with coach Ansley, he told me how many guys are expected to leave and how many are returning returning. He also mentioned the type of corners he is looking for at Kentucky."
Asked what UK's main recruiting pitch has been, Hayward said: "Coach Ansley is telling me I could come to Kentucky and play early in my career. When I arrived on campus for the visit, he told me ‘Son, we need DBs,' so I knew the whole day was going to go great."
Hayward (5-9, 170) said UK is currently in his top three, although he declined to list the other two schools. He plans to make a decision sometime between the end of spring and summer.
"I loved the visit to Kentucky," Holton said. "The atmosphere around the football program is amazing. I was able to talk to coach (Jimmy) Brumbaugh and coach Ansley, and they want me come to play for Kentucky. Both coaches also showed me how the defensive schemes are used and how it ‘s similar to what Godby uses, so I'll fit well at UK.
The coaches have talked about offering me scholarship, and if they do, I'm going to commit on the spot because after my visit I could see myself as a Kentucky Wildcat. Since the visit, I've talked to Jaylin Howard and P.J. Simmons about us three being a package deal at UK. All of us like the idea."
A potential new quarterback name on UK's recruiting board is Center Point (Ala.) High School quarterback Keilan Knight.
"One of my best visits so far," he said. "I loved the atmosphere and the fan base at Kentucky. I was able to talk to Derrick Ansley and (UK offensive coordinator) Neal Brown. The two coaches invited me to come for one of their camps this summer and told me my film looks really good. When I come down for a camp this summer and throw live, a potential offer will come.
During the visit, Knight got to meet several Wildcat players, including freshman quarterback Drew Barker. "He told me to just keep working, be a leader for my team, and the hard work will pay off."
He now lists UK among his top three, along with UL-Lafayette and Middle Tennessee. The Cats would be a strong favorite for his verbal if an offer eventually comes.
Class of 2016:
An in-state prospect who has been flying somewhat under the radar is Dalton Frasure, a sophomore tight end at Prestonsburg High School.
"The visit was good," he said. "I had an awesome experience at UK. This wasn't my first visit. I've been to UK several times in the past, but this visit was one I really enjoyed because it was just cooler with all the stuff leading up to the spring game."
Frasure said he got to tour all the athletic facilities as well as the academic center to see what UK has to offer on both aspects of his future.
"I got to talk to coach Vince Marrow and coach Brown," he said. "The coaches told me they're going to try to watch me practice and evaluate me before talking about an offer. They also told me one of the coaches will be visiting me at my school soon. I would say right now my top two is Cincinnati and Kentucky with Kentucky out in front. I'm planning on camping at both schools this summer."
Class of 2017:
Another name Kentucky fans may not recognize yet but will certainly come to know in the near future is in-state prospect Ray Horton. The Belfry High School freshman is from the same program that produced former Wildcat David Jones, the player's uncle.
Horton (6-2, 260) played defensive line and tight end his first year of varsity football.
"My visit to Kentucky went great," he said. "I loved the atmosphere and fans at UK. My uncle, David Jones, took me on a tour through the locker room and then talked about how great the program is and how the fans will always support you through the good and bad. We headed to the field before the spring game started and I was able to talk to offense line coach John Schlarman. He asked me when I was I coming back for the camp."
The Cats were the first major program to show interest in the young prospect, but that is certain to change in the near future. He plans on getting more exposure this summer when he attends several camps in the area.