LEXINGTON, Ky. — Mark Stoops and his staff are set to sign one of the best recruiting classes in Kentucky history, but there were a few commitments the Cats couldn’t hold onto.
We look back at the six prospects who de-committed from the 2017 class, led by the son of the most accomplished Kentucky receiver of all time.
Russ Yeast, 4-star cornerback
Craig Yeast is atop the Wildcat record books in career receptions, receiving yards and receiving touchdowns, and his son was originally set to attend his dad’s alma mater.
Russ Yeast, the 34th-ranked cornerback in the nation and No. 3 prospect from Indiana, committed to Kentucky in July 2015. But Yeast de-committed from the Cats nearly a year later on June 16, 2016. Yeast then committed to Louisville on Oct. 22 to make matters worse for Kentucky.
Then came a dash of hope with this tweet from Jan. 20.
Good in home with @UKCoachStoops yesterday
— Russ Yeast™ (@russ_yeast03) January 20, 2017
But despite the visit, Yeast is unlikely to choose the Cats for a second time. He remains committed to Louisville and had a recent in-home visit with Notre Dame.
Mac Jones, 4-star quarterback
Jones flipped from Kentucky to Alabama on June 16 but there seemed a chance he could reverse course considering Jalen Hurts will be the long-term starter in Tuscaloosa, coupled with 5-star quarterback Tua Tagovailoa also in Alabama’s 2017 class.
Jones’ path to playing time for the Crimson Tide is loaded with obstacles, but he remains committed and unlikely to change his mind. Jones is the No. 12 quarterback prospect in the class. Kentucky filled the hole with Danny Clark, the 17th-ranked quarterback. Clark is already enrolled at Kentucky.
James Hudson, 4-star defensive end
Hudson is the highest-ranked prospect who de-committed from the class. The Toledo, Ohio, native backed out on his choice on May 18 as most Big Ten schools became interested in him. The 6-foot-5, 290-pound prospect committed to Michigan on Aug. 8. The Wolverines have the No. 4 class in the country.
Hudson would’ve been a welcomed addition to Kentucky’s defensive front, but the Cats made sure to bolster the position group with other commitments. Three of the top eight commits in the class — Joshua Paschal, Jordan Wright and Alex King — are defensive ends.
Hudson would’ve been Kentucky’s No. 2 prospect in the class had he stayed committed.
Charles Reeves, 3-star tight end
Kentucky chose not to go after another tight end despite Reeves’ de-commitment in January 2016. The Steubenville, Ohio, native is the 13th-ranked tight end in the country. He committed to Pittsburgh on Oct. 26.
Michael Warren, 3-star running back
Warren withdrew his commitment on May 20. He committed to Toledo in September but de-committed from the Rockets on Monday. Cincinnati has the best odds to land him, according to 247Sports’ crystal ball prediction, but Warren recently held an in-home visit with new Minnesota coach P.J. Fleck. He has an official visit with the Golden Gophers on Friday.
DeMarco Artis, 3-star linebacker
Kentucky was the first school Artis committed to and it’s been a roller coaster recruiting cycle for him since then. Artis committed in December 2015, but he de-committed two months later. The linebacker then committed and de-committed from Central Florida and then Florida State. Artis is visiting Oregon this weekend.
Artis was the lowest ranked of Kentucky’s de-commitments, but the Cats could use another linebacker like him. Jamin Davis, who was among the early enrollees, is the only linebacker in the 2017 class.
All rankings are according to 247Sports.