Kentucky is in the midst of one of the SEC biggest recruiting turnarounds, and offensive coordinator Eddie Gran credits several factors for the improvement.
There was the Wildcats’ bowl bowl appearance, their 41-38 win over in-state rival Louisville and perhaps most important of all, Kentucky’s facilities upgrade.
As a result of each of those factors, Mark Stoops and staff head toward Feb. 1’s National Signing Day with the nation’s No. 24 recruiting class and the SEC’s No. 8 class, according to 247Sports’ composite rankings.
“It’s been nothing short of fantastic,” Gran said Friday on the Paul Finebaum show. “If we can finish on Wednesday I think coach Stoops and the staff … I came in at a great time. What they had done in recruiting previously you can see athletically they Kentucky is getting better. We are able to compete. I think this class right here has a chance to be pretty special.”
For comparison, Kentucky put together the nation’s No. 34 recruiting class in 2015 and the country’s No. 38 unit in 2015.
Part of the Wildcats’ rise in the recruiting rankings has to do with Kentucky’s $45 million football facility upgrade, which was unveiled in July.
What kind of effect has that had on recruits? It’s pretty apparent, according to Gran.
“Well it kind of started this summer during out camp,” he said. “We were finishing the facility and we had a lot of kids that were able to come through in our area, especially down in South Florida. They saw it and I think it’s a game changer. I think it’s one of the top 5-8 facilities in the country the way they put it together. And it’s made a huge difference.”
Kentucky will look to close out its class strong next Wednesday on National Signing Day.
More from Gran:
- On expanding recruiting ground…“Well we ventured out into Florida. We have a good amount of kids from Florida. We’ve tried to make Ohio the home state and anywhere in a 500 mile radius, we’ve tried to pull in people… With the new facility and everything, I think we can recruit from anywhere and anybody if we can get them on campus.”
- On Louisville win…“It was great going right into the bowl and then you go on the road. That Sunday after the Louisville game you’re on the road and you go into schools and that’s all they talked about. It was a huge game, huge for the program, great for this state and Kentucky fans. It’s been unbelievable. You can see it’s taking off and it is taking off for recruiting.”