By LARRY VAUGHT
Louisville Moore defensive end J.J. Weaver told me earlier this week that Kentucky was No. 1 on his list unless something happened before his official commitment today.
Instead, an emotional Weaver announced his official verbal commitment to Kentucky at Moore High School where he especially thanked his teammates and mother for helping him get to where he is now.
Weaver took his official visit to Lexington on Oct. 20 and had offers from Miami, Georgia, Tennessee, Purdue, Cincinnati, Georgia Tech, Indiana, Maryland, Minnesota, Louisville, Ole Miss, Syracuse, and Vanderbilt in addition to the Cardinals and the Wildcats.
Weaver is the first player in the Rivals.com 250 national rankings to pick UK and becomes the highest ranked recruit by Rivals in Kentucky’s 2019 recruiting class. Other four-star commitments Kentucky has are from Western Hills receiver Wandale Robinson, Ohio safety Moses Douglas and junior college receiver JaVonte Richardson.
The 6-5, 240-pound Weaver had tremendous length and versatility. He’s been recruited to play linebacker at Kentucky much like Josh Allen and Bud Dupree did.
Weaver had 70 tackles, 10 sacks, three interceptions and one fumble recovery in 12 games.
Weaver’s commitment continues the in-state recruiting resurgence for UK — and it may not be over. After not signing an in-state player last year, Kentucky now has commitments from Weaver, Robinson, West Jessamine offensive lineman Eli Cox, Butler receiver Demontae Crumes and Louisville Doss defensive end Shawnkel Knight-Goff.
Ballard linebacker Jared Casey, another four-star player, also recently de-committed from Oregon and will make his college choice Thursday at his high school. Kentucky has become the favorite.