Aamil Wagner's Notre Dame Surprise Leaves UK Tongue-Tied
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Aamil Wagner's Notre Dame Surprise Leaves UK Tongue-Tied

Nick Roush24 days


Article written by:Nick RoushNick Roush



Aamil Wagner was supposed to be a Kentucky Wildcat. After all, he’s known Vince Marrow for at least seven years. He visited UK’s campus at least a dozen times, as recently as last weekend. His older brother, Ahmad Wagner, played at Kentucky and is currently a grad assistant. All signs pointed the four-star offensive tackle to Lexington, until he announced his commitment to Notre Dame.

The addition of Wagner would have given the Wildcats arguably the best offensive line class in America. Now Kentucky must scramble to keep its Top 20 recruiting class intact. Wagner is a big loss, one that could snowball if the Wildcats do not prioritize the right recruits down the stretch.

Keep Kiyaunta Goodwin

Kentucky needs two tackles. You just lost one Top 150 player. You can’t lose another.

Kiyaunta Goodwin is considered the best offensive tackle in the country, ranked as the No. 16 player overall by On3 Sports. Like Wagner, Marrow has recruited Goodwin for years. On the heels of visiting UK, Goodwin is officially visiting Florida State. KSR learned today that it’s unlikely he will officially visit Kentucky.

For the first time in a long time, I’m worried that Goodwin’s wandering eyes may take him away from the state of Kentucky. Each week at the Cat Walk fans chant his name. It actually might be counterproductive for the young man that wants to better his life by putting his nose to the grindstone and quietly going to work. Kentucky’s coaches must convince Goodwin that he does not need to get away to excel. He can be successful at Kroger Field, profit from his name, image and likeness, then take his talents to the NFL.

Goodwin is a Kentucky commit. Making him a Kentucky signee in late December is imperative.

Flip Former Offensive Line Targets

Kentucky was a finalist for three other four-star offensive linemen, but ultimately did not go all in, preserving a priority spot for Wagner. Kentucky could try to work on flipping Wagner or kick the tires elsewhere.

Grayson Morgan — The Nashville offensive tackle was down to Kentucky and Vanderbilt when he committed to the Commodores last week. Local ties to the school were enough to keep Morgan home, but it’s not enough to prevent the Cats from fighting for a flip against the SEC doormat.

Daughtry Richardson — The Miami offensive tackle almost became Kentucky’s first commitment in the 2022 recruiting class. He told KSR he was ready to pull the trigger and play for Eric Wolford, until Florida State upped the ante. A long-time fan of the Seminoles, this might be too uphill of a climb for the Cats.

Ryan Baer — Similar to Wagner, there was a time when many believed he would end up at Kentucky. The Wildcats had all of the momentum following an official visit, until the Cleveland kid ultimately decided to stay closer to home and commit to Pitt.

Sign Playmakers & Win

Big men have led the way for Mark Stoops’ program. If you can’t rely on getting the best big men, you can recruit some of the best playmakers. It started with Dane Key. The next big-time target is Barion Brown. Kentucky can still generate recruiting momentum near signing day by securing a commitment from the five-star wide receiver.

Recruiting is a nasty, dog-eat-dog business. It only takes one assistant to start a rumor that Vince Marrow is leaving UK to join Mel Tucker at LSU to derail years and years of relationship building. Right now, Kentucky is reeling. The best way to cure all woes is simple: win. A victory at Vanderbilt will not solve all of the problems over the last month, but three wins to end the season should still put Kentucky in a good place to finish the recruiting cycle on a high note.

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