High School Sports

Kentucky’s 50 best high school football players in 2018 . . . plus a few more

Western Hills senior running back/wide receiver Wandale Robinson is being recruited by most of the nation’s top college football programs.
Western Hills senior running back/wide receiver Wandale Robinson is being recruited by most of the nation’s top college football programs. aslitz@herald-leader.com

The following is a preseason list of the Herald-Leader’s top 50 football players in the state, as selected by coaches and staff writer Josh Moore.

The top 10 players are presented in order of votes received in a preseason survey of coaches, who were asked to rank the top 10 players in the state regardless of school classification. The next 40 are, in alphabetical order, the other players most often named as part of that polling and, in a few instances, players who were not frequently named in polling but whose absence would have called into question the integrity of the ranking (Josh Moore made that call).

Additionally, more notable players from Kentucky’s respective geographic regions were recognized according to those regions.

(Click each player’s name to watch his Hudl highlights.)


1. Wandale Robinson (Western Hills/Sr.)

Position: RB/WR

Height/weight: 5-8/170

Total points received in polling: 305

2. Stephen Herron (Trinity/Sr.)

Position: DE

Height/weight: 6-4/235

Total points received in polling: 219

3. Milton Wright (Christian Academy of Louisville/Sr.)

Position: WR

Height/weight: 6-3/200

Total points received in voting: 193

4. Bryan Hudson (Scott County/Sr.)

Position: OL/DL

Height/weight: 6-4/292

Total points received in voting: 190

5. Jacob Lacey (South Warren/Sr.)

Position: OL/DL

Height/weight: 6-2/285

Total points received in voting: 156

6. Tanner Bowles (Glasgow/Sr.)

Position: OL/DL

Height/weight: 6-5/280

Total points received in polling: 114

7. JJ Weaver (Moore/Sr.)

Position: DE/LB/LB

Height/weight: 6-6/240

Total points received in polling: 110

8. Vito Tisdale (Bowling Green/Jr.)

Position: S/RB

Height/weight: 6-1/185

Total points received in polling: 70

9. Michael Mayer (Covington Catholic, Jr.)

Position: TE

Height/weight: 6-5/240

Total points received in polling: 53

10. Reese Smith (Boyle County, Jr.)

Position: WR/DB

Height/weight: 5-11/175

Total points received in polling: 39

Boyle County’s Landen Bartleson (24) carried the ball between Corbin defenders during last year’s Class 3A state championship game at Kroger Field. Boyle County beat Corbin 40-21. Alex Slitz aslitz@herald-leader.com


ANTHONY ADKINS (LaRue County, Sr.)

Position: Athlete

Height/weight: 6-3/222

JUDD ADKINS (Raceland, Sr.)

Position: RB

Height/weight: 6-1/205

BEAU ALLEN (Lexington Catholic, Jr.)

Position: QB

Height/weight: 6-2/200


Position: RB/LB

Height/weight: 6-1/220


Position: DE

Height/weight: 6-1/246

LANDEN BARTLESON (Boyle County, Jr.)

Position: RB/DB

Height/weight: 6-1/190

TRE BASS (Franklin-Simpson, Sr.)

Position: RB/DB

Height/weight: 5-8/180

CLAYTON BUSH (South Warren, Sr.)

Position: S

Height/weight: 6-0/185

JARED CASEY (Ballard, Sr.)

Position: LB

Height/weight: 6-4/222

JACK COLDIRON (Covington Catholic, Sr.)

Position: WR/LB

Height/weight: 6-5/215

ELI COX (West Jessamine, Sr.)

Position: OL/DL

Height/weight: 6-4/295


Position: WR

Height/weight: 6-1/165


Position: WR

Height/weight: 6-3/195

ADAM DERRY (Beechwood, Sr.)

Position: OL/DL

Height/weight: 6-3/280

JACOB DINGLE (Trinity, Sr.)

Position: S

Height/weight: 6-0/185


Position: WR/S

Height/weight: 6-3/185

CHASE ESTEP (Corbin, Sr.)

Position: QB

Height/weight: 5-11/185


Position: OL/DL

Height/weight: 6-3/275

CONNOR GUTHRIE (Mayfield, Sr.)

Position: QB

Height/weight: 6-3/175

NATHAN JACOBS (Collins, Sr.)

Position: OL/DL

Height/weight: 6-3/315

Henry Clay’s Ramond Jackson broke up a pass against Lafayette at Henry Clay High School in Lexington, Ky., Friday, September 22, 2017. Matt Goins

BEN JACKSON (Clark County, Sr.)

