GIDEL: Sunday's Around the State

A new feature presented to our members this fall is 'Sunday's Around the State,' where Scout.com's Rob Gidel takes an inside look at the current football recruiting situation around the state of Kentucky. This week's edition includes KJ Black, Justin Burke, Ben Guidugli, Peter Nochta, Aundre Henderson, Josh Minton

Burke Stays True to Word
Say what you want about Justin Burke's decision to pick NC State, just don't call him stupid.

Saying from the get-go that he was going to pick an institution based on academics and not football merit, Burke was true to his word in picking NC State over a host of suitors that included the homestate Cards and Cats.

Burke said in his press conference Friday, that the Wolfpack won out because it offered so much in the areas of engineering, entrepreneurship and psychology.

"It was most important to me to find a school that not only allows me to reach my goals on the field, but also in the classroom," he said. "Academics played a huge role in my decision."

Lexington Catholic, meanwhile, continues to breed out-of-state students. Only one prospect (John Logan), in the past seven years has chosen UK or UofL as his college destination. Jason Weathers in 1999, was the last player from Catholic to commit to play football at Louisville.

Henderson Hot; Minton Cuts It Off
The hottest name around recruiting circles of late is Aundre Henderson from Manual High School. The Louisville (Ky.) native has written scholarship offers from Boston College, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas State, Kentucky, Louisville, Marshall, Michigan State, Minnesota and Tennessee.

His latest update from Scout.com's Michael McCammon, indicates that he'll take an unofficial visit to Kentucky to see the Wildcats take on the Cardinals.

Meanwhile, one man's stock has appeared to have hit its peak, not so much because of what he did, but what he's decided to do. Josh Minton from SW Pulaski HS has cut off all recruitment talks for the time being and has narrowed his choices to five: UofL, UK, Virginia Tech, Florida and Auburn.

Black Receives First Offer
KJ Black (QB 6'4 200) from Fern Creek HS received his first scholarship offer from James Madison.

Despite running for over 700 yards last season, in a mostly passing offense out of the shotgun, the talented gunslinger has been told he'll have to show college coaches he can move better from center to get some more scholarships. Most notably Missouri, Boston College, Illinois, Purdue and Vandy.

"I just gotta work on my feet," Black said. "They said I really need to improve on getting back there (from center) before they start talking about an offer."

Fidler Impressive in Scrimmage
Kentucky commitment Will Fidler was impressive in a controlled scrimmage over the weekend. The Henderson Co. quarterback threw two touchdowns to Chris Lamar that were estimated around 40 yards, in a 5-0 victory over Elizabethtown.

Fidler (QB 6'4 200), who committed to Kentucky on Wednesday, appears to have not missed a beat from last year.

Grinter to Grayshirt
Fairdale's Maurice Grinter, whom committed to Louisville this time last season, will grayshirt and enroll at Louisville in time for spring practice, next season.

The 6-foot-4, 235 pound linebacker will actually benefit from the extra time in the weight room and classroom. Grinter wasn't going to be needed this season, with a loaded roster of linebackers set to hit the field at Louisville next season.

Another Guidugli Gets Offer
Ben Guidugli of Fort Thomas Highlands, the brother of Gino, the record setting quarterback from Cincinnati, was awarded a scholarship at the University of Cincinnati, a weekend ago.

Ben is around 6-foot-2, 190 pounds and is considered to be a strong safety/wide receiver at the next level.

Host of Kids on Outside - For Now
An ongoing theme with the Kentucky kids is how they are currently sitting on the outside looking in. Rico Neal, Garnett Phelps, Demarco Williams, KJ Black, Justin Jeffries and Chris Lamar are on the outside looking in and close to getting their first scholarship offer in the near future.

The pool of talent is deep this year in the state, and their are plenty ripe for the pickin' if a school jumps in.

Player to Watch
Pete Nochta - OL/DL/TE 6'7 235 - Lexington
He's definitely not going to be getting serious interest at quarterback, but playing out of position has given him an opportunity to work on his feet and improve on his quickness. Like Madisonville's Blake Boyd from a year ago, the converted athlete could see the field at a number of positions at the next level and he's got a nice frame to work with for the school that does indeed offer. He's got the great size for a Tight End or a Defensive End, but could end up developing as an Offensive Tackle if he can prove he can gain weight. Despite having an ex-UK player as his father (John Nochta), Louisville appears to be the front runner thanks to some ironic inroads with Greg Nord, the former UK star, now assistant at UK.

Louisville was said to be on the verge of offering and from all indications, he might be their next verbal, if they do.


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