Cats land elite juco DE
This story originally published on

Posted Dec 19, 2012

Kentucky has addressed a major priority in the 2013 recruiting class by landing one of the nation's top junior college defensive ends.

Kentucky has landed one of the nation's top-rated junior college defensive ends and addressed perhaps its greatest position priority in Mark Stoops' first recruiting class.

Za'Darius Smith, a 6-foot-6, 255-pound end from East Mississippi Community College, announced during a press conference at Greenville (Ala.) High School on Wednesday that he will play for the Wildcats. Today marks the first day of the December signing period for junior college prospects.

“I know this staff,” Smith told the Montgomery (Ala.) Advertiser. “I just feel comfortable here. Coach Stoops is a defensive man. (Jimmy Brumbaugh) coached me for a year and he got me where I need to be, as in all the SEC and ACC offers. I can continue that and just go on to bigger and better places with him.”

Smith will follow his defensive line coach at EMCC, Brumbaugh, to Lexington. New UK head coach Mark Stoops announced earlier this week that Brumbaugh would coach the Wildcats' D-Line.

Some sites that track junior college prospects consider Smith to be the nation's top strong-side defensive end prospect coming off a sophomore year which saw him record 66 tackles and 11 sacks. He was also being heavily recruited by major programs like Auburn, Texas A&M, Florida State, Miami, Missouri, Ole Miss, Mississippi State and Texas Tech.

The Wildcats also reportedly will sign Steven Borden, a 6-foot-3, 250-pound tight end from Kilgore (Texas) College. He is the son of former professional wrestling star Steve Borden, aka "Sting."

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