Ayier ‘AJ’ Coates from St. Xavier High is setting a tough pace for his class… @imfokused_aj @CoachKWallace @StXTigersFB @teeroyhowell @CoachRecruit @1776Bank @minguabeefjerky @KyHighFootball @kyhighs @HLpreps @PrepSpin

Ayier "AJ" Coates may be the most powerful and explosive player in Kentucky's '26 graduating class.

ILB prospect has an ‘off the charts’ skill set

This guy here has just finished his freshman year in high school. His strength, explosion, spacial quicks, power, are all off the charts fantastic. He is the best inside, second level player in the class of ’26 and a kid whose being a freshman playing for one of the premier 6A teams in the classification couldn’t shelve.

Fletcher Long, Chief of the Scouting Division, KPGFootball

Let’s take a little quiz. Who is the strongest kid in Kentucky’s graduating class of ’26? Well, we’ll take AJ Coates from St. Xavier in Louisville, KY (500-pound deadlift).

Who is the most powerful kid in Kentucky’s graduating class of ’26? Well, we’ll take AJ Coates from St. Xavier in Louisville, KY (505-pound back squat).

Who has the hardest punch in Kentucky’s graduating class of ’26? Well, we’ll take AJ Coates from St. Xavier in Louisville, KY (310-pound bench press).

Who is the most explosive kid in Kentucky’s graduating class of ’26? Did we mention the over 500-pound squat and deadlift?

I was talking to a football coach once about a freshman in his program. I asked him if he had ever had a freshman make the 1,000-pound club in weight-lifting (Bench, Power Clean, and Back Squat totaling a combined 1,000-pounds or a half ton)?

He told me it was “anatomically impossible.” Well, coach, meet AJ Coates from St. Xavier High in Louisville, Kentucky.

Coates bench presses 310; squats 505; and deadlifts 500-pounds

Statistics from prospect’s Twitter handle @imfokused_aj

Yes, he is in the 1,000-pound club. Heck, he didn’t even have to exert himself, he hit 815 on bench and back squat alone. Not sure of the kid’s power clean, but sure it exceeds 185-pounds and we would wager a significant sum on that fact.

Coates is a stud. There is no other way to put it than that.

Now the kid is 5’10,” 225-pounds of Wrought-iron. His being a freshman, this last year, couldn’t shelve him, as he won the Tigers’ Defensive Player of the Year award at its banquet.

Coates had 13-tackles this past season, with a TFL and a QB-sack. He also picked a pair of passes and logged 27-IRNY’s (Interception Return Net Yards).

Before you dismiss these numbers remember these aren’t JV stats. This kid played 7-games of varsity football for the defending Class 6A Champion on one of the more stacked rosters competing in Kentucky High School football this (or really) any year.

Now, we don’t know how his frame finishes. Knowing at what level he will play collegiately will have a lot to do with numbers over which he has literally no control.

However, he is controlling the numbers he can and mastering them. There will be a next level for this athlete. We’re sure it won’t be on his dime either.

This is Coach HB Lyon, reporting for KPGFootball, and we’re JUST CALLING IT LIKE WE SEE IT!

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About Henry Lyon 1210 Articles
Have coached at the high school and middle school level. Have worked in athletic administration. Conceal my identity to enable my candor on articles published by this magazine. Only members of the editorial board are aware of my true identity.

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