This past weekend provided a flurry of commitments for SEC schools, most notably the eight prospects who pledged their future services to the Tennessee Volunteers.
There was also another de-commitment, and at a place that needs to stop the attrition. Craig Yeast II, who goes by Russ, decided Friday to back away from his pledge to Kentucky. He became the fifth player to commit to the Wildcats and later change his mind in the Class of 2017, and that total gives Kentucky the SEC lead in a most dubious category.
Alabama is right behind with four de-commitments, and the Crimson Tide have lost a quartet of elite prospects. But this is also Alabama, and the Tide have reloaded on the fly and will continue to reel in 4-star and 5-star talent.
For Kentucky, these de-commitments could end up stinging a lot worse. The Wildcats have lost five pledges who were all ranked inside the top 500 prospects in the country, per the 247Sports composite rankings. While they still have nine players committed, only two of them are top-500 prospects.
The past two de-commits have likely hurt the most. Four-star quarterback Mac Jones was likely going to be the centerpiece of the class, a player Mark Stoops and his coaching staff could use to help recruit other players. Instead, he flipped to Alabama where he is the second-highest rated prospect at his position behind Hawaiian dual-threat dynamo Tua Tagovailoa.
Yeast added to the Wildcats’ slump, not only because he is a talented prospect, but because he is a legacy. His father played for Kentucky, and opposing coaching staffs will be sure to ask undecided prospects, ‘If the Wildcats can’t keep a legacy committed, what is going on there?’
Here is a list of all the Class of 2017 prospects who have de-committed from SEC schools, and an update if they’ve decided on a new future home.
June 16: No. 36 CB Craig Yeast, Kentucky
June 7: No. 14 pro-style QB Mac Jones, Kentucky (Flipped to Alabama on June 7)
May 20: No. 30 RB Michael Warren, Kentucky
May 20: No. 11 strong-side DE James Hudson, Kentucky
May 14: No. 96 OT Dwayne Fisher, Arkansas
May 5: No. 29 WR Mannie Netherley, Texas A&M
May 4: No. 1 dual-threat QB Tate Martell, Texas A&M (Committed to Ohio State on June 12)
April 29: No. 2 junior college WR Stephen Guidry, South Carolina (Committed to LSU on May 21)
April 1: No. 2 junior college ATH Cameron Myers, Mississippi State
March 3: No. 3 pro-style QB Jake Fromm, Alabama (Flipped to Georgia on March 3)
March 3: No. 2 RB Cam Akers, Alabama
February 5: No. 6 OG Netori Johnson, Alabama (Committed to Georgia on April 19)
February 4: No. 3 WR Tee Higgins, Tennessee
January 20: No. 11 TE Charles Reeves, Kentucky
January 14: No. 10 WR Devonta Smith, Georgia
January 12: No. 5 dual-threat QB Lowell Narcisse, Auburn (Committed to LSU on May 2)
December 16, 2015: No. 13 ATH Deejay Dallas, Georgia (Committed to Miami on May 21)
December 12, 2015: No. 9 pro-style QB Bailey Hockman, Georgia (Committed to Florida State on April 3)
November 24, 2015: No. 1 ATH JaCoby Stevens, LSU
October 24, 2015: No. 12 WR D.D. Bowie, Alabama (Flipped to Ole Miss on October 24)
October 19, 2015: No. 104 WR Lavarus Tigner, Florida
August 3, 2015: No. 1 OLB Dylan Moses, LSU
July 25, 2015: No. 33 DT Jordan Riley, Tennessee (Committed to North Carolina on February 11)
December 14, 2015: No. 1 pro-style QB Hunter Johnson, Tennessee (Flipped to Clemson on December 14)
November 21, 2014: No. 1 ILB Anthony Hines, Mississippi State