2013 KENTUCKY FOOTBALL SIGNEES
Jeff Badet, Wide Receiver, 6-0, 170, Fr-HS, Orlando, Fla. (Freedom) – Possesses great quickness and a sudden burst that help him project as an ideal receiver … Has displayed great hands, body control and the awareness that make him great at making tough catches in traffic … Caught 63 passes for 881 yards, 10 receiving touchdowns and six rushing scores as a senior … Played for Coach Andy Johnson, helping Freedom HS to a 7-4 record and state playoff berth as a senior … Junior stats featured 46 catches for 718 yards and 11 TDs … Ranked No. 13 on the Orlando Sentinel Central Florida “Super 60” … Finished fifth in the long jump at the Florida state track and field championships … Last name pronounced “bah-DETT.”
Alvonte Bell, Defensive End, 6-5, 255, Fr-HS, Miramar, Fla. (Everglades) – Explosive defensive end at Everglades High School in Miramar, Fla., where he was coached by Rodney Rumph … The nation’s No. 24 weakside defensive end by Rivals.com … The No. 34 overall defensive end according to Scout.com … “Bell is a raw athlete with speed, length, and quickness that attracts attention his way. He has long arms to get into passing lanes, he can move well in space, and he really pursues the ball well,” according to Scout analyst Chad Simmons … Was timed at 4.88 in the 40 with a 27-inch vertical … Made 40 tackles as a junior, with his 18 total tackles for loss including 11 quarterback sacks … Helped led the team to the Florida Class 6A regional quarterfinals his freshman and sophomore seasons … Missed much of his senior season because of injury … Began high school career as a basketball star before making the move to football … Name is pronounced “al-VON-tay.”
Javess Blue, Wide Receiver, 6-0, 190, Jr-JC, Babson Park, Fla. (Lake Wales/Butler Community College) –Second-team National Junior College Athletic Association All-American during his sophomore season at Butler Community College in El Dorado, Kansas … Also was named first-team all-conference … Ranked as the nation’s No. 14 junior college player by ESPN.com … Led the Grizzlies in receptions with 65, receiving yards with 1,064 and receiving touchdowns with 12 … Ranked in the top-10 nationally in each category … Averaged 28.8 yards per kickoff return and 11.2 yards on punt returns … Helped the team to a 11-1 record in 2012, winning the Region VI Championship before falling in the Graphic Edge National Championship Bowl … Grizzlies were the Region VI Champions, KJCCC Champions and played in the Citizen’s Bank Bowl his freshman season … Great freshman season with 27 receptions for 586 yards, a 21.7-yard average, and three touchdowns … Coached by Troy Morrell at Butler Community College … Big-play receiver at Lake Wales (Fla.) HS … Caught 88 passes for 1,774 yards and 20 touchdowns, averaging 20.2 yards catch, during his final two seasons at LWHS… Helped team advance to the Class AAA state semifinals his junior season with an 11-2 record … Clocked at 4.41 seconds in the 40-yard dash … Coached in high school by Rod Shafer … Name is pronounced “JAY-vess.”
Steven Borden, Tight End, 6-3, 250, Jr-JC, Waxahachie, Texas (Waxahachie/Kilgore College) – Enrolled at UK in January … Second-team all-conference tight end at Kilgore (Texas) College … Caught 11 passes as a sophomore for 181 yards, a 16.5-yard average, and four touchdowns … Versatile athlete who has the size to play tight end and the athleticism to play as a slot receiver … Coached at Kilgore by J.J. Eckert … Played defensive end during the 2010 season at Southwestern Assemblies of God, an NAIA school in Waxahachie, Texas … Made 35 tackles, featuring 7.5 tackles for loss, including 3.5 quarterback sacks … Played his senior season as a defensive end at Waxahachie High School, helping team to a 12-1 record and the quarterfinals of the state Class AAAA playoffs … Earned first-team all-district honors … Coached at Waxahachie by David Ream … Played three seasons at Santa Clarita Christian High School in California as a quarterback, receiver and linebacker … Coached at Santa Clarita by Garrick Moss … Also played basketball in high school.
Justin Day, Offensive Tackle, 6-8, 305, Fr-HS, Aiken, S.C. (South Aiken) – First-team all-state by SCVarsit.com … Offensive tackle with a huge upside … Long arms and big frame give him the potential to be an outstanding pass blocker … Has only played one year in the offensive line … Started his high school career playing defensive end before he moved to the other side of the ball as a senior … Played at South Aiken High School, coached by Jeremy West … Also first-team all-state and all-region … Was a standout at the Rivals.com South Carolina Elite 100 Camp in the spring of 2012 … “Day was the biggest surprise of the week,” Rivals analyst Mike Farrell wrote. “(M)ore often than not his opponents ended up on the ground with the big man lurking over them when the whistle blew.” … Played in the Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas, which pits the best high school players from North Carolina and South Carolina against each other.
