Kentucky Wildcats trending for trio of 4-star prospects

Hunter Shelton09/15/23
Article written by:On3 imageHunter Shelton


Brian Robinson
(Zach Libby/The Wolverine)

Kentucky and Mark Stoops are trying to pick up some steam on the recruiting trail to finish its 2024 cycle with a bang.

After adding Belle Glade (Fla.) Pahokee four-star wide receiver Hardley Gilmore to the fold at the end of August, and most recently Savannah (Ga.) Jenkins three-star linebacker Lorenzo Cowan on Sept. 10, the Wildcats’ class is now No. 31 in the nation, per the On3 Industry Team Recruiting Ranking. With only 17 total commits, however, there’s still plenty of room to add top talent.

There are some likely candidates to fill in some of those gaps, which could take UK’s pledge list to the next level. As always, Stoops, recruiting coordinator Vince Marrow and Co. are after more local prospects.

Kentucky natives Jacob and Jerod Smith are back in the Bluegrass, playing for Corbin High School after originally transferring out-of-state to play for Windsor (Conn.) Loomis Chaffee School in New England. Both are currently committed to Michigan, but a pair of flips to UK could be in order soon.

“I really think that Kentucky’s trending there,” 247Sports’ recruiting analyst Steve Wiltfong said on the Wiltfong Whiparound. “For those two, it’s ultimately flip to the Wildcats — and there was a time where it looked like Michigan stemmed that tide there — but again, the intel is now really heavy, pointing towards Kentucky for them to flip the Smith twins.”

Jerod, a four-star defensive lineman, is the No. 255 overall prospect, No. 26 DL and No. 2 player in Kentucky in the 2024 cycle, per the On3 Industry Ranking. Jacob, a four-star EDGE, checks in as the No. 276 recruit, No. 18 EDGE and No. 3 player in the state.

Five different Kentucky and Michigan recruiting insiders have logged picks for the twins to flip to the Wildcats on the On3 Recruiting Prediction Machine (RPM). While they appear to be a package deal, their pledges could also result in a third commitment for UK.

Brian Robinson at the top of Kentucky’s board

The battle for Austintown (Ohio) Westerville North four-star EDGE Brian Robinson was up in the air for a good chunk of his recruitment. Since April, however, three recruiting insiders have logged RPM picks in favor of the Wildcats, giving them a 55.8% chance to land the blue-chip defender.

“I think Kentucky’s really starting to trend for Brian Robinson. Vince Marrow, Coach Stoops and Co. have always done a fantastic job recruiting the state of Ohio. While I liked Michigan early in the process for Brian, really starting to like Big Blue Nation here,” Wiltfong said.

“Robinson is still Kentucky’s top defensive target,” wrote KSR’s Adam Luckett in July. “I like the Cats’ chances.”

Robinson was in Lexington along with the Smith twins to watch Kentucky open their season against Ball State on Sept. 2. He’s the No. 131 overall prospect, No. 7 EDGE and No. 5 player in Ohio. He would become Kentucky’s highest-ranked commitment and join the likes of Lexington (Ky.) Christian Academy four-star quarterback Cutter Boley and Cincinnati Withrow four-star cornerback Terhyon Nichols at the top of the list.