Kentucky's Preseason Top 50 High School Players

Drew Barker - Student Sports

The Louisville Courier-Journal has published their top 50 players in Kentucky. I decided to take a look at the list a little differently.

See the C-J's list here. I find it odd that Elijah Bell isn't on it.

The list below is comprised of the 2014, 2015, and 2016 recruiting classes. Only the 2014 class has been rated and ranked by Rivals. According to Rivals, there are six players rated above 2 stars. Rivals only ranked five players in their state rankings as shown below. Of those, Matt Elam is the only one who hasn't committed.

2014:

#1 Drew Barker QB - (Hebron) Connor HS - Rivals (5.9) 4 star - Kentucky

#2 Matt Elam DL - (Elizabethtown) John Hardin HS - Rivals (5.8) 4 star - Uncommitted

#3 Reggie Bonnafon QB - (Louisville) Trinity - (5.6) 3 star - Louisville

#4 Llyod Tubman DE - (Louisville) Seneca - (5.5) 3 star - Vanderbilt

#5 Adrian Middleton DT - (Bowling Green ) South Warren - (5.5) 3 star - Kentucky

Unranked, but rated:

Sean Nuernberger K - (Buckner) Oldham County - (5.5) 3 star - Ohio State

DeAndre Farris WR - (Shelbyville) Collins - (5.4) 2 star - Western Kentucky

Robert Jones QB - (Louisville) Valley - (5.4) 2 star - Uncommitted

Marcelis Logan RB - Lexington Catholic - (5.4) 2 star - Uncommitted

Chris Porter-Bunton WR - (Bowling Green) Warren Central - (5.4) 2 star - Uncommitted

Lenny Broyles DT - (Louisville) St. Xavier - (5.3) 2 star - Uncommitted

Ryan Duvall DE - (Owensboro) Apollo - (5.3) 2 star - Western Kentucky

Joel Iyiegbuniwe LB - (Bowling Green) South Warren - (5.3) 2 star - Uncommitted

John Kurtz OL - (Louisville) St. Xavier - (5.3) 2 star - Uncommitted

Derik Overstreet DE - (Paducah) Tilghman - (5.3) 2 star - Western Kentucky

Nick True TE - (Ft. Thomas) Highlands - (5.3) 2 star - Western Kentucky

Masai Whyte LB - (Shelbyville) Collins - (5.3) 2 star - Western Kentucky

Seth Hope DE - (Ft. Thomas) Highlands - (5.2) 2 star - Cornell

Treyveon Percell RB - (Louisville) St. Xavier - (5.2) 2 star - Uncommitted

Evan Sayner DE - (Paducah) McCracken County - (5.2) 2 star - Western Kentucky

Kendall Sowards OL - (Union) Ryle - (5.2) 2 star - Indiana State

Not Rated/Not Ranked:

Joe Brown APB - (Louisville) Butler - (NR) NR - Uncommitted

Sam Burchell LB - Covington Catholic - (NR) NR - Uncommitted

Will Bush WR - (Louisville) Ballard - (NR) NR - Uncommitted

Scott Daniel WR - (Georgetown) Scott County - (NR) NR - Uncommitted

Austin Dais RB/ATH - (Louisville) St. Xavier - (NR) NR - Uncommitted

Nacarius Fant WR - Bowling Green - (NR) NR - Uncommitted

Marianno Fletcher DT - (Louisville) Seneca - (NR) NR - Uncommitted

Phillip Francis LB - (Louisville) Central - (NR) NR - Uncommitted

Devin Hayes  QB - Bowling Green - (NR)NR - Uncommitted

Dekota Jones RB - (Louisville) St. Xavier - (NR) NR - Uncommitted

Derquoine Mobley LB - (Louisville) Central - (NR) NR - Uncommitted

B.J. Nagle QB - (Louisville) St. Xavier - (NR) NR - Uncommitted

Cole Ousley QB - (Paducah) Lone Oak - (NR) NR - Uncommitted

Lincoln Quick LB - Bowling Green - (NR) NR - Uncommitted

Darrius Spivey-Nunn DB - (Paducah) Tilghman - (NR) NR - Uncommitted

Donald Styles LB - (Louisville) Central - (NR) NR - Uncommitted

Cody Swabek WR - (Louisville) Trinity - (NR) NR - Uncommitted

R.J. Taylor DB - (Lexington) Tates Creek - (NR) NR - Uncommitted

Charles Walker WR - (Louisville) St. Xavier - (NR) NR - Uncommitted

2015:

Damien Harris RB - (Berea) Madison Southern - (NR) NR - Michigan

Cody McPeek OL - (Ashland) Fairview - (NR) NR - Uncommitted

Reece Ryan QB - Lexington Catholic - (NR) NR - Uncommitted

Elijah Sindelar QB - (Princeton) Caldwell County - (NR) NR - Uncommitted

Emmitt Smith LB - (Bowling Green) Warren Central - (NR) NR - Uncommitted

2016:

Zyaire Hughes ATH - (Paducah) McCracken County - (NR) NR - Uncommitted

Keion Wakefield WR - (Louisville) Male - (NR) NR - Uncommitted

Landon Young (OL) - (Lexington) Lafayette - (NR) NR - Kentucky

I decided to take a look at the Maxpreps Kentucky preseason all-state team and it matches up with the Courier-Journal pretty well. You can see that here.

There should be a couple of things that jump out for you. First, Louisville has the preponderance of talent. That’s followed by Elizabethtown west to Paducah. Northern Kentucky follows and then there are little pockets of talent south and east of Lexington.

What’s going on with Lexington, Danville, Harrodsburg, Corbin, Mt. Sterling, Somerset, London, Middlesboro, Hazard and Harlan? These towns all used to produce some talent. I would like to know what happened to Corbin especially. There is a book that was recently published called the Boys from Corbin which chronicles the extraordinary amount of athletic talent, especially football talent, that this small town has produced.

Sports Hall of Fames are dotted with Corbin stars, according to the book:

Frank Selvy
Rodger Bird
Calvin Bird
Billy Bird
Jerry Bird
Steve Bird
Roy Kidd
Nick Denes
David Selvy
Fred Radar
Mel Chandler
Princess McBurney
Jesse Grant
Marvin Selvy
Bobby Terrell
Curly Selvy
Edd Selvy
Ted Meadors
Jerry Smith
Bob Barton
Tommy Adkins
Bob Coleman
Marion Cluggish
Curt Selvy

There are others who were prep All-Americans, college All-Americans, NBA and NFL all-stars. The Boys from Corbin—America's Greatest Little Sports Town is not just a story . . . it's a phenomenon.

The best of all of them was Calvin Bird, according to Corbin historian, Bill Crook, in this Kingsport (TN) Times story.  One of Kentucky's greats passed away on June 19th.  You can read about one of my UK heroes from my youth here. It is well worth reading.

R.I.P. # 21, R.I.P.

Is high school football dying a slow death in Kentucky?  What do you think?

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