Offensive guard Nicholas Haynes commits to Cats

By Tom Hurley | @TomHurleyKernel

Add Nicholas Haynes to the list of football recruits from Florida who have verbally committed to play for new UK head coach Mark Stoops.

Haynes, a three-star offensive guard, took to his personal Twitter account Sunday to announce his decision.

“Just verbally committed to the University of Kentucky #UK #SEC,” he said in the tweet from his account, @YaboyHaynes.

Ranked as the 40th best offensive guard in the class of 2013 by Rivals, Haynes drew strong interest from the University of Central Florida and Florida Atlantic in addition to UK.

According to ESPN, Haynes visited Florida Atlantic on Jan. 18 and UCF this past Friday, Feb. 1, but spurned offers from both schools in favor of the Cats.

In his senior season with Niceville (Fla.) Senior High School, Haynes led the Eagles (6-4) in pancake blocks with 33, while also contributing two tackles on defense.

Haynes becomes the fifth player from the Sunshine State to verbally commit to the Cats since the appointment of Stoops in November.

The 6-foot-4, 294-pound offensive guard joins three-star wide receivers Alex Montgomery and Jeff Badet, three-star running back Jojo Kemp and two-star defensive tackle Reggie Meant on the list of recruits from Florida who have accepted scholarship offers from Stoops.

With National Signing Day two days away, that list still has time to acquire more names.

Over the backend of last week, UK staff were due to make a visit to the Tallahassee, Fla., home of inside linebacker James Hearns.

After decommiting from the University of Florida, the 6-foot-3, 230-pound high school senior visited UK and soon-after declared the Cats were in pole position to land his commitment.

Stoops now has 20 commits from the 2013 class, which leaves five places left before the Cats reach the 25 scholarships they are limited to give new recruits per year under NCAA rules.