Monday, June 7, 2010

Top in-state players for 2011 class

As most UK fans know, the state of Kentucky doesn’t produce many SEC caliber football players on a yearly basis. On average the state produces about six players and UK typically signs a couple. However, in 2011 things are a little different. Currently Kentucky has three in-state players committed and Louisville has five committed for 2011. Several of the committed recruits have told me the rival school is still recruiting them.

Below are 20 names to keep an eye on for the 2011 class. Again, some of the players below have given verbal commitments, but are still being recruited by other schools. Look for these players to attend camps and combines this summer to improve their recruiting stock. Based on offers and interviews here are the rankings. We will continue to update this going forward. Please feel free to post any feedback.

1. Jon Davis (Eastern) has given his verbal commitment to Kentucky and could be the top athlete in the state. Based on his size, speed and strength his stock will only continue to rise. Davis could play fullback, linebacker or tight end at the next level, but prefers to play tight end. Davis is still being recruited by Notre Dame, Louisville and Illinois. Simply put, recruits with combination of size and speed don’t come along very often.

2. Lamar Dawson (Boyle County) is one of Kentucky’s primary recruiting targets in the 2011 class. Dawson plays at a high level and will play Linebacker at the next level. Most people feel Dawson is UK’s to lose because of Chuck Smith’s relationship at Boyle County. I have personally interviewed Dawson and can tell you he is far from a “lock”. Look for him to take all of his official visits. He recently received an offer from Michigan.

3. DeVante Parker (Ballard) has given his verbal to Louisville, but UK has made it clear they would continue to recruit the wide receiver. Players like Parker don’t come around very often, so the school that inks him is getting a gem. Assuming both he and DaMarcus Smith stay committed to UofL, they could be connecting to one another for quite some time.

4. Darrian Miller (Bryan Station) has already given his verbal commitment to Kentucky. He projects to play on the offensive line at the next level and could possibly be the top football recruit in the state. Offensive lineman are often not the “sexy” pick as top players, but anyone who understands football realizes their importance.

5. Jamon Brown (Fern Creek) has given his verbal commitment to Louisville, but isn’t 100% committed based on his comments. Brown is another key recruiting target for Kentucky and David Turner is working hard to change his mind. Brown has the size to contribute early at the next level and more schools are getting involved. Solid defensive lineman are rare, just look at the NFL draft to see the importance.

6. Zach West (Lexington Christian) has taken visits to both Kentucky, Louisville and Tennessee among others. West holds offers from Penn State, Kentucky, Louisville and several others. West projects to play Offensive Tackle at the next level due to his overall size. There are mixed reports on West, but the there is no denying his potential.

7. DaMarcus Smith (Seneca) has already given his verbal commitment to Louisville, but has taken multiple visits to Kentucky. Smith will play Quarterback in college and has acknowledged he likes UK’s “Pro-Style” offense compared to Louisville’s “Spread”. Joker Phillips and Company are actively recruiting smith.

8. Jerrell Moore (Fern Creek) has given his verbal commitment to Louisville and appears to be a package deal with his teammates (Brown and Harrington). Moore is very fast, but will need to put on more weight to be an every down running back in college. He does have an offer from Kentucky to play running back. Louisville is recruiting him to play Slot Receiver and to return kick-offs. Illinois is also actively recruiting Moore.

9. Forisse “Flo” Hardin (Ballard) could be the most underrated prospect in the state. Hardin holds offers from Indiana and Kentucky while Louisville is showing interest. Hardin’s brother plays for the Hoosier’s and his teammate, Devante Parker, has given his pledge to Louisville. In watching his film, Hardin is fast, physical and will make an impact on defense at the next level.

10. Josh Forrest (Tilghman) has committed to Kentucky for the class of 2011. Forrest currently plays wide receiver, but is expected to play tight end at Kentucky. Forrest has a tremendous upside as he has only been playing football for a few years. He is very athletic and has big hands.

11. Jalen Harrington (Fern Creek) has given his verbal commitment to Louisville. Harrington projects to play Safety or Outside Linebacker at the next level. He is another very athletic player who has a tremendous upside. Much like Brown and Moore, he too appears to be a package deal to Louisville with his teammates.

12. Henry Mitchell (Elizabethtown) is very athletic and received offers from the Big 10 and Big East. Mitchell plays basketball which shows his athletic ability and all schools are recruiting him to play Tight End as he is 6’5”. Neither Kentucky or Louisville appear to be showing much interest at this time.

13. Conner Hempel (Ryle) is one of the top Quarterbacks in the state and already sports an offer from Western Kentucky. Hempel will receive a lot of interest as he carries a 3.7 GPA and has schools like Stanford, Northwestern, Vanderbilt and Harvard recruiting him. All of the in-state schools are recruiting him and he has already taken unofficial visits to most.

14. Marcoreyon “Bubba” Tandy (Christian County) is one of the top wide receivers in the state for 2010. Tandy already has an offer from Western Kentucky and will work out at UK on May 30th. He is also receiving interest from other programs and should see more offers come his way. If his workout goes well at Kentucky, he could become a Wildcat.

15. Neal Pawsat (Mason County) is one of the top quarterback and receiving interest from all of the in-state programs. Neal was injured last year and is poised to have a monster year for his final campaign. He is receiving interest from Kentucky, Louisville, Murray State among others.

16. Jerry Williams (Henry Clay) plays quarterback in high school, but most are recruiting him as an athlete. Based on feedback I’ve received, UK likes him as a defensive back. Williams has taken several visits and receiving interest from all in-state schools among others.

17. Kal Prince (Owensboro) is being recruited by most schools as a quarterback, but don’t rule him out as an athlete. Prince is very fast and like most players who are the son of a coach, very smart. Prince has worked out for several teams and receiving a lot of interest. He was one of the better performers at the Elite 11 QB camp in Alabama.

18. Zack Templin (East Jessimine) projects to play guard at the next level and is one of the strongest recruits in the state. “Big Temp” continues to impress and is receiving interest from Marshall, Eastern Kentucky and Kentucky among others.

19. Ryan Smith (Henry Clay) is one of the top defensive linemen in the state for 2010. Navy is recruiting Smith hard along with several other programs. Based on my interview with Smith, some schools are recruiting him to play offensive line.

20. Lamont McMurry (St. Xavier) could be one of the best athletes in the state. During his junior season he amassed over 2,000 all-purpose yards. He is receiving interest from several in-state programs as well as others.

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