LEXINGTON — University of Kentucky recruiting coordinator Chuck Smith says there is a direct correlation between getting high school players to summer camp and early verbal commitments.
Kentucky has 13 verbal commitments as it prepares to start preseason practice this week.
“That’s the most we have had at this time of year,” said Smith, who is also UK’s linebackers coach. “The thing about it is that a lot of the guys that have committed to us are guys who have come to our camp. When you get a chance to work them out and a chance to coach them, your chances of missing have really decreased.
“It just wasn’t based on a high school’s coaches recommendation or watching film or watching games. It was based on you having a chance to coach that kid.”
Smith says the Wildcats now must make sure they “fill some needs” with the remaining scholarships.
“I am thinking we need a linebacker or two. On the offensive side, we have our offensive linemen, but you always have to take a running back and a great receiver,” Smith said. “You never turn down a great player, but you have to fill your needs before you do anything else.”
The Southeastern Conference has mandated that teams sign no more than 25 players.
“We have done a pretty good job of signing a little over 25, tagging a grayshirt to some kids and then if something academically happened with one of top 25 just filled it in with the three you signed over (the 25), and that happened several times,” Smith said.
“I can’t remember an actual grayshirt we’ve had recently. We sign a kid as a grayshirt but then they come in because of an issue with somebody else.”