Kentucky prioritizing Justin Edwards, battling Tennessee and Auburn

On3 imageby:Jack Pilgrim06/29/22

It’s a battle of SEC foes for 2023 five-star wing Justin Edwards, with Kentucky making the latest push among favorites. The Wildcats have been battling Tennessee at the top of his list, with Auburn also looming as a darkhorse.

Where do things stand currently? The versatile two-way threat out of Philadelphia, PA tells KSR that Kentucky head coach John Calipari has taken over his recruitment, ramping up personal contact in recent months. This comes after he visited Edwards in back-to-back weekends at Philly Live during the scholastic evaluation period, and then again this weekend at the NBPA Top 100 Camp in Orlando.

Calipari was again courtside to see him play, this time with assistants Chin Coleman and Bruiser Flint. Three deep, front and center, looking to make it clear where things stand regarding the school’s interest.

The 6-foot-7 wing has noticed.

“I’ve been talking to Coach Calipari more than other schools, just more,” Edwards told KSR. “That’s made a big difference to me. It shows that I’m one of the main guys they’re going after, me talking to head coaches.”

As contact has ramped up, momentum has followed for the Wildcats. The Volunteers have long been seen as the heavy favorites, with Kentucky and Auburn battling for second place. Now, Calipari’s push has allowed his program to make up significant ground, right there at the top of his list.

That’s not to say Tennessee isn’t a top threat — and potentially still the team to beat. The Volunteers are pitching Edwards on being the guy in Knoxville, the only player they are recruiting at his position. That’s something that appeals to the five-star wing.

“They want me to go in and be the guy, help me get to where I want to be and stay there for a long time,” Edwards told KSR. “I have a family relationship with them. It’s a close, mutual relationship with them.”

What about Auburn? The Tigers are looking to make a push, as well, with Edwards planning an official visit to the school in the near future.

“I don’t have a date yet, but Auburn will probably be my next visit,” he said. “They’ve been consistent since they were able to recruit us, so that’s a big part to me.”

Michigan is the latest school to extend an offer, but are the Wolverines seen as a contender? That doesn’t appear to be the case.

“I haven’t really talked to them since they offered me,” said Edwards. “That’s about it. Yeah, that’s it.”

Edwards is rated as the No. 10 overall prospect and No. 2 small forward in the On3 Consensus. He’s widely seen as one of the top two-way talents in the rising senior class, a long and athletic wing with elite defensive potential.

And the Wildcats are right in the thick of things.

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