Headed to the Bret Cooper All-American Game

Well, I fly to Dallas today to participate in the Bret Cooper Junior Academic All-American Game. It is part of the Cotton Bowl Classic festivities so I will also get to take in that contest between The Ohio State University and the Trojans from USC. There are some Kentucky Players in the game as well as a player with Kentucky ties and roots. I will be excited to watch the following players particularly…

Evan Kelley, QB, Davidson Academy, 6’0″ 190, from Clarksville, Tennessee: 

Evan Kelley

Evan Kelley has been excellently coached and is now under the direct tutelage of Rivals’ Evaluator and former college and NFL QB, Jonathan Quinn at the Davidson Academy. Evan is a QB who has tremendous polish and is able to make quick recognition of alignments and coverages permitting an ability to work speedily through his progressions and deliver the ball, on time and to the correct recipient. Last year, the East All-American squad was led by All-American and very highly rated signal caller from Youngstown, Ohio, Shane Hamm. The committee has selected Kelley for the team and he is expected to play both QB and LB. At the QB position, Kelley would provide much of the same skill sets and attributes from which it benefitted while Shane Hamm, who quarterbacked the team last year, was leading it to victory over the West and earning the game’s MVP distinction.  Kelley has been timed in the 4.9s by hand in the 40 and has the heft and strength to lower his shoulder when he breaks containment and either run away or through 2nd and 3rd level defenders unfortunate enough to attempt to tackle him in the open field. Hmmm…sound a little like Shane Hamm perhaps?  Dropping, setting up, and delivering the ball is Kelley’s true forte as he is a pro-style QB who just happens to be a super athlete. Kelley has the strongest arm, quickest release, and most accurate delivery of any QB this reporter has seen in the three years I have coached and watched football at this level of play. Kelley has a 3.9 GPA.

William Hughes, OL/DL, Hopkinsville Middle School, 5’10” 240, from Hopkinsville, Kentucky:

William Hughes is a kid who started every game as a 7th grader on HMS’ Region I Champion, State Semi-Finalist, 8th grade football team. As an 8th grader this past season Hughes played for both the 8th and 9th grade Tigers, William stepped his game up considerably this past year dominating and being the best down lineman for both the 8th and 9th grade teams. Hughes, at 246 pounds, is really fast and athletic to go along with his being explosive and strong. At OL, Hughes has proven to be an accomplished pass protector from his LG spot. In the run game, he is a downhill, drive blocking machine.  William is persistently driving his man deep into the Defense’s 2nd and sometimes 3rd level. At DL for the Tigers, Hughes was un-blockable and may see time in Coach Steven Kelley’s defensive scheme this week as a nose guard in odd fronts and a 1 to 3 technique in even fronts. Hughes has shown tremendous launch and get off working in tandem with active and violent hands shedding and discarding would-be blockers. Hughes also boasts a 4.0 GPA.

Jaxon Smith, Danville Kentucky, Boyle County Middle School, PK/P

Here’s a player we are willing to bet Coach Chuck Smith is really excited to see play for him over the next four years. We would also like to note that punter/place kicker Jaxon Smith from Boyle County, Kentucky is playing in the game for the East All-Americans. The Danville, Kentucky product may be the surest college prospect on either team. This year, though it didn’t lead his team to victory, Jaxon Smith accounted for all nine of his team’s points in the State Middle School Championship Football game. Jaxon connected during the game from 38, 27 and 51 yards on field goals. Not too shabby for a Middle Schooler, huh? I don’t know as much about Smith as I do Hughes and Kelley but I am looking forward to writing more on him in the future.

I was able to speak with Bret Cooper about the selection of Smith, Kelley, and Hughes on this year’s East All-American Team for his annual game and Bret said, These three young men, in their playing ability and academic standing, represent the very best in Middle School athletic and academic performance. They are the exact type of player we exist to promote. We have mined their areas before, very successfully, with players like Gough and Long last year. We fully expect Smith, Kelley, and Hughes will continue the tradition of excellence established by the former Junior All-Americans who have played previously from the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

This is Fletcher Long reporting from Kentucky Prep Gridiron reminding you to PLAY THROUGH THE WHISTLE!

The following are former Bret Cooper All-Americans who are playing college football or have received offers:

Congrats to all our Class of 2016 / Bret Cooper Select –
2012 Junior Academic All-American Alumni committing :
Isaac Nauta / TE – Georgia
Bryce Youngquist / LB – Oklahoma
Ellison Jordan / DT – Penn State
Robert Washington / RB – Charlotte University
Sacha Killeya-Jones / QB – McDonald’s All American – Kentucky Basketball
Jake Zembiec / QB – Penn State
Clifton Duck / DB – Appalachian State
Marshal Nathe / OL – Arizona State
Erik Swenson / OL – Oklahoma
Chase Lucas / Ath – Arizona State
Brennen Wooten / QB – TCU
Shane Simmons / LB – Penn State
Andre Collins / WR – UNLV
Benjamin Frazier / DL – NC State
Ryan Parker / LB – Army
Amani Hooker / DB – Iowa
Breland Brandt / LB – UCLA
Moe Neal / RB – Syracuse
Tobias Little / LB – Louisville
Jordan McGriff / DT – Dartmouth
Elijah Deveaux / RB – Duke
Tobias Little / LB – Louisville
Benjamin LeMay / RB – Charlotte
Jonathan Pollock / LB – Rutgers
Justin Berry / QB – Indiana Univ.
Breon Dixon / LB – Mississipppi
Augie DeBiase / QB – North Texas
Brandon Lamarche / RB – Idaho State
Blaise Herman / QB – Undecided
Isaac Joseph / OL – Undecided
Mo Neal / RB – Syracuse
Jordan Fuller / S – Ohio State
Chase Young / DE – Ohio State
Justin Berry / Wr – Indiana
Elijah Deveaux / WR – Duke
Robert Green / LB – Georgia Southern
Brian Dawkins Jr. / DB – Clemson
Christian Kirk / WR – Texas A&M
CJ Sanders / KR / WR – Notre Dame
Koy Detmer Jr. / QB – BYU
Notables from the Class of 2017 top recruits 
Bret Cooper Select – Junior Academic All American Bowl
Breon Dixon / LB – Mississippi
Tanner Morgan / QB – Minnesota
Aapri Washington / DB – Buffalo
Danny Clark / QB – Kentucky
Lindell Stone / QB – Viirginia
Beau English / QB – Airforce
London Lewis / DE – 4 major D-1 interest
Jamyest Williams / RB / WR – South Carolina
Kamren Curl / DB – Arkansas
Tate Martell / QB – Ohio State
Dwayne Haskins / QB – Ohio State
Brandon Dawkins / QB – Arizona
Notables from the Class of 2018 top recruits
Taron Vincent / DL – Florida State
Notables from class of 2019 & 2020
Moses Douglas / DB – 20 Major offers / 2019
Jerrion Ealy / RB – over 20 Major offers / 2019
Niam Muhammad / S – over 20 major offers / 2019
Kendall Milton / RB – 8 major offers / 2020
Miki Ah You / Athlete – over 15 major offers / 2020
Kingsley Suamataia / OL – over 10 major offers / 2021
CJ Alatini / OL – BYU Verbal / 2019
Ricky Wolfgramm / DL – BYU / 2021
About Fletcher Long 1511 Articles
Two-time winner of Kentucky Press Association awards for excellence in writing and reporting news stories while Managing Editor of the Jackson (KY) Times-Voice

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