Nevels to UK: A Journey

Despite holding just two scholarship offers, perhaps nobody had a harder time making a decision then the Wildcats newest commitment. The battle between a grayshirt, his best friend and the opportunity to stay home all led him to wait until the final week to decide.

On the surface, Kentucky and Ohio are not so comparable. Kentucky plays in the Southeastern Conference, the premiere conference for college football while Ohio, whose greatest alum is former basketball great Gary Trent, plays in the MAC.

But things got sticky - quickly. The Cats lost to the Bobcats at home amidst an embarrassed and shell-shocked Commonwealth crowd that gave the MAC more power to boast. And teammate and best friend Mike Mitchell had committed to the Bobcats in hopes of bringing along Nevels.

To make matter worse, the Wildcats, whom were first to offer Nevels in September, found themselves up to their ears in commitments so early, that the once scholarship offer had turned to a grayshirt.

In the middle was Nevels, a highly productive defensive playmaker from Fort Thomas, whom left his days of losing at Simon Kenton High School and moved to Highlands, where a runner-up finish as a junior would lead to a state championship finish his senior.

It was a long journey, but one that finally sent him to UK.

"He really liked Kentucky right from the start," Highlands coach Dale Mueller told the Kentucky Post. "They were the first to recruit him. They've really done a great job of recruiting him."

"Right now, they want me at cornerback, and then at safety after I get bigger, said the 5-foot-11, 180-pound senior to the Kentucky Post.

"It might take a while to get used to (cornerback), but I think it's a position where I can make plays and be effective."

Nevels transferred to Highlands two years ago and played free safety on the 2003 Class AAA state runner-up team. He switched to outside linebacker in 2004 and helped solidify a defense that carried the Bluebirds to their 16th state championship last December.

He was recently honored as the Defensive Player of the Year in a poll of local Class AAA and Class AAAA coaches conducted by The Kentucky Post.

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Jordan Nevels


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