Joshua Paschal

NSD 2017: Kentucky Wildcats Defensive Signee Bios

Player bios for UK's 13 defensive players signed in the football recruiting Class of 2017, including four-star defensive end/outside lineabacker Joshua Paschal (pictured above).

Tyrell Ajian, Defensive Back, 6-0, 190, Fr-HS, Mansfield, Ohio (Madison Comprehensive) – Combination athlete in high school, playing defensive back and wide receiver … Four-star prospect by 247Sports, Rivals and ESPN … Rivals ranks him the No. 10 overall prospect in the state of Ohio and the No. 23 athlete in the class of 2017 … ESPN has him as the No. 8 safety in the country … Scout says, “He has the size college coaches desire in their defensive backs and is very athletic and has a nose for the football” … First-team OCC All-Conference and honorable mention second-team All-Northwest Ohio in 2016 … Nominated for the 2017 U.S. Army All-American Bowl … Had three interceptions and 54 tackles as a junior, along with 783 receiving yards, 551 rushing yards and 19 touchdowns … OCC Offensive Player of the Year and first-team Offense All-Northwest Ohio in 2015 … Also excelled on the basketball court, becoming a member of Madison’s 1,000-point club during his senior season … Coached by Jamie Masi … Chose Kentucky over Michigan State, Tennessee, West Virginia and Notre Dame … Name is pronounced "Ajian (a-jun)" 

Coach Stoops says: “Tyrell is a versatile athlete who can play every position in the secondary and has shown great leadership. His awareness and instincts have been evident on the football field and basketball court.”

Quinton Bohanna, Defensive Lineman, 6-4, 320, Fr-HS, Cordova, Tenn. (Cordova) – Three-star prospect by all the major recruiting services … Ranks as the No. 45 defensive tackle in the 2017 class … Rivals says “His explosive power is impressive, as are his first couple of steps. He gets off the ball with the kind of quickness you rarely see in an interior defensive lineman of his size, at his age, and he is very fast in pursuit” … A three-time member of the Tennessee Sports Writers Association Class 6A All-State team … Named 2016 American Family Insurance All-USA Tennessee Football First-Team Defense … Picked for the Autozone Liberty Bowl High School All-Star game … Had an impressive 91 tackles (52 solo) his senior season with 24 tackles for loss and 19 sacks in helping lead Cordova to a 12-2 overall record and an appearance in the TSSAA 6A semifinals … Coached by Anthony Jones … Chose Kentucky after offers from Louisville and Memphis.

Coach Stoops says: “Quinton has the size to play the nose position but also the length and athleticism to play multiple spots. He’ll be a force in the middle with his massive wingspan.”

Yusuf Corker, Defensive Back, 6-0, 190, Fr-HS, McDonough, Ga. (Woodland) – Four-star defensive back and receiver at Woodland High School in Stockbridge, Ga., where he was coached by Steve Davenport ... The nation's No. 26 cornerback by ESPN and Scout … The No. 1 cornerback in the state of Georgia by ... ESPN says "Has lock down skill set, can play on an island. Makes great reads on the underneath pass with precise timing and anticipation. Transitions fluidly with limited wasted motion in and out of his pedal” ... Was timed at 4.63 in the 40 … Made 26 tackles, including 23 solo, along with three interceptions, two fumble recoveries and two blocked punts on defense in 2016 ... Offensively, had 20 receptions for 447 yards and four touchdowns for a 23.0 yards per reception average … Helped lead his team to a 10-3 overall record and the 4-5A playoffs as a senior ... Two-time member of the Atlanta Journal Constitution’s All-Metro Team … Named to the AJC’s All-State Defensive Team as senior … Chose Kentucky over South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia Tech, Penn State and Michigan State … Name is pronounced "Yusuf (YOU-suf)" 

Coach Stoops says: “Yusuf is a strong, physical defensive back. He is very dedicated to his craft and a strong leader.”

