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By LARRY VAUGHT
Lakota West coach Larry Cox said running back Mikel Horton was “far and away the best player” at the Rivals Under Armour All-American Camp Saturday hosted by Lakota West that included many of Ohio’s top juniors.
“Not much he did really surprised me. I know how talented he is and what’s he capable of,” Cox said. “I told someone there, ‘Don’t take it wrong if I am not excited because the players are still in shorts and T-shirts. Put on helmets and pads and you find out the real players.’ With his size and athleticism, you can respect watching what he does. A few high school coaches wondered why Ohio State was not on him hard. They all said Ohio State would get interested now, but it’s done now.”
Cox said Horton especially separated himself at the camp “because he catches the ball so well for a big back” and then knows what to do when he catches it. Linebacker Dorian Hendrix, also a UK commit, found that out.
“Once he went against Hendrix one on one. He caught the ball, did a cut back inside and scored. After he scored, he did a backflip. Everybody went, ‘Whoa!’ To see a 230-pound guy do that is pretty impressive,” Cox said.
Former Kentucky standout John Conner and former Louisville star Josh Chichester, who both played for Cox in at Lakota West in West Chester, both worked the camp.
“Josh kept looking at Mikel and said he was going to change his mind and get him to Louisville and John would tell him it was a done deal and was over. But they were both really impressed by him,” Cox said.
Horton’s teammates, offensive lineman Kyle Meadows, signed with UK in February. Cox said Meadows’ decision didn’t make a big impact on Horton.
“Kyle did not hurt, but I am not sure how much his decision helped,” Cox said. “Kyle is really happy to have Mikel coming to Kentucky. He knows the caliber of talent Kentucky is getting. Kyle told me, ‘The only people I want coming with me are people who can help us win and I know he can help us win.’”