As usual, Kentucky's recruiting class pales when compared with some of the big-time national programs in the Southeastern Conference. But what will matter years later is whether or not the current group helps to raise the profile of the program.
The Wildcats' 26-player class is rated 11th best of the 12 SEC programs and features only one four-star recruit in safety Glenn Faulkner, but the class is one that coach Joker Phillips is high on.
"We don't worry about the star system," Phillip said. "We worry about the guys that fit our profile."
While Faulkner is Kentucky's highest-rated recruit, the most important ones per the 2011 season might be found at running back and wide receiver.
Incoming running backs Marcus Caffey and Josh Clemons will get long looks in fall camp to see if one of them can play immediately as part of the solution to replacing departed starter Derrick Locke.
The Wildcats also have a significant hole at wide receiver after Randall Cobb left early for the NFL in addition to the loss of Chris Matthews. Kentucky signed four receivers, with Demarco Robinson (73 receptions for 1,655 yards and 27 touchdowns as a high school senior) looking particularly intriguing in terms of a player who might make an early impact.
Kentucky suffered a huge blow when tight end Jon Davis, a highly coveted in-state recruit, reneged on his verbal commitment and instead signed with Illinois. Four-star linebacker recruit Lamar Dawson also passed on the Wildcats in favor of signing with USC. Dawson was this season's Mr. Football in the state of Kentucky.
TOP OF THE CLASS
S Glenn Faulkner (East St. Louis High, East St. Louis, Ill.) -- The only four-star recruit of the class, according to rivals.com. Top-notch athlete who is expected to contribute early in his career and become an eventual defensive stalwart.
OT Zach West (Lexington Christian Academy, Lexington, Ky.) -- The most highly regarded of the three offensive lineman signed. Expected to be a three-year starter. A move to guard is possible depending on team needs.
LB Demarius Rancifer (Catholic High, Pensacola, Fla.) -- Fits into the hybrid defensive end/linebacker scheme that will be a key part of Kentucky's defense. Could see the field early in his career.
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