It took until Tuesday night for Avery Stuart to make a decision. But the four-star defensive back from Montgomery will be a Wildcat.
Stuart, the No. 197 player in the Class of 2023 per the 247Sports Composite, committed to Kentucky football over Auburn and Florida State Wednesday morning in a ceremony at his school, Alabama Christian.
"I feel like Kentucky just is the place for me," Stuart told reporters. "I went down there and connected with all the players, coaches, all that. It's like one big family down there. ... The players started contacting me before I even got there (for my visit)."
Florida State seemed to be a slight favorite until Monday, when 247Sports' Zach Blostein and Steve Wiltfong submitted Crystal Ball predictions for Kentucky. On3 had the Wildcats' chances of landing Stuart at 74.5% Tuesday afternoon, with the Seminoles at 23.3%.
AVERY STUART: What Kentucky is getting in 4-star DB from Montgomery
At the time of his commitment, Stuart held over 20 offers. He took official visits to Kentucky (June 10-12) and Florida State (June 24-26), and had taken unofficial visits to both schools as well.
"I didn't know much about Kentucky until I went up there," Stuart said. "Coach (Mark) Stoops kept talking about wanting to get me out there. I fell in love the first time I went."
In Stuart, Kentucky gets a big (6-foot-2, 175-pound), versatile defensive back who has played cornerback, safety and even outside linebacker at ACA, though Stuart thinks he'll mostly play safety in college.
A Montgomery Advertiser All-Metro selection, Stuart made 41 tackles, 24 pass breakups and two interceptions his junior year as the Eagles went 7-4 and allowed 16 points on average.
Stuart also showed off his athleticism, including a 40-inch vertical, on the basketball court last winter. He averaged close to 20 points per game and earned All-Metro honors.
Stuart is the ninth Class of 2023 commit to Kentucky and also its highest ranked. Before Stuart's commitment, the Wildcats had the No. 54 class in the nation (No. 9 in the SEC), per 247Sports.
Jacob Shames can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, by phone at 334-201-9117 and on Twitter @Jacob_Shames.
This article originally appeared on Montgomery Advertiser: Kentucky football lands Avery Stuart, 4-star DB from Alabama Christian