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Following up on last year's inaugural BGP Mr. Football Watchlist, welcome to 2019's first installment. The second post won't occur until after the season's opening weekend. We'll be capping the list at 16 players each week to avoid the overcrowding that sometimes plagued the watchlist last year. As you'll see below, the players have been divided into three groups. Suggestions for additional names to track this season are welcome. If a player's name disappears from the list, that doesn't mean he can't return at a later date. Comings and goings from the watchlist will be dictated by that athlete's level of play coupled to some degree with his team's success.



Front Runners

Beau Allen (QB, Lexington Catholic)

2018: 3,729 yards/42 TDs/9 ints./65% comp.

Career: 7,757 yards/89 TDs/21 ints./63% comp.

He's the top QB prospect in the state for a reason, and one of the top rated pro-style passers in the country. Allen has all the tools to be an elite signal caller. Plus, he's a UK commit, which always helps with statewide visibility. If there's a favorite right now, it might be Beau. The biggest potential hurdle for Allen comes in the form of Boyle County, a district rival that has owned the Knights in their previous three meetings and features multiple Mr. Football candidates of its own.

Beau Allen Junior Season - Beau Allen highlights - Hudl


Michael Mayer (TE/LB, Covington Catholic)

2018: 46 catches/1,029 yards/12 TDs - 98 tackles/18 TFL/3 sacks

Career: 60 catches/1,261 yards/15 TDs - 177 tackles

Listed at 6'5" and 240 pounds, and with the athleticism to stand out when competing against running backs and wide receivers at national combines, Mayer is perhaps the most impressive physical specimen in Kentucky this year. His performance at The Opening over the summer earned him the status of USA Today's #8 player in the country. Nearly every recruiting service worth its salt rates the Notre Dame commit as the top tight end in the nation.

Michael Mayer Junior Year - Michael Mayer highlights - Hudl


Reese Smith (WR/S, Boyle County)

2018: 53 catches/1,173 yards/20 TDs - 55 tackles/3 ints.

Career: 139 catches/2,871 yards/43 TDs - 147 tackles/19 ints.

There might not be a more accomplished player in the Commonwealth than this WVU commit. Smith has achieved some degree of All-State recognition as a freshman (honorable mention at safety), sophomore (2nd team WR), and junior (1st team WR). He burst onto the state scene in 2017's 3A championship game with 120 yards and 3 TDs receiving, plus two interceptions and a pick-six to propel Boyle County to a state title as a sophomore.

Junior Season Highlights - Reese Smith highlights - Hudl


Vito Tisdale (RB/DB, Bowling Green)

2018: 1,081 yards from scrimmage/12 TDs - 22 tackles

Career: 1,443 yards rushing/23 TDs - 103 tackles/5 ints. - 9 non-offensive TDs

Tisdale has been in the state's football consciousness since his days dominating the competition at the middle school level. He made a seamless transition to the high school game as a day one starter for the Purples his freshman year. He doesn't have the numbers that some of the other candidates do, but he commands the attention of opposing teams as much as any player in Kentucky, be it on offense, defense, or special teams.

218 season - DeVito Tisdale highlights - Hudl



Locks for the Watchlist

Malachi Corley (RB/WR/DB, Campbellsville)

2018: 1,025 yards rushing/863 yards receiving/26 total TDs - 94 tackles/2 ints.

Career: 3,155 yards from scrimmage/41 total TDs - 206 tackles/6 ints.

There isn't much Corley doesn't do well on the football field - running, catching, tackling, picking off opposing QBs, returning kicks. He's in prime position to inherit Logan Castleman's title of best all-around football player in 1A. Last year, he averaged 14 yards per touch for an Eagles squad that returns enough talent to be considered among 1A's top teams entering the 2019 season.

Junior Year Highlights - Coach Corley highlights - Hudl


Izayah Cummings (WR, Male)

2018: 41 catches/597 yards/11 TDs

Career: 52 catches/865 yards/15 TDs

Ignore the numbers, because they don't really stack up to some of his pass catching contemporaries on this list. Cummings' inclusion here is largely based on his status as Kentucky's top WR prospect and the fact that he's the star player for the defending big school champs. Oh, and he passes the eyeball test at 6'3" and north of 200 pounds. He just needs to get on the field, something he's only done in 17 of Male's 27 games over the past two years. When healthy, he can play at a level that few others in the state can match.

