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By LARRY VAUGHT

Kentucky made another huge statement for its football program today when four-star Louisville Trinity defensive end Jason Hatcher, who originally committed Southern Cal in July, signed with the Wildcats instead. He was the 22nd member of Kentucky’s 2013 signing class.

The 6-2, 240-pound Hatcher had waffled back and forth between USC and either Louisville or Kentucky before apparently being swayed by new UK coach Mark Stoops and defensive coordinator DJ Eliot.

His mother, Donna Hatcher, confirmed to ESPN on Tuesday night that her son “really liked the UK coaches” and how “passionate” the staff was to turn the program around.

Hatcher had somewhat infuriated many UK fans when he made his original to commitment to USC over Tennessee. “I told (Tennessee’s coaching staff), ‘You lost to the University of Kentucky. You lose to UK, you lose to everybody because UK finishes last in the SEC every year,’” Hatcher told ESPN in July.

Scout.com recruiting analyst Scott Kennedy offered this evaluation of Hatcher, the eighth four-star recruit in UK’s signing class: “Either an undersized defensive end or a jumbo outside linebacker, Hatcher has the speed to play OLB and the frame to grow into an every down defensive end. He’s tremendously quick off the line and fast in pursuit. He relies on speed and quickness rather than strength, because of his size. He uses his hands well and has a variety of pass rushing moves. To be an every down end, he’ll need to get considerably bigger and stronger.”

20 Responses to Jason Hatcher makes it official and commits to Kentucky

  • Love SEC F-Ball says:

    Welcome Jason Hatcher – We are glad that you are a Wildcat!

  • JKaye says:

    Really looking forward to the upcoming season. It’s been a blast already during these weeks leading up to Signing Day. There’s so much excitement with this great recruiting class.

  • UK over USC & UT….Am I in an alternate Universe….GO GETT’UM Coaches !

    • Larry Pup says:

      Look who recruited Jason at USC “Tee Martin.” The coach who turned his nose up and left Joker hanging leaving for the hot shot Lane Kiffin coached USC. To me what a catch. To much orange in Martin’s blood for me. Kudos to our current coaches for a job well done. We will be talking about this class for a long, long time.

  • Love SEC F-Ball says:

    Are we done for the day?
    Or are we waiting on anyone else?

    I am tired but I will stay in the game until midnight if I have to.
    What a great day!

  • Larry Pup says:

    Great news on Jason. I am thankful he is a Wildcat. He will play alot of football for the blue and white. Thank you Jason for your commitment.

  • eddie says:

    joker could not come up this kind of class way to go stoops STOOPS TROOPS #1

  • TrueBlueJohn says:

    I am shocked at how quickly the mindset of the fanbase has changed since Mark Stoops & crew have arrived. In a little over two months we have gone from gloom and doom to exhilaration. We have gone from a fanbase divided over whether we should hire Bobby Petrino or not. We have gone from 68th on Rivals to most likely a top 25 class. Can we find anybody who doesn’t believe that Mitch made the right hire?

    The last time that I looked, Louisville was 57th and Western was 81st on the Rivals list. Go Cats.

  • grant says:

    Congrats Coach Stoops and company!

  • yvette says:

    GO CATS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Larry Pup says:

    Rivals.com has us 28TH. That is the best ranking I have seen on UK this PM. Larry how man bonafide 4 star players did UK sign? The number keeps changing. However, anyway we look at this it is a tremendous class. ESPN is a joke.

  • HoosierbleedsBLUE says:

    Congratulations to all of our new Wildcats and welcome to BBN.

  • Are you Kidding , says:

    This guys is a basket case

  • David says:

    Jason Hatcher is by far my favorite Kentucky pickup! I attended Trinity many years back and love to see a Trinity guy pick the Cats. Hats off to coach Stoops and coaches on the job they have done.

  • David says:

    Do we have 3 more guys out there that might sign yet. If so could we end up a top 20 class thiss year?

  • UKFAN197TONE says:

    NOW, this is what I’m talking about. Keeping the “big boys” HOME. GO BIG BLUE!

    Who are these 8, 4* players UK has signed? I don’t see 8 on Rivals.

  • Viper says:

    While it’s true that Mr. Hatcher primarily uses his quickness and footspeed (4.7 40), don’t think he is one of those guys who shows up at the D1 level and takes 2 to 3 years to mature enough to handle the physicality. He is also the state powerlifing champion in his weight class. This is an all-SEC caliber player in the making. At what position will primarily depend upon his genetics. We will see what position he grows into.

    • larryvaught says:

      Viper, thanks for info on Hatcher. Did not know he was state weightlifting champ. That is impressive

  • Anonymous says:

    Now that’s what an SEC caliber football player looks like-bless you Jason for helping to revive Kentucky football!

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