The Herald-Leader's 21st Class of the Commonwealth, our salute to 22 of the top high school football seniors in the state, has a green hue to it. Trinity Shamrock green.
Five of the honorees played for Trinity. They were standouts for last year's nationally ranked No. 1 team, and this season's three-peat state champions.
James Quick, a hotly recruited wide receiver, is the highest profile Trinity star. But quarterback Travis Wright, running back Dalyn Dawkins and defenders Jason Hatcher and Ryan White are all Division I prospects, too.
Central Kentucky is well represented in this Class of the Commonwealth.
Lexington Catholic quarterback Kyle Bolin and Tates Creek defensive back Dennis Oxendine made the team.
Franklin County receiver Ryan Timmons and quarterback Logan Woodside also made the honors list, along with Frankfort receiver Aaron Jackson and Bourbon County running back Kentayvus Hopkins.
Players were chosen for the Class of the Commonwealth based primarily on their individual and team accomplishments, and in some cases college potential.
Quarterback, Covington Catholic
Height, weight: 6-1, 200
Credentials: A three-year starter, Bir threw for 7,017 yards and 89 TDs, and ran for 535 yards and six TDs. He set single-season and school records for passing yards and TDs. Bir led CovCath to a 25-13 record in his career, with six losses to district rival (and state champ) Highlands. Bir, also a standout in the class room, is looking at Ivy League schools.
Offensive lineman, Apollo
Height, weight: 6-6, 290
Credentials: Bivin, who has committed to Notre Dame, is considered one of the top offensive line prospects in the nation. Bivin has size, savvy, great footwork and is dedicated to getting better. "He has the ability to play any spot on the offensive line, so his versatility is appealing as well," Apollo Coach Dan Crume said. A four-year starter on the o-line, Bivin also played and/or started on the defensive line, served as long snapper, and also punted and kicked.
Height, weight: 6-6, 300
Credentials: Ballard Coach Mike Jackson said Bloomfield not only has the size to play at the Division I level (he committed to Kansas), he also has the work ethic. "Not many high-profile kids are willing to address their weaknesses and do the work to fix them, but Joey will." Bloomfield is considered an offensive tackle primarily, but also played nose guard for Ballard.
Quarterback, Lexington Catholic
Height, weight: 6-2, 185
Credentials: If not for a season-ending knee injury midway through his senior season, Bolin might have threatened Justin Burke's school record for passing yards (8,770). Bolin, who has committed to Louisville, finished his career with 7,038 yards and 63 TDs. He also rushed for 1,107 yards and 22 TDs. As a junior he threw for more than 3,000 yards and led the Knights to the state semifinals.
Running back, Russell County
Height, weight: 5-8, 165
Credentials: The Lakers' little big man had a huge career that included 106 TDs. Britt used his speed and quickness to rush for 5,638 yards and 95 TDs. He also had 1,087 yards and 8 TDs receiving, and 658 yards and three scores on kick returns. Britt's size has kept him off the recruiting list of big schools. Campbellsville University wants him, and Lindsey Wilson is interested.
Linebacker, John Hardin
Height, weight: 6-1, 235
Credentials: Brown was a three-year starter on John Hardin teams that had an overall record of 39-3. Brown, who has committed to Eastern Kentucky, was a prototypical middle linebacker, with the speed to cover outside and the size and strength to play inside. He finished his career as the Bulldogs' all-time leading tackler. "What made Domonick a great player was his work ethic," Coach Mark Brown said. "EKU is getting a great player, and also a great person."
Running back/defensive back, Knox Central
Height, weight: 6-1, 215
Credentials: One of the most versatile and productive players in the state, Canady did it all for Knox Central in generating 7,447 all-purpose yards and 83 TDs. He rushed for 4,048 yards (11 yards per carry) and had 2,428 receiving yards (19 per catch). Canady, who has committed to EKU, was also a standout on defense and punted for the Panthers. He led them to the best record (10-2) in school history this year.
Running back, Trinity
Height, weight: 5-10, 180
Credentials: Dawkins' remarkably quick feet and lateral moves helped Trinity to three state titles. He rushed for 4,179 yards and totaled 70 TDs in his career. In this year's state finals he had 232 all-purpose yards and three TDs. Cincinnati, Purdue, Illinois and Western Kentucky are among those recruiting him.
Height, weight: 6-3, 235
Credentials: Hatcher was a key defender on three Trinity state title teams, and recorded 13.5 sacks this season. He's got the size and skills of a big-time linebacker. He has committed to Southern Cal, which is where two Mr. Football winners (Paducah Tilghman's Kurt Barber in 1987 and Boyle County's Lamar Dawson in 2010) went to play linebacker. Hatcher said that while he's committed to USC, he plans to take official visits to UK, Florida and Louisville.
Running back, Bourbon County
Height, weight: 5-11, 195
Credentials: One of the top running backs in the state, Hopkins rushed for almost 5,000 yards over the last two years. He had 76 career touchdowns, including 36 this season while helping Bourbon County to the first unbeaten, untied regular season in school history. The Colonels lost to Belfry in the state semifinals. EKU, Bowling Green and WKU are showing the most interest.