http://www.hudl.com/v/2Axthv


Jackson Hensley (WR, Pikeville)

2018: 39 catches/829 yards/16 TDs

Career: 91 catches/1,625 yards/22 TDs

The recent Harvard commit showed out in a big way at Kroger Field last year to help keep his Panthers within arms length of Beechwood. Despite the eventual loss, his 155 yards and two long touchdown receptions put him on a lot of radars that he'd previously flown under. With the offensive firepower Pikeville possesses, expect performances like that one to be commonplace for Hensley in 2019.

http://www.hudl.com/v/2B80U6


Brycen Huddleston (LB/KR, Highlands)

2018: Tackles not available/5 non-offensive TDs

With all due respect to the other names on this list, Huddy might be the ultimate gamer in Kentucky this year. He has intangibles galore and a nose for the football packaged with D1 athleticism. He also has a nose for the end zone despite never touching the ball on offense, as evidenced by his seven career non-offensive touchdowns. He'll be playing his college ball in the MAC at Eastern Michigan University.

http://www.hudl.com/v/2B0pCR


Reed Lanter (QB, Boyle County)

2018: 2,949 yards/39 TDs/6 ints./66% comp.

Career: 5,821 yards/67 TDs/13 ints./66% comp.

For such a gifted QB, Lanter's about as low profile as you can get. It helps that he's flanked by some of the most explosive athletes in Kentucky. The guys around him provide a lot of the highlight reel plays while he stands cooly in the pocket and makes throw after throw. But as you can see above, the numbers are there. As is a championship ring, with another possibly to come.

http://www.hudl.com/v/2AvC8U


Octavious Oxendine (DT, North Hardin)

2018: 86 tackles/21 TFL/4 sacks/3 fumbles recovered

Overshadowed by Jacob Lacey last year, Oxendine enters the 2019 season as the top defensive lineman in Kentucky. A breakout summer on the camp circuit has earned Double O offers from the likes of UK, UofL, Oklahoma, Texas, and Penn State. He's the centerpiece of the defense for potentially the top non-Louisville team in 6A.

http://www.hudl.com/v/2AwdAM


Walker Parks (OT/DL, Frederick Douglass)

Standing 6'6" and weighing in at a lean, athletic 275 pounds, Parks has risen the ranks of the nation's top recruiting outlets to become a top 10 offensive tackle prospect. Accordingly, he received offers from prominent programs such as Notre Dame and Auburn, but spurned them in favor of the reigning national champion Clemson Tigers. With all of the talent around him at Frederick Douglass, Parks could be on the verge of winning a championship of his own.

http://www.hudl.com/v/2Atyvz


Jake Sloan (WR, Pulaski County)

2018: 116 catches/1,666 yards/13 TDs

Career: 235 catches/3,112 yards/24 TDs

Sloan, who topped the state in catches and yards last year, has a shot at finishing #2 all time in career receptions and could crack the top five in career yards. His combination of route running, sure hands, and 6'3", 210 lb frame help make him one of the top pass catchers in the state. He's committed to play his college ball at EKU.

http://www.hudl.com/v/2AusQy


Jayden Stinson (QB, Mayfield)

2018: 3,327 yards/37 TDs/4 ints./65% comp.

Career: 5,474 yards/63 TDs/9 ints./65% comp.

Stinson put together one of the most statistically impressive seasons in Mayfield history last year. Which is saying a lot, given the high level of QB play the Cardinals have enjoyed, especially over the past decade. His TD/interception ratio of 9 to 1 was tops in the state last year. The only thing missing from his resume is a state title, something the Cards should be heavily favored to win this season.

http://www.hudl.com/v/2Ax7w3


John Young (OT, Christian Academy of Louisville)

Young's mammoth frame (6'6", 300 lbs) and athleticism garnered him offers from Ohio State, Michigan, and Georgia, among many others, before he eventually chose to stay in-state and committed to UK. He already owns two state championship rings ('16 and '18) with a shot at a third this year in 3A.

http://www.hudl.com/v/2Ax2w6



On The Bubble

Landen Bartleson - RB/DB, Boyle County
CA Collins - RB, Breathitt County
Drew Hartz - QB, Owensboro Catholic
Jeriah Hightower - RB, Madisonville-North Hopkins
Devin Johnson - RB/LB, Johnson Central
Nick Mitchell - RB, Glasgow
Keaton Martin - RB, South Oldham
Dalton Ponder - QB, Williamsburg