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By LARRY VAUGHT
He doesn’t want to reveal the names yet, but Ohio running back Mikel Horton says Kentucky will soon have a lot more than the three verbal commitments that have been made in the 2014 recruiting class.
Four-star receiver Thaddeus Young and three-star linebacker Dorian Hendrix, Ohio prep standouts like Horton, have also verbally committed to UK. Ohio tight end Darryl Long is expected to make it four commits on Saturday. In addition, former Nebraska running back Braylon Heard, the nation’s No. 57 player in the 2010 class, will transfer to UK and be part of the 2014 class after redshirting this season. He was the nation’s No. 57 player in the 2010 class.
“I can’t say names, but I know a lot of players have called over the phone and committed,” said Horton. “I know all these kids committing and the type of skills they have and can display in the SEC. They are guys I know personally and all are very skilled. We all believe change is coming to Kentucky.
“I talk a lot to guys like (Conner quarterback) Drew Barker. We’re all trying to persuade each other to play at the same college. I feel like that’s what Kentucky‘s trying to do, and I really respect that. A lot of good players in Ohio get overlooked by bigger schools, and Kentucky‘s going to get those players, and that’s what’s going to make them great.”
Horton believes UK can get Barker, who has narrowed his list to South Carolina, Tennessee and Kentucky. He was at the Blue-White Game at the same time Horton, Snodgrass and others were there.
“We can get him. UK is going to be able to get a lot of quarterbacks with that offense, but it would be nice to get Drew. He’s a close friend of mine. He’s very hard working in the classroom and on the field. He’s a smart kid on the field,” Horton said. “He’s not the best thrower yet, but he has stuff to work on like we all do. He’s an all-around athlete that will adapt well to SEC football. He can make it to the league (NFL) and I think we can and will get him.”
Horton says Snodgrass is “one of the quickest receivers” in Ohio. “He loves competition, too. He doesn’t care about records or things. He can dominate the majority of cornerbacks, though,” Horton said.
He knows plenty about Long, too. “He is physical, very big, very tall and muscular,” Horton said. “He’s very competitive, too. He can catch, run and block.”
He says not to forget Columbus linebacker Chris Frey.
“He’s very physical. UK has not offered him yet officially but will soon and as soon as he gets it, he will commit,” Horton said. “He’s shown what he can do. He’s one of the fastest linebackers I have seen. His body looks amazing.”
Horton also says Hendrix is destined to be a star at UK even if he did show him up at bit at last Saturday’s combine when he caught a pass on him in a one-on-one drill and scored.
“I talk trash in camps to show that I love competition to get everybody fired up and going 100 percent,” Horton said. “I talked trash to Dorian. He called me out and I shook him pretty bad and showed my speed and pulled away. But Dorian is a fantastic player. He may not be the strongest and fastest player, but he outsmarts you. Any weakness you have, he finds and uses against you.”