By Josh BoggussThe recruitment of Kentucky’s 2019 class is the latest step in the search for the next Big 12 title.
The recruiting cycle has become more crowded as Kentucky’s star players have moved on.
In fact, five of the last six Big 12 coaches have left the program.
Kentucky’s recruiting class has been a big part of that.
The Wildcats were a hot commodity at the start of the 2019 cycle.
The first five classes in 2019 have all ranked among the top 10.
And now they’re set to play in the Cotton Bowl, where the Wildcats face Kansas.
“This is where we have to get our best players,” coach Dana Holgorsen said.
“We’re just going to have to work hard to get them.
I’m not going to take anything for granted.
We’re going to be in the best position to get to where we need to be.”
In the 2019 class, four of the five players from last year’s class have moved to the NFL.
The next five players in the class are from the 2019 draft.
Three of the top six players are from this year’s group, including quarterback Marcus Mariota.
Holgensens son, Jalen, is the next in line.
He’s a redshirt freshman.
The Wildcats have six players from this class on the 2019 team.
Six of them are starters.
The other two are backups.
And one of the backups is a redshirted junior, receiver Rhett Ellison.
Ellison is one of three players on the team who had scholarship offers from multiple teams during the recruiting cycle.
But Holgins son, Jake, was the first to commit to the Wildcats.
The five-star recruit is coming off a great season.
He has a 6,000-yard receiving season, a career-best 3,000 rushing yards, and eight touchdowns.
Ellison’s season was cut short after sustaining a torn ACL in the final game of the 2018 season.
Ellison was also the lone player to rush for 100 yards against South Carolina and had 10 receptions for 105 yards.
The two-time All-American scored three touchdowns and had seven receptions for 118 yards against Tennessee.
Ellisons had the best game of his career against Kentucky last year, finishing with 6 catches for 82 yards and two touchdowns.
He also added three receptions for 52 yards.
Ellids commitment has been one of his top priorities.
“This is going to make my recruiting day even better,” Ellison said.
“I’m going to continue to go out and get better and I’m going do my best to get my teammates, coaches and family out to this bowl game and show them how good I can be.
The biggest thing is I’m a hard worker, so it’s just a matter of time before I make the team.”
The Wildcats were the No. 2 recruiting class nationally last season and No. 1 in the nation in 2019.
The class of 2019 has been ranked in the top five in every recruiting service, including the 247Sports Composite.
Kent’s next recruiting class will take place in 2019, which is the last year for the 2019 season.
That means there’s no pressure on Holgers son, who has a chance to land a commitment as early as this weekend.
The players are coming off strong seasons, including Ellison’s, and they’ll need to work harder to get the 2019 recruiting class ready for the Cotton and Bowl.