Receiver/defensive back, Frankfort
Height, weight: 6-2, 180
Credentials: Jackson had a monster senior season for the Panthers, with 53 receptions for 1,348 yards (25 per catch) and 18 TDs. Over the past three seasons he's totaled 113 catches for 2,590 yards and scored 39 TDs. He also starred on defense, with 126 solo tackles, nine interceptions, eight fumble recoveries, and 10 blocked kicks and punts. He has scholarship offers from Air Force, Navy, EKU, Murray State, Fordham and Liberty.
Linebacker/running back, Mayfield
Height, weight: 5-11, 215
Credentials: Considered perhaps the best all-around player in Mayfield's storied history, Jackson helped the Cards to two state titles and two runner-up finishes. A standout linebacker, he had 601 career tackles, 385 solo. A standout running back, he rushed for 5,605 yards and 82 of his 91 career TDs. Arkansas State and WKU are his most ardent recruiters.
Height, weight: 6-1, 190
Credentials: After serving as Patrick Towles' backup, McCoy got the full-time QB job this year and excelled. He threw for 2,769 yards and 32 TDs, and ran for 1,144 yards and 22 TDs for the state champ Bluebirds. Highlands wanted to get McCoy on the field last year so it used him at receiver. He had 36 catches for 723 yards and seven TDs. When called on to take over for the injured Towles against Cincinnati Elder last season, McCoy keyed a 34-29 victory. Highlands Coach Dale Mueller said McCoy, who got a 35 on ACT, wants to study engineering and may not play college football.
Tight end/defensive end, Belfry
Height, weight: 6-5, 230
Credentials: Messer was a big reason the Pirates reached the Class 3A finals three years in a row. "He's one of those guys who played hard every play on both sides of the ball," Coach Philip Haywood said. Messer started three years at defensive end, two years at tight end. "His physical play carried over to the rest of our football team," Haywood said. Belfry threw the ball more this season, and Messer had 13 catches for 209 yards and three TDs. He has a scholarship offer from EKU.
Running back/defensive back, Tates Creek
Height, weight: 5-11, 190
Credentials: The versatile Oxendine was an impact player as a running back, defensive back and kick returner for the Commoodres. Fast and strong, he had 3,626 all-purpose yards and 29 TDs, and on defense had 13 interceptions. "He's a very gifted athlete. Very physically strong, loves contact and is a fierce competitor," Coach Mike Harmon said. Oxendine has committed to Illinois State, which recruited him as a safety.
WR/QB/DB, Perry Central
Height, weight: 6-2, 185
Credentials: Pray's athletic ability showed when he moved from receiver to quarterback this season and passed for 2,066 yards and 23 TDs, and ran for 1,321 yards and 16 TDs. In his career he had 103 catches for 1,632 yards and 17 TDs, and 3,642 all-purpose yards. On defense he 184 tackles, 79 solo. He also punted for Perry Central. A 4.0 student with a 32 on the ACT, Pray has an offer from Air Force, and interest from EKU and WKU. Centre is an option.
Height, weight: 6-1, 180
Credentials: One of the fastest players in state history, Quick was an integral part of three state championship teams. He set a state record with 280 career receptions. His 4,437 receiving yards and 57 TD catches both rank third all-time. Quick, who is Gatorade's player of the year in Kentucky and the Paul Hornung Award winner as the top player in Kentucky, is expected to choose between Louisville and Ohio State.
Receiver, Franklin County
Height, weight: 5-11, 175
Credentials: Mr. Touchdown scored about one out of every three times he touched the ball over the last three years. This season he had 2,651 all-purpose yards and 45 TDs. In his career he totaled 6,337 yards and 96 TDs. He was at his best as a receiver, but was also a threat at running back and kick returner. He will choose from among UK, Ohio State, Illinois, Arkansas and Purdue.
Quarterback/defensive back, Breathitt County
Height, weight: 6-0, 195
Credentials: One of the top dual-threat QBs in the state, Trent threw for 2,383 yards and 30 TDs, and ran for 1,192 yards and 28 TDs this season. For his career he passed for 5,737 yards and 67 TDs, and ran for 3,728 yards and 73 TDs. He was also a standout on defense. He led the Bobcats to back-to-back unbeaten regular seasons. He's getting looks from Ball State, EKU, Morehead State, Lindsey Wilson and Pikeville.
Defensive back, Trinity
Height, weight: 5-9, 175
Credentials: Wright, who has committed to Vanderbilt, was a lockdown DB for the Shamrocks and among the team's leading tacklers. He had 82 solo tackles over the last two years. He was also a dangerous punt returner, and this season he saw time at wide receiver.
Quarterback, Franklin County
Height, weight: 6-2, 190
Credentials: Woodside had the good fortune to have Ryan Timmons as a playmaking teammate, and he made the most of it. Woodside, who has committed to Toledo, passed for 5,551 yards and 70 TDs over the last two seasons, and ran for 626 yards and 16 TDs while leading the high-scoring Flyers to back-to-back undefeated regular seasons. He also played defense this year and was among the team's leading tacklers and had five interceptions.
Height, weight: 6-1, 185
Credentials: Surrounded by playmakers, Wright's value as Trinty's QB may have been underappreciated. His statistics say he was sensational. As a three-year starter he completed 68 percent of his passes for 9,305 yards and 112 TDs. In three state finals victories, he threw for a total of 716 yards and 10 TDs. Ball State, Georgia Tech and Indiana are among the big schools showing interest.
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