IMPACT ANALYSIS: What Xavier Peters to Kentucky means

Justin Rowland, Publisher
Cats Illustrated

You've been reading and hearing about linebacker Xavier Peters for many months ever since CatsIllustrated.com first mentioned him as a Kentucky target.

Now he's a Wildcat.

CatsIllustrated.com takes a look what it means from every angle, as we always do following a commitment.

Outside linebacker

3 STARS

Kentucky
West Chester

RR: 5.7

Ht: 6'4.0"

Wt: 220.0

Class: 2018

POSITION

-

NATIONAL

STATE

Commitment status:

verbal

Kentucky

PIPELINE FLOWING

When we talk about pipelines usually we're being a little generous with the term. But right now Kentucky has two bona fide pipelines flowing in every sense of the term.

There's Chaminade Madonna down in Hollywood, Fla., home to seven present or future Wildcats, and there's Lakota West in West Chester, Ohio.

Lakota West has been a gold mine for Vince Marrow ever since he arrived on Mark Stoops' staff and landed Kyle Meadows in the 2013 cycle. Kentucky now has commitments from two Lakota West current players in defensive lineman Tyler Bentley and linebacker Xavier Peters.

POSITION OF NEED

Kentucky's going to take multiple linebackers in almost every recruiting class, but because four players at the position have transferred out of the program since the end of last season (including a couple with long-term eligibility remaining), it's become even more important than it otherwise would be.

Peters helps address a clear need at the linebacker position. He joins DeAndre Square on the Cats' commitment list, and between Peters and Square you're talking about two of the very top linebackers on Kentucky's board from the start of the recruiting process.

Square and Peters are two very different players, with Peters more the chiseled specimen who looks like a college football players already and Square as the long, rangy, more flexible project who needs to gain a little weight.

Kentucky isn't finished with linebackers in this class, but they're off to a great start.

O0rosuryolfrtxgvna1l
O0rosuryolfrtxgvna1l

YOUTH MOVEMENT

If you're looking for reasons to be optimistic about the future of Kentucky's football program, one obvious positive would be the amount of young talent in and coming into the program at linebacker.

You've just read about Peters and Square, two big-time prospects (5.7 Rivals Rating for both) and complementary parts. But there's also rising sophomore Kash Daniel in the middle, who should be prepared to take over completely from Courtney Love once he's done, and others like Eli Brown, Jamar "Boogie" Watson and Jamin Davis, all of whom turned in strong spring game performances.

Of course, much is being made of Kentucky's rising juniors: Jordan Jones, Denzil Ware, Josh Allen. But the future looks very bright even beyond those players.

OHIO MOMENTUM

In CatsIllustrated.com's War Room earlier today we mentioned that the hope is that Kentucky would land Peters, Blue Smith, Meechi Harris and Chris Oats. This is one step closer to making that a reality.

But it's not just scratching one off the list. It contributes to Kentucky's recruiting momentum and visibility in Ohio, and especially so with Peters spending a good amount of time with Smith out at The Opening.

ALL-STAR PRESENCE

Peters is the second Kentucky commitment who has participated at The Opening, to go along with quarterback Jarren Williams. Having players in those situations gives the program more of a platform and makes the program more prestigious to other recruits who follow the event.

Peters has also accepted an invitation to participate in the Under Armour All-American Game, so he'll give UK a strong presence there, too.

What to Read Next