By LARRY VAUGHT
Does every football player at Lexington’s Frederick Douglas High School have a Kentucky scholarship offer?
Okay, it’s not every player but it almost seems that way after two more underclassmen got scholarship offers from the Wildcats this week.
Kentucky made offers to 6-3, 175-pound freshman tight end Thomas Howard and 5-9, 150-pound freshman receiver/defensive back Isaiah Kenney.
The Cats already had extended scholarship offers to these Frederick Douglas players:
— Junior offensive lineman Jager Burton, the top-ranked player in Kentucky in the 2021 recruiting class.
— Sophomore athlete Dane Key.
— Sophomore Ty Bryant, a 6-0, 175-pound defensive back.
And don’t forget there is senior offensive lineman Walker Parks, who turned down UK’s offer to sign with Clemson.
That’s six players on the 2019 team that now have Kentucky scholarship offers and five that will be back to play for first-year coach Nathan McPeek, the former offensive line coach for the Broncos.
“A lot of them do have Kentucky offers,” McPeek said Tuesday after he finished taking calls from Ohio State, Clemson and West Virginia coaches about his players. “I think college coaches like what we have been doing with our players.”
Howard gave a verbal commitment to Louisville baseball before the start of his 2019 football season. He had eight catches for 101 yards but five of his receptions went for touchdowns. Kentucky was his first Division I football offer but McPeek says Louisville also has shown considerable interest.
“He’s a really good pitcher. I know baseball is important to him but he’s a really good football player, too,” McPeek said. “I would never tell a kid what to do other than to play all the sports he wants. He’s blessed to be good in all of them, including basketball. He’s just a really good athlete.
“He started every game for us as a true freshman. I do not like to play freshmen (in the offensive line) but he had several TD catches and some big third-down catches. His role will evolve this year. He was a pretty good blocker last year but he needs to get bigger and stronger. But with him being a pitcher, he’s not going to get real big.”
Kenney did not play as much as a freshman because of the players — Baylor signee Devin Neal and Bryant — in front of him.
“He is really a good athlete,” McPeek said.
Kentucky secondary coach Steve Clinkscale first saw Kenney play in middle school because he had a son at the same school. He had 24 tackles in 15 games last year in his limited duty and returned his one interception 40 yards.
“He was really a good special teams players for us last year,” McPeek said. “He played a lot in the state semifinals against Owensboro because Devin had some cramping issues. He played pretty much all year, just not at safety like he will this year. But he’s a playmaker and had a lot of big plays and tackles in the return game.”