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2021 BluegrassPreps Mr. Football Watchlist (11/3)


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A 'Title Town' tandem takes the buck out of the Broncos; Northington loses ground against the Dawg pound; And Humphreys continues his air strike, while Hergott stays grounded 
 

In alphabetical order:

Grant Bingham (OL, Johnson Central)

Week 11: There might not be a player in the state more dominant at what they do than this future member of the 'Big Blue Wall'. Everyone that lines up opposite Johnson Central knows what's coming, yet can't stop it. Belfry was the latest victim of the JC rushing machine. The Golden Eagles out-muscled the Pirates up front for 357 yards in a 48-22 win.

 

Xavier Brown (ATH, Lexington Christian Academy)

Season to date: 81 carries for 930 yards and 11 touchdowns ; 343 yards receiving and 5 touchdowns

Week 11: After improving on his per carry average last week, Brown dramatically upped his per catch standard against Henry Clay. He tallied 120 yards on just two receptions - one a short catch and long run, the other a deep ball. Though drastically different in execution, both plays resulted in the same outcome: a 60 yard touchdown. Brown runs the ball at a clip of 11.4 yards per rush and averages 24 per reception. By land or by air, he's the ultimate big play threat out there.

 

Brady Clark (QB, Bardstown)

Season to date: 123/176 for 2,141 yards and 32 touchdowns with 3 interceptions ; 361 rushing yards and 4 touchdowns ; 2 sacks and 1 interception

Highlights: vs. East Jessamine

Week 11: It's been in the works for a while, but Clark finally bumped John Wesley Monin down a notch on the list of Bardstown career touchdown passers, and in the process became the 22nd quarterback in KHSAA history - according to their records - to reach the 100 touchdown milestone. He got there courtesy of three scoring strikes against East Jessamine on a crisp 21/27 passing. He's currently sandwiched between Kentucky gridiron legends Chris Redman and Gino Guidugli on the career passing yardage list, placing him about 700 yards shy of Monin's school record for that mark.

 

Isaac Dixon (ATH, Belfry)

Season to date: 95 carries for 931 yards and 15 touchdowns ; 3/7 passing for 53 yards and a touchdown with one interception ; one receiving touchdown ; one pick-six 

Week 11: Dixon seems to thrive under pressure as well as any back in Kentucky. Belfry has been more one dimensional this year than any season in recent memory, and Dixon is far and away the best dimension of that dimension. He knows he's the hunted every time he takes the field. Despite that, he got loose for a pair of spectacular, long touchdowns against Johnson Central in an otherwise one-sided loss. Belfry had 80 yards passing for the whole season coming in, and Dixon surpassed that on one play. The ball was thrown up for him to go get, after which he shed a tackler and was off to the races. It was part of a 195 yard effort.

 

Jagger Gillis (QB, Boyle County)

Season to date: 123/183 for 1,863 yards and 22 touchdowns with 2 interception ; 377 yards rushing and 9 touchdowns

Week 11: Gillis outdueled his Douglass counterpart, and Boyle County laid it on the Broncos for the biggest buzz inducing outcome of the regular season's final weekend. He found Cole Lanter when the opportunity arose for a couple of scores and also ran a pair in as part of a 100 yard night on the ground. Gillis may not have the highlight reel plays that Hergott or Humphreys do, but he's a consummate winner who quietly goes about his business week after week. And right now, business is booming.

 

Cam Hergott (QB, Beechwood)

Season to date: 95/132 for 1,795 yards and 24 touchdowns with 2 interception ; 1,186 rushing yards and 17 touchdowns

Highlights: vs. NewCath

Week 11: One of the most dreaded visuals for any defense in Kentucky is the sight of Hergott tucking the football away and turning up field. Watching him slash and glide his way through the line of scrimmage, then the second level, followed lastly by a (sometimes) helpless secondary is a thing of beauty. Newport Central Catholic saw it up close and personal in the regular season finale. His arm took a backseat to his lower half, as he totalled a season high 231 rushing yards and five touchdowns, complimented by a lone touchdown pass. On a field with Thoroughbreds, Hergott was Secretariat.

