Danville’s D’Mauriae VanCleave is like a Swiss Army knife.
He has a lot of uses, especially if you need your Swiss Army knife to run a 4.3 40.
If you haven’t heard about the lightning quick back from perennial football powerhouse Danville, odds are you will come away impressed once you have.
VanCleave you see is the 2017 Kentucky Mr. Football, the first to hail from Danville and the third from Boyle County, joining Jeff Duggins (2001) and Lamar Dawson (2010) from Boyle County High School..
VanCleave has gained statewide recognition of his football accomplishments. He was named to the Louisville Courier-Journal’s All-State team and to the Lexington Herald-Leader’s Class of the Commonwealth team as well.
Statistically speaking, the 5-7 VanCleave has put up some staggering numbers for the Admirals. For his career, VanCleave caught 220 passes (seventh all-time) for 3,012 yards, good for 18th in state history. The multi-talented receiver also rushed for 1,317 yards and scored 73 touchdowns for his career. VanCleave was also stellar on defense as the Danville athlete totaled 116 tackles and 12 interceptions.
In his senior campaign, VanCleave was a star for the Ads. On offense, Vancleave caught 82 passes for 1,095 yards, rushed for 762 yards and 11 touchdowns on 72 carries, leading Danville to a perfect 15-0 record and the school’s first state championship since 2003.
His accomplishments have caught the attention of that university north on highway 27, that university being the University of Kentucky. Recently, UK offered VanCleave a spot as a preferred walk-on, according to the Lexington Herald-Leader. As of Saturday, VanCleave has only one scholarship offer from Wofford, a FBS school in South Carolina.
Why does the Mr. Football of Kentucky only hold one offer? Danville coach Clay Clevenger has an answer. “If he was 5-10, he’s probably being recruited by every school in America.”
Clevenger believes like many that VanCleave deserves a scholarship opportunity at Kentucky. “I don’t think it would be a waste of a scholarship. I think he is somebody, with his skill set, could find their way onto the field.”
History may be on the side of the Admiral star. Every Kentucky recruiting class since 1939 has had at least one player from the state of Kentucky. Currently, there are no players from Kentucky in the Cats recruiting class. VanCleave, his skill set, and his speed could continue the streak.
“You don’t see many kids with a 4.3 40 at any level,” Clevenger said.