Top Secret Team Kentucky Information…

Okay, Team Kentucky, as we reported prior to the beginning of camp, you have been infiltrated. We have a spy amongst you dishing the skinny to us on the down low. We have just talked with our plant and he has some very interesting stuff for us. Here is what he has told us, exclusively here at KPGFootball

The 3:00 p.m. EST update…

I want to caution that the first practice was in helmets and shoulder pads, which for the lines of scrimmage is pretty much full gear, full speed; but a little different for the players who are allowed to get tackled. Team Kentucky will resume practice at 3:30 p.m. where it will be full tilt. Right off the bat, it appears Anthony Johns, whom we have nicknamed Big Bear, in an article about him we published May 19, 2018 is living up to the name. He is being described by our plant as supper aggressive and, more particularly, an animal. Well, that’s the Big Bear we know. A QB who has looked impressive, at least so far, is Preston Agee. Agee is 6-0 and very slender but has been described as exhibiting tremendous poise, frame, and mobility to go along with an accurate and strong throwing arm. We have also heard that a couple more linemen who have really shown out were the lineman from Campbellsville, Kentucky and one from North Laurel. Our spy tells us the North Laurel lineman is tall and really strong but built slightly enough he could even play TE. That’s all we have for now but keep checking back as we will add to this story as information develops.

The 10:38 p.m. update…

Okay, I have just heard back from my spy, and according to him the lineman I was trying to think of from Campbellsville who is doing so well is Qadyn Ashcraft. He is performing at a very high level according to all reports. Also, Jacoby Thornsbury from Belfry absolutely lit people up this afternoon and tonight when the full pads were donned. I have also heard the staff really likes Hopkinsville’s William Hughes at guard more-so than tackle though they have tried him both places. There was talk in the early afternoon of looking at him some at center which didn’t materialize.

June 14, 2018, Morning update…7th grade info included…

For the 7th graders…

I have obtained a 7th grade asset and he tells me that the QBs had a strong day yesterday. He particularly mentioned Bertrand Kibawa and Cole Hodge whom he related are both strong players but very different players. Kibawa was described as the more dynamic QB when Team Kentucky 7th Grade runs its sprint out and option packages while Hodge has better read progression and ball placement. For those of you not in the know, Cole Hodge and Joshuah Keith are our two, top rated QBs in Kentucky in 2024. Keith didn’t tryout for Future Stars this year and should have. For those of you wanting to see Keith spin it, go to my Twitter page @KPGFootball and I posted video of him at a camp June 13, 2018 in Hopkinsville, Kentucky putting on quite a show.  Gavin Hurst is a stud at WR. He wins every jump ball and never takes a play off. Carson Wright will be a force at OLB, and Oscar Adams a recent McCracken County Middle transfer to Christian County Middle has shown solid and steady play at ILB, the kind you would expect from a coach’s son.

For the 8th graders…

While Ja’waun Northington exhibited why there is so much fuss about him as a running back, my asset here told me Will Darragh planted his flag at the top of the LB mountain early and never slowed any. Darragh routinely blew up Northington and other running backs for the 8th grade at the line of scrimmage, driving them back into the backfield. Darragh also collected a pick-6 and deflected many other passes in defense in coverage. Darragh is a rare combination of down-hill size and coverage speed for his position at his age, which is why he may be Kentucky’s best 2022 player at LBOwen LeMaster from Johnson Central, along with roommates, Anthony Johns and Jacoby Thornsbury, look at times like grown men playing with children at their respective line positions with Johns being on offense and LeMaster and Thornsbury on defense.

Noontime update from Team Kentucky camp…

For the 7th graders…

I was able to hear from my 7th grade Team Kentucky asset right at 3:50 p.m. EST on the status of things with the 7th graders. We intimated last night that the QBs looked particularly good with Bertrand Kibawa whom was described on day one as having the more dynamic skill set particularly when either sprinting out or running option packages. We indicated, Class of 2024 signal-caller (6th grader), Cole Hodge was described as being superior with his read progression and ball placement. According to our well placed informant, it appears Cole Hodge may be surging. The word from our asset is that the Hodge kid is hitting all his reads dead on the mark. Both of the top QBs in the Class of 2024, Cole Hodge and Joshuah Keith, exhibit above grade level poise, athleticism, football IQ, and arm strength. Here’s another interesting similarity, neither of them played Junior Pro football last year. Hodge QB’d Sough Oldham’s 8th grade squad while Keith QB’d the 8th grade unit at Division I Christian County Middle, though I hear he likely won’t return for the Colonels in 2018.

