Kentucky football recruiting: Regrading a forgettable 2012 Wildcats class


Joker Phillips - Kentucky Arkansas - 10.13.2012 - Wesley Hitt Getty Images - DRC_0629

LEXINGTON, Ky. — Say goodbye to the Joker Phillips era. The recruiting class of 2012 is now through its years of eligibility.

We’re revisiting Kentucky recruiting classes of old in the weeks leading up to National Signing Day on Feb. 1. First up: who lived up to their ratings and who didn’t among Phillips’ final Kentucky prospects.

Overview

Enrollees: 27

Commits: 27

Ranking: 50 (nation), 14 (SEC)

Patrick Towles, 4-star QB

Towles was Kentucky’s top-ranked commit in the 2012 class. While he didn’t pan out as the longterm fix, Towles was a multi-year starter. But he lost his job to Drew Barker and transferred to Boston College after the 2015 season.

Towles passed for 23 touchdowns and threw 23 interceptions 2014 and ’15, his two seasons as starter. He led Boston College to a Quick Lane Bowl victory over Maryland to conclude his college career.

SEC Country re-rank: 4-star

Thomas Chapman, 3-star DT

Chapman transferred to Murray State before the 2013 season after redshirting his first year at Kentucky. He never played a snap for the Wildcats after being the second-highest rated prospect in their 2012 class.

SEC Country re-rank: 2-star

Justin Taylor, 3-star RB

Taylor committed to Alabama before his scholarship was pulled. He landed at Kentucky, redshirted his first season and then transferred to South Carolina State in May 2013. Like Chapman, he never played in Lexington. Not a good outcomes from the No. 3 prospect in the class.

SEC Country re-rank: 2-star

Langston Newton, 3-star DE

Another player who didn’t see the field for Kentucky and another player who transferred. Newton, the brother of former Kentucky quarterback Morgan Newton, transferred to Purdue in January 2014. He played sparingly for the Boilermakers.

SEC Country re-rank: 2-star

Jalen Whitlow, 3-star QB

Whitlow started 15 games over the course of two seasons at Kentucky. He started seven games as a true freshman and eight as a sophomore in coach Mark Stoops’ first year with the Wildcats. He passed for more than 1,800 yards and rushed for more than 650 yards in his Kentucky career with 17 total touchdowns.

A dual-threat quarterback, Whitlow got passed by Towles and decided to transfer in April 2014.

He started for Eastern Illinois in his junior and senior seasons and became the first quarterback in school history to have 3,000 passing yards and 1,000 rushing yards.

SEC Country re-rank: 3-star

Jordan Watson, 3-star OL

A guard from Georgia, spent two seasons at Kentucky — he was a redshirt in 2012 — but played. He elected to give up football before spring practices began in 2014. Watson was the No. 6 prospect in Kentucky’s 2012 class.

SEC Country re-rank: 2-star

Kadeem “Pancho” Thomas, 3-star LB

Thomas’ career began better start than most of his fellow 2012 signees. He played in 10 games his freshman season and had eight tackles, mostly playing on special teams.

But Thomas was dismissed from the team along with his brother Khalid before the 2013 season for a “violation of team rules.” Both brothers ended up at Alabama State.

SEC Country re-rank: 2-star

Khalid Henderson, 3-star LB

Henderson was one of the few players in the class to stay at Kentucky for four years. It wasn’t a spectacular college career for the Georgia native, but it was a solid one.

Henderson played in 46 career games, made 20 starts and his tackles total grew every season. He recorded 62 tackles in his senior season with two sacks and one interception. Henderson was fifth on the team in tackles in 2015.

He received a training camp invitation from the Chicago Bears before the 2016 season.

SEC Country re-rank: 3-star

Zack Blaylock, 3-star S

Blaylock appeared in parts of two season for the Wildcats. He played in seven games and had 15 tackles in his 2012 freshman season. He redshirted as a sophomore and then had one tackle in one game in 2015.

Blaylock transferred to Kennesaw State in March 2016 after graduating.

SEC Country re-rank: 2-star

A.J. Legree, 3-star ATH

A wide receiver, Legree saw action as a true freshman and caught 19 passes for 210 yards in his first two seasons. He averaged 13.8 yards on 7 catches in his sophomore season.

Legree announced his transfer to South Florida in June 2014 before his junior season. He played in 6 games and had 3 receptions for the Bulls in 2015. He missed his senior season because of an ACL tear.

SEC Country re-rank: 3-star

DeMarcus Sweat, 3-star WR

Sweat made an impact as a return man for the Wildcats in his freshman season. His 25 returns produced a 20-yard average. Sweat also caught four passes; two went for touchdowns.

But after flashing big-play potential, Sweat transferred before his sophomore season having failed to meet eligibility requirements.

SEC Country re-rank: 3-star

Fred Tiller, 3-star ATH

As a defensive back, Tiller was one of the most consistent contributors in Kentucky’s 2012 class. He started at cornerback as a sophomore and junior before his reps declined in his senior year. Tiller was a top-10 tackler on the team in each of his first three seasons.

