- Mack NIckles C/O 2016 Spotlight
- Jair Anderson 2016 Spotlight
- Jeffrey Vaccaro: A Look Back and Examining His Senior Season
- “Next Up for Boyd Island”
- Under the Radar: Florida Speedster Markenzy Pierre
- Dallas Jeanty, 2016 LB, Ft. Lauderdale High
- The New Age Linebacker-Safety Hybrid
- Graham Coffelt’s Arkansas 16 for 2016
- Kamidrick Shine: Class of 2015 Spotlight
- Ben McDonald’s “Next Up”: Vol. 3
Varsity Preps’ Bluegrass State Report Edition V
- Updated: August 13, 2013
Welcome to the fifth edition of Varsity Preps’ Bluegrass State Report. In this edition, I’ll discuss several underrated players in the state of Kentucky, what I think the 2014 class will look like, and UK targets in the 2015 class.
There are numerous players in the state of Kentucky that are underrated. In my opinion, a handful of those players are: Bennie Berry, Justin Nichols, JuJuan Hailey, Sean Jenkins, Evan Flener.
Bennie Berry (5’9, 165, 4.5/40) plays at Ballard High School in Louisville, Kentucky. Over the summer, he attended three college camps: Eastern Kentucky, Austin Peay, and Illinois. He talked what stood out to him at the Illinois camp.
— Illinois: “I loved the camp and campus environment. The coaching staff welcomed us with open arms and coached us up very well. I was untouchable at the 1-on-1’s and may have caught some small schools attention.”
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Berry has not received any offers, but named his favorites. “Oregon, Louisville, West Virginia, Cincinnati, and Illinois. I’m looking for a program that can give me the ball in the open field because that’s where I’m most dangerous.”
This summer he worked on gaining weight to be more of a power runner and increased his strength, quickness, and speed.
Justin Nichols (6’1, 210, 4.8/40) plays at Fern Creek Traditional High School in Louisville, Kentucky. He plays tight end/defensive end. He has no offers, but is garnering interest from Austin Peay. Over the summer, he attended three programs camps: Austin Peay, Indiana, and Louisville. He talked what stood out to him at the Austin Peay and Louisville camp.
–Austin Peay: “All the coaches introduced themselves and had some current players to talk to us. It felt like a family. I liked that a lot.”
–Louisville: “The camp was the best one because the campus is bigger, had nicer facilities and a nicer stadium. However the Louisville coaching staff was not as open as the Austin Peay coaches.”
Nichols has not received any offers, but named his top 5. “Louisville, Ohio, Kentucky, Austin Peay and Indiana in no particular order.”
This summer he worked on getting stronger and faster.
JaJuan Hailey (5’11, 185, 4.5/40) plays at Louisville Central High School in Louisville, Kentucky. He plays as defensive back. He has one offer from Army and is garnering significant interest from Western Kentucky and Ball State. Over the summer, he camped at two programs: Indiana State and Kentucky. He talked what stood out to him at the Indiana State and Kentucky camp.
— Indiana State: “The coaches told me they were really impressed by my performance and wanted to keep in touch with me. Indiana State has a nice program, the way the coaches run things is similar to what we do at school, so I was really comfortable at their camp.”
– Kentucky: “The coaches made me feel important, the program made me feel like I would fit in at the school. Kentucky has a nice program as well.”
He plans on taking three of his five official visits. He is taking one OV to Army, but he’s not sure on the other two. He explains why he is taking an official to Army.
— Army: “I want to see how it is there, to see if I can fit in their program.”
He has no frontrunners and talked about what he’s looking for in a program. “Distance from home, size of the school, what majors are offered, and the chance of playing my freshmen year.”
Over the summer, he worked on attacking the ball in the air and coming out of his breaks faster.
Sean Jenkins # 23 in the picture (5’9, 145, 4.7/40) plays at Fern Creek Traditional High School in Louisville, Kentucky. He plays running back. He did not attend any college camps. He has no offers and has not heard from any program.
What he is looking for in a program when making his decision: “I’m looking at the coaching staff, how they use the run game, and having the family feeling.”
He worked this summer on speed and conditioning.
Evan Flener (5’11, 250, 5.2/40) plays at Fern Creek Traditional High School. He plays every position on the offensive line and kicks. He has not heard from any schools and did not attend any camps over this summer. UL is the program he likes the most because of the coaching staff and has teammates that want to attend at the University of Louisville.
This summer he worked on getting stronger, improving his footwork and speed.
The Kentucky class is nearly full at the moment with 22 commits. Kentucky can take at least 27 players in this class, maybe even 28. The staff will take two more WR’s, one OL, one DL, one CB, and one safety. This is what I think the class will look like on NSD next February.
Kentucky 2014 class
Drew Barker (QB)
Mikel Horton (RB)
Stanley Williams (RB)
TV Williams (WR)
Blake Bone (WR)
Dorian Baker (WR)
Garrett Johnson (WR)
Thaddeus Snodgrass (WR)
Darryl Long (TE)
Nick Richardson (OL)
Marcelys Jones (OL)
Derrick Kelly (OL)
Jarrett LaRubbio (OL)
Tymere Dubose (DE)
Denzel Ware (DE)
Matt Elam (DT)
Adrian Middleton (DT)
Cory Johnson (DT)
Kobie Walker (LB)
Ryan Flannigan (LB)
Dorian Hendrix (LB)
Nico Firios (LB)
Marshon Lattimore (CB)
Shyquawn Pullium (CB)
Jared Tucker (CB)
Mike Edwards (CB/S)
Darius West (S)
T.J. Harrell (S/LB)
Wonder why I think Blake Bone and Dorian Baker joins the 2014 class?
