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Stoops Signs Two Top JUCO Players

Posted: Dec 19, 2012 4:11 PM by Mary Jo Perino
Updated: Dec 19, 2012 6:07 PM

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Mark Stoops got right to work on the recruiting trail, getting signed letters of intent from two of the top junior college players in America.

6-foot-5, 260 pound defensive end Za'Darius Smith will play for Kentucky. He's listed as the number one JUCO defensive end in the country, a four-star prospect that Stoops had been recruiting to Florida State. His JUCO coach, Jimmy Brumbaugh, is now on the staff at Kentucky.

Smith picked Kentucky over offers from Florida State, Texas A&M, Ole Miss, Mississippi State and Virginia, but the presence of new Wildcats coach Mark Stoops influenced his decision.

Kentucky has also landed tight end Steven Borden. The 6-foot-4, 240 pound tight end was being recruited to Texas Tech by now UK offensive coordinator Neal Brown. He is the son of former pro wrestler Sting.

"This is a great start to our recruiting class," Stoops said. "being able to sign such impact players with a short amount of time to recruit gives me great optimism for the future."

Both will enroll at UK in January and will be ready to go for spring football.