Position: OL/DL

Height/weight: 6-7/290

JOE JACKSON (Johnson Central, Sr.)

Position: RB

Height/weight: 6-0/194

RAMOND JACKSON (Henry Clay, Sr.)

Position: S/RB

Height/weight: 5-9/165

CAM JONES (Frederick Douglass, Sr.)

Position: QB

Height/weight: 6-8, 242

KYLE KELLY (Newport Central Catholic, Sr.)

Position: LB/RB

Height/weight: 6-2/205


Position: DE

Height/weight: 6-4/210

REED LANTER (Boyle County, Jr.)

Position: QB

Height/weight: 6-1/175

CADEN MCKINNIS (Logan County, Sr.)

Position: OL/DL

Height/weight: 6-2/255

JOSH MINKINS JR. (Ballard, Jr.)

Position: WR/DB

Height/weight: 6-2/170


Position: OL/DL

Height/weight: 6-3/305

WALKER PARKS (Frederick Douglass, Jr.)

Position: OL/DL

Height/weight: 6-5/255

JACK RANDOLPH (Franklin-Simpson, Sr.)

Position: OL/DL

Height/weight: 6-3/290

JAMEER RILEY (Caldwell County, Sr.)

Position: DB/WR

Height/weight: 5-11/160

TREL RILEY (Caldwell County, Sr.)

Position: DB/WR

Height/weight: 6-1/179


Position: RB

Height/weight: 6-3/220

MARQUEL TINSLEY (Daviess County, Sr.)

Position: WR/DB

Height/weight: 6-2/210

SAM VAUGHAN (Lexington Catholic, Sr.)

Position: OL/DL

Height/weight: 6-7/280

JP VAUGHT (Southwestern, Sr.)

Position: WR

Height/weight: 5-10/150

VON WILLIAMS (Owensboro Catholic, Sr.)

Position: RB/DB

Height/weight: 6-1/205

JOHN YOUNG (Christian Academy of Louisville, Jr.)

Position: OL/DL

Height/weight: 6-6/295

Scott County's Glenn Covington (14) runs the ball past Frederick Douglass' Theo Overton (7) during their game at Toyota Stadium in Georgetown, Ky., Friday, Oct. 6, 2017. Scott County beat Frederick Douglass 55-21. Alex Slitz aslitz@herald-leader.com

Five more you should know from . . .

CENTRAL KENTUCKY: Glenn Covington, Scott County (Sr. DB/WR); Ethan Hahn, Madison Central (Sr. RB/DB); Dane Jackson, Madison Southern (Jr. OL/DL); Cade McKee, Scott County (Jr. QB); Zach Thornton, Danville (Sr. QB)

EASTERN KENTUCKY: Bailey Blair, Hazard (Sr. QB); Seth Johnson, Shelby Valley (Sr. RB); Dagen Rash, Belfry (Sr. OL/DL) Zack Roberts, Pikeville (Sr. RB/LB); Nathan Skidmore, Powell County (Sr. RB/LB)

LEXINGTON: Xavier Brown, Lexington Christian Academy (Fr. WR); Dekel Crowdus, Frederick Douglass (So. WR); Kendrick Curry, Bryan Station (Sr. DB/WR); Luke Duby, Tates Creek (Jr. QB); Langston Jackson, Henry Clay (Sr. DB/RB)

LOUISVILLE: U’Kari Baker, Central (Sr. WR/DB); Austin Carr, Ballard (Sr. QB); Austin Collins, Christian Academy of Louisville (Jr. OL/DL); Raymeco Mucker, Pleasure Ridge Park (Sr. DE), Osman Sall, Fern Creek (Sr. DB)

NORTHERN KENTUCKY: Logan Castleman, Beechwood (Sr. RB/DB); Grady Cramer, Highlands (Sr. QB); Tad Fisher, Bracken County (Sr. RB/LB); Austin Hammack, Simon Kenton (Sr. RB); Brycen Huddleston, Highlands (Jr. RB/LB)

WESTERN KENTUCKY: Joey Cambron, Daviess County (Sr. QB); Drew Cox, Ballard Memorial (Sr. WR); Mitchell Harralson, Caldwell County (Sr. LS); Trey Matthews, Mayfield (Sr. WR); Jadonavin McNeal, Christian County (Sr. RB)

ANYWHERE ELSE: Keaton Martin, South Oldham (Jr. RB); Wes Oliver, Taylor County (So. RB); Ryan Pyles, Elizabethtown (Jr. OL/DL); Jake Sloan, Pulaski County (Jr. WR/DB); Aubrey Weaver, Wayne County (Sr. WR/DB)