EKU football adds seven future Colonels during early signing period
The group includes two quarterbacks, two running backs, a defensive back, an outside linebacker and an offensive lineman
RICHMOND, Ky. – The Eastern Kentucky University football program signed seven high school players to National Letters of Intent (NLI) on Wednesday, head coach Walt Wells announced today.
The group includes two quarterbacks, two running backs, a defensive back, an outside linebacker and an offensive lineman. The group features four athletes from Florida, and one each from Kentucky, Ohio and Tennessee.
“I’m excited about the seven men we added to our roster today,” Wells said. “They all bring impressive skill sets to our team. We needed to add quarterbacks to our roster. We’ll always add offensive and defensive linemen, and tailback was a position of need for us. I want to thank all the high school coaches who helped us in the process. Thanks to coach Erik Losey for heading up our recruiting efforts, and Kelly Masker, John Barnett and our coaching staff for their assistance. I think they did a great job. I’m excited to see what the next signing period brings as we move forward to February and continue to recruit virtually.”
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The following are individual profiles of the signees.
Elias Allen – QB, 6-0, 210, Fr., Melbourne, Fla. (Rockledge HS)
Passed for 918 yards and rushed for 369 yards with 13 total touchdowns while helping Rockledge High School to a 7-2 record in 2020 … had 923 passing yards and 306 rushing yards with 10 total touchdowns as a junior … threw for 1,364 yards and rushed for 423 with 18 total touchdowns as a sophomore in 2018 … in three seasons of varsity play, helped the Raiders to a combined record of 25-6.
“Elias is a dual threat quarterback who throws the ball really well,” said Wells. “I’m excited about his leadership qualities. He’ll be a mid-year enrollee which will really help in his development as he works to learn our system. Graduating early shows what a great student he is. Coach Trent Steelman did a great job of developing a relationship with him. I’m excited to have him in our quarterback room.”
DJ Boney – QB, 6-3, 210, Fr., Orlando, Fla. (Evans HS)
Selected to the Shrine Bowl and Cure Bowl all-star games … totaled 5,300 all-purpose yards and 53 touchdowns during his high school career … also played at Ocoee High, Jones High and IMG Academy … had 1,100 passing yards and 400 rushing yards as a junior … totaled 2,400 passing yards and 24 touchdowns as a sophomore … also had offers from Florida Atlantic, Indiana, Purdue, Louisiana, Bowling Green, Navy, UNC Charlotte, Middle Tennessee, Tennessee State and Alabama State.
“DJ is a talented quarterback who coach Steelman identified early in the process and stayed on,” Wells said. “He had a great senior year and is one of the standout players in the central Florida area. I’m looking forward to getting him on campus.” Kevin Butler – DB, 5-9, 160, Fr., Orlando, Fla. (Edgewater HS)
Totaled 51 tackles with five forced fumbles, one fumble recovery, one interception, two sacks and seven pass break-ups while helping Edgewater to a region championship as a senior in 2020 … also rushed for 101 yards his senior season … finished with 78 tackles, five interceptions, 12 pass break-ups, two forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries and two sacks while leading Edgewater to a 13-2 record, a district championship, a region title and a state finals appearance as a junior in 2019 … helped the Eagles go 12-2 with a region championship in 2018 after finishing the season with 48 tackles, two interceptions and a sack … also ran track, placing first in the district and third in the region in the 200m dash … also had offers from Liberty, Howard, South Dakota, Bryant and West Florida … chose EKU because “they believed and gave me an opportunity to play at the next level, and get my degree so I can coach the game of football”.
“Kevin is an exciting and explosive player who every high school coach down there talks about,” said Wells. “He’s a strong tackler and playmaker. His physicality and his ability to cover makes up for his stature.” O’Brien Jackson – OL, 6-4, 270, Fr., Murfreesboro, Tenn. (Blackman HS)
Played at Blackman High School … ranked as the No. 16 offensive lineman in the state of Tennessee … earned honorable mention all-region recognition after his senior season … helped the Blaze to a 10-2 record as a sophomore in 2018 and a 7-5 mark as a junior in 2019 … also a member of the Blackman track and field team … had offers from North Alabama, Tennessee Tech, Gardner-Webb, VMI, Murray State, Austin Peay, Tennessee-Martin, Central Arkansas, Southeast Missouri, Western Illinois and Alabama A&M … chose EKU because “they gave me the opportunity to continue my football and academic career”.
“Coach Losey was the first to identify O’Brien in the recruiting process and we were able to have him up for a Junior Day before COVID,” Wells said. “He’s a big, long offensive lineman who has a lot of potential. He’ll continue to get better each year. O’Brien played on a good high school football team at Blackman in Murfreesboro.” Richtell McCallister – RB, 5-8, 180, Fr., Akron, Ohio (Streetsboro HS)
First team all-state as a senior at Streetsboro High School … chosen as league offensive player of the year, Division 3 NEO Offensive Player of the Year, first team all-district and first team all-area as a senior … rushed for 1,615 yards on 116 carries (13.9 yards/carry), and caught nine passes for 119 yards in 2020 … helped Streetsboro to an 8-1 record and a MAC Championship his senior season … earned All-Inland District honorable mention as a junior after rushing for 873 yards on 75 carries (11.6 yards/carry) … rushed for 1,023 yards on 64 touches (15.9 yards/carry) and picked up All-Inland District honorable mention as a sophomore in 2018 … also had offers from Akron, Liberty, Kent State and Robert Morris.
“Telly is an elusive and explosive back,” said Wells. “Coach Andy Richman identified him early in the recruiting process. He was the offensive player of the year in his division. He had a lot of explosive runs and he’s solid catching the ball out of the backfield. We’re looking forward to adding him to our running back room.”
Harold McKay Jr. – OLB, 6-4, 218, Fr., Daytona Beach, Fla. (Seabreeze HS)
Selected as a Podyum Prep All-American after his senior season … recorded 41 tackles, nine tackles for a loss and four sacks in 2020 … picked up honorable mention all-area honors after his junior season when he totaled 54 tackles, 14 tackles for a loss and three sacks … was also a member of the Seabreeze High School basketball team … also had offers from Central Michigan, Tennessee-Martin, Gardner-Webb and Bethune-Cookman … chose EKU because “it’s a great place for me to take the next step in my life, and I believe that the coaches here will take my talent to the next level”.
“Harold is a big, long outside linebacker who coach Steelman identified,” Wells said. “I’m excited to get him on board at the JACK position and continue developing him as a pass rusher.” Braedon Sloan – RB, 5-11, 195, Fr., Frazer, Ky. (Wayne County HS)
Two-time all-state selection … two-time Class AAAA, District 7 Player of the Year … three-time all-district … rushed for 1,607 yards on 153 carries with 28 total touchdowns as a senior in 2020 … set the single season scoring record for the state of Kentucky as a junior when he rushed for 2,804 yards on 227 carries and finished with 3,775 all-purpose yards and 56 total touchdowns … had 1,120 rushing yards on 120 carries and 20 total touchdowns as a sophomore in 2018 … set the Wayne County High School career record for rushing yards … helped the Cardinals capture district championships in 2017, 2018 and 2019 … part of the Wayne County team that won the region title in 2017 when he rushed for 220 yards on 20 carries … also had offers from Eastern Illinois and Fordham … chose EKU because of the “awesome coaching staff that made me feel like I was at home and the family feel of all the people I got to meet”.
“Braedon is one of the top players in Kentucky,” said Wells. “He set numerous records at Wayne County High School for coach Shawn Thompson. He’s got good size and speed. Braedon will be able to do a lot of different things on the field for us. He’s a really good football player.”