Jason Hatcher, Defensive End, 6-3, 250, Fr-HS, Louisville, Ky. (Trinity) – One of the nation’s top prospects at defensive end … Rated No. 8 in the country by Rivals.com, #10 by Scout.com, #14 by ESPN.com and #16 by 247Sports.com … Helped lead Trinity High School to three-consecutive Class 6A state championships and a three-year record of 41-2 … First-team all-state as a senior by the Louisville Courier-Journal and The Associated Press … Made 37 tackles as a senior, including 13.5 quarterback sacks and four additional tackles for loss … Played in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl in San Antonio, Texas following senior campaign … One of the nation’s top-200 prospects by ESPN … Scout.com’s Scott Kennedy says Hatcher “has the speed to play outside linebacker and the frame to grown into an every down defense end. He is tremendously quick off the line and fast in pursuit. He relies on speed and quickness rather than strength.” … Had 40 tackles his junior and sophomore seasons, including 12 sacks his junior year and 11.5 TFL his sophomore season … Coached by Bob Beatty.
Nick Haynes, Offensive Lineman, 6-3, 305, Fr-HS, Niceville, Fla. (Niceville) – A great athlete with a high upside after having played football only two years in high school … Ranked as the nation’s No. 40 guard by Rivals.com … Extremely versatile player who has experience as a tight end, fullback and defensive lineman as a high school player … Played predominantly as a tackle in high school, but could transition to guard or center at UK … Excels as a run blocker as he compiled an impressive tally of pancake blocks in high school … Relies on great footwork as he also lettered in basketball as a prepster … Attended Niceville (Fla.) High School, helping team to a winning record both seasons he played … Coach by John Hicks.
Jacob Hyde, Defensive Lineman, 6-2, 330, Fr-HS, Manchester, Ky. (Clay County) – Was Kentucky’s first verbal commitment of the 2013 signing class … One of the nation’s top-50 defensive tackles by Rivals.com and 247Sports.com … First-team all-state as a senior as chosen by The Associated Press …Comes to Lexington from Clay County High School, where he played for head coach Evan Napier … Played defensive tackle and offensive guard in high school, but is projected on the defensive side for Kentucky … Helped Clay County finish 8-4 his sophomore season en route to an appearance in the Class AAAAA state playoffs … Helped lead Kentucky all-stars to a 29-27 win over Tennessee in the National Guard Border Bowl … Played for the USA national team in the International Bowl on Feb. 5 in Austin, Tex. … Named All-SEKC by MaxPreps.com … Also chosen first team on the All-Mountain squad.
Jaleel Hytchye, Cornerback, 5-10, 175, Fr-HS, Cincinnati, Ohio (La Salle) – Talented athlete who also had a successful track career at La Salle High School in Cincinnati … One of the nation’s top-25 cornerbacks as evaluated by ESPN.com, which gives him a positive rating in man coverage, zone coverage, ballhandling and instincts … ESPN.com ranks him as the 20th-best prospect in Ohio and wrote, “Hytchye has the coverage skills to see early playing time at the BCS level of competition.” … Has been timed at 4.4 seconds in the 40-yard dash and is considering running track at Kentucky … Finished the 2012 season with two interceptions – one for a touchdown – and a fumble recovery … Second-team all-conference in the highly competitive Greater Catholic League …During his junior campaign in 2011, he posted four interceptions and 14 pass breakups … Helped Lancers to third-place finish in the city in 2010 with a 9-2 record and a 7-3 record his junior season … Coached by Tom Grippa … Name is pronounced “jah-LEEL HI-chee.”
Jojo Kemp, Running Back, 5-10, 190, Fr-HS, DeLand, Fla. (DeLand) – Earned Associated Press all-state first-team honors his senior season … Rushed 255 times as a senior for 1,469 yards and 23 touchdowns … Equally as impressive his junior season when he rushed 178 times for 1,163 yards and 14 touchdowns … Had a great game on the big stage, rushing for 210 yards and two touchdowns on a game televised by ESPN2, which featured several Division I prospects on defense … Rated the nation’s No. 10 multipurpose back by Rivals.com … The No. 28 running back by ESPN.com … Scout.com’s Mike Bakas says Kemp “has enough size to grow into a potential 210-plus pound running back who will be able carry to carry the rock 20 times a game and get the tough yards inside.” … Bakas also says Kemp is “a tremendous athlete who can make a lot of people miss in space … changes directions well … can catch the ball very well out of the backfield … he’s just a good football player with plus athleticism.” … No. 10-ranked player in the Orlando Sentinel’s 2013 Central Florida “Super60” prospects … Coached by Al Manning.
