Defending our Selections: The Freshman All-State Athletes…

There is a saying that has been around football for years the exact origins of which KPGFootball can’t pinpoint, at least not exactly. KPGFootball knows Coach Phillip Fulmer, formerly the HC at the University of Tennessee, used to say it commonly, but we don’t think it originated with him. It really sounds like something Bum Phillips would have coined but can’t say that for sure. The saying is the following…It ain’t the X’s and the O’s, but it’s the Jimmies and the Joes. The saying is, universally in the football world, understood for the proposition a coach has to have athletes to win football games. To be an athlete you have to both excel at your primary position while still being athletic enough to fulfill a variety of rolls for your football team. These are the players who are versatile and able to take over a football game from a variety of different positions on multiple sides of the ball. These are the players whom are capable of being utilized in a variety of ways, whether it be offensively, defensively, or even on special teams. We now unveil for you the selections committee’s Jimmies and Joes. These are the Freshman, All-State, Football Athletes.

DeDrick D-Shock Hamilton, KR/PR/WR, 5-11, 165 pounds, Louisville Ballard…

Hamilton, the Summer between 8th and 9th grade, shortly after turning 14, logged a fully automated, forty yard dash time of 4.572. We believe that would make him one of the 10 or so fastest kids in Kentucky regardless of graduation year. People can say what they will but there are darn few high school seniors across Kentucky running fully automated 40 times in the 4.5s. We have linked a video of the run, hit the blue numbers. That is not only freaking phenomenal but D-shocking as well.

Hamilton has grown three inches since registering that time this past summer. Hamilton broke the lineup for Ballard at the end of the year, over the course of its last three football games, all three of which were in the KHSAA playoffs. Playing at a Class 6A school in Louisville, Kentucky is a tall order for any freshman but when the school turns to you at playoff time, that is particularly meaningful to us. There are places all over Kentucky where Hamilton is a day one first-teamer.

Regardless of how he started, he closed strongly for the Bruins. Hamilton showed he was a valuable commodity at kick returner, returning punts, and at wide receiver where we figure he will log the majority of his playing time going forward. This selection will start looking better and better beginning next year. Fastest, most explosive kid in Kentucky’s Class of 2022.

Dravin Routt, TE/DE/LS, 5-10, 225 pounds, Mason County…

Dravin Routt got nine games of varsity run this Fall, though a freshman. Routt played at a Class 4A, District 7 school and 4A football isn’t the easiest place to transition straight from middle school football to Friday Night. Dravin is a player who logged some time at DE, for The Royals, but also played TE offensively. Dravin is a fast kid, with plenty of straight-line speed, particularly for a kid with a TE frame. Routt has a substantial enough frame to really factor in a team’s ground game.

Routt is also a long-snapper, which is a particularly important aspect of football often overlooked until the long-snapper costs your team the football game. There is a team, in the area where KPGFootball is based, which has lost three to four games, over the past two seasons, strictly owing to a long-snapper yacking snaps over the punter’s head. It is a commodity you don’t realize you need until you don’t have it. Then, it is something you would give anything (and I mean anything) to acquire. Routt is a guy who will be a major contributor for the Royals, beginning game on of his sophomore year, but made this team as a long-snapper primarily.

Elijah Hammond, Image taken from off his Hudl page…

Elijah Hammond, WR/TE/LB, 6-2 and 175 pounds, Lexington Christian…

The first thing one thinks when looking at Elijah Hammond is how can this kid only be a freshman? There aren’t a lot of 6-2, 175 pound freshman who are as versatile and move as well as Hammond. Hammond is a member of what we believe to be the best class of 2022 prospects to be assembled on one team. When these kids are seniors, they have the potential to be scary good and there will be plenty of cries that all that talent on one roster is unfair. Oh well, you know what is written about life being unfair.

Hammond has the versatility to play wide receiver where he caught 9 passes this season, as only a freshman, for 135 yards receiving and one TD. Hammond can play TE, where his linebacker mentality serves him well blocking in the ground game and where his large frame has plenty of room to add to its present 175 pounds. Hammond can play LB where he intercepted a pass this past season and took it 60 yards to the house to score a defensive touchdown via pick-six. Most of all, as his 12 games of Friday night action certainly informed any and every interested party…Hammond can just play.

Well, these are our Athletes and exactly why we picked each and every one of them. There may be some athletes whom the reader believes to be better than what we have here somewhere in Kentucky. You could be right and there may be players we simply missed. KPGFootball supposes that to be entirely possible (though not too probable). However, KPGFootball is quite sure that, while these may not be the very best Athletes in the 2022 class; they are, definitely, among them. All of these players have distinguished themselves both on the field of play and in the class room. It will be fun to follow these guys as they continue to develop and play football next Fall. You will continue to hear plenty from these players in 2019 and beyond. 

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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