State's top football prospects over last decade reflect hits, misses

broberts@herald-leader.comMay 10, 2013 

New University of Kentucky football commitment Drew Barker is the only player from the commonwealth listed among the top 250 players in the country by Rivals.com.

Here's a look at who Rivals considered the No. 1 high school prospect from Kentucky in each of the past 10 recruiting classes and what those players accomplished in their college careers:

2013 James Quick: The Trinity star will be a freshman at the University of Louisville this fall after winning Mr. Football honors as a senior. The state's all-time leader in receptions is considered the No. 76 overall player in his class and the No. 9 wide receiver.

2012 Patrick Towles: The UK quarterback completed 19 of 40 passes for 233 yards and one touchdown in five appearances as a true freshman last fall. Towles, a Mr. Football winner at Highlands, was not listed in the Rivals 250 but was considered the No. 9 pro-style quarterback coming out of high school.

2011 Lamar Dawson: The Boyle County grad has started 13 games at linebacker in his first two seasons at Southern Cal. Dawson was fourth on the team with 77 tackles for the Trojans last season. The Mr. Football winner was ranked as the No. 45 overall player in his class and the third-best inside linebacker.

2010 Tim Patterson: The Central High linebacker delayed his enrollment at UK because of a knee injury and was redshirted by the Wildcats in 2011. He then transferred to Arizona Western, where he recorded 10 tackles in eight games last season. Patterson was the No. 35 outside linebacker in his class.

2009 Justin Green: The Male High grad made 29 starts at cornerback during a four-year career at Illinois. He led the team with six pass breakups and recorded 36 tackles as a senior last season. Green was the No. 82 overall player and ninth-best cornerback coming out of high school.

2008 Aaron Boyd: The former Henry Clay standout wrapped up his college career at Kentucky last season. Boyd had 30 catches as a Wildcat and was third on the team with 24 receptions in 2012. He also had two touchdown catches as a senior. Boyd was considered the No. 40 receiver in the class of 2008.

2007 Chase Minnifield: Another former Henry Clay star, Minnifield finished a successful career at Virginia in 2011. He was a first-team All-ACC selection at cornerback in each of his last two seasons with the Cavaliers and signed with the Washington Redskins last year as a rookie free agent. Minnifield missed the entire 2012 season after tearing his ACL during the team's off-season camp. He was considered the No. 22 safety coming out of high school.

2006 Micah Johnson: The Fort Campbell star played four seasons at Kentucky, earning first-team All-SEC honors as a junior in 2008. Johnson was a second-team All-SEC selection after recording 105 tackles as a senior. He played one game for the Miami Dolphins in 2010 and has been a member of the practice squad with the Dolphins, Cincinnati Bengals and Kansas City Chiefs. The Green Bay Packers have signed the linebacker to their practice squad for the 2013 season. Johnson was the No. 36 overall prospect out of high school — the highest-rated player on this list — and won Mr. Football honors in 2005.

2005 Cory Zirbel: The Murray High grad suffered a knee injury that ended his career as an offensive lineman at Michigan in 2008. He then served as a student assistant for the Wolverines under Coach Rich Rodriguez. Zirbel is currently listed as an offensive graduate assistant on Rodriguez's staff at Arizona. He was the No. 83 overall player and No. 10 offensive tackle in the class of 2005.

2004 Brian Brohm: The celebrated Trinity quarterback won Mr. Football honors before embarking on a successful career at Louisville. He was the Orange Bowl MVP as a junior and finished his career second behind Chris Redman in passing yards at the school. Brohm was chosen by the Green Bay Packers with the 56th overall pick of the 2008 NFL Draft and spent parts of three seasons with Green Bay and Buffalo. He signed last month with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats of the Canadian Football League. Brohm was considered the No. 78 overall player and No. 5 pro-style quarterback in his high school class.

Lexington Herald-Leader is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service