Austin MacGinnis, Kicker, 5-10, 175, Fr-HS, Prattville, Ala. (Prattville) – One of the nation’s top three kicker prospects according to Rivals.com and 247Sports.com … Played his senior season at Prattville (Ala.) High School under Coach Chad Anderson … Handled punts, field goals and kickoffs for the Lions, making seven of 10 field goals, including a 50-yarder … 76 percent of kickoffs went for touchbacks … Named to the all-area team … Participated for the winning National team in the Offense-Defense All-America Bowl in Houston following his senior campaign … Played at Randolph County High School before moving to Prattville his senior season … Converted six of nine field goals and made all of his extra points as a junior, with 81 percent touchbacks on kickoffs … Participated in the National Underclassmen Challenge and performed well … According to ChrisSailerKicking.com, MacGinnis “is a tremendous kicker. He has a huge leg … kickoffs are Division-I ready right now. A great competitor that kicks well under pressure.” … Spent time with One-on-One Kicking.
Blake McClain, Defensive Back, 5-11, 190, Fr-HS, Winter Park, Fla. (Winter Park) – Versatile defensive back could be either a cornerback or safety on the collegiate level … Considered the nation’s No. 66 safety by ESPN.com, which says McClain’s strengths are zone coverage, ball skills and run support … The No. 61 cornerback by Rivals.com … Good senior season at Winter Park (Fla.) HS, gathering 60 tackles and three interceptions, including one for a touchdown … Ended his high school career with nine picks … Also played wide receiver, with two receiving touchdowns his senior season … Ranked as the No. 25 prospect on the Orlando Sentinel’s 2013 Central Florida Super60 … The Orlando Sentinel wrote that McClain “has top-notch footwork and an ability to keep his hips parallel to the line of scrimmage to keep quarterbacks at bay.” … Named a Central Florida All-Star … Coached by Larry Gergley … Has been timed at 4.5 seconds in the 40-yard dash … All-around athlete who also played basketball.
Marcus McWilson, Safety, 6-0, 210, Fr-HS, Youngstown, Ohio (Cardinal Mooney) – Physical, athletic safety who is ranked as one of the nation’s top-20 safeties by Scout.com and Rivals.com … Ranked No. 18 nationally in the athlete category by 247Sports.com … The No. 10 player in talent-rich Ohio by Rivals … Played at Cardinal Mooney HS in Youngstown, Ohio, the alma mater of new UK head coach Mark Stoops and tight ends coach Vince Marrow … Helped Cardinal Mooney to a Division III state championship his junior and freshman seasons … Team went 15-0 his freshman season and 11-3 his junior year … First-team All-Ohio in 2012 … Had eight interceptions as a junior, two picks as a sophomore … Also played running back in high school, including posting 124 rushing yards and three touchdowns in a single game last fall … Coach P.J. Fecko told the Tribune-Chronicle before the 2012 season that, “Marcus is a tremendous athlete. He does a lot of different things. He kicks the ball. He returns the ball. He's a defensive guy. He's a receiver. He's a running back. His ability to want to compete and to do so wherever he's called upon helps. He's been successful to do that.”
Kyle Meadows, Offensive Lineman, 6-5, 270, Fr-HS, West Chester, Ohio (Lakota West) -- Combines great footwork with tremendous length and playing strength … No. 38 overall offensive tackle according to Scout.com … The No. 31-ranked player in the 247Sports composite of the talent-rich state of Ohio … Ranked No. 5 among the top 50 players in the Cincinnati Enquirer’s Greater Cincinnati to watch list of the 2013 … Played for Larry Cox at Lakota West High School … Helped his team to an 8-2 record as a senior … A former basketball player who exhibits an all-around combination of quickness, balance and strength … Went to the same high school as former UK fullback John Conner, now a member of the Cincinnati Bengals.
