Posted January 30, 2014

Five-star defensive tackle Matt Elam commits to Kentucky over Alabama

Kentucky Wildcats, Recruiting
Five-star recruit Matt Elam chose Kentucky over Alabama. (Photo courtesy of 247Sports)

Matt Elam turned down Ohio State and Alabama to stay in-state at Kentucky. (Photo courtesy of 247Sports)

At least one blue-chip recruit is staying home rather than joining forces with Nick Saban at Alabama. Defensive tackle Matt Elam, a five-star prospect (by some recruiting services) from Elizabethtown, Ky., announced in a press conference on Thursday that he has committed to Kentucky over the Crimson Tide.

The 6-foot-5, 370-pound Elam said the opportunity to stay home and help build the Wildcat program was an enticing offer. (Transcript via AL.com)

“I feel like that’s one of the main reasons I stayed — just to help my in-state program,” he said. “I feel like I can do whatever I can do anywhere else at the University of Kentucky and it’s in my home state.

“It is very hard to turn down Alabama. It’s the mecca of football,” he added. “I will say I love what they’re doing down there. I hope they keep it up.”

Elam also fielded offers from Notre Dame, Ohio State and Tennessee during the recruiting process.

While announcing his commitment publicly on Thursday, Elam said that he had actually committed to Kentucky coach Mark Stoops two days ago. The prospect of playing under Stoops was perhaps the biggest selling point for Elam’s commitment.

Stoops himself seemed pretty excited on Twitter on Thursday.

17 comments
kevinNYG88
kevinNYG88

Commitments like these have the chance of being a turning point for a struggling program.  At Bama you're just another guy, at UK he'll be the man.  So he won't win nearly as much as he would at Bama, but maybe he leaves a legacy at UK and is one of the stepping stones to them becoming a contender.


Go Gamecocks.

j7apple
j7apple

Some like to stay the big fish in the pond.

tidenate
tidenate

@SInow kid must not be interested in playing on TV very often, or a bowl game, or winning

jsh_hurst
jsh_hurst

@JAE_M1LLZ @SInow=when you want to make the nfl its not the school its that coach and his program that fits you for nfl bama sucks

RyanPEvans
RyanPEvans

@SInow He knows this is football and not college basketball, right?

RichLGerhold
RichLGerhold

@jsh_hurst @JAE_M1LLZ@SInow Of all the poorly informed posts I've read so far this year, this has to be one of the clear favorites....


I don't think Michael Stoops holds a candle to the number of NFL players he's developed when compared to Nick Saban. I don't know if anyone, maybe short of Pete Carrol or Urban Meyer does frankly.

JAE_M1LLZ
JAE_M1LLZ

@jsh_hurst @SInow this may be the dumbest argument I've ever heard. Bama doesn't get you ready for the NFL?? You sir are mis informed

JoeCabot
JoeCabot

@sevans0276 It is his life so your statement makes no sense and has no meaning.

Cantankerasaurus
Cantankerasaurus

@RichLGerhold @JAE_M1LLZ @SInow  For the record, it's Mark Stoops, not Michael, and he has a whole year under his belt as a head coach. Nick Saban is an established coach. The key point is that Kentucky hardly has a reputation as a football powerhouse and has had only two coaches leave there with winning records since the post-World War II era. One of the two was a gentleman you have probably heard of, Paul "Bear" Bryant. Mark Stoops is establishing himself as a good recruiter and came to Kentucky with a reputation as a solid defensive coach. So what say we give him a bit of time to see if he can turn around a program far more accustomed to 10-loss seasons than to 10 wins.