By LARRY VAUGHT
Sometimes when you get information you know immediately to pay attention to it. That’s what happened when Cody Estep, an all-conference receiver for the Centre College football team, reached out to me about Pikeville junior receiver Jackson Hensley.
“I have said it for some time now that he is a special talent and is one of the best football players I have watched in a long time,” said Estep, who played at Pikeville High School. “He has been flying under the radar, but he went to the Open in North Carolina and had a stellar performance.
“Running a 4.48 (40-yard dash) laser (timed) at 190 (pounds) is blazing fast, especially for a kid with the ball skills that Jackson possesses. I really feel like this kid is the next big recruit from eastern Kentucky.”
He’s a terrific athlete. He’s had a 39 foot, 5-inch triple jump as a part time track performer where he also runs the
100-meter dash and hurdles. He’s a star center fielder in baseball with a strong arm, above average speed and good bat.
Last year he caught 39 passes for 829 yards and 16 scores and ran 15 times for 235 yards and two scores. He also had 50 tackles and one interception that he returned 43 yards for a score.
At the combine in North Carolina where he ran the 4.48 40, he also had a 37-3 vertical j ump and did the agility drill in 4.33 seconds.
247Sports lists Hensley as the state’s seventh best senior — one spot above Kentucky commit Beau Allen and two above West Virginia commit Reese Smith of Boyle County. Rivals.com does not have Hensley in its top 15 for the Kentucky 2020 player rankings.
Hensley says UK has “not shown much interest” in him other than talking to his coach after Pikeville played in the state title game in December at Kroger Field. He did go to spring practice at UK.
“I have talked a lot to Louisville, Eastern Kentucky, UNC-Charlotte, Western Kentucky, Michigan and Marshall along with Ohio State,” Hensley said.