Best of the Bluegrass

Inside the Ville's spring version of 'Best of the Bluegrass' is topped by Central's James McKinney and includes recent U of L commitment Maurice Grinter.

Since the inception of spring football for high schools in the State of Kentucky, as well as the rivalry between Louisville and Kentucky on the gridiron, the number of talented football prospects in the Bluegrass State has been on a consistent rise. The rising class of 2004 is no different. In fact, the upcoming group of seniors may be the deepest pool of high Division IA prospects that the state has ever produced. With that in mind, here's Inside the Ville's preseason Best of the Bluegrass!

1. DE/TE James McKinney (6'4, 280) Louisville Central
Having produced two of the nation's top prospects in Michael Bush and Brian Brohm the past two years, the Bluegrass State may have yet another prep All-American prospect in Central's James McKinney. McKinney, who has the ability to play on the defensive line, tight end or possibly even fullback, has backed off a verbal commitment to Michigan and is strongly considering a scholarship offer from the Cardinals, along with offers the Wolverines, Miami, Kentucky and a host of others. McKinney frequented Louisville's practices this spring and attended the programs Junior Day event.

2. QB Chris Todd (6'3, 180) Elizabethtown
Todd is the next top signal-caller to come out of Kentucky, following the likes of Chris Redman, Tim Couch and Brian Brohm. Todd threw for nearly 4,600 yards and 50 touchdowns, completing 67% of his attempts as a junior. Likely the leading candidate for Mr. Football, Todd currently holds a scholarship offer from North Carolina and is also considering Kentucky, Louisville, Notre Dame, Georgia and others.

3. DE Earl Heyman (6'4, 240) Louisville Ballard
Heyman, a 1st Team All-State choice as a junior, has kept a somewhat low-profile on the recruiting scene thus far with many fans. However, most college coaches are quite aware of his abilities and early interest has been plenty. Heyman, who has offers from Louisville and Kentucky, has also received attention from Southern Cal, Indiana, Florida and Purdue.

4. LB Brandon Logan (6'1, 210) Lexington Catholic
With scholarship offers from Louisville, Michigan, Kentucky and Tennessee already in hand, there is little question that Logan will be a high target of many top programs throughout the region. Logan, who attended U of L's Junior Day, is the younger brother of Kentucky redshirt freshman John Logan, but the talented senior-to-be claims that his brother's presence at UK, nor his close relationship with our top-rated prospect James McKinney, won't effect his decision.

5. DE Brandon Deaderick (6'4, 230) Elizabethtown
Deaderick, who attended Louisville's spring game, is a prospect that grabbed our attention during last years Class AA State Championship game. Since that game, Deaderick has become a fast-rising prospect who recently added an offer from Florida to go along with one already extended from Kentucky. Louisville has some catching up to do as he currently lists Florida, Notre Dame, Kentucky and Michigan as his early favorites.

6. LB Maurice Grinter (6'3, 220) Fairdale
Grinter seemingly does it all for Fairdale. On offense he has played running back, receiver and quarterback, while playing linebacker and on the line on the defensive side of the ball. In just five games last fall, Grinter, who is also one of the state's top basketball prospects, rushed for 1,200-yards. Grinter has committed to Louisville over an offer from Kentucky and heavey interest from Arkansas and Purdue.

7. DB Michael Schwindel (6'3, 200) Hancock County
Like Grinter, Schwindel is also a standout basketball player, but most expect him to play football in college. With great size and instincts, Schwindel has drawn early interest both Kentucky, which has offered, and Louisville, as well as Tennessee.

8. WR Maurice Urrutia (6'4, 180) Louisville Fern Creek
Maurice's size and abilities will remind many of U of L incoming freshman and older brother, receiver Mario Urrutia. Like his brother, Maurice has great size, exceptional hands and has displayed the ability to elude defenders. Louisville was the first to offer and Urrutia lists the Cardinals, along with Tennessee and Kentucky as his early favorites.

9. S Lamar Alston (6'2, 190) Paduach Tilghman
An all-state choice as a junior, Alston is poised for a big senior season. He has great speed and has a frame that will develop into the perfect collegiate defensive back. He is receiving heavy interest from Louisville, Wake Forest, Alabama, Kentucky, Tennessee and Auburn, with offers extended from both the Cardinals and Demon Deacons. Don't be surprised if Alston joins former teammate Hunter Cantwell and wears the Red & Black.

10. TE Zipp Duncan (6'5, 240) Elizabethtown
Another member of the deeply talented Elizabethtown squad, Duncan had a busy spring, visiting numerous top programs in the Southeast. Louisville's Junior Day was one of Duncan's stops, as well as trips to Florida State, Vanderbilt, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia Tech, Georgia, Auburn and Alabama. He currently lists Florida State, Georgia, Louisville, Kentucky and Vanderbilt as his leaders.

OTHERS: Kale Butler (Muhlenburg South), Corey Goodman (Western), Lee Renfro (Southwestern Pulaski), William Lewis (Scott Co), Alfonso Smith (Waggener), Kenny Turner (Trigg Co), Cory Zirbel (Murray)

Cardinal Authority Top Stories