Defensive players Denzil Ware and Kendall Randolph of Florida were players whom Mark Stoops was recruiting when he was defensive coordinator at Florida State and immediately went after them when he came to Kentucky. Both players signed with UK on Wednesday.

Ware is a defensive end and Randolph a defensive back, both positions at which Stoops knew the Wildcats needed players.

“Denzil, we've known him for some time, recruited him a lot of years. He came to our camp when we were at Florida State years ago, two, three years ago at least, and he was one of the best players in the camp then. We obviously fell in love with him, started recruiting him,” Stoops said.

Scout.com ranked Ware as the 26th-best defensive end in the country, and he was listed No. 113 on ESPN’s list of the top 300 of players. He had 56 tackles, 12 sacks and three forced fumbles last year.

“He's very versatile. He's extremely explosive. People ask me all the time what we'll do with him. He'll put his hand in the dirt, and he'll learn how to play defensive end, but he's also versatile enough to stand up and play some of the things in the 3-4 and be able to move around and be creative because he has a lot of ability,” Stoops said.

“I had an opportunity to watch him play basketball a couple weeks ago, and surprisingly, he had a lot of talent. He was good. He knows how to play basketball. It's not just athletic ability out there. He kind of surprised me a little bit. But you did see his athletic ability, his burst, and how strong and how quick he jumps and just all those things. Very talented.”

Randolph, another four-star prospect, was one of the top 50 players in Florida and had 59 tackles, one interception and seven pass breakups last season. He can also return punts and kickoffs.

“I've known Kendall since he was a freshman at Tallahassee Lincoln. It was a school right down the road from us during my time at Florida State, and that was one of my schools. He's come over to camps, and I've just known him for some time,” Stoops said. “We've had a great relationship, and I told him he was just meant to play for me. I didn't know the school, but he was meant to play for me and to play with this team.