LEXINGTON, Ky. — The Fourth of July will bring even more celebration than anticipated for Kentucky fans as Xavier Peters, one of the top linebackers in the 2018 class, committed to the Cats on Tuesday afternoon.
The 4-star prospect from West Chester, Ohio, was one of Kentucky’s top targets in the class. Peters is the second-highest ranked commitment in Kentucky’s 2018 class behind 4-star offensive guard Marquan McCall.
— 🐐xavier peters#1🐐 (@xavierpeters22) July 4, 2017
Peters is a top-300 player nationally and is ranked the No. 17 outside linebacker in the class, according to 247Sports. He gives Kentucky its seventh commitment from Ohio. Peters, 6-foot-4 and 225 pounds, is the eighth-ranked prospect from the Buckeye State.
Peters is the highest-ranked defensive commit UK has landed since Matt Elam joined the 2014 class, according to 247Sports’ composite rankings.
The commitment will likely vault Kentucky up a few rungs in the class rankings. The Wildcats’ 2018 class was already ranked 20th nationally and fourth in the SEC prior to Peters’ commitment.
It’s the second commitment Kentucky received in the last few days as 3-star tight end Keaton Upshaw announced his decision on Saturday.
Peters also is the second Kentucky commitment from Lakota West High School in West Chester. Defensive tackle Tyler Bentley, who committed to the Cats on June 11, is a high school teammate of Peters. It’s the same school that produced current Wildcats George Asafo-Adjei, Kyle Meadows and Kayaune Ross.
Peters holds 28 offers and chose Kentucky over Alabama, Penn State, USC, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Louisville, among many others.
Peters joined fellow UK commit Jarren Williams in Beaverton, Ore., over the weekend to compete in The Opening. Wide receiver L’Christian “Blue” Smith, perhaps the Wildcat’s biggest remaining target for the 2018 class, also was in attendance.
Another 2018 Cats commit, linebacker Alex Reigelsperger, has been a persistent recruiter of his fellow Ohio prospects to join him at Kentucky.
— Alex Reigelsperger (@a_reigelsperger) July 1, 2017
Peters jumped on board and now the attention will be on Smith, who’s not expected to commit until Aug. 27.