Student Sports

Highly-regarded QB prospect Mac Jones bails on Kentucky verbal, flips to Alabama

Kentucky lost a major piece of its 2017 football recruiting class Tuesday night.

Four-star quarterback Mac Jones, fresh off his trip to the Elite 11 quarterback camp, rescinded his verbal commitment to the Wildcats and announced via the Twitter social network that he'll instead be playing for Alabama.

Jones, who made an unofficial visit to Tuscaloosa on the heels of his Elite 11 trip, had been committed to UK since July of 2015. He was originally recruited by former Wildcat offensive coordinator Shannon Dawson.

At that time, he was an unheralded prospect with a modest rating, but the Jacksonville (Fla.) Bolles signal caller saw his scholarship offer sheet expand from three to 22 after an impressive junior season. The Crimson Tide came calling in April.

He is currently rated the No. 3 quarterback in Florida and No. 21 at his position nationally by Scout after passing for 2,219 yards, 26 touchdowns and only five interceptions as a junior.

The departure leaves the Cats with one quarterback commitment in the Class of 2017, Lexington (Ky.) Lafayette dual-threat signal caller Walker Wood, but many analysts consider him to be a multi-position athlete, so it's unclear which spot he'll occupy in the future.

Today's news likely means the UK staff will have to get back into the hunt with several other rising senior quarterbacks. The current roster features sophomore Drew Barker, freshman Gunnar Hoak and transfer Luke Wright, a sophomore-to-be from the University of Cincinnati, after an off-season which saw the Cats lose Patrick Towles and Reese Phillips to transfers.

Kentucky currently has 10 verbal commitments in the 2017 class after losing three of its highest-rated prospects in Jones, Ohio defensive end James Hudson and Ohio running back Michael Warren.

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