CatsIllustrated - Kentucky Football: Re-ranking the Class of 2013
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Kentucky Football: Re-ranking the Class of 2013

Kyle Meadows
Kyle Meadows (Jeff Drummond/Cats Illustrated)

Rivals.com spends a lot of time evaluating and ranking recruits. Sometimes those rankings are vindicated by what happens on the field and sometimes there's a disconnect.

Using the benefit of hindsight, here's an attempt at a re-ranking of the Class of 2013, the first of the Mark Stoops era.

We'll be ranking players based on their actual college production (and beyond) but also factoring the raw talent the player showcased.

Za'Darius Smith

Actual Ranking: Four-stars (5.8 Rivals Rating)

CI Re-Rank: Five-stars (6.1)

Smith had 11 sacks over two years for Kentucky and was a fourth round selection for the Green Bay Packers. While he was very good at Kentucky he has become arguably the top edge defender in the NFL with 32 career sacks. The size, talent, motor, and football savvy are all there for Smith.

Marcus McWilson

Actual Ranking: Four-stars (5.8 RR)

CI Re-Rank: Three-stars (5.5)

McWilson seemed to be a bit of a 'tweener at Kentucky. He did get a good amount of playing time over the course of a lengthy career in Lexington.

Jason Hatcher

Actual Ranking: Four-stars (5.8 RR)

CI Re-Rank: Four-stars (5.8)

Here's where a re-rank gets tough. Hatcher showcased impressive skill and had he stayed focus he could have had a great career at Kentucky but well-known off field issues derailed his football career. Those off field issues couldn't have been predicted but can factor into rankings if there are red flags.

Alvonte Bell

Actual Ranking: Three-stars (5.7 RR)

CI Re-Rank: Three-stars (5.5 RR)

Bell had 27 tackles in 2016 but suffered a knee injury against Georgia Tech which required offseason surgery. That preceded a transfer to West Georgia.

Khalid Thomas

Actual Ranking: Three-stars (5.7 RR)

CI Re-Rank: Two-stars (5.4)

Thomas and his brother were dismissed from UK for a violation of team rules and transferred to Alabama State where he was a productive running back for at least a year.

Jaleel Hytchye

Actual Ranking: Three-stars (5.7 RR)

CI Re-Rank: Two-stars (5.4)

Hytchye transferred to Georgia State before the 2016 season.

Kyle Meadows

Actual Ranking: Three-stars (5.7 RR)

CI Re-Rank: Four-stars (5.8)

Meadows was a model of consistency and a regular starter for Kentucky over his last three seasons at right tackle. He was a part of some of the lines that helped UK build a reputation as being a line of scrimmage program.

Alex Montgomery

Actual Ranking: Three-stars (5.7 RR)

CI Re-Rank: Three-stars (5.7 RR)

It's hard to assess how Montgomery's career would have played out at Kentucky were it not for injury issues but the talent certainly seemed to be real.

Jojo Kemp

Actual Ranking: Three-stars (5.7 RR)

CI Re-Rank: Three-stars (5.7 RR)

Kemp rushed for more than 1,700 yards and 19 touchdowns in his Kentucky career.

Ryan Timmons

Actual Ranking: Three-stars (5.7 RR)

CI Re-Rank: Three-stars (5.6)

Timmons had 112 receptions and 1,254 yards over a four-year career in Lexington.

Jacob Hyde

Actual Ranking: Three-stars (5.6)

CI Re-Rank: Two-stars (5.4)

Hyde was the kind of player you want in the locker room and made the most of his college experience occasionally seeing spot duty over his Kentucky career.

Blake McClain

Actual Ranking: Three-stars (5.6 RR)

CI Re-Rank: Three-stars (5.7)

McClain's high school ranking was probably about right in terms of talent but he was a regular contributor with 180 tackles and three picks over four years that saw lots of playing time.

Javess Blue

Actual Ranking: Three-stars (5.6 RR)

CI Re-Rank: Four-stars (5.8)

Blue quietly turned in two very productive seasons with a combined 72 catches for 1,111 yards and nine touchdowns.

Nate Willis

Actual Ranking: Three-stars (5.6 RR)

CI Re-Rank: Three-stars (5.5 RR)

Willis played in 20 games and notched 58 tackles over his two seasons in Lexington.

Nick Haynes

Actual Ranking: Three-stars (5.6 RR)

CI Re-Rank: Three-stars (5.6)

Haynes had an unfortunate ending to his Kentucky career but started a lot of games for the Wildcats and was a solid contributor.

Reese Phillips

Actual Ranking: Three-stars (5.5 RR)

CI Re-Rank: Two-stars (5.4)

Before transferring to Montana he was a career backup for the 'Cats.

Ramsey Meyers

Actual Ranking: Three-stars (5.5 RR)

CI Re-Rank: Three-stars (5.5)

Like Haynes he was part of some solid offensive lines at Kentucky and saw a lot of playing time before the 'Cats took the trenches to another level.

Austin MacGinnis

Actual Ranking: Three-stars (5.5 RR)

CI Re-Rank: Four-stars (5.8)

Kickers don't get four-star rankings so this is a difficult assignment but for his outstanding contributions to the program it's impossible not to recognize what he meant.

Justin Day

Actual Ranking: Three-stars (5.5)

CI Re-Rank: Two-stars (5.4)

Jeff Badet

Actual Ranking: Three-stars (5.5)

CI Re-Rank: Three-stars (5.7)

Badet's work in the vertical game took Kentucky's offense to another level in 2016 and he transferred to Oklahoma for his final season. He was an explosive runner.

Steven Borden

Actual Ranking: Two-stars (5.4 RR)

CI Re-Rank: Two-stars (5.4)

Regie Meant

Actual Ranking: Two-stars (5.3 RR)

CI Re-Rank: Three-stars (5.7)

Before leaving Kentucky for personal reasons leading up to the 2016 season Meant had become a strong contributor with a very bright future on the defensive line.

Melvin Lewis

Actual ranking: NR

CI Re-Rank: Three-stars (5.7)

Lewis notched 57 tackles and 4.5 tackles for loss as one of the better defensive linemen of the early Mark Stoops period.