Kentucky’s latest commitment came by way of a rival school.
Three-star athlete Akeem Hayes announced Tuesday night on Twitter that he has pledged to the Wildcats. He had been committed to in-state Louisville since April 27 prior to that.
— Akeem Hayes9️⃣ (@9GoLive) June 21, 2017
“First off, I would like to thank God for giving me the talent to play this game at the next level; without him this would have never been possible,” Hayes wrote. “I would also like to thank the Louisville coaching staff for the relationship we have built in the last couple of months. I also want to say that I love the relationship the Kentucky coaching staff and I have built in these last couple of month of my recruiting process, but after talking it over with my family I’ve decided to flip my commitment to the University of Kentucky #BBN18”
The 5-foot-10, 175-pound Hayes is from Hollywood, Florida, where he attends Chaminade-Madonna Prep. Notably, three of his teammates – 2018 three-star wide receiver Marvin Alexander and 2018 three-star defensive end Davoan Hawkins and 2019 four-star safety Keontra Smith – at the school also are committed to the Wildcats.
Three-star athlete Joshua Ali and three-star defensive end Christopher Whittaker signed from there as a part of the 2017 class.
Kentucky co-offensive coordinator Eddie Gran, who is Hayes’ primary recruiter, has been cited as a major reason for the Wildcats’ recent recruiting successes in Florida, as the Wildcats also had a few other signees from the state in their 2017 class.
Following his commitment to Louisville, Kentucky, along with Illinois, South Florida, Baylor and Cincinnati all offered Hayes. He also has offers from NC State, Oregon, Oregon State, Temple and Wake Forest, among others.
Kentucky offered Hayes on May 18.
Hayes is ranked by 247Sports Composite as a top-70 athlete in the nation and top-130 overall prospect in Florida. He plays wide receiver in high school, where he had 35 catches for 750 yards and six touchdowns last season as a junior.
With Hayes included, Kentucky is now up to 13 commitments in its 2018 recruiting class, which 247Sports ranks 19th in the nation and fourth in the SEC. LSU, Tennessee and Texas A&M, in that order, are the only schools that currently have a higher-ranked class than the Wildcats.
(You can follow Dan Mathews on Twitter @DanMathewsATL)
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