Regie Meant, Defensive Lineman, 6-4, 275, Fr-HS, Cape Coral, Fla. (Baker) – A speedy defensive line prospect with a huge frame to go along with quickness … Has been timed at 4.7 seconds in the 40-yard dash, a remarkable time for a defensive lineman … With his great combination of size and speed he could project as a defensive tackle or end … Second-team all-state in Florida Class AAAAA as a senior … Did not begin playing football until high school … Attended Ida Baker High School, where he played just three seasons for Coach Brian Conn … Totaled 68 tackles, 16 tackles for loss, two sacks, a caused fumble and two quarterback hurries his senior season … Finished junior season with 23 tackles, four sacks and three caused fumbles … Name pronounced same as “Reggie.”
Ramsey Meyers, Offensive Lineman, 6-4, 290, Fr-HS, Orange Park, Fla. (Ridgeview) – First-team all-state senior season in Florida Class 6A … A big and athletic offensive line prospect with great run-blocking ability … Physical attributes could help him project into multiple offensive line positions … The nation’s No. 60 guard prospect by 247Sports and ranked No. 61 by Scout.com … Played for Coach Tom McPherson and the Ridgeview Panthers in Orange Park, Fla. … Helped Ridgeview to a 9-2 mark and a spot in the state playoffs his senior year … Senior honors also included All-First Coast, All-County and the Florida Times-Union “Super 24” … Played in the Florida Athletic Coaches Association North-South All-Star Classic following senior campaign … Honorable-mention all-state as a junior … Named the top sleeper at the Nike Elite Camp last spring ... A first-team all-combine performer at the US Army combine in 2012 … The first Southeastern Conference signee in school history.
Alex Montgomery, Wide Receiver, 6-2, 210, Fr-HS, Weston, Fla. (Cypress Bay) – First-team all-state wide receiver from Cypress Bay High School, where he helped his team to the 8A state championship game his senior season, regional semifinals his junior year and state semifinals his sophomore season … Ended his high school career in fine fashion with a tremendous performance in the 8A state championship game … Had nine catches for 199 yards and three touchdowns in the final, including a nifty one-handed touchdown catch … His 199 receiving yards was a state finals record … Also played defensive back and had what appeared to be the game-winning interception in the state championship game before a late penalty nullified the play … In the two playoff games before the state final, Montgomery returned an interception for a touchdown in each, first for 34 yards and then 56 yards … Had 42 catches for 892 yards and seven touchdowns his senior year en route to first-team all-state honors by the Miami Herald … Ended his junior campaign with 27 catches for 556 yards and 10 touchdowns … Coached by Mark Guandolo … ESPN.com lists key traits as good hands and speed … Ranked as the nation’s No. 51 wide receiver by Rivals.com.
Reese Phillips, Quarterback, 6-2, 225, Fr-HS, Signal Mountain, Tenn. (Signal Mountain) – Two-year all-state quarterback at Signal Mountain (Tenn.) High School … Led team to a 7-4 record as a senior and an appearance in the Tennessee Class AAAA state playoffs … Completed 172 of 274 passes for 2,274 yards, 15 touchdowns and only three interceptions to earn all-state honors from the Tennessee Sports Writers Association … District Player of the Year … Was named the MVP of the Tennessee High School East/West All-Star Classic after going 10-for-10 for 95 yards and a touchdown … Led the East to a 41-20 win, setting a record for most points in the all-star game … Solid junior season as a first-year starting quarterback, throwing for 1,895 yards, 21 TDs and four interceptions while completing 71 percent of his passes … Was named a first-team all-state performer in 2011 by Tennessee Sports Writers Association … Started at tight end and defensive back as a freshman and sophomore, including sophomore campaign which saw Signal Mountain win the Class AA state championship with a 14-0 record (SMHS competed in 4A during his junior and senior seasons) … Known for a strong arm and consistent accuracy … Coached by Bill Price … “Reese is a very intelligent kid with a work ethic that is tremendous,” Price said. “He has a very strong arm and his accuracy is a big plus.” … A two-year all-district performer in baseball, playing shortstop and pitching …Junior year pitching stats featured a 7-1 record with an 0.85 earned run average, striking out 60 in 49 innings of work … Honor-roll student and member of the Beta Club … Reese’s grandfather, Harry, and great uncle, Dick, were members of the football team at Georgia.
