This upcoming high school football season will questionably have the most talent ever showcased on the football field in Northern Kentucky. More than 10 players will more than likely receive Division-1 scholarships, some of which have already signed with big programs. Listed below are the top-tier players to watch this upcoming season:
Miles Simpson (Simon Kenton - RB)
Simpson was unstoppable last season rushing for more than 2,300 yards and 37 touchdowns on the ground. He scored 40 total TD's in just 15 games! Yes, you're not seeing things, he did run for 37 TD's and is drawing comparisons to Boone County great Shaun Alexander. Simpson single handily led his team to the 6A state championship where they eventually lost in the finals but he is hoping to get back to the championship game this upcoming season. Simpson is currently being highly recruited by several local teams and has scholarship offers from Cincinnati, Louisville, Kentucky, Purdue, Indiana and Illinois.
Tate Nichols (Ryle - TE)
This 6'7, 240 pound monster committed to play for the Cardinals of Standford back in April of this year. Nichols only played in six games because of a injury last year. In the limited time he played last season, Nichols caught 11 passes for 98 yards. Nichols is projected as a tight end but could also play offensive line because of his stature. Prior to verbally committing, Nichols had other offers from Cincinnati, Louisville, Kentucky and Indiana.
Austin Collinsworth (Highlands - WR/DB)
Son of former Cincinnati Bengal, Cris Collinsworth, Austin played wide receiver and defensive back for the state champ Bluebirds. Collinsworth is mainly being recruited as a WR/DB as he caught 47 passes for 840 yards and five touchdowns last season and also intercepted four balls. However, coach Dale Mueller has said he would like to use Collinsworth as a running back this year as he put up 190 yards and a score on just 11 carries last season. Collinsworth currently has offers from Louisville, Kentucky, Cincinnati, Stanford and Vanderbilt.
Tyler Grubbs (Highlands - OL)
Grubbs is a 6-6, 280 pound behemoth and the core of the offensive line for the Bluebirds. Grubbs has verbally committed to play for the Miami Redhawks and prior to verbally committing also held offers from Western Kentucky, Ohio, Central Michigan and Troy.
Jordan Hansel (Simon Kenton - OG)
Another offensive lineman, Hansel stands 6-4 and weighs in at 285 pounds. Hansel anchors the Pioneers line and has currently received one offer from Ball State. He's also receiving interest from Cincinnati, Kentucky, Louisville, Vanderbilt and Western Kentucky.
Nick West (Conner - QB)
West is described as a "dual-threat" quarterback. Not only did West pass for 2,700 yards and 30 touchdowns last year, he also ran for 622 yards and 11 touchdowns on the ground. West is being looked at by Alabama, Cincinnati, Indiana, Louisville and Ball State.
Other Notable Players:
Will Bardo (Highlands - QB): being looked at by Cincinnati, Tennessee, Boston College, Kansas State and Western Kentucky.
Charles Quainoo (Boone County - RB): being looked at by Cincinnati, Kentucky and Miami (OH).
Ryan Wilson (Dixie Heights - QB): being looked at by Cincinnati, Akron, Hawaii, Marshall, Toledo and Western Kentucky.
Seth Chappie (Lloyd - RB)
Andy Roenker (Holy Cross - RB)
Nick Buten (Highlands - WR)
David Hogue (Highlands - WR)
Kevin Connaughton (Covington Catholic - OG)
Brandon Roller (Highlands - LB/TE)
If you would like to view preseason rankings put together for the 2009-10 season, click here.