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He’s still enjoying the recruiting process, but Franklin County receiver Ryan Timmons admits it is “getting tough with all the schools firing out right now” to decide where he will play his college football.
He got a scholarship offer from Florida last week and added one this week from Ohio State. Both are schools he’s had a long-time interest in and had been waiting to receive scholarship offers.
“It’s all starting to get really serious right now and I have to think about getting my list down to three or so schools,” said Timmons. “But right now I am still side open. There is not a favorite school or group of schools.”
He has offers from Arkansas, Purdue, Illinois, California, Cincinnati, Missouri, Western Kentucky, Wisconsin and several other schools along with Kentucky. He plans to make his college choice known Feb. 5 — one day before the national signing period starts — during a 1 p.m. ceremony at the high school.
“Ryan doesn’t want word to get out early, so he’s going to let everyone know his decision before signing day,” Franklin coach Chris Tracy said.
Timmons had 72 rushes for 1,260 yards and 25 scores for 12-1 Franklin last season and caught 29 passes for 970 yards and 17 more scores. He had 45 total touchdowns and scored 260 points. Tracy says Timmons, who ran the 40-yard dash in 4.4 seconds at a Kentucky camp, played last season at about 187 pounds and now weighs around 195 after opting not to play basketball this season to concentrate on recruiting.
“He needs to get stronger and turn that 195 pounds into all muscle, but he’s a legitimate 5-11, 195-pound guy with speed who runs good routes,” Tracy said. “His legs are huge. Ohio State was in here and said he was even bigger than they remembered.”
Timmons said he didn’t mind waiting so long for Ohio State and Florida offers. He understood that Ohio State coach Urban Meyer had to evaluate his current roster and also honor offers that had been made to players before he got the job last year.
“I just had to wait and let it all play out,” Timmons said. “Now coach Meyer decided to pull the trigger and make the offer.”
Former UK head coach Joker Phillips, now the receivers coach at Florida, has been recruiting Timmons for the Gators. The Franklin senior says “I’ve always been a Florida fan” and that former Gators Percy Harvin and Jeff Demps are two of his favorite players.
He admits it is a “little weird” having Phillips now recruiting him for Florida and not Kentucky.
“I have known Joker since I was a sophomore. I have a good relationship with him. He has a good relationship with my mom,” Timmons said. “He’s not a head coach any more, so he can say more now. It’s not awkward or anything with him.”
Timmons likes new UK offensive coordinator Neal Brown and Franklin ran basically the same offense that Brown uses.
“Coach Brown has been pretty good. He has been on me a lot since he got the job,” Timmons said. “The new staff at Kentucky has me a lot more interested in Kentucky now. It’s a new staff, new start with the same offense I have been under for five years. I know every play. The chance to be part of something new is what coach Brown is selling me on. He wants me to come into an offense I know and can play.
“I want to play as a freshman wherever I go and make an impact on the team. I can be a slot receiver, H-back, running back. I can help on special teams returning kickoffs and punts. I enjoy all of that. I just want to be on the field.”
He doesn’t feel any added pressure as one of the state’s marquee recruits and a main recruiting target for new UK coach Mark Stoops.
“It’s nice to have all the attention. It’s not really pressure,” Timmons, who will run track in the spring, said. “It is nice for me and the school to have this attention and I’ve been working to get to this point for a long time. Coach Tracy has been a big help, but he’s never had a player heavily recruited like this before, so it’s new for both of us. My family is going to be happy wherever I go. They just want me to make the best decision for me.”
Timmons plans to take an official visit to Florida and probably another unofficial visit to Ohio State before his Feb. 5 announcement.
“I probably get asked 10 times a day where I am going to school. I get asked at school or at the store or mostly (basketball) games,” Timmons said. “But I really don’t know yet. It will come down to how I get along with the coach, the type of offense the school runs and how comfortable I am with everything. Right now I can’t even tell you all the offers I have. I just have to find time to sit down and rethink everything and then make my decision.”