Winton Woods senior linebacker Chris Oats was the Division II state defensive player of the year in 2017. (Photo from Mark Porter/ScoutingOhio.com)

Winton Woods standout linebacker Chris Oats signs with the University of Kentucky

CINCINNATI -- Winton Woods senior linebacker Chris Oats loves everything about the University of Kentucky. That feeling was further cemented during his visit to Lexington this past weekend.

On Wednesday morning, the four-star recruit made it official. He officially signed with the Wildcats.

"It's a great moment for me, my family and my teammates," Oats told WCPO.com.

Oats, a four-star recruit, was the area's most highly-ranked player who remained uncommitted entering National Signing Day Wednesday. 

Big Blue Nation will certainly be ecstatic at adding the 6-foot-5 1/2 and 220-pound Oats. The Winton Woods standout said the UK coaches like his athleticism and the way he runs and tackles in space. Oats said he likes the coaching staff and the scheme the Wildcats use.

Oats was one of the state’s most highly recruited players in the 2018 class. His impact for the Warriors' defense was well-known throughout a special journey to the state final.

Oats had 89 tackles, 33 assisted tackles, 12 tackles for loss, two interceptions and a blocked kick in the regular season.

“The best player in the state of Ohio,” Winton Woods coach Andre Parker said this past season. “…The most gifted player I have seen.”

Oats had scholarship offers that also included Ohio State, Georgia, Louisville, Oklahoma, Michigan State, Miami (Fla.), Michigan and several others, according to 247Sports and WCPO. His recruiting journey the past few weeks had been in the spotlight plenty as speculation grew of where he would sign.

Oats, a three-year starter and team captain, was named the Division II state defensive player of the year in 2017 as he helped the Warriors to the Division II state final in Canton Nov. 30.

Winton Woods defeated three-time defending Division II state champion La Salle in a memorable regional final. The Warriors rallied to defeat Massillon Washington in a state semifinal in Columbus.

Outbrain