Class of 2021’s Ethan Gibson may be coming into his own this Fall (Featured Graphic: Chandler Richards, FBU)

We have said for years that whether you are honorably mentioned or on either the first or second string of either All-State squad (AP, Coaches), Kentucky still considers that making All-State. It has been thusly considered since way before this magazine came on line.

The difference between a first or second team all-stater isn’t necessarily game-play but often name recognition and notoriety. There are players with big names out there who have an easier time getting noticed than other players who are just as good but not as fortunate one might say.

It was a huge deal, when Caden Hogg in 2019, came out of literally no-where to be Honorably Mentioned on the AP’s All-State football team his senior year. He had an All-State caliber performance without question, just look at his stats. With his length, bend, frame, and burst, had he come along sooner in his career he would have been a very coveted college prospect.

So who’s the next Caden Hogg? Well, there are some candidates out there. We look for William Hughes, 6-0, 270-pound offensive guard/center out of Hopkinsville to take a huge leap forward this year after a couple years on the JV. We believe Cameron Willis at Johnson Central, who has been a starter, should have a big year and dot many more radars.

Barren Wells from Caldwell County returned a couple kick-offs and a couple punts to the house for the Tigers in 2019 and may be among the more explosive and speedy players on the western-end of Kentucky in his classification. That’s really saying something because that is the end with all the speed.

Also look for Meade County’s JJ Richardson (safety, 6-3, 205-pounds) to start getting offers and soon. He maybe one of Kentucky’s very best back-four guys in the 2021 class who has been relegated to under the radar owing to his team’s curious (and seemingly inexplicable) mediocre to piss-poor, on-field performance.

There’s another name to write down as a candidate for a break out year. Pencil in the name of Ethan Gibson.

Gibson is a kid who is 6-1 and weighs in the neighborhood of 180-pounds. He’s really well put together and has extraordinarily long arms. He was crushing the offseason lifting program until his efforts were halted by the present pandemic.

Still, like any kid who wants to be a football star, he hasn’t let the present state of affairs completely derail his development. He has been undergoing a daily regimen of calisthenics, to go along with running, in an effort to not lose the gains he had before made.

Looking over his statistics from a year ago, as an intermittent starter, he had 24-tackles, an interception, and recovered a fumble. Those aren’t too shabby for a guy who played a limited amount of snaps.

Gibson projects to compete with sophomore-to-be, Bryce “The Predator” Hoskins (6-5, 245-pounds) for the outside linebacker slot on the other end of a bone fide returning star in college prospect, Braxton O’Hara (6-3, 215-pounds, Class of 2021). The Bobcat defense could slot Gibson at LB and move “The Predator” up to DE, where most schools see him ultimately settling. They may need to do this to get the best-11 on the field at the same time.

The insinuation appears obvious (at least to us), opponents are not going to be targeting O’Hara. This will give Gibson plenty of opportunity to step up and “show-out.”

Gibson drops into coverage well and has the range and length which gives QBs trouble dropping a ball into the basket over his reach. KPGFootball believes he will be more assertive in the run-game this coming season.

It is simply put thusly…players who are bigger, stronger, and more powerful are more willing to collide. Gibson’s added heft, strength, and power will make him a more willing “down-hiller” in the run game and will result in his tackles tripling, or that is our guess.

With returners like the Bobcats have on board for 2020, if Gibson and crew can replace the Caden Hoggs and Dalton Manns gone from last year’s roster, Breathitt County will be as tough in 2020 as they were in 2019. Should the Bobcats come up with a RB to replace some of Geeny Collins’ lost production, together with a passing-threat which should flourish with Jaylen Turner (QB, 2022, 604, 200-pounds) having another year’s maturity and experience, these guys will challenge for the 2A-Championship again in 2020.

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

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