Abule Abadi-Fitzgerald, Defensive Lineman, 6-6, 260, Fr-HS, Lakeland, Fla. (Victory Christian Academy) –Recorded 24 tackles, along with two sacks and 13 quarterback hurries in 2016 for coach Tommy Lewis at Victory Christian Academy … Named second-team All-County and Florida All-State Class 2A honorable mention as a senior in helping the Storm finish 10-2 overall … Named to the Southeast Super-Region Team by the National Christian School Athletic Association … Transferred to Victory Christian after playing at Dade Christian … Also a star player on the basketball court … Named second-team All-Dade as a junior after averaging 19.5 points and 10.0 rebounds a game at Dade Christian … Originally from Otuan, Nigeria … Chose Kentucky over Florida, Florida Atlantic and Florida International … Name is pronounced "Abule (ah-BOO-lay) Abadi (ah-BODY)" 

Coach Stoops says: “Abule has tremendous upside, with great length and the ability to set the edge. He’s been through a lot, we’re proud of what he has accomplished and what’s ahead of him.”

Phil Hoskins, Defensive Lineman, 6-5, 280, So-JC, Toledo, Ohio (Whitmer/Highland CC) – Strong junior college prospect … Was a three-star recruit by all of the major recruiting services out of high school before going to junior college … Among JUCO players, Scout ranks him 77th overall, while ESPN ranks him the No. 11 defensive tackle in the nation … Redshirted the 2016 season … Had 25 tackles his freshman season at Highland (Kan.) with eight TFL and four sacks in playing multiple positions along the defensive line … Named Three Rivers Athletic Conference (TRAC) All-Conference honorable mention as a senior in 2014 at Whitmer, playing for coach Jerry Bell … Has a wing span of 84 inches … Has three years of eligibility remaining … Chose Kentucky over Arkansas, Baylor, Mississippi State, Houston and Oklahoma State.

Coach Stoops says: “Phil has great size and length. He has shown the ability to rush the passer. We’re excited that he comes in as a junior college player with three years of eligibility remaining.”

Alex King, Outside Linebacker, 6-3, 225, Fr-HS, Mason, Ohio (William Mason) – Known as one of the most explosive pass rushers off the edge in the Midwest … A three-star prospect by all four major recruiting services … ranks King as the No. 19 prospect from Ohio, while ranks him as the No. 2 defensive end from Ohio … Second on the team in tackles with 40, including six sacks … Also had one forced fumble and one fumble recovery … Ranked third overall in sacks in the Greater Miami Conference which earned him a first-team All-Southwest Ohio and first-team All-GMC selection, his third-straight All-GMC first-team honor … Scout’s scouting report says, “(King) is a great athlete who runs well and chases down quarterbacks and ball carriers with his speed. Gets off the ball well, has the agility to change direction and in with finesse as a pass rusher. Can still get stronger and improve his general pass rush technique, but athletically, he has the goods” … Head coach was Brian Castner … Helped lead Mason to a 7-5 overall record and the second round of the Division 1 playoffs om 2016 … Nominee for the 2017 U.S. Army All-American Bowl … Also a talented basketball player … Picked Kentucky after considering Maryland, Tennessee, West Virginia and Wisconsin.

Coach Stoops says: “Alex has the athleticism you look for in an outside linebacker. He can defend the run and rush the passer. He also has great passion for the game.”

Michael Nesbitt, Defensive Back, 6-0, 185, Fr-HS, Fort Lauderdale, Fla. (Boyd Anderson) – A three-star recruit by all the major recruiting databases … ESPN ranks him the 43rd-best cornerback in the state of Florida … ESPN scouting report says, “(Nesbitt) is a skilled athlete with upside given his room for continued physical development. Scheme versatile as he plays both safety and corner and is versed in most schemes” … Rivals’ Justin Rowland says, “Nesbitt is one of the top corners in Florida. That always saying something but especially this year. He has a great combination of the right size, ball skills and athleticism and has demonstrated an ability to play press, man coverage. He has faced elite competition and matched up well with some of the state’s top receivers” … Coached by Quincy Woods … Helped lead Boyd Anderson to a 7-3 record in 2016 … In eight games played, he had 80 tackles, two forced fumbles, 18 pass breakups and two interceptions, one returned 71 yards for a touchdowns … Named second-team All-County … Also ran track at Boyd Anderson, competing in the 100m, 200m, long jump, and 4x100-meter relay … Picked Kentucky after offers from Arkansas, Auburn, Louisville, South Carolina and Central Florida.

Coach Stoops says: “Michael has big play-making ability. He has cover-corner skills with the versatility to also play safety.”

