Rivals.com has given star rankings to eighteen football playing seniors in the state of Kentucky. I will go through the eighteen in a series called "Know Your Stars". Finishing up the defensive line are Defensive ends.
Seneca's Lloyd Tubman, a three-star defensive end and four star by 247sports, is ready to anchor down at Vanderbilt next year. Tubman took the offer from the Commodores over the in-state schools Kentucky and Louisville.
Tubman went on a trio of trips to Vandy and the third time was the charm, he committed. On the first trip Tubman says he "felt comfortable" and from then on the bond only grew. Defensive Coordinator Sean Spencer made a quick and strong relationship with him and really helped their chances of landing Lloyd.
When asked about the SEC Tubman said that was definitely a variable of his decision. Vanderbilt's good academics were a big factor also, as he plans to pursue a degree in web design.
Tubman believes he may see some early playing time and knows he's going to go right in and compete. The coaching staff believes in him too, Tubman reveals they do an excellent job of "hyping" him up about being a Commodore.
The arrival of Coach Lavell Boyd had a significant role in the grooming of Tubman into a Division-1 prospect. Coach Boyd switched from the 3-4, where Tubman played outside linebacker or joker, to a 4-3 that made him defensive end.
As for his current squad, the Seneca Redhawks, Tubman says they "Know what it takes" to be where they want to be. Most of his teammates, including himself, went to middle school together and he explains that to be critical facet in the makeup this team.
Not only is he the most talented but he's the leader of the field to boot. Tubman has already had a sit-down meeting with his team. The context of the meeting was about "having each other's backs" and building team comradery. Lastly, he exclaims it will be a "year to remember" in his senior campaign.
Ryan Duvall is a two-star defensive end from Apollo High School who's being heavily recruited by WKU and admits that they are one of his top choices.
Duvall's been to both the National Underclassmen Combine and camp at Kentucky during his final offseason as a high school football player. But that's not all, he's accepted an invite to the Ultimate 100 combine and plans to camp July 14th with Vanderbilt and WKU on the 20th.
Apollo lost a lot last year to graduation, including Hunter Bivin, though Duvall says "we have plenty of guys willing to put in the time and effort", "We may not have the size that we used to but we have an entire team with the same mindset" and that mindset is "work hard and get to the top"
Seth Hope, a two-star defensive end, is the second from Fort Thomas Highlands to be featured in the "Know Your Stars" series.
Hope is a very hot commodity at the Division-1A level, possessing twelve scholarships from that rank. Some for those offers are from Harvard, Cornell, Butler, Murray State, Penn, Wofford, and Yale. Though he is still awaiting his first Division-1 offer, Hope expects it to come soon. Miami (OH), Kentucky, Illinois, Cincinnati, WKU, Ohio State, Ball State, and Toledo are all the FBS schools that have shown interest.
All the Ivy League schools will make for an even more difficult decision if he were to receive an offer from a Division-1 program. Seth says there are "a few factors" that are going to come into play when he makes his decision and "quality of education will be the biggest."
Seth will head to the New England area in late July to see what Penn, Cornell, and Princeton have to offer.
There's no question as to how Hope wants to end his senior year especially after this quote "We're not going to be satisfied with anything less than our seventh consecutive state championship. We've got a ton of depth and should have one of our best teams in a while for this season."
Derik Overstreet, a two-star out of Paducah Tilghman High School, currently holds a single offer from WKU according to Rivals. He's seen interest from Michigan, Kentucky, Auburn, Mississippi State, Louisville, and Ball State as well.
Lastly, Evan Sayner is our fourth and final two-star defensive end of the Know Your Stars series. He, like Overstreet, holds a single offer only his is from Austin Peay according to Scout. Kentucky, Missouri, Northern Illinois, Southern Illinois, and WKU are among the schools that have looked into the to-be senior from Lone Oak.
For the last "Know Your Stars", at least for now, we will see what the pseudo position of athlete has to offer.
Alex Davis can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on twitter @cwsportsalex