LEXINGTON, Ky. — College football’s early-signing period is less than two weeks away, and Kentucky coach Mark Stoops, recruiting coordinator Vince Marrow and the staff are anticipating most of the Cats’ commits to sign beginning Dec. 20.
This weekend and next weekend are two important periods for Kentucky. Top quarterback target Terry Wilson will be in Lexington this weekend, according to CatsIllustrated.com. Wilson signed with Oregon out of high school but transferred to Garden City Community College after one season. The Oklahoma City native has three years of eligibility remaining.
Nebraska and Florida are Kentucky’s primary competition for Wilson. Both programs went through recent coaching changes with Scott Frost landing at Nebraska and Dan Mullen at Florida. Marrow, who’s not allowed to mention specific prospects, seemed to hint at the competition for Wilson.
“It’s crazy because we’re battling two schools right now, they just got new coaches and they’re trying to go in on certain other guys we’re recruiting,” Marrow said Friday after practice.
Wilson is the No. 3 dual-threat junior college quarterback, according to 247Sports composite rankings.
The December signing period has led to considerable changes to coaches’ calendars.
“You got recruits coming in on officials, you’re getting ready for a bowl game, our kids are getting ready for finals,” Marrow said. “You’re wearing a lot of hats right now. But if you don’t, other schools are gonna get ahead of you. We’re bringing these guys in so we can get most of these guys signed by the 20th.”
Marrow said it’d be “pretty good” if 80 percent of the class is signed by the time the period closes on Dec. 22.
Getting a quarterback, especially Wilson, is a priority for Kentucky. Quarterbacks coach Darin Hinshaw said they should be signing a quarterback every class. Kentucky signed two quarterbacks last year in Danny Clark and Walker Wood. Stoops said Tuesday that he wasn’t sure if Kentucky will sign a quarterback.
“Maybe we’re gonna see another Stephen Johnson coming in this class,” Marrow said, perhaps acknowledging the junior college commonality between Johnson and Wilson.
This is the first season for the December signing period, and apparently not all high school coaches are caught up with the rule change.
“I don’t know if any other schools are having a problem, but when I was out on the road just this last week, a lot of the kids really didn’t know about the early-signing period,” Marrow said. “Their coaches don’t know.”
He said it blew him away. Hinshaw said something similar. The confusion seems to be that just because a prospect signs in December, it doesn’t mean they’re going to be a January enrollee. A recruit could sign his national letter of intent Dec. 20 but then wait until February to have a ceremony at his school.
Marrow was asked if he’s in favor of the early-signing period.
“That’s yet to be determined,” he said after a pause. “I’m for it because I know over the last couple years a lot of people came in — some other schools — and guys that we had committed for a long time, then they de-committed in January. I think you’ll get a good idea of which guys are serious about you.”
Kentucky’s class is ranked 29th nationally and 10th in the SEC, according to 247Sports composite rankings.