Josh Paschal, Outside Linebacker, 6-3, 270, Fr-HS, Olney, Md. (Our Lady of Good Counsel) – A four-star defensive end prospect by all the major recruiting services …  Scout ranks him the No. 28 defensive end nationally and No. 2 defensive end from the state of Maryland in the 2017 class … 247Sports classifies him as the No. 11 strongside defensive end in the country … ESPN scouting report says, “A high-motored DL with good, straight-line speed. Shows good initial burst and quickness to get up-field and make plays in the opponent's backfield. Works well to maintain his point and shows good overall leverage vs. the run” … Recorded 64 tackles as a senior, including nine tackles for loss and 5.5 sacks … Also had four quarterback hurries … Named first-team All-Conference defense by the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference (WCAC)  … Earned first-team All-Sentinel by The Sentinel Newspapers … Coached by Bill Milloy … Older brother, TraVaughn, played for the Wildcats from 2012-14 … High school teammate of fellow 2017 signee Naasir Watkins … Picked Kentucky over Notre Dame, Penn State and Oklahoma.

Coach Stoops says: “Josh is a disruptive force with great quickness off the snap. We believe Josh has the ability to be an impact player at a young age.”

Chris Whittaker, Defensive Lineman, 6-3, 260, Fr-HS, Hollywood, Fla. (Chaminade-Madonna) – A three-star recruit … Scout lists him as the 12th-best defensive end in the state of Florida … Listed as the 55th strongside defensive end in the nation and the 148th-best prospect in Florida in the 2017 class, according to 247Sports … ESPN ranks him the 213th-best prospect in Florida and the 106th-best defensive end in the class of 2017 … ESPN scouting report says,

“Whittaker has adequate length and overall size with limited upside to continue growth. Has good power and short area burst. Continued development of his strength will benefit. His high athletic ability gives him upside for quick development” … Rivals’ Justin Rowland says, “Whittaker is built like a traditional 4-3 defensive lineman in the making but his ability to stand up and rush off the edge is a testament to his athleticism. He's one of several players in this class who make Kentucky bigger on the edge and better at getting after the quarterback” … Coached by Dameon Jones … Helped Chaminade-Madonna to a 10-5 overall record and an appearance in the Class 3A state championship game… Compiled 77 tackles, 10.5 sacks, 22 tackles for loss and two fumble recoveries during his senior campaign … High school teammate of fellow 2017 signee Josh Ali … Picked Kentucky over offers from Central Florida, Tennessee, South Carolina, Notre Dame, and Georgia.

Coach Stoops says: “Chris has the ability to play multiple positions. He has shown the ability to get in the backfield and be a disruptive pass rusher.”

Jordan Wright, Outside Linebacker, 6-5, 250, Fr-HS, Fort Lauderdale, Fla. (Dillard) – Dual-sport standout in football and basketball …. A three-star football recruit … Rivals ranks him as the 25th-best defensive end and the 80th-best prospect in Florida, while 247Sports has him as the No. 28 weakside defensive end in the country and the No. 67 player in the state of Florida … Is the 46th-best defensive end in the class of 2017 by ESPN who says, “Wright is a tall, lean defender with some good tools and upside, especially as pass rusher” … Coached by Lorenzo Davis … Compiled 25 sacks as a senior … Doubled as a tight end in the red zone, catching six touchdowns, including a critical score against Boynton Beach in the District 15-6A three-team tiebreaker to lead Dillard to the district title …  Earned Sun Sentinel's All-Broward first-team defensive honors in helping the Panthers finish 6-4 overall … As a shooting guard, was a back-to-back preseason Fab Five selection and was an All-County pick …  Led the Panthers’ hoops team to a Class 6A state title as a junior … Chose Kentucky over offers from Central Florida, Tennessee, South Carolina, Notre Dame, and Georgia.

Coach Stoops says: “Jordan’s success in multiple sports shows his athleticism. He has great length and speed off the edge. He could be another player who could contribute at a young age.”