His best season came as a junior in 2014. Tiller had two interceptions and was eighth on the team with 46 tackles.

SEC Country re-rank: 3-star

Jonathan Reed, 3-star CB

Reed was another member of the 2012 class who never got anywhere with the Wildcats. He redshirted his first season and was dismissed in January 2013 for a “violation of team rules.”

SEC Country re-rank: 2-star

Jon Toth, 3-star OL

The diamond in the rough. Toth was the 14th-ranked prospect in the 2012 class but no one came close to having the type of career he did. In July, The Courier-Journal of Louisville called Toth possibly the Wildcats’ best player.

Toth started 48 of a possible 49 games and established himself as one of the best centers in college football. He was named first team All-SEC by The Associated Press, second team All-SEC by the coaches and fourth team All-America by Phil Steele.

ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. ranked Toth as the No. 6 center in the upcoming NFL Draft. Toth could have a long professional career in front of him.

SEC Country re-rank: 5-star

Daron Blaylock, 3-star LB

He is the twin brother of Zack Blaylock. Daron finished his career at Kentucky with 44 game appearances and 47 tackles. His best two seasons came as a freshman and sophomore. Blaylock never held a consistent role with the team.

SEC Country re-rank: 2-star

Josh Harris, 3-star ATH

Harris never played a game with the Wildcats. He transferred to Georgetown College, an NAIA school, before his redshirt sophomore season.

SEC Country re-rank: 2-star

Cody Quinn, 3-star CB

Quinn was a full-time starter in his junior season and appeared in 41 games over the course of his career. Quinn wasn’t a highly touted prospect but he had a bigger impact than many higher-rated cohorts.

He had an overall solid career with 107 tackles — 35 in his junior season.

SEC Country re-rank: 3-star

Zach Myers, 3-star OL

Myers is one of the few members of the class that was on the 2016 roster. He played sparingly on special teams in 2015. As a center, Myers was never able to carve out a role behind Toth. His brother, Josh, is the No. 10 overall prospect in the 2017 class and is headed to Ohio State.

SEC Country re-rank: 2-star

T.J. Jones, 3-star OL

Add Jones’ name to the long list of 2012 signees who didn’t pan out. He didn’t play his freshman season and was dismissed from the team in June 2013 for a “violation of team rules.”

SEC Country re-rank: 2-star

Shawn Blaylock, 3-star WR

Blaylock has a similar story to many others in the class. A converted cornerback, Blaylock redshirted his freshman season and announced his transfer in June 2013. He ended up at Georgia State.

SEC Country re-rank: 2-star

Dyshawn Mobley, 3-star RB

Mobley carried 41 times for 184 yards as a true freshman. His carries didn’t increase much in his sophomore season, but Mobley made the most of them. He had 43 attempts for 300 yards — a 7-yard-per-carry average. He scored once.

But Mobley was a surprise transfer after the 2013 season. A power back, he went to Eastern Kentucky where he became a starter. He had a brief NFL stint with the Cincinnati Bengals.

SEC Country re-rank: 3-star

Patrick Graffree, 3-star DT

Graffree is one of the more notorious commits of the class. He transferred to Eastern Kentucky after redshirting his first season in Lexington. That would’ve probably been the last ‘Cats fans heard about Graffree until a January 2015 incident brought his name into the spotlight.

Graffree punched Kentucky quarterback Drew Barker at an Eastern Kentucky campus building. The blow dropped Barker. Graffree had an incident in July 2016 when he surrendered to police on charges of criminal mischief, terroristic threatening and harassing communications.

SEC Country re-rank: 2-star

Jordan Swindle, 3-star OL

A 6-foot-7 tackle, Swindle was a great find for the Wildcats in the depth of their 2012 class. Swindle was a three-year starter and an anchor as the starting left tackle in his senior year.

Swindle was one of the biggest overachievers in an otherwise underwhelming class. He made his NFL debut for the Los Angeles Rams before being cut.

SEC Country re-rank: 4-star

Landon Foster, 3-star P

Foster was a four-year starter at punter for the Wildcats and is on the short list of key contributors from the class. His senior season happened to be his worse, but he was consistent throughout most of his career.

He averaged more than 41 yards per punt over four seasons.

SEC Country re-rank: 3-star

Kory Brown, 3-star S

Brown appeared in 11 games and had 16 tackles. A junior college transfer, he played in parts of his sophomore and junior seasons with the Wildcats. He decided to forgo his final season in Lexington to play for South Carolina State.

SEC Country re-rank: 2-star

Sterling Wright, 2-star S

Wright didn’t appear for the Wildcats. He redshirted his first season and transferred to Arkansas State in June 2013.

SEC Country re-rank: 2-star

Will Thomas Collins, unranked FB

A walk-on, Collins stuck around all four years and received a scholarship for his senior season in 2016. Collins never recorded a carry nor established a role with the offense.

SEC Country re-rank: 2-star

The post Kentucky football recruiting: Regrading a forgettable 2012 Wildcats class appeared first on SEC Country.


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