After missing on several of its top center prospects, some were starting to think Kentucky may go begging for a big man in the 2012 class.
At least one elite Division-I coach thinks Cauley has the potential to be a future first round pick.
Olathe (Kan.) Northwest 7-footer Willie Cauley committed to UK coach John Calipari late Sunday evening, Cauley's AAU coach with MoKan Elite, Matt Suther, confirmed with CatsPause.com Monday morning.
Cauley's commitment comes on the heels of a visit from Calipari to his football game Friday night and after those in recruiting circles were beginning to think the tide had turned back to Cauley staying close to home.
In attendance for Big Blue Madness earlier this month, Cauley, who had attended similiar events at Kansas State and Oklahoma State, was blown away by the atmosphere on his visit to UK.
"I went to Kansas State and Oklahoma State and it was packed. It wasn't 24,000 fans though," Cauley told CatsPause.com in a previous interview. "It was crazy."
In the end Cauley, ranked as the No. 36 overall prospect in the 2012 class by 247Sports, Cauley selected UK over Alabama, Florida and Kansas State.
Cauley, who doubles as a wide receiver for Olathe Northwest, has had a monster senior season on the gridiron as an almost indefensible redzone target, catching almost 50 balls for close to 1,000 yards and approximately 14 touchdowns.
A near 7-footer sporting a 7-3 wingspan, Cauley is very athletic and runs the floor extremely well for his size. Already a defensive presence, as his offensive game continues to progress, at least one elite Division-I coach thinks Cauley has the potential to be a future first round NBA Draft pick.
He joins Little Rock (Ark.) Sylvan Hills guard Archie Goodwin as UK's second commit of the 2012 class. The Cats are still actively recruiting Anthony Bennett, Gary Harris, Shabazz Muhammad and Alex Poythress.