Top 2021 guard Terrence Clarke reclassifies to 2020 and commits to Kentucky

Ben WeinribYahoo Sports Contributor
Kentucky head coach John Calipari landed one of the top recruits in the 2020 class. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Kentucky head coach John Calipari landed one of the top recruits in the 2020 class. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

The Kentucky Wildcats just padded an already-impressive 2020 recruiting class by landing one of the crown jewels of the 2021 class.

Five-star shooting guard Terrence Clarke, who ranked second overall in 2021 before reclassifying, has verbally committed to play for John Calipari according to Rivals.com. The addition gives the Wildcats the top recruiting class in the nation.

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Clarke, now ranked No. 4 in 2020, becomes Kentucky’s fourth top-40 recruit with only 12 players in the top 40 having committed so far. Joining him will be shooting guard B.J. Boston (No. 16), small forward Cam'Ron Fletcher (No. 40) and power forward Lance Ware (No. 32), who just committed on Thursday.

Kentucky had a fairly down year in recruiting for 2019 with just one top-10 recruit, but Clarke should go a long way towards rebuilding their stature as one of the elite recruiting programs.

Clarke praised Calipari’s recruiting pitch

One of the top prep scorers, Clarke offers great size for a guard at 6-foot-7 and has shown the ability to play on or off the ball. He turned down offers from Arkansas, Boston College, Memphis, Texas Tech and UCLA to go to UK.

In order to graduate early from Brewster Academy, Clarke said he will likely have to take a few extra classes online, but he credited Calipari for making his decision to go to Lexington and enroll early easy.

“I don’t think there is anything else to prove in high school,” Clarke said. “Going to college, it is going to help me more with my growth and in every aspect of my game. I think another year of high school would have done a disservice to me whenever I could have went to college and got better for the next level. Me, being in high school now, I am obviously going to work as hard as I can, but college is just a different level.”

Clarke noted Calipari’s ability to churn out pro prospects as a big selling point. Kentucky had two lottery picks this June (PJ Washington and Tyler Herro), plus an extra first-rounder in Keldon Johnson. Kentucky has produced multiple first-round picks, including at least one lottery pick, every year under Calipari.

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