It is always nice to add the commitment of a player who becomes your highest rated recruit in a class.
By Steve Wright
That is what happened on Wednesday as Mark Stoops and the Kentucky Wildcats picked up a verbal from 4-star safety Avery Stuart to their class of 2023.
Stuart – a 6-foot-2, 174 pounder out of Alabama Christian Academy (Montgomery, AL) – is also a big win as the Wildcats were able to snag him against heavy competition from the likes of Auburn and Florida State. Stuart is the No. 197 player in the class, the No. 12 safety, and the No. 16 player in the class in Alabama per the 247Sports Composite Rankings.
Stuart gives the Wildcats their ninth commit for 2023. He slots in just ahead of wide receiver Shamar Porter in their class rankings. Porter is the No. 205 player in the class per the same rankings.
The video below shows why analysts are so high on Stuart. The very first play is one that shows off his ability to leap and make a play on a deep ball as he elevates above both an opponent and one of his own teammates to snag a long throw. This is a great example of Stuart not only knowing how to use his height – something trickier than you might expect – but also his ball skills to pinpoint the exact time to get in the air.
The second play is all about his willingness to hit. Playing as a boundary corner, Stuart reads the swing pass in the flat to come up and make a crushing hit on his opponent. The next defensive play – play number five on the tape – is another involving a tackle. This time it is all about technique as Stuart gets low and wraps to bring the ball carrier to ground.
I also like the offensive clips here. They show that Stuart knows what to do with the ball in his hands – perfect on interception returns – and hints that he may also have a spot on special teams early in his career as a Wildcat.