Three storylines to watch as NSD draws near

As Big Blue Nation is sweating out the final days of the 2015 recruiting process, here are three storylines that our AllWildcats staff is tracking closely…

It’s no secret that linebacker is one of the biggest needs still remaining on UK’s big board. The Cats were inconsistent at those spots last season and don't have the kind of depth Mark Stoops would prefer. One target that bears watching is current Mississippi State commitment Darrien McNair, a juco standout who visited Lexington last weekend. We’re hearing the visit went very well, and that McNair bonded nicely with the current UK players. He also has family in the Lexington area, which could bode well for the Cats. There are some rumblings that McNair may be a better fit in Stoops’ defensive scheme than the one new MSU defensive coordinator Manny Diaz plans to use in Starkville.

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Sense a theme here? It should be crystal clear with Stoops, a defensive-minded coach, spearheading the charge. The Cats simply must get better on that side of the ball, and D-Tackle has been recruited aggressively from the get-go in this class. Kentucky lost a potential good one in DaVon Hamilton, who flipped his commitment to national champion Ohio State after a late offer from the Buckeyes. The Cats bounced back by landing a commitment from 3-star Ohio defensive tackle Javon Provitt, but he still has some academic work to take care of before joining the program. The position remains a need. Keep an eye out for juco Courtney Miggins (pictured above), who visited UK this past weekend. Mississippi State is considered his leader at this time, but UK is pushing aggressively to get him in blue.

New Kentucky offensive coordinator Shannon Dawson knows he needs bigger threats in his version of the “Air Raid” offense, and several remain strong possibilities down the stretch. Juco Kayaune Ross was close to committing after picking up an offer from UK and considers the Cats his leader. He’s a former Lakota West product, the Ohio high school that produced Cats like Mikel Horton, Kyle Meadows and George Asafo-Adjei. No doubt they’ll be surrounding him this weekend during his visit. The Cats are forming quite a nice “pipeline” into that talent-rich program. Juwuan Harris is a high school product to keep an eye on, but it seems like a longshot with him after his strong visit with Rutgers this past weekend. Tavin Richardson has long been atop UK’s wish list under both Neal Brown and now with Dawson. The Cats seem positioned well for his pending announcement. Adrian Miller, also known as A.D., seems to be high on the board as well. Things just got even more interesting with him as Stoops’ brother, Bob, the head man at Oklahoma, just extended an offer. The good news here for BBN is there are lots of good options available. It’s a need area, but not quite as challenging as filling a spot like D-Tackle.

AllWildcats football recruiting writer Patrick Loney also contributed to this feature. Follow him on Twitter at @PatrickLoney for up-to-the-minute updates on UK football recruiting.

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