SIGNING DAY: 3 and 3 on UK's Class

3 Things to be excited about and three things to be disappointed about on Signing Day 2007.


LaGrange, Georgia: For the fourth consecutive year, the Wildcats will pull a Wildcat out of Troup County. Despite the disappointing end to the Demetrius Goode saga, the Wildcats will walk-away in 2007 with three solid prospects from LaGrange in four-star prospect D.J. Stafford and two-star prospects Randall Burden and Mychal Bailey. This ever-growing pipeline has now stretched to other parts of Georgia and now into the outskirts of Atlanta.

In-state Lineman: It was a huge year for in-state offensive lineman and the Wildcats took full advantage, taking arguably the best in Stuart Hines and adding Billy Joe Murphy, Phillip Hibbard and Brad Durham, to boot. In the eyes of the above average football fan, you can never have too many in-state players on the offensive line. They generally produce better for whatever reason and stick around longer than out-of-state lineman.

JUCO Quick-Fix: Outside of the in-state O-lineman, UK needed to fill holes at center and at guard and did so nicely with two early enrollees in Jess Beets and Josh Winchell. As incoming juniors with 2 years left to play, the Wildcats finally have some additional balance, which could mean a redshirt year for some of their upper classmen. Beets and Winchell will most likely fight for the right to replace departing captain and senior Matt McCutcheon.


Lack of Star Power: It will be talked about and examined across the board by the media and Rich Brooks will most likely comment on it, but what was one of the stronger points of Brooks' tenure certainly took a hit in 2007, as this class will not receive the national notoriety his previous 4 classes enjoyed. For whatever reason, the 'Cats missed out on several in-state studs and botched the recruitment of some of there more important out-of-state verbals and prospects. A season filled with ups and downs, the staff was handcuffed by its play at the beginning of the season, which left them thinking they had to take more early verbals. In the end, they were not able to add additions during the late period.

No JUCO Fix: On a radio program in the middle of November, Coach Rich Brooks was adamant that the class would be made up of junior college kids, yet the final finished product featured only 3. The Wildcats pursued several impact cornerbacks in the junior college market and struck out on all of them. For whatever reason the struggle continues for this staff in not only identifying talent to play at the JC level, but finding those that can enroll early at Kentucky. For example, Roy Hurst ended up at Utah State, because the Wildcats couldn't get him enrolled in the spring.

D-Line Mystery?: UK jumped out with two early commitments from Shane McCord and Jeff Boyd, only to see the 'Cats lose Boyd towards the end. The result was a class of defensive lineman that leaves much to be desired. After a dominating finish to last year's recruiting class on the defensive line, its hard to fathom why Kentucky didn't at least add one more, especially considering how fast they accepted Boyd's commitment in the summer.

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