New Kentucky Wildcats head coach Mark Stoops made waves on Junior College Signing Day when he landed four-star defensive end Za'Darius Smith unexpectedly and is looking to make another impact addition with Dallas (Texas) Skyline wide receiver Ra'Shaad Samples visiting Lexington over the weekend.
A consensus four-star prospect who was invited to The Opening and recently competed in the 2013 Under Armour All-America game, Samples committed to Oklahoma St. back in July at The Opening and appeared to be solidly committed to the Cowboys.
However, the Texas Tech Red Raiders were a team that vied seriously for his verbal commitment when he was still uncommitted, so Samples had developed a relationship with then-offensive coordinator Neal Brown. When Brown made the move to the Wildcats, he used his connections to Samples to convince him to visit.
The appeal of early playing time is likely the best selling point Kentucky has, besides playing in the SEC and the opportunity to help build the program. Oklahoma St. returns six of the top eight pass-catchers from the 2012 team, while the recruiting class also features talented prospects like Marcell Ateman and John Ross. Meanwhile, Kentucky is losing two of their top three wide receivers, with only one committed player at the position, a two-star prospect by 247Sports.
In other words, Kentucky could badly use the instant impact that Samples could provide as a savvy route-runner and dynamic player after the catch.
It just won't be easy to sway him from his Oklahoma St. pledge.