Barker makes strong showing in Army All-American Bowl

broberts@herald-leader.comJanuary 4, 2014 

Kentucky commitment Drew Barker will represent the West team in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl on Saturday.

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University of Kentucky signee Drew Barker led the first two touchdown drives of the U.S. Army All-American Bowl on Saturday, helping the West team secure a 28-6 victory on national television.

Barker was 4-for-6 passing for 54 yards. He completed his first four pass attempts — three for 15-plus yards — and led the West to its first two touchdowns in San Antonio's Alamodome.

His most impressive pass — a 21-yard strike down the middle of the field — set up a 3-yard touchdown run by Oklahoma-bound Joe Mixon on the next play. That score gave the West squad its 14-0 advantage going into halftime.

Barker has signed financial-aid papers with UK and will enroll in the school next week. The Conner High standout will be able to participate in spring practice and is expected to compete for the starting quarterback spot.

Fellow in-state star Matt Elam was supposed to announce his college decision during Saturday’s game, but he said earlier in the day that he would wait until Feb. 5 to decide between UK and Alabama. Elam made a nice tackle-for-loss on his second play of the game, stopping a West running back almost as soon as he touched the ball in the offensive backfield.

UK recruit Travonte Valentine, who is committed to Miami but will visit Lexington later this month, started at defensive tackle for the East team. Current Ohio State commitment Marcelys Jones played on the offensive line for the East. He is still a possibility to flip his commitment to UK, but he made no such announcement Saturday.

Jones’ teammates at Glenville (Ohio) High School — four-star defensive backs Erick Smith and Marshon Lattimore — both committed to the Buckeyes during Saturday’s broadcast. Smith had a UK hat on the table for his announcement.

Read more UK recruiting news at Next Cats.

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