LEXINGTON ? The 2004 Kentucky recruiting class was tabbed as the 25th best class in the country according to Collegiate Baseball, it was announced Thursday.

?This is a great start for us,? said second-year head coach John Cohen. ?It?s not where we want to be inevitably, but out of all the programs in the country, I think this is a great step ahead for the Kentucky program.

?A recruiting class takes two years, in my opinion, to put together. We had to put this class together almost instantaneously. So, to have this quality of a class in that short a time is a real credit to (assistant coaches) Gary Henderson, Jan Weisberg and Brad Bohannon. They worked extremely hard to get the kind of players that we wanted for our team.?

The class features 22 new players including two from Canada. Only eight of the newcomers call Kentucky home while the remaining players home states range from California and South Dakota to Louisiana and New York.

?If you look back over the past six months and there aren?t many weekends when our assistant coaches have been at home. They?ve been on the road recruiting,? Cohen said. ?That?s very indicative of their hard work.?

Many of the newcomers are expected to step in right away and compete for starting positions for Kentucky.

?I am very pleased with our group. I think the class has tremendous balance,? Cohen said. ?It has power, it has speed and it has pitching. We?re very pleased with it and I think it?s a great jumpstart for our program.?

Kentucky began fall practice on Tuesday and will hold five weeks of practice to prepare for the 2005 season which begins in February.

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