Justin Edwards is currently ranked No. 3 overall in the Class of 2023 in the 247 Sports Rankings and No. 4 overall in Rivals.
Despite differences from outlet to outlet, Edwards is considered one of the top five players in the 2023 class, and it’s a battle of SEC rivals to land the 6ft7 wing. inches.
The Kentucky Wildcats and Tennessee Volunteers are thought to be in a two-man race for Edwards, with Kentucky on the right side of the latest momentum.
At first, it looked like Edwards was tied to Tennessee, with the Vols holding the majority of Crystal Ball and FutureCast predictions. However, Edwards setting an announcement date for Monday July 25ethe momentum swung in favor of Kentucky.
Currently, Kentucky has 100% of the Crystal Ball predictions, including one from Travis Branham with a confidence level of 7 (high). As for FutureCast predictions, they are 100% in Kentucky.
Will Edwards ultimately decide whether to head to Tennessee or take his talents to Kentucky and be part of what could be one of Calipari’s best recruiting classes?
Take a look at the A Sea of Blue staff predictions below, then react in the comments section!
It’s been an interesting recruiting to say the least since Tennessee was considered the hot favorite for so long.
However, now that we are only days away from Edwards’ announcement, it seems the momentum has shifted in the direction of Kentucky.
Landing Edwards would be huge for Kentucky and teaming him with Kentucky commit Robert Dillingham, and potentially DJ Wagner, would give the Cats a standout line for next season.
Despite Tennessee’s momentum for the majority of this recruiting, I believe Kentucky has swung this recruiting in their favor and will eventually land Edwards as part of their Class of 2023.
Tennessee has always been a thorn in John Calipari’s side since Rick Barnes arrived in Knoxville, and that was starting to include the recruiting trail after the Vols won the recruiting of Kennedy Chandler.
However, Kentucky rebounded in a big way by knocking Cason Wallace out of Tennessee in the 2022 recruiting class. increases the pressure and only prevails in the end.
It seems to be the same scenario with Justin Edwards, who Tennessee had a strong trend for until Calipari took over recruiting. Now, it looks like Kentucky will be the pick on Monday night.
It would be an absolutely colossal victory for Kentucky, as Edwards has the potential to finish as the highest-ranked rookie of the 2023 cycle. He is absolutely a building block on which you can build the Kentucky 2023 basketball team. -24, no matter what DJ Wagner or any other 2023 rookie does.
And give Cal credit. He might lose a little too often in the field to his good pal Barnes, but for the most part he’s the former who always wins the biggest battles on the recruiting track.
Between Edwards’ quality and beating a keen rival for a guy they almost had, this would be a win to really celebrate, and I think the Big Blue Nation is doing that on Monday.
Plus, it’s kind of weird how much Edwards looks like former Wildcats star Malik Monk.
Looking ahead, my first estimate is that the 2023-24 roster includes Edwards, DJ Wagner, Robert Dillingham, Reed Sheppard, Antonio Reeves, CJ Fredrick, Lance Ware, Adou Thiero and Ugonna Kingsley. While not quite complete, this is a roster capable of a Final Four run.
Can Kentucky have high class without DJ Wagner?
Yes. But we all know what the impact of his choice of Kentucky would be. This would end all the rest of the near misses with Cade Cunningham, James Wiseman, Shaedon Sharpe to some extent, etc., and calm some of the panic in the minds of fans.
Are things as complicated for DJ as they seem on the outside? Maybe things are clear to him regarding his decision. Who knows.
I think when the dust finally settles, he finally chooses Kentucky.
This recruitment has been interesting to follow over the past few months.
It almost seemed like a lock that Edwards would end up in the Tennessee class, but John Calipari then dunked John Calipari to mend the relationship with the talented forward. Since then, the Cats have gained more and more momentum. It didn’t stop with his announcement in just a few days.
Edwards would be another great addition to the Class of 2023 and continues to push the UK back to the top of the recruiting charts. With Edwards in the fold alongside Robert Dillingham, Reed Sheppard and potentially DJ Wagner, it would be hard to find a better 1-3 position group.
Coach Calipari took over this recruitment with the intention of obtaining the commitment of one of the best players in the class. And he will when Edwards announces on Monday.
Selfishly, Justin Edwards is perhaps the remaining Kentucky target in 2023 that I want the most. Of course, I say this with Kentucky who have already secured the commitments of Robert Dillingham and Reed Sheppard — two 5-star guards — but Edwards is perhaps the most complete player the Class of 2023 has to offer.
Standing 6-foot-7 and 180 pounds, Edwards has excellent athleticism and a large build. He is proficient in most areas, with room for improvement. On top of all that, he’s aggressive, but rarely plays out of control, and has a good basketball IQ.
Speaking to him at EYBL, Edwards talked about the Kentucky field and how the staff thinks he could be Kentucky’s next big thing. I think it is becoming a reality.