Former Top Recruit D.J. Wagner Transfers From Kentucky to Arkansas, Following John Calipari

The guard averaged 9.9 points and 3.3 assists per game in his freshman year for the Wildcats.
D.J. Wagner
D.J. Wagner / Steve Roberts-USA TODAY Sports
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One of the nation's former top recruits is following his former head coach via the transfer portal. On Sunday, Richard Davenport of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported D.J. Wagner was heading to Arkansas from Kentucky hot on the heels of John Calipari.

The news makes Wagner the sixth former Kentucky player or prospect to join the Razorbacks after the Calipari hire.

Wagner entered the transfer portal in April after his freshman season, during which he averaged 9.9 points and 3.3 assists per game while shooting 40.5% from the field. As a high schooler he was heralded as one of the best prospects in the country and entered college ranked No. 4 on ESPN's Top 100 list.

The son of Dajuan Wagner, the 6-foot-4 combo guard showed glimpses of why he was so hyped during the 2023-'24 season. There were dashes of an electric scoring ability and his athleticism was obvious. But the consistency never came as the season went on and Wagner ended up with subpar stats on what was ultimately a subpar Wildcats squad.

Wagner will now attempt to rebuild his NBA stock at Arkansas under Calipari once more. He's been marked as a future lottery pick for years at this point, but Wagner's freshman season called that into serious question. Not a lot went right for anyone at Kentucky last year, admittedly, so perhaps a change of scenery is just what Wagner needs.

He'll get it now. It's a new era in Fayetteville.

Liam McKeone


Liam McKeone is a Senior Writer for the Breaking & Trending News Team at Sports Illustrated. In addition to his role as a writer, he collaborates with other teams across Minute Media to help define his team’s content strategy. He has been in the industry as a content creator since 2017, and prior to joining SI in 2024, Liam worked for NBC Sports Boston and The Big Lead. In addition to his work as a writer, he has hosted the Press Pass Podcast covering sports media and The Big Stream covering pop culture. A graduate of Fordham University, Liam is always up for a good debate and enjoys loudly arguing about sports, rap music, books, and video games. Liam has been a member of the National Sports Media Association (NSMA) since 2020.