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uk footballBy LARRY VAUGHT

Linebacker Chris Frey, like many other Ohio juniors, has a “definite interest” in playing football at Kentucky.

“He is very interested in them,” said (Columbus) Upper Arlington High School coach Mike Golen. “They were just here the other day to see him. They talked then like they were right on the verge of offering him (a scholarship).”

The 6-2, 215-pound Frey plays both linebacker and running back for Golen.

“He excelled at running back, but Kentucky, and other schools, so him as a linebacker,” Golen said. “He’s real aggressive and a really good athlete. He has a real smooth stride. He’s just a special athlete.”

Golen says his standout has “quite a few scholarship offers” with many other schools continuing to evaluate him.

The list of offers includes Akron, Ball State, Bowling Green, Kent State, Northern Illinois, Ohio, Syracuse, Toledo and Western Michigan. Among those evaluating him are Boston College, Indiana, Michigan State, North Carolina State, Ohio State, Tennessee, Virginia Tech and Wisconsin.

Frey had an impressive workout at a Nike SPARQ (Speed, Power, Agility, Reaction and Quickness) Combine in Massillon, Ohio where he raised his combine score and was named a 2013 Rivals.com second Team Army All-Combine team. At the SPARQ workout, he ran the 40-yard dash in 4.75 seconds, had a powerball toss of 37.5 feet, recorded a vertical jump of 33.3 inches and finished the 20-yard shuttle in 4.31 seconds.

“This will be his third year to start both ways for us,” Golen said. “He’s an excellent worker. He’s excellent on the field and in the weight room. He was almost a unanimous selection as a team captain in voting by his peers. That tells you what they think of him.

“He’s a pretty good student, too. He’s going to graduate early. We knew from the start of high school and started working to get him through school a semester early. We have a lot of kids go on to college to play. He will graduate early, something that does make him more attractive to schools because at a lot of places, that’s really a great thing.”

Golen says Frey can run the 40 in 4.6 seconds and has the frame to end up “235 or 240 pounds” in college.

“He has a great wide frame and can carry that weight easy,” Golen said. “I think he’ll be a difference maker in college.”

Like other Ohio players being recruited by Kentucky, assistant coach Vince Marrow has been UK’s lead recruiter and difference maker with Frey.

“To be honest, this is the first time Kentucky has been up here in a while,” Golen said. “I think Chris is interested because of their league affiliation. Being in the SEC gives them added weight.

“Mark Stoops is changing things, and that’s a good thing. A lot of kids from around here would have interest in a place like Kentucky. We have a lot of players here in central Ohio that are really good. But they now have an assistant (Marrow) that knows this area well. He’s pretty connected around here in Ohio, and that really helps Kentucky. He’s made a big impact with Kentucky.”

Several high school juniors are rumored to have given UK verbal commitments after the Blue-White Game to end spring practice and are ready to make them public this weekend. Golen says Frey is not quite that far along yet.

“I think him and his family are really tired of travelling around. I think he’ll decide by June 1 or around then to make his decision,” Golen said. “He won’t drag this out all summer.”

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