VAUGHT: Kentucky interested in Justin Burke

Just in case you wondered if Lexington Catholic quarterback Justin Burke was as big a national recruit as we all thought, start believing. If anything, he might be even bigger.

Burke was one of about 25 Kentucky high school players that various college coaches watched today at Lexington Catholic during a training session conducted by former UK offensive coordinator Tony Franklin.

At least 15 schools had coaches evaluating the players. Those schools included Georgia, Oklahoma, Alabama, Michigan, Wake Forest, Virginia, Mississippi, Northwestern, Memphis and Eastern Kentucky.

What about Kentucky and Louisville? Neither school had a coach present. "But they both let Justin know it was not a slight to him or anyone else here," said Lexington Catholic coach Bob Sphire. "They both had this as a day where they would not be out recruiting."

While Burke was the feature attraction, he was not the only Division I prospect. Henderson County quarterback Will Fidler, who also has a scholarship offer, worked out and was also impressive. Fidler had three teammates - running back Cedric Rainey and receivers Chris Lamar and John Nord - there. Rainey and Lamar are both players the coaches were closely evaluating.

Tight end Sam Gardner of Lexington Henry Clay, who has an offer from UK, was there. So were receivers Cornell Burbage, John Revere and Wes Caldwell of Lexington Catholic. Caldwell is a name to remember. He's only a sophomore but has big-time speed and playing another two years in Catholic's offense should make him a big-time recruiting target for 2007.

One of the more intriguing players was Pete Nochta of Tates Creek, the son of former UK player John Nochta. He plays quarterback, but has tight end size and toughness. He worked out as a tight end and could be a player that could make the transition to tight end in college the same way Chase Harp did a few years ago at Kentucky.

One of the coaches evaluating talent was former UK secondary coach Tim Keane, who is now at Memphis. He still misses Kentucky and asked a bunch of questions about the Wildcats and Lexington.

He also gave high marks to new UK defensive line coach Rick Petri. "That was a great hire for Kentucky. We have worked together before and nobody knows more than him. I think he's a perfect fit at Kentucky," Keane said.

Keane also praised what Franklin has done to help high school players in Kentucky. "Tony is really a great coach. He knows everything about a passing offense and how to train players. If a kid is serious about getting better, there's no one better for him to work with than Tony Franklin."

AllWildcats Top Stories