For the 8th graders…

I have heard from my asset with the 8th grade Team Kentucky camp. He is reporting to me that there is a fullback for Team Kentucky who is getting tons of reps and is really huge and fast. He said they call him Jaguar. Through sources, KPGFootball has learned that The Jaguar is Louisville’s own, Jymarrie Johnson. Johnson is a huge back, some estimate he may weigh in the 240-250 pound range and comes in around 6-0 or so in height. This makes him just a perfect fullback in both stature and thickness. What people can’t seem to get over is his speed. Jacoby Thornsbury, Class of 2022’s top interior defensive lineman, sat out the morning practice nursing a lingering knee issue. It is expected he is alright and that knee may limit his practice time but not expected to impact his playtime Saturday provided it doesn’t get any worse. Have also heard from the asset that Brandon Dobbs is killing it and has off the charts aggressiveness and nasty. I am told Dobbs will start at either end or tackle along Kentucky’s defensive front. KPGFootball believes Dobbs is slated to attend Louisville Male this upcoming season.

End of the night update from June 14, 2018…

For the 7th graders…

Nothing right now but will check back in the morning to see if I can get some information about the night’s session.

For the 8th graders…

I am communicating with my 8th grade asset now. Here’s what he is telling me. William Hughes from Hopkinsville has had a difficult week with hand placement and running his feet. He has drawn some sharp criticism from Coach Monty Bross, sort of been in the dog house if you will. Hughes rebounded in team sessions tonight and acquitted himself well in the 15 or so plays in which he got to compete. Will it be enough to get him back in the rotation to start? Don’t know, either way the kid can flat play and has a bright future. Hughes came into the week a sure fire bet to start along Kentucky’s front but it looks like he may have been beaten out by Owen LeMaster from Johnson Central who has been impressive all week long. With HHS and Johnson Central both expected to be in the hunt for the Class 4A State Championship in 2018, these two being at odds on a football field won’t happen for the last time in the mountains at Morehead State University. They will see each other in the future and it will probably be at Kroger Field. Will Darragh is the best linebacker on the Kentucky team according to my spy. He is described as an absolute beast. I have before referred to him as the Austin Gough of the 2022 Kentucky team. Preston Agee has really looked good and my asset believes he will get the start for Kentucky on Saturday, at least it looks that way to him. My guy is also impressed with the play of Ben Vaughn from Taylor County. He has been described as steady, consistent, and never comes off the field. Another kid who we are told is showing out and will be in Kentucky’s plan against Tennessee in a big way is Johnson Central’s Keygan Pelfrey. He’s a TE and figures into both the run and passing game offensively but has been killing it on specials too. We hear he is laying the wood out there on the special teams, where games are all too often either won or lost. Last year’s game swung decidedly in Kentucky’s favor, and ultimately ended with Kentucky winning, largely thanks to special team play. You know, history is said to repeat itself.

June 14, 2018, the morning before the game, the Final Analysis…

For the 7th graders…

Just caught up with my 7th grade Team Kentucky asset after failing to get with him last night. Okay, he made us wait for it but he did have some interesting stuff to relate. So, here it goes…

He tells me the defense has the potential to be really special and change the game’s entire complexion. The front and second levels are fitting correctly and really playing well together and there are playmakers on the backend. My asset tells me to look for a couple takeaways defensively and maybe even a defensive score out of Kentucky on Saturday.

As for the QB battle, Cole Hodge, 2024, was taking 1st string repetitions last night and in the 11 on 11 scrimmage, Hodge marched the team 40 yards to score, with the scoring pass being a beautifully thrown 15 yard fade to Gavin Hurst. On the drive, Hodge was 4-5 and the one incomplete pass was a bullet to the flat which was just dropped. Oh well, you don’t catch them all. Hodge is playing with a ton of confidence and poise which isn’t normal for a 6th grader. My asset believes Hodge has shown himself to clearly be the 7th grade team’s best QB option for the offense it seems intent on running.

