High School Football

Dekel Crowdus, Kentucky’s top junior and a UK target, is leaving the state

Photo slideshow: Scott County at Frederick Douglass (2018 playoffs)

Scott County defeated Frederick Douglass, 28-27, in the second round of the Class 6A high school football playoffs in Lexington, Kentucky on Friday, Nov. 9, 2018.
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Scott County defeated Frederick Douglass, 28-27, in the second round of the Class 6A high school football playoffs in Lexington, Kentucky on Friday, Nov. 9, 2018.

Dekel Crowdus, one of Kentucky’s most hotly recruited players in the class of 2021, is leaving the commonwealth.

Crowdus, a 5-foot-10, 165-pound wide receiver who’s considered a four-star prospect by 247Sports, ESPN and Rivals, is enrolling at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla.

Crowdus made the announcement on Twitter on Friday afternoon, a few hours before his Frederick Douglass High School team was to kick off the 2019 season against Bryan Station, although the news had been rumored for days.

All three scouting services have Crowdus ranked as the No. 1 player in Kentucky’s junior class and as a top-200 recruit. The University of Kentucky last June offered Crowdus, who in 2019 has added scholarship offers from Michigan, Ohio State, Penn State and Tennessee to go along with previously reported offers from Florida State, Louisville and Purdue, among others.

IMG is a prep school that fields two football teams — a varsity squad and a national team. It is not yet known for which team Crowdus will play. Both teams begin their seasons this weekend.

Crowdus led Frederick Douglass with 831 yards and 11 touchdown catches on only 37 receptions last season. The Broncos, coming off an 11-1 season that ended with a one-point loss to Scott County in the second round of the playoffs, were the top-ranked Class 5A team in the Lexington Herald-Leader’s preseason poll of coaches.

Frederick Douglass offensive lineman Walker Parks, a senior, has committed to Clemson and defensive back Devin Neal, also a senior, has committed to Cincinnati. Offensive lineman Jager Burton, another top-200 junior on the Broncos’ roster, has offers from UK, Alabama, Clemson, Ohio State and many others.

Josh Moore is in his first year covering the University of Kentucky football team and in his fifth year reporting for the Lexington Herald-Leader, where he’s been employed since 2009. Moore, a Martin County native, graduated from UK with a B.A. in Integrated Strategic Communication and English in 2013. He’s a huge fan of the NBA, Power Rangers and country music.
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