Ryan Timmons commits to UK on eve of Signing Day

By Nick Gray | @KYKernelGray

ngray@kykernel.com

With his family around him and his high school classmates watching from the stands, Franklin County (Ky.) wide receiver Ryan Timmons put on a UK hat and committed to the Cats on Tuesday.

Timmons, a 5-foot-10, 186-pound receiver who played multiple positions during his high school career, is ranked as the fifth best player in Kentucky according to Rivals and the 68th best wide receiver in the class of 2013. ESPN rates Timmons as the 249th best player overall.

Timmons chose the Cats over Ohio State, Florida and Illinois.

At his press conference Tuesday, Timmons cited offensive coordinator Neal Brown’s offense as a chief factor in his recruitment.

“I have been running that offense since seventh grade,” Timmons said. “I am comfortable in it and we went over plays on my visit and I already knew them. Coach Brown and I get along well. He has a great offense and we had a great connection. We use the same plays.”

As a high-profile recruit in the state, Timmons called his recruitment “really stressful at times” but also exciting.  One of the main recruiters for Florida was Gators wide receivers coach and ex-UK head coach Joker Phillips.

“I was at a point I did not know where I wanted to go, but I did enjoy the recruiting and going to different schools. I could not say anything bad about any of the schools,” Timmons said. “It was kind of tough telling Joker (Phillips about his decision). He thought I was coming (to Florida) and was kind of disappointed. But he said he understood.”

Meanwhile, Louisville Trinity High School defensive end Jason Hatcher will announce his selection at 3 p.m. Wednesday at his high school.

His recruitment has been well scrutinized throughout the last six weeks, reaching its peak when Hatcher decommitted from USC via Twitter, then deleting the tweet shortly thereafter.

His final three schools are UK, Louisville and USC, according to Rivals.

Rivals and 24/7 Sports reported Tuesday that Hatcher was decommitted from the Trojans and leaning toward the Cats, while ESPN posted on its website late Tuesday afternoon under Hatcher’s recruiting profile as committed to UK.

Hatcher is the eighth-ranked weakside defensive end by Rivals and the third-best player in Kentucky. ESPN ranks Hatcher as the 182nd player overall and the 14th best overall defensive end.

Lincoln (Fla.) inside linebacker James Hearns will not be signing a letter of intent Wednesday, his high school coach told Corey Dowlar of ESPN. Hearns, a four-star rated recruit by Rivals and ESPN, decommitted from Florida on Jan. 24, one day before he took an official visit to UK. Hearns also visited Auburn on Jan. 18.

Denham Springs (La.) defensive tackle Tevin Lawson, an LSU commit, has scheduled an official visit to UK this weekend, Justin Rowland of Rivals reports. The 6-foot-4, 274-pound lineman has been committed to the Tigers since last March and visited Baton Rouge on Jan. 25.

O’Perry (La.) defensive end Corey Smith plans to make his decision Wednesday, Rivals reports. Smith is ranked as the 33rd best weakside defensive end in nation by Rivals as a three-star recruit.

The 6-foot-6, 255-pound lineman visited UK on Jan. 25 and also visited Arizona State and Tulane, according to Rivals. Louisville is also considered in the mix.

UK head coach Mark Stoops now has 21 from the class of 2013 with Timmons’ commitment, and four spots are left open on the eve of signing day.