This top class at Kentucky is a surprise

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The University of Kentucky has landed some high school players who are ranked highly in scouting services. It sounds like a typical top recruiting class for Kentucky basketball coach John Calipari.

The only thing is we're talking football recruiting.

First-year Kentucky coach Mark Stoops is putting together a recruiting class the likes of which folks in Lexington have never seen in football. The Wildcats are probably the biggest surprise so far in recruiting.

Kentucky has verbal commitments from 24 players. About two-and-a-half months remain before high school players can sign a binding letter of intent with a college, but Kentucky's class is ranked eighth in the country by Rivals.com and 11th by Scout.com.

A top 10 or even top 20 recruiting class is unheard of for the Wildcats. Stoops did make an impact when he was hired last November, putting together a class that was ranked No. 29 in the country. But this class is even better.

To put the 2014 class in perspective, consider that Kentucky's classes of 2012 and 2011 were ranked No. 62 and 61 in the country by Rivals.com. The Wildcats' classes were ranked No. 50 and 41 the two years before that.

So far this year, Kentucky has eight players who are rated four stars by Rivals.com. Included are quarterback Drew Barker (Burlington, Ken.), receivers Blake Bone (Woodruff, S.C.) and Thaddeus Snodgrass (Springfield, Ohio) and running backs Mikel Horton (West Chester, Ohio) and Stanley Williams (Bethlehem, Ga.).

What is most unusual about this recruiting class is nine of the 24 players are from Ohio. Kentucky hasn't landed many players from Ohio in the past. Last year, the Wildcats signed three Ohio players and two in 2011.

Henry visits WVU

Aliquippa defensive back Dravon Henry visited West Virginia last Saturday for the Mountaineers' game against Texas. Judging from his Twitter account, Henry spent some time with Rushel Shell, a former star running back from Hopewell who left Pitt after one year and is now sitting out at West Virginia. Henry also said on Twitter last week that he is ready to make his decision soon.

Henry, ranked among the top 20 defensive backs in the country by Rivals.com, has said his final four are Pitt, West Virginia, Alabama and Ohio State. All have offered scholarships and he also said last week that he might look at Louisville or UCLA.

Pitt recruit injured

North Allegheny receiver Elijah Zeise, a Pitt recruit, sustained a separated shoulder in last week's WPIAL playoff loss to Upper St. Clair. Zeise is expected to be fully recovered in three to four weeks.


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