RECRUITING: Basketball season starts for Schwindel

With his football cleats all but retired for the 2004 season, Michael Schwindel is now turning his attention to the hardwood. Despite continued efforts by other schools to get involved, the Hancock County star contines to be committed to Kentucky and the future.

"Mike had a great year in football that ended Friday night in the regional finals," Michael's grandfather Bill Lyles said through email. "He made tackles all over the field against Mayfield, some solo at full speed."

"When they got ahead, they tightened up their pass coverage and played guys over the top of me," Michael Schwindel said after the loss to Mayfield in which he caught 5 passes for 91 yards and 2 touchdowns.

The Hancock County Hornets finished their season 11-2. Schwindel was a major part of the success, catching 21 balls for 514 yards for a 51.4 average adding 7 touchdowns.

"Some people have described Mike as being a combination of Deion Sanders and Ronnie Lott," Lyles continued. "Mike has made a lot of coaches change their game plans to not put the ball anywhere that he can get his hands on it."

And now its to basketball, where Michael excelled last season - becoming one of the region's top basketball players. The 6-foot-4 standout averaged close to 20 points and 10 rebounds as a junior.

"He got up Saturday morning and joined the basketball team and went to Grayson County for a practice game," Lyles explained. "Not having practiced since the summer his coach only allowed him to play 4 minutes of each quarter."

"He made several steals for a break away lay ups and dropped 19 points playing only half the time. His quickness and strength from the weight room and football made him a dominent force."

As far as his recruitment is concerned, the Wildcat commitment is still hearing daily from college colleges around the country whom are offering him the chance to play both sports - an idea that Schwindel had tossed around prior to committing to Kentucky.

"He is being recruited every day now in both football and basketball by some mid major D-1 schools verbally saying 'come with us and play both sports.' He is listening. But I think if he plays football only - it will be at UK."

And that's where he is not only most wanted, but probably the most gifted.

"(Fellow Wildcat commit) Tim Masthay told me after the game with Murray that Mike hit him the hardest that he has ever been hit playing football."

And that's something Wildcat fans are looking forward to seeing for years to come.

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