 

Joe Humphreys (QB, Daviess County)

Season to date: 211/308 for 3,207 yards and 39 touchdowns with 8 interceptions ; 458 rushing yards and 13 touchdowns

Highlights: Regular Season

Week 11: Humphreys closed out the regular season in style, posting his seventh game this year with at least six touchdowns, pushing him past the 50 score mark on the season. He completed 22 of 29 throws against Warren East for 376 yards and four touchdowns, plus another two on the ground. This was one of the most statistically significant regular seasons in history. He should have two more weeks to continue piling up numbers before the pressure ratchets up.

 

Cole Lanter (WR/ATH, Boyle County)

Season to date: 57 catches for 990 yards and 17 touchdowns ; 23 carries for 184 yards and 3 touchdowns ; 2 interceptions ; 1 kick return touchdown

Highlights: vs. Douglass

Week 11: The hype was all in the corner of the orange and black clad Broncos, but Lanter and the Rebels came out swinging and KO'd unbeaten Frederick Douglass. Lanter earned a seat at the Mr. Football table weeks ago, and he's done nothing but move closer to the head of the table with each passing game. He was the most impactful player on the field last week, snagging a pair of touchdown grabs, springing a long touchdown run with a pancake block, and denying Dane Key a good look at a touchdown of his own. His stock continues to rise.

 

JaWaun Northington (RB, Manual)

Season to date: 117 carries for 868 yards and 14 touchdowns ; 2 passing touchdowns

Week 11: Most weeks, the players that make the watchlist are here because of their stellar play. Occasionally, it's for a performance that's noteworthy for the opposite reasons. The latter is why Northington is here this week. His Mr. Football campaign took a major hit against top ranked Male. The Bulldogs defense never gave Northington room to breathe, let alone find a running lane, not that there were any of those to be had. The #1 rush defense in 6A held one of the state's top running backs to -5 yards on 9 carries. Negative. Five. Yards. Frankly, a night like that is hard to recover from. Making matters worse is an upper body injury suffered against Male that will keep him sidelined for at least the first round of the playoffs.

 

Jack Sivori (QB, St. Xavier)

Season to date: 119/176 for 1,365 yards and 16 touchdowns with 6 interceptions ; 801 yards rushing and 16 touchdowns

Week 11: The growth of Sivori's passing prowess - and maybe his Mr. Football chances - took a backwards step against Bowling Green. It was his first legitimate hiccup this season. He hadn't thrown an interception in six weeks, but the Purples picked him off twice - one wasn't his fault, while the other was probably one of the worst balls he's thrown all year. If throws weren't connecting earlier in the season, Sivori could fall back on his legs to make things happen, but BG's defense kept him hemmed up. Designed runs weren't getting it done and neither was his ability to improvise. On the bright side, one regular season game won't make or break his candidacy, not with what's in front of him.


 

Noteworthy performances from Week 11:

Clayton Davis (ATH, Lincoln County) - 9 touches for 196 yards and 2 touchdowns against Rockcastle County

Clint McKee (RB, Graves County) - 167 yards rushing and 3 touchdowns against Marshall County

Caden Veltkamp (QB, South Warren) - 12/16 for 317 yards and 3 touchdowns against Logan County

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@DevilMayCare- great story as usual - great information!  I think the playoffs will help to possibly separate the top 3 from the rest.

Top 4 to me are:

Humphreys, Hergott, Sivori, Lanter.  Lanter was huge in the FD win which has bumped him up.  Humphreys needs and excellent showing vs St. X in round 3 to win and I think he will if he does (barring X or Beechwood winning it all), but if Hergott plays great again and possibly tops LCA he could as well.  If Sivori leads X to the title - that would be huge and Lanter is playing spoiler at this point.  I still think it will go to 1 of the 3 QB's mentioned.  Depending upon the performances from here out any of these could win it.

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1 hour ago, Statsdontlie said:

Even though I love Cole Lanter, I can see Cam Hergott winning it again. His numbers are impressive. 

Hergott is a great player no doubt, it should be given to a legit senior though.

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8 minutes ago, BlueKernels said:

Hergott is a great player no doubt, it should be given to a legit senior though.

