Five-star defensive tackle Matt Elam commits to Kentucky over Alabama

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Matt Elam turned down Ohio State and Alabama to stay in-state at Kentucky. (Photo courtesy of 247Sports)

Five-star recruit Matt Elam chose Kentucky over Alabama. (Photo courtesy of 247Sports)

At least one blue-chip recruit is staying home rather than joining forces with Nick Saban at Alabama. Defensive tackle Matt Elam, a five-star prospect (by some recruiting services) from Elizabethtown, Ky., announced in a press conference on Thursday that he has committed to Kentucky over the Crimson Tide.

The 6-foot-5, 370-pound Elam said the opportunity to stay home and help build the Wildcat program was an enticing offer. (Transcript via

"I feel like that's one of the main reasons I stayed -- just to help my in-state program," he said. "I feel like I can do whatever I can do anywhere else at the University of Kentucky and it's in my home state.

"It is very hard to turn down Alabama. It's the mecca of football," he added. "I will say I love what they're doing down there. I hope they keep it up."

Elam also fielded offers from Notre Dame, Ohio State and Tennessee during the recruiting process.

While announcing his commitment publicly on Thursday, Elam said that he had actually committed to Kentucky coach Mark Stoops two days ago. The prospect of playing under Stoops was perhaps the biggest selling point for Elam's commitment.

Stoops himself seemed pretty excited on Twitter on Thursday.