Jamin Davis, Linebacker, 6-4, 210, Fr.-HS, Ludowici (pronounced lou-da-WISSEE), Ga. (Long County) – Considered one of the nation’s top 50 outside linebackers by 247Sports … Has been clocked running a 4.65 40-yard dash, and has a 38-inch vertical leap … Finished his senior season with 126 tackles, with an impressive 89 solo tackles … Averaged 14.0 tackles per contest (nine games) … Also had four tackles for loss, a sack, a hurry and a fumble recovery which he returned to the opponent's three-yard line … Forced two fumbles and blocked both a punt and a field goal … Offensively, he had 11 carries for 50 yards, along with 12 receptions for 151 yards and three scores … Had 131 tackles as a junior and 45 tackles as a sophomore, totaling 302 career tackles in his prep career … Just the second player in Long County High School history to sign with a Division I football program … A four-year letter winner and three-year starter at Long County for coach Eric McNair … McNair said, “If I had to sum up Jamin Davis, it would be role model.” … Gridiron Now says, “He can fly to the football and is a fierce hitter. Not only can he bring the wood, Davis shows excellent wrap up fundamentals. He has excellent speed, plays with tremendous aggression and makes plays all over the field. Davis also shows the ability to get up field and after the quarterback and make plays in space.” … Named Class AAA All-State honorable mention by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution … Three-time All-Region II selection, earning first-team honors in 2015 and 2016 … Father, James Davis, played football at Bethune-Cookman, while a cousin, Attiyah Henderson played football at San Diego State … Chose UK over Louisville, Georgia Tech, Purdue and N.C. State.

Personal: Born in Honolulu, Hawaii ... Son of Tanga Davis and James Davis … Plans a major in mechanical engineering.

Coach Stoops on Davis: “Jamin is a prototype will (weakside) linebacker, a very athletic player with great length. He is an exceptional person and leader.”

Cedrick Dort Jr., Defensive Back, 5-11, 170, Fr.-HS, Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. (Dwyer) –  Rated a three-star recruit by 247sports, ESPN and Scout as the No. 42 cornerback in the 2017 class … As a senior, named first-team All-Area by the Palm Beach Post and first-team All-County by the Sun Sentinel after recording 40 tackles, 14 pass breakups and six interceptions, returning one for a touchdown … Played a key role in helping Dwyer finish 10-1 overall in 2016 with its second-straight appearance in the Class 7A regional semifinals … Did not allow a TD pass, a first down pass or a pass over five yards during the regular season … Did not miss a tackle all season and battled against six receivers who are expected to sign Division I scholarships … Named one of ESPN 106.3’s top seniors in Palm Beach County and the Treasure Coast … Was All-Area honorable mention in 2015 after helping lead the Panthers to an 11-2 overall record, a district championship title and a berth in the 7A regional semifinal … Helped Dwyer shut out two opponents and held six others to 14 points or less … A three-year letter winner in basketball as a combo guard … Has a huge upside as he played only two years of high school football … Coached by Jack Daniels … Chose UK over Wisconsin, Virginia Tech, Minnesota, Colorado and USF.

Personal: Born in Palm Beach, Fla. ... Son of Clevette Wiggins and Cedrick Dort Sr. … Major is pre-management.

Coach Stoops on Dort: “Cedric is a great cover corner. I’ve been familiar with that school for a long time and Cedric comes here from a winning program.”

Lonnie Johnson Jr., Defensive Back, 6-3, 215, Jr.-JC, Gary, Ind. (Garden City CC/Gary West Side) – Rated by 247sports as a four-star prospect, the No. 2 safety and No. 43 overall player in the junior college ranks …  Sat out the 2016 season to concentrate on academics … In 2015, selected second-team All-Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference after totaling 35 tackles, including 28 solo at Garden City Community College (Kan.) … Also recorded five interceptions and had one fumble recovery … Coached by Jeff Sims ... Totaled 66 tackles, two interceptions, two blocked field goals and a blocked punt, while catching 40 passes for 772 yards and 14 touchdowns at West Side High School … Also charted 253 rushing yards on 22 carries with five TDs … An extremely talented athlete who also excelled at track and field, helping Gary West Side win the 2014 state championship with individual titles in the long jump and 4x100 relay … Chose UK over Georgia and West Virginia … Will have two years of eligibility remaining.

Personal: Born in Gary, Ind. ... Son of Nora and Lonnie Johnson … Major is pre-journalism.

Coach Stoops on Johnson: “We’re very excited to add Lonnie. He has great size and athleticism, with the versatility to play multiple positions.”

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