Within the KHSAA rules, Hergott is legit, albeit reclassified. I get your point though. Winning it again will not have Power 5 teams knocking on the door. Reclassifying allowed him to get to camps and get an offer that he deserved. Will he even play QB in college? 

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1 hour ago, bjaynes said:

Within the KHSAA rules, Hergott is legit, albeit reclassified. I get your point though. Winning it again will not have Power 5 teams knocking on the door. Reclassifying allowed him to get to camps and get an offer that he deserved. Will he even play QB in college? 

Several of other really deserving guys it could go to this year. I honestly could see Cam being a slot type receiver at the next level before playing QB, with his lateral quickness and explosiveness. At least in terms of seeing the field quickly.

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1 hour ago, BlueKernels said:

Several of other really deserving guys it could go to this year. I honestly could see Cam being a slot type receiver at the next level before playing QB, with his lateral quickness and explosiveness. At least in terms of seeing the field quickly.

Well that certainly was not what he returned for year 5 for.  My question is, has anyone else offered other than Eastern Kentucky?

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2 hours ago, bjaynes said:

Within the KHSAA rules, Hergott is legit, albeit reclassified. I get your point though. Winning it again will not have Power 5 teams knocking on the door. Reclassifying allowed him to get to camps and get an offer that he deserved. Will he even play QB in college? 

Did he go to many camps?  Seems like I remember him accepting the offer shortly after school was out for the year.  Kind of made me wonder why Eastern did not offer after him coming off a Mr. Football performance.

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14 minutes ago, Jack of all Trades said:

Did he go to many camps?  Seems like I remember him accepting the offer shortly after school was out for the year.  Kind of made me wonder why Eastern did not offer after him coming off a Mr. Football performance.

Was told by several players that EKU really wanted from last year's senior class that they did not have the scholarships to give out.  That most of their players were coming back for the extra covid year, and they just didn't have any scholarships to give.  Wanted a lot of the seniors from last year to be PWO.  

I think many of last year's seniors saw this with a lot of schools.  They didn't have guys leaving to go to NFL, so many decided to come back and get that extra year and scholarship.  I believe you saw many seniors that could have gone to schools like EKU, Marshall, etc. that just couldn't get the scholarship offers because they didn't have them to give. 

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Brady Clark announced today he accepted a PWO from EKU. They are getting a great kid and are going to sell a lot of tickets and swag to the Bardstown area.

His dad pulls him out when the clock starts running, or his numbers would be gaudier.

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48 minutes ago, The Rebel of Knights said:

Was told by several players that EKU really wanted from last year's senior class that they did not have the scholarships to give out.  That most of their players were coming back for the extra covid year, and they just didn't have any scholarships to give.  Wanted a lot of the seniors from last year to be PWO.  

I think many of last year's seniors saw this with a lot of schools.  They didn't have guys leaving to go to NFL, so many decided to come back and get that extra year and scholarship.  I believe you saw many seniors that could have gone to schools like EKU, Marshall, etc. that just couldn't get the scholarship offers because they didn't have them to give. 

Makes sense, I am not overly familiar with the EKU roster the last few years.

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56 minutes ago, The Rebel of Knights said:

Was told by several players that EKU really wanted from last year's senior class that they did not have the scholarships to give out.  That most of their players were coming back for the extra covid year, and they just didn't have any scholarships to give.  Wanted a lot of the seniors from last year to be PWO.  

I think many of last year's seniors saw this with a lot of schools.  They didn't have guys leaving to go to NFL, so many decided to come back and get that extra year and scholarship.  I believe you saw many seniors that could have gone to schools like EKU, Marshall, etc. that just couldn't get the scholarship offers because they didn't have them to give. 

The same issue will be faced for the next few years by HS players with fewer scholarships available. 

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34 minutes ago, Matthewc said:

Joe Humphreys easily wins it with those ridiculous stats.

Obviously they matter, but stats alone aren't always enough. Humphreys may be at a disadvantage when it comes to visibility on the biggest stages of the playoffs. Barring some monumental upsets, he could be sitting at home while Hergott, Sivori, and maybe a few others are playing for state championships with opportunities to make one last case for Mr. Football. 

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