The steady improvements that the Kentucky football program has made on the field the past few seasons were backed up in their recruiting efforts on Wednesday
Head coach Mark Stoops and his team brought in 20 signees on National Signing Day. The class ranks 23rd in the nation, according to Rivals, while ESPN has it ranked 25th. While some may argue this class is Stoops’ best during his tenure in Lexington, he says he's focused on the long-term rather than the short-term.
“We’ll tell you in three or four years, that’s the big thing,” he said. “I could tell you I am very confident in this group, both as football players and probably more importantly as young men.”
Here’s the general information on each new member of the Blue and White:
Reuben “R.J” Adams – OL, Woodbridge, VA
All-American, Four-star rating by ESPN (No. 18 guard in nation) and Rivals (No. 12 guard in nation) … will play in Under-Armour All-America game …Picked Kentucky over Penn State, Florida State, Oregon and others.
Beau Allen – QB, Lexington, KY (Lexington Catholic)
No. 13 pro-style quarterback and Four-star rating according to Rivals … Paul Hornung Award winner for top high school player in Kentucky, and Kentucky Mr. Football candidate …Picked Kentucky over Washington State, Duke, West Virginia and others.
Sam Anaele – OLB, Deerfield Beach, FL
No. 96 overall player in Rivals rankings, including No. 16 in Florida … Only been playing football for three years after beginning athletic career as a basketball player … Picked Kentucky over Florida, Miami, Colorado and others.
Kalil Branham – WR, Columbus, OH
Rated No. 10 player in state of Ohio by 247Sports…Four-year letterman in basketball, football, baseball and track & field…Set to compete in Offense-Defense All-American Bowl…Picked Kentucky over Michigan, Cincinnati, Boston College and others.
Deondre Buford – OL, Detroit, MI
Four-star recruit by 247Sports Composite rankings … Ranked No. 24 tackle in 2020 class and No. 7 prospect in Michigan by 247Sports … Named 2019 Offensive Lineman of the Year by Detroit Public School League … Picked Kentucky over Missouri, Purdue and others…
Izayah Cummings – WR, Louisville, KY (Male)
Top-10 prospect in Kentucky according to 247Sports … Named Kentucky Football Association 6A Player of the Year, and Kentucky Mr. Football candidate …Picked Kentucky over Louisville, Cincinnati, Indiana and others.
Jeremy Flax – OL, Detroit, MI
Rivals’ No. 2 offensive tackle prospect and No. 20 JUCO prospect …Top JUCO offensive tackle and No. 16 JUCO prospect according to 247Sports…Also played defense his senior year, recording 40 tackles, 10 tackles for loss and two sacks …Picked Kentucky over Auburn, Texas Tech, West Virginia and Maryland.
Joey Gatewood – QB, Jacksonville, FL
Transfer from Auburn…Elite 11 finalist and Under Armour All-America Game participant as a senior…No. 26 overall player in 2018 class … Not eligible to play until 2021, with two years of eligibility remaining from then.
Josiah Hayes – DL, Horn Lake, MS
Rivals’ No. 2 prospect in Mississippi, and top-15 defensive tackle nationally … Four-star prospect on all major recruiting services … Played in 2019 Mississippi/Alabama All-Star Game … Picked Kentucky over Ole Miss, Auburn, Mississippi State and Memphis.
Rickey Hyatt – DB, Westerville, OH
Rated as high as No. 18 Ohio prospect by 247Sports…Recorded 94 tackles, three interceptions and four forced fumbles his junior season…Picked Kentucky over Ohio State, Notre Dame, Penn State and many others featured on offer sheet.
D’Eryk Jackson – ILB, Dublin, GA
No. 47 inside linebacker according to 247Sports … Totaled 129 tackles, 12 tackles for loss and nine sacks his senior year … Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Region 2AAAA Defensive Player of the Year…Picked Kentucky over Mississippi State, Ole Miss and Purdue.
Josh Jones – OL, Phenix City, AL
No. 32 overall prospect in Alabama’s Class of 2020 … Three-star prospect by three major recruiting services … Had 14 Division One offers … Picked Kentucky over LSU, Tennessee, Florida State and others…
Octavious Oxendine – DL, Radcliff, KY (North Hardin)
Four-star prospect by Rivals … Top-25 defensive tackle in the class of 2020 … Named to Kentucky All-State first team…Picked Kentucky over Louisville, Tennessee, North Carolina and others…
JuTahn McClain – RB, Fairfield, OH
Four-star prospect by ESPN, three-star by Rivals…No. 8 all-purpose back by 247 Sports … 2019 Offensive Player of the Year and First-Team Offense on Division One All-Ohio team…Picked Kentucky over Ohio State, Penn State, Notre Dame, Michigan and others.
Andru Phillips – DB, Mauldin, SC
No. 8 overall player in South Carolina according to Rivals and 247 Sports … His father played linebacker at Kentucky … Selected to Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas … Picked Kentucky over Virginia Tech, Georgia Tech, USC and others.
Justin Rogers – DL, Oak Park, MI
Elite five-star prospect and No. 10 overall prospect by Rivals’…247Sports’ No. 1 player in Michigan...Second-best defensive tackle in Rivals’ 2020 class…Went to high school with fellow Wildcat Marquan McCall … Picked Kentucky over Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee and others.
Tre’Vonn Rybka – DL, Dickson, TN
Consensus top-50 defensive tackle … Four-star by Rivals, who had him as No. 10 prospect in Tennessee … Picked Kentucky over Oklahoma, Tennessee and Oregon.
Earnest Sanders IV – WR, Flint, MI
First-team all-state by AP and Detroit News … Currently on the “Mr. Basketball” watch list in Michigan … Picked Kentucky over Michigan State, Penn State and Minnesota.
Carrington Valentine – DB, Cincinnati, OH (Moeller)
First-team All-Southwest Ohio by area coaches … One of nations top-100 cornerbacks according to the three major recruiting services … Picked Kentucky over Michigan State and Pittsburgh.
John Young – OL, Louisville, KY (Christian Academy)
Four-star recruit by Rivals and 247Sports, and Rivals’ No. 14 offensive tackle in the nation … No. 4 player in Kentucky … Named first-team All-State by Max Preps in 2019 … Picked Kentucky over Louisville, Auburn, Georgia and others.