Preview: Top Kentucky high school football players for 2012

mfields@herald-leader.comAugust 11, 2012 

  • Top players in Kentucky

    (Based on a survey of coaches)

    Drew Barker, Conner 6-4 205 QB Jr.

    Blake Bir, Covington Catholic 6-1 200 QB Sr.

    Hunter Bivin, Apollo 6-6 290 OL/DL Sr.

    Joey Bloomfield, Ballard 6-6 295 OL Sr.

    Kyle Bolin, Lexington Catholic 6-2 185 QB Sr.

    Demontre Boyd, Central 6-0 170 LB Sr.

    Nick Britt, Russell Co. 5-8 165 RB/DB Sr.

    Domonick Brown, John Hardin 6-1 235 LB Sr.

    Michael Bush, Warren Central 6-0 185 QB/DB Sr.

    Jeffrey Canady, Knox Central 6-1 214 WR/ATH Sr.

    Justin Carr, Lafayette 6-3 225 LB Sr.

    Logan Cart, Owensboro 6-4 300 DL Sr.

    Scott Daniel, Scott Co. 6-1 180 WR Jr.

    Dayln Dawkins, Trinity 5-10 180 RB Sr.

    Tyler Durham, Campbell Co. 6-4 215 QB/TE Sr.

    Nacarius Fant, Bowling Green 5-10 165 WR Jr.

    Shane Fields, Eastern 6-0 175 CB Sr.

    Kahlil Frame, Fulton City 6-5 295 OL/DL Sr.

    Jason Hatcher, Trinity 6-3 235 DE Sr.

    Dominique Hawkins, Madison Central 6-1 195 RB/DB Sr.

    Spencer Hemmer, Covington Catholic 6-3 265 TE/DE Sr.

    Kentayvus Hopkins, Bourbon Co. 5-11 195 RB/S Sr.

    Jacob Hyde, Clay Co. 6-3 320 OL/DL Sr.

    Aaron Jackson, Frankfort 6-2 180 WR/DB Sr.

    Jonathan Jackson, Mayfield 6-0 215 RB/LB Sr.

    Cam Lewis, Ballard 6-3 190 WR Sr.

    Donovan McCoy, Highlands 6-1 190 QB/WR Sr.

    Tony Messer, Belfry 6-3 230 TE/DE Sr.

    Jake Middleton, Harlan Co. 5-10 195 RB/LB Sr.

    Max Nussbaum, Beechwood 6-1 190 RB/LB Sr.

    Jordan Olinger, Hazard 6-2 210 WR Sr.

    Cole Ousley, Lone Oak 6-3 185 QB Jr.

    Tyler Owen, Ballard 6-1 185 QB Sr.

    Dennis Oxendine, Tates Creek 5-11 190 RB/DB Sr.

    Brandon Parks, Madison Central 6-3 250 DL Sr.

    Austin Pray, Perry Central 6-2 185 WR/DB Sr.

    James Quick, Trinity 6-1 180 WR Sr.

    Chris Roberts, Franklin Co. 6-2 260 RB/DE Jr.

    Karl Roesler, St. Xavier 6-3 230 DE Sr.

    DiShan Romine, Manual 5-11 185 RB Sr.

    Ty Saragas, Harlan 6-0 180 QB Sr.

    LaBront Scott, Murray 6-3 235 DE Sr.

    Jack Sherry, South Oldham 6-5 210 QB Sr.

    Ryan Timmons, Franklin Co. 5-11 175 WR/ATH Sr.

    Richard Trent, Breathitt Co. 6-0 195 QB/DB Sr.

    Devin Watson, Jeffersontown 5-11 235 DL/LB Sr.

    Ryan White, Trinity 5-9 175 DB Sr.

    Chad Wilson, Monroe Co. 6-1 190 QB Sr.

    Logan Woodside, Franklin Co. 6-2 190 QB Sr.

    Travis Wright, Trinity 6-1 185 QB Sr.

  • Season preview

    This is the fourth in a series of stories looking at high school football leading up to the opening of the season on Friday. Coming up this week:

    Monday: Lexington Catholic

    Tuesday: Lexington Christian

    Wednesday: Paul Dunbar

    Thursday: Tates Creek, plus Central Kentucky schools outside of Lexington

Most people have a Quick answer when asked to choose a pre-season favorite for Kentucky's Mr. Football.

James Quick, Trinity's senior wide receiver who already has 191 catches, 2,957 yards and 40 touchdowns in his career, is a popular pick.

