Mark Stoops and the Wildcats signed the top five in-state prospects in the 2024 cycle. In three of the last four cycles, the No. 1 player in Kentucky has signed with the Cats. The 2025 cycle is officially on the clock and UK is already in a good position to continue that streak.
Paducah (Ky.) Tilghman four-star safety Martels Carter told On3’s Chad Simmons earlier this week that he is getting close to making his commitment and that he has a “strong feeling” about one school being at the top of his list.
There’s reason to believe that one school is Kentucky, as both Simmons and UK insider Nick Roush logged On3 RPM selections in favor of Carter choosing the Cats on Wednesday. Carter was recently back in Lexington for a Junior Day trip on the first weekend in February.
“I want to find the best fit for me with the best scheme,” Carter told On3. “I want to go to the league and ball, so a scheme that can get me better matters.”
He made a trip to Miami in January and has also been visited by the likes of Oregon, Tennessee and Louisville as of late. It’s the Wildcats that appear to have the momentum for the 6-foot-1, 185-pounder, however.
Carter is the No. 173 overall prospect and No. 15 safety in the 2025 cycle, according to the On3 Industry Ranking, a weighted average that utilizes all four major recruiting media companies. He’s also currently one of just two four-star recruits in Kentucky.
Cats looking to build off successful 2024 recruiting class
Kentucky signed 22 prospects in the 2024 cycle, compiling the No. 25 class in the nation, according to the On3 Industry Team Recruiting Rankings. The class includes seven four-stars — five of whom hail from Kentucky or Ohio.
It’s still early, but the Cats currently have just a pair of pledges in the 2025 cycle thus far. Cincinnati Withrow four-star wide receiver Quintin Simmons committed earlier this week on Monday, while Harrisburg (Pa.) Bishop McDevitt four-star quarterback Stone Saunders did the same last August.
The Cats have had plenty of success finding top-notch defensive backs across the past few years and are also no longer struggling to keep top talent from heading out-of-state. The addition of Carter would continue multiple trends for Stoops, Vince Marrow and his staff on the recruiting trail.