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Freshman M.J. Devonshire might be name to watch in UK secondary

Aliquippa’s MJ Devonshire is an elite athlete who could get into UK’s defensive secondary rotation. (Christopher Horner/Pittsburgh Tribune Review)


During the late February national football signing period Kentucky added only one player — Pennsylvania cornerback M.J. Devonshire. Kentucky coach Mark Stoops said then that Devonshire had “great size, great speed” with the versatility to play either offense or defense.

Considering the early signees Kentucky had, not a lot of attention was paid to the addition of the 5-11, 180-pound Devonshire. However, he might be a name to remember when Kentucky starts preseason practice.

During his senior season, he led his team to a state football title (he scored 24 touchdowns including eight on punt returns), got his basketball team into the playoffs )he averaged 17 points per game) and won the 100- and 200-meter dashes at the state track championships.

“He had Ohio State and a lot of good offers. When we recruited him, we knew what kind of player we were getting,” said Kentucky recruiting coordinator Vince Marrow. “He’s a very smart kid, too. I think he has a very good chance to get in the rotation early at DB (defensive back). He’s an athlete. He was a point guard in basketball and could dunk the basketball. He’s the type athlete you’ve got to have in our league.”

Chris Harlan of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review watched Devonshire for Aliquippa High School and says he’s one of those athletes with the physical and mental makeup to be successful.

“He’s the ultimate competitor and always seemed comfortable in big moments. In the state 100-meter finals, he outran Southern Columbia’s Julian Fleming, an Ohio State recruit and the No. 1-ranked wide receiver in 2020, according to Rivals. His sprinter’s speed translates well to the football field,” Harlan said.

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