This is the first in a four-part series examining the signing classes for the Kentucky football team from 2008-11. Taking another look at how the previous recruiting classes panned out can help explain where the program has been and where it might be this year.
Below is a brief summary of each player's career to this point. Players are organized into groups according to how their careers played out, then listed alphabetically.
Kentucky's 2008 signing class had a total of 21 players and featured a whopping six wide receivers, though many of them were high school quarterbacks. One of them turned out to be a superstar and an NFL draft pick, while the other five haven't made nearly the same impact. There were also two defensive stars in the class who became all-conference performers and were drafted this spring.
The 2008 signing class is close to finishing its time in Lexington - any remaining players are redshirt seniors. Of the 21 players, there are nine still on the team, five who finished their careers as Wildcats, and six who left the program for various reasons. It was the No. 57 ranked class in the nation according to Rivals that year.
Still on team
Aaron Boyd: Caught five passes as a freshman in 2008, has caught 1 pass since. Will be a redshirt senior.
E.J. Fields: Had never caught a pass before catching 10 for 89 yards in 2011. Will be a redshirt senior.
Gene McCaskill: Had 32 catches for 344 yards as freshman and sophomore before injuring knee before 2010 season. Had nine catches for 85 yards last year, could start as redshirt senior in 2012.
Cartier Rice: Was UK's No. 3 corner a year ago, will be starter in 2012 as redshirt senior.
Donte Rumph: First of three times he signed with UK. Did not reach campus with this class.
Matt Smith: Enters his third year as a starter at center this fall.
Collins Ukwu: Missed some time in 2011 with knee injury; enters 2012 as starter at defensive end.
Trevino Woods: Should be in the rotation on the offensive line in 2012, but has never started a game.
Taylor Wyndham: Remains in the mix for playing time in 2012, most notable play was a sack of Tim Tebow as a redshirt freshman in 2009.
Chandler Burden: Rotation player at defensive end before becoming full-time starter at left tackle in final two years; now signed to Tennessee Titans.
Randall Cobb: Do-everything star played quarterback, receiver, and returned kicks before entering NFL draft following junior year. Had 375 receiving yards for the Packers last year.
Winston Guy: Started three years and was a sixth round pick by Seahawks in 2012 NFL draft.
Matt Roark: Strong special teams player was marginal as a receiver, played quarterback in upset of Tennessee in 2011. Signed to New England Patriots.
Danny Trevathan: Led SEC in tackles in 2010 and 2011, sixth round draft pick of Denver Broncos in 2012.
Osaze Idumwonyi: Lineman never made a significant contribution; transferred to Northwestern State before 2010 season.
Eric Adeyemi: Caught 18 passes for 149 yards in 2008 and 2009 before transferring to Kent State.
William Johnson: Linebacker/safety transferred to Tennessee Tech before 2010 season.
DeAunte Mason: Quarterback transferred to Alabama A&M after one year, became part-time starter there.
Sean Stackhouse: Tight end played sparingly before transferring to Tennessee-Chattanooga in January 2011.
Dave Ulinski: Gave up football in April 2011 due to concussions. Remained with the team as a student assistant, but never made an impact on the field.