In an earlier article, linked here, KPGFootball wrote…JT Adams is the second highest regarded player in the Class, it’s top rated linebacker, the reigning defensive MVP of the Tennessee-Kentucky game, and a sure-fire All-American selection at the conclusion of this season, easily enjoying an All-American type year. Emphasis Added. It appears someone around the Bret Cooper Football organization takes KPGFootball and its evaluations pretty seriously as Bret Cooper, himself, called Coach John Adams last evening, sources close to KPGFootball relate, and personally invited JT to play in the prestigious Junior All-American Football Game.
The Bret Cooper Junior Academic All-American Bowl Game has been described as the top All-American bowl game in the nation for middle school football players. The game requires the participant be an outstanding player and to perform at a “B” average or higher, academically, as well as demonstrate excellent character. Players selected for the game are scouted by some of the top schools in the country, coached by former NFL players, and have the potential to be put on the early list for recruitment by schools who are equally drawn to the fact the athletes are future qualifiers as well as future star players. Players also become part of an exclusive fraternity only a few kids in the nation will ever experience.
This isn’t the first time Bret Cooper has mined the gold laden recruiting fields of Kentucky Middle School football for All-Americans to play for its East All-American team which is riding a two game winning streak in the East vs. West format. In 2016, William Long of Hopkinsville and Austin Gough of Owensboro led the East team to a 22-6 victory over the West counter-parts. Long, for his efforts was awarded the JJ Watt Trophy for the game’s outstanding defensive player. As a freshman starter at Hopkinsville High School, Long played 49 quaters of varsity football at left guard, center, and right guard, was selected a Freshman All-State football player, was one of three Kentucky frosh nominated for the MaxPreps Freshman All-American team, and won the 250 pound weight-class State Powerlifting Championship with a combined lift of 585 pounds (bench and power clean). Just last year, Will Hughes from Hopkinsville and Jackson Smith from Boyle County led the East to its second, consecutive victory, 20-0 over the West All-American team. Smith was awarded the Luis Zendejas Award as the country’s top, middle school placekicker.
Also in 2016, Austin Gough, from Owensboro, Kentucky gained 150 yards rushing from scrimmage in the game but lost out in the MVP race to dual-threat QB Shane Hamm from Ohio. Hamm, as a freshman in High School, led Archbishop Hoban to the Ohio State Football Championship and set the Ohio freshman record with 28 TD passes over his initial season. Archbishop Hoban is now rated the number one high school football team in Ohio and the 18th best football team in the nation. Shane Hamm is still at the helm of the Knights. Austin Gough has led the Red Devils in tackles as a freshman starter with 92 stops, was selected a Freshman All-State linebacker and nominated for the MaxPreps, Freshman All-American team. Austin Gough, right now, is the leading tackler in the entire State of Kentucky’s 5A Classification.
Last year, the East team was quarter-backed by Ty Simpson from Martin, Tennessee. Simpson has already been offered by Michigan, Missouri, Tennessee, South Carolina, Indiana, and Kentucky, among others, though he’s only now attending 9th grade. Dallen Hayden, from Memphis, Tennessee, who also played for the East in last year’s game, has been offered by Tennessee and he is a freshman at Christian Brother High School. Suffice it to say, the very best middle school players, across the nation, play in this game and Kentucky’s own have left a considerable mark on the game with performances of which the entire Commonwealth can be quite proud. We believe JT Adams will follow in this very fine tradition.
Congratulations to JT Adams from Christian County Middle School for his selection to this prestigious event and be on the look out for more stories of this kind, as KPGFootball is sure Bret Cooper isn’t done combing Kentucky for players for its East All-American Roster.
Reporting for KPGFootball, this is Fletcher Long reminding all of the ballers out there that #WeGotUCovered and to PLAY THROUGH THE WHISTLE.
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