By LARRY VAUGHT
To win in the Southeastern Conference a team has to be solid in the offensive and defensive lines like Kentucky has been the last few years under coach Mark Stoops.
Based on what is going on today on national signing day, that should continue. The Wildcats have already signed a banner group of offensive and defensive linemen and could well add to that haul before the day ends.
Kentucky got a big boost when 6-2, 308-pound defensive tackle Josaih Hayes of Horn Lake, Miss., signed with the Cats today. He had been a Mississippi commit before changing his mind in October and then took official visits to Auburn and Kentucky.
Linebacker coach Jon Sumrall’s recruiting contacts in Mississippi paid off here as Hayes noted several times how well he related to Sumrall, a former UK linebacker and former coach at Ole Miss.
Hayes is ranked among the nation’s top 225 players by 247Sports Composite and the 21st best defensive tackle.
He’s just part of the already impressive group of linemen UK has signed and the best news is that by the time the day ends, UK may have added several more to go with this group who have already signed.
JUSTIN ROGERS, 6-3, 315 pounds, defensive lineman, Oak Park, Mich.
Elite five-star prospect and the No. 10 overall prospect by Rivals … Ranked the No. 1 player in the state of Michigan by 247Sports Composite … Considered the second-best defensive tackle in the 2020 class by Rivals … Four-year starter who dominated both sides of the ball — offensive tackle and defensive end – for head coach Greg Carter … As a senior, did not give up a sack offensively, while defensively he charted six sacks, forced three fumbles and recovered two fumbles … Named to the Detroit News Football Dream Team and the All-North Football Team in 2019 … Totaled 22 TFL, seven sacks and four forced fumbles to help Oak Park win the OAA White Division championship as a junior … One of seven boys in his family … Reconnects with high school teammate Marquan McCall … His first college offer came from Kentucky when he was in the eighth grade … Picked Kentucky over Alabama, Georgia, Michigan State, Tennessee and others.
TRE’VONN RYBKA, 6-4, 300 pounds, defensive lineman, Dickson, Tenn.
Highly recruited defensive lineman who drew national attention … Consensus top-50 defensive tackle recruit, as high as No. 28 by Rivals.com … Four-star recruit by Rivals, which listed him the No. 10 recruit in Tennessee … 247sports has him as the No. 40 defensive tackle in the US, ESPN has him at No. 44 … Totaled 170 tackles, including 25 for loss, during his career at Dickson County HS … Coached by Randy Murphree … Decided on Kentucky over Oklahoma, Tennessee and Oregon … First name pronounced “TREY-vee-on.”
R.J. ADAMS, 6-3, 325 pounds, offensive lineman, Woodbridge, Va.
All-America offensive lineman … Four-star honoree by Rivals.com and ESPN … Rivals lists him as the No. 6 recruit in Virginia and No. 12 offensive guard in the nation … ESPN tabs him as No. 10 in Virginia and No. 18 offensive guard nationally … Will play in the Under Armour All-America game on Jan. 2 … Played at Woodbridge Senior High School for Coach Gary Wortham Sr. … Originally committed to Penn State, but reopened his recruiting after a visit to Kentucky in September … Picked Kentucky over Penn State, Florida State, Miami, Oregon, N.C. State and others.
DEONDRE BUFORD, 6-5, 285 pounds, offensive lineman, Detroit, Mich.
Four-star recruit by 247 Sports Composite rankings … Ranked the No. 24 offensive tackle in the 2020 class and No. 7 prospect in Michigan by 247Sports … Coached by Tyrone Spencer … Helped Detroit King win two Division 2 state titles in his four-year career … Led Detroit King to the Detroit Public School League championship title in 2019, finishing with an 11-3 overall record … Named to the Detroit News All-State First Team and earned Offensive Lineman of the Year in 2019 by Detroit PSL … Picked Kentucky over Missouri and Pittsburgh, Purdue and Arizona and held offers from Auburn, LSU, Penn State, Tennessee and Miami.
JEREMY FLAX, 6-6, 315 pounds, offensive lineman, Detroit, Mich.
Considered a four-star recruit by Rivals … 247Sports lists him as the top JUCO offensive tackle and the No. 16 overall JUCO prospect … Rivals rates him as the No. 2 offensive tackle prospect nationally and the 20th overall JUCO prospect … Played high school football at Dearborn Heights Robichaud for head coach Jason Malloy … Played both sides of the ball and recorded 40 tackles, 10 TFL, two sacks and a forced fumble as a defensive lineman during his senior season … Earned a spot on The Free Press’ All-West Prep Football Team … Signed with UK over Auburn, Texas Tech, West Virginia and Maryland … Will have three years of eligibility remaining and plans to enroll in January.
JOSH JONES, 6-6, 300 pounds, offensive lineman, Phenix City, Ala.
Three-star prospect by all three major recruiting services … Rated the No. 32 overall prospect in the state of Alabama for the Class of 2020 … Helped Central advance to the Alabama 7A state championship game this season and finish with a 12-2 record … Named to the 33rd annual Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Football Game roster … Was a first-team Class 7A All-State selection as a junior after grading out at 90 percent blocking with 36 pancakes … Led the Red Devils to a state title in 2018 after defeating Thompson in the Super Seven Championship game … Coached by Jamey DuBose … Had 14 Division I offers before choosing Kentucky over LSU, Florida State, Arkansas, Mississippi State, Ole Miss, Tennessee and others.
JOHN YOUNG, 6-6, 280 pounds, offensive lineman, Louisville.
Four-star recruit by 247Sports and Rivals … Rated the No. 14 offensive tackle in the nation by Rivals … Ranked the No. 4 player in Kentucky … Coached by Hunter Cantwell … Bill Greene, an analyst for 247Sports said of Young, ‘He’s more of a physical, beat’em up kind of guy than he is an athletic kind of guy. But you also like the fact, when you watch his film, he finishes blocks. He really plays to the whistle, maybe a little bit past the whistle. He’s nasty, super aggressive. I like the program he plays in. He’s used to winning and expects to win, and knows how to pay the price to win.’ … Helped lead Christian Academy to a 7-5 record in 2019 and an appearance in the Class 3-A District Four final … Named second team All-State by the Associated Press after the 2018 season … Was named first-team All-State by MaxPreps in 2019 … Picked Kentucky over Florida State, Louisville, Auburn, Georgia and others.