(Image via Max Preps)
On Monday afternoon, Kentucky got their guy - and John Calipari got his. Five-star and No. 1 overall recruit, Dujuan Wagner Jr., announced his pledge to become the next Wildcat and the face of the Wildcats next assembled juggernaut-worthy of a roster.
A commitment that got mixed up in recent weeks, finally got back on track after committing to the program where he was originally believed to have been headed towards. As the son of Dajuan Wagner Sr., it was all but destined for him to be a Kentucky Wildcat when the time came... And that time has finally came.
DJ Wagner officially joins a stacked class in Aaron Bradshaw, Justin Edwards, Robert Dillingham, and Reed Sheppard, currently rated as the No. 1 overall recruiting class for next season.
Let's take a look back his recruitment through the 247Sports Timeline thread.
September 09, 2021: John Calipari visits DJ Wagner
October 15, 2021: DJ Wagner takes OV to Kentucky
September 09, 2022: John Calipari visits DJ Wagner
October 14, 2022: DJ Wagner takes OV to Kentucky
November 14, 2022: DJ Wagner commits to Kentucky
November 14, 2022: DJ Wagner signs LOI to Kentucky
After making his announcement, he told ESPN that, "I'm real comfortable with my decision. Coach John Calipari was always straightforward and honest with me. He said he would be with me until the wheels fall off the car either way. And that meant so much to me. When I watched him coach I could feel the intensity, how he disciplines his team and how he breaks it down."
After having multiple visits to Lexington and watching them from afar for most of his life, DJ said expresses that, "The atmosphere at Kentucky is unbelievable."
A recruitment that came down between Louisville and Kentucky, which Kentucky led for the first 90% of it and the final 5%, after being phased by the competition hiring his grandfather, Milt Wagner, it still wasn't enough to take down an even thicker tie between he and John Calipari. A few things won him over. The head coach, the program, a chance to join a forming super-class, and a strong sibling connection that couldn't be broke. "My older brother Kareem is on the team," he told Jeff Borzello. "That made a huge difference. I look up to him; we are very close."
He also joins former teammate in Lance Ware, who also attended Camden high school, from 2016-2020, crossing two years with DJ (Wagner) there (2018-20).
Looking back at it all now that it's complete, it was a hard fought race that wasn't believed to be close at all for a really long time, that ended up getting a little gray at the end, then ultimately reverting back to where it was all along, allowing DJ Wagner to write his future in Lexington, Kentucky.