The top 25 recruiting rankings are laced with traditional power programs and ascending teams coming off good seasons.

And Kentucky.

Yes, one thing is not like the other 24.

Kentucky is coming off back-to-back 2-10 seasons and hadn't finished better than 12th in SEC recruiting since 2006. When you think of elite Kentucky recruiting, you probably think of Tim Couch and…Tim Couch.

But coach Mark Stoops got after it this week with the 22nd-ranked class overall, good enough for 10th in the SEC -- easily the program's best class since internet rankings existed, according to spokesman Tony Neely. Stoops did just enough to improve Kentucky without engendering arbitrary rule-breaking skepticism with a litany of top-10 players.

Bookended with quarterback Drew Barker and defensive tackle Matt Elam committing eight months apart, Kentucky did just enough to upgrade the product without engendering arbitrary rule-breaking skepticism with a litany of top-10 players late in the process.

Eve Nick Saban, the recruiting king for a fourth straight year, was the runner-up for Elam, a 6-foot-5, 372-pound behemoth.

“We're definitely not afraid to compete with anybody in the country,” Stoops said Tuesday.