The Kentucky Wildcats might be struggling through the 2013 season on the field, but Mark Stoops' program is shining on the recruiting trail. Kentucky is ranked 16th in the most recent 247 Sports national recruiting rankings. The Wildcats' class of 25 verbal commitments is good for ninth in the SEC.
Kentucky added three-star wide receiver Dorian Baker in late October. Baker, who plays for Cleveland Heights High in Cleveland, Ohio, chose Kentucky over Illinois, Indiana, Vanderbilt, Minnesota, Pitt and a handful of non-BCS offers. He is widely considered one of the top 50 players in the state of Ohio.
The Wildcats' class is highlighted by four-star quarterback Drew Barker. The 6'4, 210-pound Barker, who plays high school football for Hebron, Ky.'s Conner High, is the consensus top player in the state of Kentucky and the sixth-rated pro-style quarterback nationally. Barker held 15 offers, including Miami, South Carolina, Tennessee, Ole Miss, North Carolina, Illinois, Indiana and Purdue.
Defensive end Denzel Ware, a four-star prospect from Crestview, Fla., chose Kentucky over some of the nation's top programs, including Alabama, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, USC, Ohio State, Texas and Clemson. The 6'3, 220-pound Ware is the No. 12-rated defensive end nationally and No. 27 player in the state of Florida in 247 Sports' composite rankings.
Safety Darius West, out of Lima Central Catholic High in Lima, Ohio, chose Kentucky over Notre Dame, Ole Miss, Missouri, Michigan State, Miami, Penn State, Wisconsin, Louisville and 15 other programs. West has a consensus four-star rating, and is ranked the No. 19 safety prospect nationally and No. 8 player in Ohio.
Cory Johnson, a four-star defensive tackle out of Brooklyn's ASA College, is ranked the No. 2 junior college player in New York and No. 3 JUCO defensive tackle nationally. Kentucky beat out Miami, Penn State, Tennessee, Rutgers, Syracuse and Arizona State, among others, for Johnson's commitment.
Springfield, Ohio wide receiver Thaddeus Snodgrass picked Kentucky over Ohio State, Notre Dame, Louisville, Nebraska, Wisconsin, South Carolina and Penn State, among others. The 6'1, 170-pound Snodgrass received a four-star consensus rating, though 247 has given him three stars. He is rated the 12th-best player in the state of Ohio and No. 36 wide receiver recruit nationally.
Running back Stanley Williams, who plays high school football at George Walton Academy in Monroe, Ga., committed to Kentucky in June. Williams is a consensus four-star recruit, though 247 rates him a three-star prospect. He is ranked as the No. 6 all-purpose running back nationally and the No. 20 player in the state of Georgia. Williams drew offers from 16 BCS-conference programs, including Georgia, LSU, Wisconsin, South Carolina, Oregon, Missouri, Florida State and Clemson.
Sill to come (By Bud Elliott, SB Nation National Recruiting Analyst)
Kentucky's main goal as National Signing Day approaches is to keep its current class from defecting as a result of the awful season Kentucky is having.
If there is one remaining target, however, who Kentucky really needs, it is Matt Elam, a massive four-star defensive tackle recruit out of Elizabethtown (Ky.). Alabama is the main competition for Elam.
More from SB Nation college football:
• Long read: Inside Chip Kelly’s New Hampshire laboratory