Barker named Army All-American, receives invitation to bowl game

Hebron, KY (WKYT) - Conner High School quarterback Drew Barker was presented with his Army All-American Bowl jersey Wednesday morning and extended an invitation to play in the game during a ceremony at the school.

Barker, a UK commit, will travel to San Antonio for the game on Jan. 4.

"It's pretty cool," Barker said after the announcement. "It's the premiere high school All-American game, just like the McDonald's All-American Game. This is where you want to be seen and I can't wait to play in it."

Barker joins Matt Elam, a defensive and offensive tackle out of John Hardin High School, in the game, which counts more than 200 NFL players among its alumni.

"I'm just excited to be out there with him," Conner said. "I know he's going to be announcing at the game, so I'm gonna be in his ear. I might even try to room with him at the game."

Elam announced on Tuesday during his jersey ceremony that three schools now are on his list: Kentucky, Alabama and Notre Dame. Elam said he'd make his choice known during the broadcast of the Army All-American Bowl.

"He's our biggest target. We've got to go all out on him," Barker said.

Elam told reporters that UK once was the leader, but now both Alabama and Notre Dame have pulled even.

Barker laughed when asked about those comments.

"There's definitely a quiet confidence," Barker said. "Matt's the type of guy, he likes the recruiting process. He likes all the Twitter stuff. He knows if he can mess with people every chance he gets, he's going to take that opportunity."

Barker said his plan is still to graduate from Conner in December and enroll at UK in the spring.

"I took two classes this summer to get my extra credits and I'm good to go now. I felt like I might as well just start pursuing my career, because staying in high school another semester, I felt like it couldn't do anything for me."

After watching the Wildcats get off to a 1-6 start this season, and seeing Jalen Whitlow and Maxwell Smith struggle with injuries, Barker says he plans on contributing right away as a freshman.

"That's basically the reason I want to graduate early. Get there, see where I stand and if I could start next year, then start next year," he said. "It's in their hands. I'm just going to try my best to do what I can do, and hopefully, win the job."

Barker also said he's been in touch with other recruits and thinks UK's Class of 2014 will remain intact.

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