Today has been a huge day for Kentucky in regards to the transfer portal. Earlier today, Kentucky picked up a senior offensive tackle from Northern Illinois University in Marques Cox, which helped to address the issues the Wildcats struggled with on the offensive line this season. Now, Defensive Coordinator Brad White got an early Christmas present today. Cincinnati transfer JQ Hardaway committed to Kentucky today via his social media.
Hardaway is a 6'2" cornerback from Phenix City, Alabama. Hardaway was a part of the Class of 2022 and committed to the University of Cincinnati in 2021. According to 247 Sports, Hardaway was inside the top 340 in the nation and the 27th best safety in the country and the 15th best overall player in the entire state of Alabama in 2022. Hardaway had offers from many highly-ranked universities such as Florida, Florida State, Georgia, Tennessee, USC, Ole Miss and Oregon among many others.
In his Freshman season with the Cincinnati Bearcats, Hardaway only played six out of the twelve regular season games. In those six games, Hardaway managed to record eight total tackles, five solo tackles and one sack. It could have just been an issue of having veteran players higher on the string than him for the lack of playing time, because when you watch Hardaway's highlight video from his senior season with Central High School in Alabama, you will see why the Wildcats are so high on this former 4-Star recruit.
This news comes at no better time, because earlier in the day, news broke that Kentucky Wildcats junior defensive back Carrington Valentine has entered his name into the 2023 NFL Draft. Hardaway will fill that role pretty well, in my opinion. Kentucky is also going hard after Jantzen Dunn, a safety transfer from Ohio State. These two pieces would be an amazing package deal for Kentucky's secondary in 2023.