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Recruiting Spotlight: Potential receiver transfer Ahmad Wagner

On the surface, Kentucky's involvement with potential receiver transfer Ahmad Wagner might raise a few eyebrows.

After all, Wagner has been playing basketball - not football - at Iowa for the past three years. He would have to sit out for a year in order to play at Kentucky in 2019, and he would only have one season of eligibility.

But there's a reason Mark Stoops' program is still making a play for the former two-sport star from Ohio.

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Ahmad Wagner (HawkeyeSports.com)

A source with knowledge of the situation told Cats Illustrated, "He's an incredible athlete. A legit 6'6, 6'7 guy and could be a big-time player."

That's why Kentucky is pursuing Wagner.

For the past three years he's been a part of Iowa's basketball program. Years ago, he was torn on what sport to play in college.

The Wildcats have been familiar with him dating back to his time as a recruit coming out of Huber Heights (Ohio) Wayne in the Class of 2015. Wagner has a long-standing relationship with Kentucky coach Vince Marrow, and that preexisting connection is a major reason Wagner is considering the Wildcats.

Cats Illustrated reported last week that Wagner will be taking an official to UK this upcoming weekend.

Based on what we've heard from multiple sources, Kentucky, Louisville, Cincinnati and Akron are major options for Wagner, who is also being recruited by Iowa's football staff.

If Wagner were to stick around with the Hawkeyes he would not need to sit out a year. Then again, it could be beneficial for him to sit out for a year before getting back in the swing of things on the football field, especially with limited eligibility. According to Tom Kakert of HawkeyeSports.com, if Wagner stays at Iowa he would have two years to play football.

"The appeal of Iowa is he could transfer over and play this year, since he's not changing school and have two years to play," Kakert told Cats Illustrated. "If he goes elsewhere at the D1 level, he has to sit a year and then has only one to play."

Wagner started playing football in his senior year of high school because a friend was playing quarterback for his high school team.

"Ended up having a huge year and even Ohio State told him, 'If you want to entertain football, we would probably have something for you,'" Kakert said. "He stuck with basketball and had committed to Iowa earlier that fall and signed in November. Was more of a role player in hoops for Iowa than anything."

Wagner played 10.1 minutes as a freshman for the Hawkeyes. He saw his minutes tick upwards (16.0) in 2016-17, but decline during the 2017-18 season.

"He decided after the season he wanted to play football," Kakert said. "He certainly has the high school film and athletic ability to be a very interesting tight end or wide receiver. Iowa is still involved with him from a football perspective. The coaches reached out to him immediately. They want him as a wide receiver."