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SEC Impact Freshmen: Kentucky

With the SEC season less than three months away, here’s a look at the potential impact freshmen for each team. Recruiting rankings are based on the 247Sports Composite which calculates the average of all four major recruiting websites (247Sports, Rivals, ESPN and Scout.)

5-7 (2-6 SEC); 6th SEC East

2015 Team Ranking

National Rank No. 6

SEC Rank: No. 39

Class Breakdown

5-star: 0

4-star: 2

3-star: 17

Top Incoming Prospects

  • OLB Eli Brown, 4-star, Warren East (Bowling Green, KY), 6-2, 190 lbs, No. 20 OLB, No. 277 overall
  • TE C.J. Conrad, 4-star, Keystone (Lagrange, OH), 6-5, 225 lbs, No. 11 TE, No. 290 overall
  • DT Courtney Miggins, 3-star, Pearl River C.C. (Poplarville, MS), 6-5, 285 lbs, No. 3 JUCO DT, No 28 JUCO overall
  • OLB Jordan Jones, 3-star, Cardinal Mooney (Youngstown, OH), 6-2, 203 lbs, No. 33 OLB, No. 408 overall
  • S Marcus Walker, 3-star, Lake Wales (Lake Wales, FL), 6-0.5, 176 lbs, No. 25 S, No. 431 overall

Class Overview

Kentucky’s 2015 class doesn’t have as much star power as it’s SEC counterparts. However, it is — by program standards — another solid class for head coach Mark Stoops.

The Wildcats addressed their two biggest needs with their only four-star signees. Outside linebacker Eli Brown will fill the void left by former DE/OLB Alvin “Bud” Dupree’s departure.

Brown’s ranking is deceiving as he missed considerable time rehabbing an ACL tear between his junior and senior high school seasons. Still, the outside linebacker should compete for playing time in his first season in Lexington.

C.J. Conrad fills the void at tight end. Kentucky had two seniors play at the position last season — Steve Borden Jr. (son of pro wrestling legend “Sting”) and Ronnie Shields. The duo combined for seven catches, 62 yards and zero touchdowns.

Kentucky needs to improve its numbers from the tight end position. Conrad — who enrolled in January — enters with a 6-5, 225-pound frame. His early progress hit a snag in April when the team reported he suffered a sports hernia injury, however, would likely be ready for fall practice.

Should his rehab go as planned, Conrad will be a solid contributor to Kentucky’s offense in his debut season.

The Wildcats signed JUCO defensive tackle Courtney Miggins this past December. Miggins enters a defensive unit that also includes former four-star Matt Elam. The JUCO transfer should see solid playing time in his first season at Lexington, especially considering Elam’s lack of stamina.

Kentucky’s 2015 recruiting class is a half full/half empty scenario, much like its 2014 season. The Wildcats did rank 13th among 14 SEC teams. But the class is a step above those in the past and is something to build upon for the future.

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