December 10, 2023

Mark Stoops and Kentucky soccer scored two huge recruiting victories Friday night time, as twin brothers Jacob Smith and Jerod Smith Jr. determined to modify their commitments from Michigan.

The additions of Jacob (No. 97 total within the 2024 ESPN 300) and Jerod (No. 153 total in 2024), a pair of four-star defensive linemen, give the Wildcats’ class a right away enhance.

Born in Lexington and starting their prep careers at Somerset Excessive Faculty (Kentucky), the dual brothers performed their sophomore and junior seasons for Loomis Chaffee Faculty (Connecticut) earlier than transferring to a different college in Connecticut (Cheshire Academy) in January.

However the alternative to come back again residence and play their senior 12 months in Kentucky for Corbin Excessive Faculty and finally for the Wildcats proved an excessive amount of to go up.

“[Associate head] Coach [Vince] Marrow simply began to chitchat with the boys and principally bought them on being the hometown hero,” the boys’ father, Jerod Smith Sr., advised ESPN. “They’re the very best children within the state, and that will permit them to have extra success now and after faculty soccer for that cause.

“The boys actually purchased into that, and never solely did they purchase into that, they like to be again residence. This state means quite a bit to them.”

At the moment unranked in ESPN’s newest group rankings, Kentucky lands two extra ESPN 300 pledges within the Smith brothers, who be a part of cornerback Terhyon Nichols (No. 297 total in 2024).

Kentucky’s success on the path has been evident in latest cycles: thirty fourth total in 2023, fifteenth in 2022, thirty ninth in 2021 and twenty second in 2020.

Jerod was the primary to announce for Jim Harbaugh and the Wolverines in April, and Jacob adopted go well with in mid-July.

“They only have an enormous help group right here,” Smith Sr. mentioned of the Wildcats. “Kentucky was ready to make use of that to get the boys to come back. As a result of up till final week, Jerod was nonetheless carrying his Michigan gloves and his Michigan cleats.”

Now looking forward to life in Lexington, each will add to a Wildcats protection that completed third in complete protection (320.2 YPG) and scoring protection (19.1 PPG) within the SEC final season. Off to a 2-0 begin this season, the Wildcats host Akron on Saturday earlier than starting SEC play at Vanderbilt subsequent week.

Michigan’s class, which is ranked tenth, now has 10 ESPN 300 prospects.

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