Trinity linebacker Jason Hatcher and defensive back Ryan White usually make the Mr. Football conversation, too, along with Lexington Catholic quarterback Kyle Bolin, who has committed to Louisville, and Apollo lineman Hunter Bivin, who's bound for Notre Dame.

Quick gets the most attention because of his talent, accomplishments and status as a coveted recruit, and because he's a stick-out star for the defending national champs.

But Franklin County Coach Chris Tracy thinks Flyers senior wide receiver Ryan Timmons deserves just as much hype for Mr. Football.

"I'd put Ryan up against anybody in the state, including Quick," Tracy said.

Quick and Timmons have a lot in common. Both are marvelous athletes not only in football, but also in basketball and track.

Quick had a fabulous junior year. He helped Trinity to state titles in football and basketball, and he was state champ in the Class 3A 200-meter dash. (He was runner-up in the 100.)

Timmons had a terrific junior year, too. He led Franklin County to its first unbeaten regular season in football in 32 years; he was a standout on the Flyers' basketball team that reached the 11th Region semifinals; and he swept the 100 and 200 dashes in the 2A state track meet.

Quick has scholarship offers from such powers as Alabama, Ohio State and Oregon as well as Kentucky and Louisville. He said he will announce his college decision in early January at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl Game in San Antonio.

Timmons has offers from Arkansas, UK, Purdue, Illinois and WKU. Tracy thinks Ohio State will get on that list, too. Timmons hopes to make his college choice before the end of September.

There's no argument that Timmons and Quick are the two most electrifying players in the state.

Last season Timmons, a 5-foot-11, 195-pound burner, had 38 catches for 1,100 yards and 18 touchdowns, and he ran 62 times for 1,382 yards and 20 TDs. He put on a phenomenal show against Woodford County when he touched the ball 10 times and had seven touchdowns.

Timmons, who wears No. 5 like his favorite player Reggie Bush wore at Southern Cal, tried to explain his game-breaking skills:

"When I get the ball I'm thinking, 'don't get touched" — like when I was a little kid playing tag or flag football. So every time I get the ball I do my best not to get touched, fall down or get tackled."

Tracy said Timmons has special "spatial" awareness and vision.

"Against Anderson County last year, there were literally three guys converging on him. Ryan stopped, and all three guys ran into each other. Ryan went around them and scored.

"Nobody in the state has the side-to-side stuff that Ryan does."

The 6-1, 180-pound Quick has been a key cog in helping Trinity's Big Green Machine churn out state titles the past two years. At his best when he's stretching the field, Quick had 82 catches for 1,434 yards and 21 TDs last season. As a sophomore he had 88 catches for 1,115 yards and 15 TDs.

Quick said playing different sports makes him a better athlete. "Track helps me with my speed in football; football helps me with my physicalness in basketball, and basketball keeps me in shape for all sports."

Quick and Timmons have the same team goal this football season: a state title.

Trinity, a prohibitive favorite in 6A, is seeking its 10th championship in 12 years, and 22nd overall. Coach Bob Beatty's Rock stars include Hatcher, who has committed to Southern Cal, White, who's committed to Vanderbilt, and quarterback Travis Wright, who's passed for 5,773 yards and 73 TDs over the last two years.

Can Trinity match last season's 14-0 record and No. 1 national rating (by Sports Illustrated and Rivals.com)?

"Absolutely," Quick said. "We're going to try to do everything we did last year, but even better. We know we've got to work even harder."

Franklin County hopes to build on last season's success when it won its first 11 games before getting blasted by Conner 84-48 in the second round of the 5A playoffs.

The Flyers' offense should be just as potent as last year when it averaged 50 points a game. Besides Timmons, they return quarterback Logan Woodside, who threw for 2,560 yards and 29 TDs, and skill guys Greg Maupin and Chris Roberts.

"Everybody here is expecting big things," Tracy said. "I remind the players at least once a practice about how we finished last season, and how we don't want it to end like that again."

Mr. Football winners are almost always offensive stars who post big numbers, which Timmons and Quick figure to do.

Quarterbacks have won Mr. Football honors 13 times in 26 years, and Bolin might be the front-runner at that glamor position. The Lexington Catholic standout has thrown for 5,482 yards and 49 TDs, and run for 924 yards and 18 TDs in his career.

Even though the 6-6, 290-pound Bivin is regarded as one of the top college prospects in the state, the odds are stacked against an offensive lineman winning Mr. Football.

Mike Fields: (859) 231-3337. Twitter: @MikeFieldsNotes. Blog: fieldsnotes.bloginky.com

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