— Blake Bone’s finalists are Kentucky and South Carolina. He recently tweeted out he will be making his decision in the next few weeks. Earlier this week, Kentucky QB commit Drew Barker tweeted out Yahtzee! which means Kentucky just landed a commitment. The commitment hasn’t been publicized yet, but all indications are Blake Bone will be wearing the Blue and White. If in fact he does commit to Kentucky, where does that leave Moral Stephens? I personally think Moral Stephens will be a more dangerous player than Blake Bone because he can be a hybrid tight end/wide receiver and can create mismatches against opposing linebackers.
– Dorian Baker also camped at Kentucky recently and earned an offer after his stellar performance. He mentioned Kentucky being on the top when I talked to him after the camp. He tweeted out recently that he wanted UK gear to wear. He is very high on Kentucky board and his interest in Kentucky is very high as well. I would be shocked if he doesn’t become a Kentucky Wildcat when NSD rolls around.
Kentucky Targets in the 2015 class
— Ryan Davis (5’10, 165, 4.5/40) plays at Lakewood High School in St. Petersburg, Florida. He is considered an ATH. He has received offers from Florida State, Vanderbilt, Kentucky, South Florida, Cincinnati, Arizona, and Wake Forest. Kentucky, South Florida, Tennessee, Florida State, and Vanderbilt are currently recruiting him the hardest. Over the summer, he camped at two programs: Florida State and Florida. He talked what stood out to him at the Florida State and Florida camp.
–Florida State: “I really love the FSU coaches because they are straight forward and family oriented, which I really like and the FSU campus is great. The coaches told me I can come in and make a major impact. I like FSU’s tradition, they’re known as a power house in college football.”
— Florida: “UF coaches showed some interest in me. They want to evaluate me some more, but the program is great and knows how to win. Their campus seems always has something going on and I love the facilities.”
Davis told Varsity Preps where Kentucky stands in his recruitment and why he is interested in UK.
“Kentucky is up and coming program, the coaching staff is telling me I can come in and make a instant impact. That’s very appealing to me, being able to play as a freshman. Kentucky is very high on my list. I will be visiting Kentucky after the season.”
The junior standout talked about what he’s seeking from a college program. “I’m looking at the coaching staff and the scheme the coaching staff runs. I’m also looking at a program where I will feel most comfortable with.”
He is in no hurry on making his college decision.
— Alex Ofodile (6’3, 190, 4.5/40) Rock Bridge High School in Columbia, Missouri currently holds five offers from Memphis, Northwestern, Kentucky, Wisconsin and Vanderbilt. Missouri is also expressing interest.
Ofodile explained where hometown program Missouri stood in his recruitment.
— Missouri: “It’s hard to say right now. The coaching staff likes me and I’ve always been a big fan of Missouri, so they are definitely up there.”
Over this summer, Ofodile camped at three programs. Kentucky, Northwestern and Wisconsin.
“All three camps were great, I like all the coaching staffs and campuses. I’ll be visiting these three programs again before I makes a decision.”
When he selects a program, he will be looking at these factors: relationships with the coaching staff, quality of the strength and conditioning program, style of offense, and personalities of the current players and recruits.
He’ll make his college choice during the season.
— Tyler Jordan (6’4, 270, 5.2/40) Bishop Kenny High School in Jacksonville, Florida has no offers, but is garnering interest from Georgia State, Duke, Bucknell, and Kentucky. He plays left tackle.
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Over the summer, Jordan camped at two ACC programs and one SEC program: Georgia Tech, Wake Forest and Kentucky. He explained which program stood out over the other two.
“I was impressed the most by UK because of the coaching staff and facilities. It was also much more organized than the other two camps.”
He received feedback from Kentucky offensive lineman coach John Schlarman. “He said he was impressed with my aggressiveness, my work ethic and how much bigger I became since coming to Kentucky’s spring game. UK would like to see me play some center as well. I’m more interested in UK than the other programs because the coaching staff has been recruiting me the hardest.”
Over the summer, he also visited Auburn and Duke. “I was impressed by both programs because of the campus and facilities.”
He’ll make his decision some time next summer.
– Gerald Robinson Jr. (5’11, 180, 4.5/40) plays at Champagnat Catholic in Hialeah, Florida and currently holds two offers from Central Florida and Kentucky. Robinson is also garnering interest from Miami (FL) and Arkansas.
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His summer plans consisted of visiting Kentucky, Louisville, Alabama and Cincinnati, but only one program stood out after his visits.
— Kentucky: “I like the coaching staff a lot. The campus is nice and have a good academic program.”
He told Varsity Preps his Top 2 and who’s his frontrunner currently. “Kentucky and Miami are my top two, but Miami is my favorite.
“Miami is my favorite because I grew up a Miami fan. I had an uncle who played there, Ethenic Sands, so I was always around the Canes. I was also at their spring game.”
The junior standout talked about what he’s seeking from a college program. “I want to be somewhere I can get my college degree, have a close knit relationship with the team and coaches.”
He’ll make his decision on National Signing Day.