Za’Darius Smith, Defensive End, 6-6, 260, Jr-JC, Greenville, Ala. (Greenville/East Mississippi Community College) – The nation’s No. 1 junior college strongside defensive end prospect as ranked by JCGridiron.com … The nation’s No. 10 overall juco prospect, and No. 2 defensive end, by ESPN … Listed No. 15 overall, and the No. 2 weakside defensive end, by 24/7 Sports … Totaled 47 tackles, including 6.5 quarterback sacks and 11 total tackles for loss, as a sophomore at East Mississippi Community College in Scooba, Miss. … Named second-team All-America by the National Junior College Athletic Association … Also named to the juco all-region and all-state teams … Helped EMCC to an 8-2 record … Made 19 tackles, featuring 4.5 sacks and seven total TFL, as a freshman … EMCC won the 2011 NJCAA national championship with a 12-0 mark … Head coach was Buddy Stephens and his defensive line coach was current UK assistant Jimmy Brumbaugh … A relative latecomer to the game as he grew up playing basketball at Greenville (Ala.) High School and didn’t begin playing football until his senior year …Coached at Greenville by Ben Blackmon …An older brother, Bob Meeks, played center at Auburn from 1988-91 and for the NFL’s Denver Broncos … A cousin, Davern Williams, played at Troy and for the NFL’s New York Giants … A niece, Kristi Mokube, currently plays basketball at Florida State.
Khalid Thomas, RB, 5-10, 170, Fr-HS, Tallahassee, Fla. (Godby) – Skilled athlete who was named the 2012 Tallahassee Quarterback Club’s Most Valuable Player of the Year after helping Godby High School win the 2012 Class AAAAA state championship … Had 13 carries for 70 yards in the state championship game … Scored the game-winning touchdown on a 28-yard run, breaking multiple tackles in the process, in Godby’s 21-20 title triumph … Team posted a 14-1 record under Coach Ronnie Cottrell … Outstanding senior campaign, rushing 184 times for 1,471 yards and 15 touchdowns … Also had 23 receptions for 218 yards and a touchdown last fall … Led Godby in rushing and receiving his junior season … Had 958 rushing yards and 16 touchdowns his junior season, while also posting 421 receiving yards … Also played some defense in high school, making some interceptions … Named Class 1A-5A all-state second team his senior season and was a Tallahassee Democrat All-Big Bend Co-Player of the Year … Brother of current UK linebacker Kadeem “Pancho” Thomas … The nation’s No. 27 all-purpose back by 247Sports.com … 4quartersonline.com said Thomas is “an elusive multi-purpose back that can give opposition teams nightmares.” … ESPN.com praises Thomas for versatility, being a playmaker and his ball skills … Name is pronounced “kah-LEED.”
Ryan Timmons, Athlete, 5-10, 185, Fr-HS, Frankfort, Ky. (Franklin County) – Dynamic playmaker who was all over the field offensively in high school … Played running back, wide receiver and returned kicks … Produced eye-popping numbers … First-team all-state as a junior and senior by the Louisville Courier-Journal … Also all-state as a senior by The Associated Press and a member of the Lexington Herald-Leader “Class of the Commonwealth” … Rushed for 1,306 yards and 25 touchdowns his senior season, averaging an amazing 15.7 yards per attempt … Caught 33 passes for 1,004 yards and 16 TDs, averaging more than 30 yards per reception … Opponents kicked off to him only three times and he returned them all for touchdowns … Had equally incredible numbers his junior season … Rushed 62 times for 1,382 yards, averaging 22.3 yards per carry, and 20 touchdowns … Also had 38 receptions for 1,100 yards, a 28.9 average, and 18 touchdowns his junior campaign … Versatility makes him difficult to define as he ranks as the nation’s No. 23 running back by 247Sports.com, the No. 28 athlete by ESPN.com and the No. 46 wide receiver by Scout.com.
Nate Willis, Defensive Back, 6-0, 180, Jr-JC, Pahokee, Fla. (Pahokee/Arizona Western College) – Rated as the No. 3 junior college cornerback in the nation by 247Sports.com … Helped Arizona Western College to an 8-2 record last fall and a victory in the El Toro Bowl – the team’s first bowl game win in more than 40 years … Team finished the 2011 regular season No. 1 in the nation and hosted the national championship game before suffering its first loss of the season to finish 11-1 … Solid sophomore season at AWCC, earning 19 tackles, one interception and five pass breakups … Had 31 tackles, one tackle-for-loss, one fumble forced and three interceptions his freshman season … Also returned kicks in junior college … His freshman season, he return four kickoffs for 133 yards and two punts for 135 yards and a touchdown … Had three kickoff returns last season for 65 yards … ESPN.com gives Willis praise for his man coverage, zone coverage, instincts and ball skills … Helped his team win the 2B state championship his freshman and sophomore seasons … Focused on basketball and did not play football his last two years at Pahokee (Fla.) HS … Did play one season at Glades Central HS.