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July 11, 2006

O-line highlights Kentucky

It's not a very deep year for talent in the state of Kentucky, but a closer look reveals several prospects that could play just about anywhere in the Southeast at the top, particularly along the offensive line.

Stuart Hines, James Shepherd, Chase Dumphord, Brad Durham, and Billy Joe Murphy make up half of the Rivals.com Kentucky Top 10 for the Class of 2007. All could end up on the offensive line in college.

Along with the bevy of big uglies, another interesting aspect of ranking the Bluegrass State this year is that the top prospect in the state likely won't stay the same throughout this recruiting cycle.

In what likely will not be a ranking that holds up for very long, Lexington Clay County four-star safety Chase Minnifield begins as the Bluegrass State's top overall prospect. The ball-hawking Virginia commit is the lone four star and Rivals250 member from the state at the moment. His father, Frank Minnifield, played in the NFL.

Putting pressure on Minnifield for the number one spot is a trio of talented prospects.

The first is running back Victor Anderson of Louisville St. Xavier. One look at some recently-acquired film of the 5-foot-9, 175-pound all-purpose backs and it's plain to see that he's similar to many of the other prospects throughout the Southeast rated much higher at his position. To put it honestly, the West Virginia commit is likely on track to make a major jump in the all-purpose back position rankings and likely will make a vault into the Rivals250 during the next rankings cycle.

Anderson rushed for 1,512 yards and 26 touchdowns and tacked on another 250 yards and two touchdowns receiving in 2005.

Jumbo athlete Brent Slusher of Pineville Bell County is another prospect that has seen his stock rise in recent months. The 6-foot-3, 221-pounder has good size and quickness and can fit in at a number of positions at the next level, including tight end (where he likely will play) or outside linebacker.

Slusher has shown he is an SEC-level athlete and multiple camps, including the Athens NIKE Camp in April, where he was among the top performers. It would not be a surprise to see Slusher end up with a four star rating before all is said and done.

Hines, the top lineman in Kentucky, is of high value because he could play offense or defense at the next level. The 6-foot-5, 280-pounder is impressive on film on both sides of the ball, has good technique and is aggressive.

It would not be a surprise to see most, if not all, of the top four prospects in Kentucky earn four-star ratings.

Rounding out the top five is another offensive lineman, Hopkinsville Christian County's Shepherd. The 6-foot-6, 314-pounder could end up being a real find for whichever school signs him. He was one of the top performers at the Clemson NIKE Camp in May and has all the tools to develop into a good one.

Rivals.com Kentucky Top 10





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