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While Jason Hatcher waited until Wednesday to make his commitment to Kentucky, Clay County defensive lineman Jacob Hyde was the first member of UK’s recruiting class for then coach Joker Phillips and his staff.
New Kentucky coach Mark Stoops said Wednesday he was glad to have Hyde in his first recruiting class.
“Absolutely, very important to keep Jacob. Big, strong guy I love his accent,” said Stoops. “Just a great person to be around. Big, strong guy and very excited to have him in our program.
“We worked extremely hard to get some big guys. You need some size, you need girth but you always need size in this program because those guys take a bit of time to develop as well. Some guys come in ready to go and other guys need a couple of years to develop and get bigger and stronger.”
Kentucky’s other in-state signee, Franklin County receiver Ryan Timmons — who made his decision Tuesday — was called a “dynamic player” as well as a “high priority” for UK.
“He’s a home‑run threat every time he touches the ball. He’s very versatile, and, again, tremendous family, great person, great student, joy to be around and was very high priority for us,” Stoops said. “I had to play catch‑up on him being that I was on the defensive side of the ball (at Florida State) and it wasn’t my area. I wasn’t familiar with him.”
It didn’t take long for him to realize he was a “big-time important” recruit for UK.
“Ryan was the first school we went into, this new staff, myself, or the assistants. First guy we went to see was Ryan Timmons, so that’s the priority we had on him and, of course, that was on the way to go see Jason Hatcher,” Stoops said.