Gavin Hurst is a dog and, if you don’t know that is a good thing, you have never played the game of football. Hurst will command a double team or he will kill Tennessee. Hurst runs every rep at 100%, wins every jump ball, and, overall, is the kind of kid coaches enjoy coaching. Hurst has etched his name at the top portion of the 2023 Kentucky receiving corp for sure. Now, if Tennessee figures out how to stop the throw game with Hodge and Hurst, we have Bertrand Kibawa whose sprint-out and outside run game are hard to contain. Kibawa is athletic, quick, hard on who to set an edge and keep from skirting you, if you are an edge defender. Kentucky has also shown it can manage clock and control the ball by borrowing linebackers Carson Wright and LaShaun Mays to run both inside and power. G.J. Wooldridge, a veteran coach and Team Kentucky FBU fixture has the team ready to play according to what has been reported to me. If Kentucky can limit mental error, Kentucky has a very good chance of winning the 7th grade game for the first time in series history.

KPGFootball prediction for tomorrow…KY 12    Tenn. 6

For the 8th graders…

Okay guys here it is, the Final Analysis on 8th Grade Team Kentucky. Like is so often the case in an all-star team filled with players who haven’t played together but for a few days, the defense is ahead of the offense. For Kentucky to find the end zone enough to win its 3rd straight in the series, we are going to have to get the ball to a playmaker like Dedrick D-Shock Hamilton or down the field to a streaking Vinny Anthony. Either of those guys are homers threats and Preston Agee has the arm strength to get it to them. For that to happen, the Kentucky offensive front has got to do something it failed miserably to do last year and that is keep Tennessee’s Malachi Harrison from Knoxville out of the backfield making tackles behind our line of scrimmage. Harrison, the last two All-Star games in which he has played, has been Defensive MVP (7th grade Future Stars; Bret Cooper Junior All-American) and, in addition to winning Defensive MVP in Dallas, he also won the JJ Watt Award. He has to be contained, along with fellow Knoxvillian, Bill Anderson, also an All-American (Bret Cooper), or this could be a long afternoon. Kentucky has to be able to run the football. The way to neutralize pressure is to run right at it. We need big days from both Ja’waun Northington and the Jaguar Jymarrie Johnson. Like is the case all the time in football, we will rise and fall upfront tomorrow.

Defensively, Kentucky appears to be really good exhibiting athleticism and strength at the point of attack. This linebacker corp of Jamarques Frank, Jayshawn Monroe, Ben Vaughn, Brenton Sears, Will Darragh, and Tyler Morris may be the strength of the defensive side. I would look for Frank in the middle flanked by Vaughn and Darragh to start, but that is just my guess as my agent wouldn’t venture a guess as to likely personnel. It is going to be very hard to run at Kentucky’s defensive front. We know with Brandon Dobbs and Jacoby Thornsbury up front, whether inside or out, they will be hard pressed to run the ball at those guys. The key defensively is whether the Kentucky back four can cover Tennessee’s wide guys down the field on the over the top stuff. This game could come down to whose back-four ends up burnt. It just could be one of those type contests.

KPGFootball prediction for tomorrow…KY 18    Tenn. 12

This is Fletcher Long, reporting for KPGFootball reminding you to PLAY THROUGH THE WHISTLE!

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4 comments

    1. Josh, I wish I did. We helped pay for a kid to get to play this year who wouldn’t have been able to play were it not for the magazine so we put him to work in this way. I will be at the game Saturday and will watch the 7th graders and report on it. I have written several features about some of the seventh grade players on the magazine which you should be able to see if you browse around the site some. If you have some information you want to share with me, please do by texting it to me at 931.561.7773 and I will be happy to report it. Thanks for supporting the site.

  1. Thanks for the inside scoop. My son is there (incoming 7th grader) so it’s been exciting following the article and seeing from a different perspective. Cannot wait to see how the team meshes together on Saturday!

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