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By LARRY VAUGHT
Three in-state players that were not on Kentucky’s radar before Mark Stoops was hired as new coach became immediate recruiting targets for the Wildcats.
One, Mr. Football James Quick of Trinity, gave his verbal commitment to Louisville earlier this month and basically admitted that UK just came into the recruiting picture too late for him.
Another player, Franklin County standout Ryan Timmons, seems intrigued by Neal Brown’s offense — he played in basically the same offense in high school — and could be favoring UK now over Florida and Ohio State.
The third player, Trinity four-star defensive end Jason Hatcher, recently decommitted from USC after making a visit to USC. He has visited UK and could visit both Florida and Louisville before signing day Feb. 6. Like Timmons, Hatcher’s interest in UK now is because he likes the defense that Stoops and defensive coordinator D.J. Eliot use.
Hatcher had 27 tackles last season and is ranked among the nation’s top defensive ends.
Getting either Hatcher or Timmons would be a huge recruiting bonanza for Stoops. Getting both would be liking finding the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.
So could UK land Hatcher? Absolutely. The guess here is that it will come down to Louisville or UK. He has more ties to Louisville, but I’m hearing more and more that he’s doing nothing to discourage UK.
What do you think? Could Stoops break the Trinity barrier and land this big-time player less than two months after taking the UK job?