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By LARRY VAUGHT
Caldwell County quarterback Elijah Sindelar continues to receive strong recruiting interest from Kentucky despite some internet speculation that the talented junior is not on UK’s 2015 radar.
Caldwell coach David Barnes said Sunday that Kentucky, Purdue and Mississippi are Sindelar’s top three choices. Kentucky and Purdue have been there for months with Ole Miss now in the mix after a recent visit from Mississippi coach Hugh Freeze.
“He went to a game at Mississippi during the season and the offensive coordinator came right after Christmas break and then coach Freeze came with the offensive coordinator to see him,” said Barnes. “But the two that have recruited him the hardest all along are Kentucky and Purdue. They have been the most consistent.”
Kentucky offensive coordinator Neal Brown recently visited Sindelar, and brough head coach Mark Stoops with him once. Purdue tight ends coach/recruiting coordinator Gerad Parker, a former UK player, has been just as persistent.
Sindelar completed 196 of 303 passes for 3,374 yards and 44 touchdowns with eight interceptions last season and ran 61 times for 424 yards and seven scores. In 2012, he was 203 of 327 passing for 2,961 yards and 32 scores with eight interceptions and ran 64 times for 447 yards and seven scores. As a freshman in 2011, he completed 186 of 317 passes for 2,693 yards and 19 scores and 16 picks.
The 6-4 Sindelar has thrown for 9,028 yards and 95 scores in his three-year career. He will go into his senior season needing 39 touchdown passes to break the state career record of 133 shared by Tim Couch of Leslie County and Ricky Bowling of South Laurel.
Sindelar is also a star baseball player who could be a high draft pick in 2015 — about four months after he can sign his national letter-of-intent to play football.
“My education is more important to me than anything,” Sindelar said in a December interview. “I am going to college to get an education. If baseball gives me a full ride (to college), I don’t know what I would do. I would probably still play football because I know you would get a full ride (scholarship).”
Barnes said he’s seen no indication that Kentucky’s interest has waned at all and has had no signs that Sindelar has lost interest in UK.
“Neal has recruited him as well as anybody that has recruited him,” Barnes said. “Neal has always been here when he was allowed. Kentucky has probably been the most consistent school recruiting him.”
Barnes said speculation that Drew Barker’s presence at UK might keep his star player from being interested in UK is off base. He noted how Purdue also just had a highly-touted recruited that reached the finals of the Elite 11 quarterback competition enroll in January and had a redshirt freshman play last season.
“There is competition everywhere at that level,” Barnes said.
While Sindelar — a 4.0 student who plans to major in engineering — has indicated he would like to make a decision sometime this spring, Barnes would not be surprised if that decision comes sooner.
“It would not surprise me if he would not come out and make his commitment sometime this week. I do not know that he will do that because he has not said that to me. But the way some things have been said, it could happen in the next week or so,” the Caldwell coach said.