Henry Clay football Coach Sam Simpson gave Eastern Kentucky University Coach Dean Hood a thumbs-up for signing some home-grown recruits on Wednesday.
"Dean Hood wants to get the best players in Kentucky to play for Eastern, just like Roy Kidd used to," Simpson said. "Dean got some of the best players here in Lexington and around the state. It shows he's got that program going in the right direction."
Henry Clay linebacker Tyrelle Johnson and offensive lineman Andrew Wolter signed with the Colonels, along with Lafayette running back/defensive back Eric Shaw Jr.
Anderson County quarterback Jacob Russell, Corbin running back/linebacker Caleb Watkins, and Trinity lineman Dylan Kupper are also headed to EKU.
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Shaw, Russell and Watkins were members of the Herald-Leader's Class of the Commonwealth.
"I think it's a real strong recruiting class, and I'm glad I'm part of it," Shaw said. "And I get to play close to home. Richmond is right down the road from Lexington."
Shaw said he will probably redshirt next year, and that he's not sure if he'll wind up playing offense or defense, or both.
"It doesn't matter, just as long as I get on the field," he said.
Russell told The Anderson News he had scholarship offers from Tennessee-Martin, Murray State and Georgetown, and that Kentucky and Wake Forest both offered him a preferred walk-on status.
But he chose EKU.
Western Kentucky appeared to have the inside track on Johnson before it fired its coach, David Elson.
Murray made a late bid for the Henry Clay senior, but he decided to go with the Colonels.
"I stayed up all night trying to make my decision, and I'm happy with it," he said.