News and Notes from the Gridiron…

We have begun featuring, here on KPGFootball, a weekly variety of shorter stories in one combined article about high school football news from around the coverage area. These articles feature snippets of information for the football enthusiasts which we consider, without a doubt, of interest to the Kentucky high school football fanatics, such as we. So, without further adieu, here we go with the News and Notes from the Gridiron

Kentucky Future Stars news from the Louisville Ballard combine…

With the annual Tennessee-Kentucky Future Stars’ Classic upcoming this summer, the Team Kentucky Future Stars caravan rolled into the Derby City yesterday with a stop at Louisville Ballard. Regretfully, KPGFootball was unable to attend but, if you follow us on Twitter (@KPGFootball), you know we have eyes and ears all over the commonwealth. Team Kentucky Future Stars had some really sizable O-Line prospects there and the speed for which we hoped at the skill positions. A prospect who is one of 2022’s best from E-Town, and who I wouldn’t necessarily call a skill (he does play LB and can play SS) is 5-11, 185 pound Ben Vaughn. As expected, Vaughn studded out; but I am not sure anyone expected him to pop the 4.84 forty yard dash time he registered. For an 8th grade player his size, that is motoring. For Louisville prospects who missed yesterday’s combine,  there will be a make-up combine on May 1 and KY Future Stars will be back at Ballard. A noticeable omission from yesterday’s combine, but who will tryout May 1, was Kentucky’s number one receiver prospect in 2022, Vinny Anthony who has before registered a 40 time at 4.8. Anthony was featured in this publication on April 11 and Vinny is 5-11 and weighs 165 pounds.
Northington

JaWaun Northington, widely considered the best RB 2022 has in Louisville, if not the entire commonwealth, is also the top middle school athlete in Kentucky in two outdoor track events, one in-door sprint, and one field event.  Northington is ranked number one in the commonwealth in both the 100 & 200 meter sprints in outdoor, is the in-door State Champion at 55 meters, and, in the field portion of track & field is the returning State Champion in the shot put. Northington, yesterday, ran a 4.75 second forty, and at 5-10, 175, that is a big back with plenty of separation speed. He is a Team Kentucky FBU player who was on Kentucky’s 7th grade Future Stars team a year ago.

Agee

Preston Agee, 6-0 and 162 pounds, dual threat QB, once again showed he is very agile, fast, and has both a strong and accurate arm. Preston, from Campbell County, Kentucky, displayed exceptional footwork and speed both in the past and at this combine. Agee was clocked at 4.99 seconds in the forty and registered a pro-agility shuttle of 4.52 seconds, indoor, at a recent Kentucky Future Stars Alumni combine held a couple months ago. Preston is a two-time record holder at CCMS in high jump, long jump (36’6″), and 200 meter hurdles.

Maxwell

LeAndre Maxwell (Dre) really showed his wares at the combine yesterday and fully demonstrated why Coach Kevin Wallace at St. Xavier High School was willing to jump from the flagship class 5A program to take over one of the powerhouse programs in Kentucky’s class 6A. Maxwell who will be in 9th grade this Fall, is 6-0 and weights 190 pounds and has played on the 8th grade Kentucky FBU team where he made a ton of plays this past tournament. Maxwell is very fast, particularly at his position, and, despite his size, runs the 100 meter on the middle school track team. Yesterday, Maxwell clocked a 5.19 second 40 yard dash to easily lead the players who play with their hands in the dirt.

We were able to catch up the the Director of Kentucky Future Stars’ football and he had this to say…The 7th grade was highlighted by the tone setting aggressiveness of returning OL/DL brothers, Peyton and Mason Sayers. Those guys’ experience helped the entire group step up their efforts and intensity!

As for the 8th graders, Director Hughes was equally effusive with his praise. Hughes told us the 8th grade was loaded with both new and familiar faces. Hughes went on to relate the 8th graders turned in some solid testing numbers mentioning specifically Northington’s 4.7 time and LB, Will Darragh, who was timed in the 4.8’s for his forty. Jorian Harris, Jamere Dorsey, and Ben Vaughn displayed great skill and improved awareness.  Preston Agee, who was voted MVP of the 7th grade game last season, has improved his overall athleticism and ball velocity. He also demonstrated added throwing accuracy. QB selections, according to Hughes, are going to be extremely difficult this year.

T. Haskins

No surprise here but interior defensive lineman Travis Haskins, who’s father played at Hopkinsville High School, dominated the one on one’s portion of the combine, according to Director Hughes. I before wrote about Travis in June of last year noting that I was…impressed with his hand violence, get off, and footwork. In the June article, I also made specific note that…Travis has a great frame and is very solidly built and is the kind of player you covet among your linemen as he appears to have a very powerful leg kick and drive while able to gain separation from the opposing player.

All in all, I got the specific impression Ricco Hughes was delighted with both the turn out of the athletes in Louisville as well as the quality of the performances. Through the first two combines, I wouldn’t want to be him having to decide whom to select and whom to forego.

Leavell at the Regional Tack & Field meet…

Leavell, Photo: Yoursportsedge.com

Hopkinsville High School’s JeVon Leavell, who is an AFI-KPG Sophomore All-State cornerback just finished 6th in the Regional Track & Field meet this weekend turning in a 100 meter time of 11.49 seconds. Give or take a fews tenths, this translates to Leavell having a forty time around 4.7 seconds. I mention this here to accentuate the speed of some of the above eighth graders as Leavell is a sophomore-rising Junior and absolutely no one in Kentucky would consider him the least bit lacking in speed. To be fair the track times are laser timed and the Future Stars’ forties are hand timed and I have never seen an athlete’s laser time faster than his hand held time. Hand-held, Leavell would be probably timed in the mid-4.6’s if I were to guess. Leavell, in addition to starting at corner, will play some offense this Fall at RB where he look really good last year in limited appearances.

The Carpet for the new press-box is being laid at TCCHS today…

Everyone is a buzz about the excitement surrounding the Todd County Central High School Rebel football program and its new head football coach, Darell Keith. In talking with Coach Keith I have heard the press-box in the one of a kind luxury press box being remodeled at TCCHS is going to have the carpet laid this week. I have had the opportunity to canvass the area football fans and am told there is more excitement surrounding Rebel football right now than many can recall over the last 30 or so years. Yeah, we’re pretty stoked about it too.

Well, sports fans, that is about it as far as I presently know, so, for now, this is Fletcher Long with the News and Notes from the Gridiron reminding you on behalf of KPGFootball to PLAY THROUGH THE WHISTLE!

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