Kentucky Wildcats Look to Finish Recruiting Class Strong with Matt Elam

Jason MarcumCorrespondent IIIJanuary 24, 2014

Oct 24, 2013; Starkville, MS, USA; Kentucky Wildcats helmet during the game against the Mississippi State Bulldogs at Davis Wade Stadium. Mississippi State Bulldogs win the game against Kentucky Wildcats 28-22.  Mandatory Credit: Spruce Derden-USA TODAY Sports
Spruce Derden-USA TODAY Sports

The Kentucky Wildcats football program hasn't seen a lot of wins over the past three years, but a stellar recruiting class in 2014 could help the Cats get back into the bowl season.

After winning just nine combined games in the past three seasons, head coach Mark Stoops is on the verge of assembling one of the greatest recruiting classes the program has ever seen.

Four-star defensive back Kendall Randolph committed to UK this past week, as did 3-star offensive Josh Krok, who flipped his commitment from West Virginia to the Cats

Those two commitments helped UK's class rise to No. 13 in the latest team rankings. That would be the highest finish to a UK recruiting class ever since Rivals and other major online recruiting services emerged. 

But there is one player left on Kentucky's board who could help it rise even higher, and that's Elizabethtown defensive tackle Matt Elam.

Ranked as the No. 2 prospect in the state of Kentucky, per, Elam is considering staying close to his old Kentucky home, but the Alabama Crimson Tide are also in hot pursuit of him. 

Coaches from both staffs visited with Elam on Wednesday, and he's now contemplating whether to commit next week or wait until national signing day to commit, according to his high school head coach, Chad Lewis. Lewis told the Lexington Herald-Leader, per Ben Roberts:

It's not set in stone yet, but I feel like he's going to possibly announce late in the week next week. Neither staff is really throwing much of a sales pitch at this point. Matt knows what they are. He's been on visits to both of them on numerous occasions. And it's really just trying to keep that contact with him and recruit until the very end. The salesmanship, so to speak, is really over at this point.

UK badly needs to keep Elam in-state and bolster their thin defensive tackle unit after graduating starters Mister Cobble and Donte Rumph. 

The Cats also lost Tristan Johnson to graduation, and he was the first backup off the bench to come in for Cobble or Rumph whenever they needed a break. 

Elam could come in and compete for playing time next year, and beating the likes of Nick Saban and the allure of Alabama would be a huge win for a program looking to rise from the cellar of the SEC.  


Jason Marcum is a student in the B/R advanced sports media program. You can find more of his work at Stripe Hype and follow him on Twitter @UK_Fans