Harlan County’s Whitehead commits to UK
John Middleton Sports Editor
Harlan County’s Carson Whitehead will spend his Saturdays in the Southeastern Conference next season. The standout fullback and linebacker verbally committed to play at the University of Kentucky on Thursday.
Whitehead will join the team as a preferred walk-on, guaranteeing him a spot on the roster. The former Black Bear was primarily recruited by offensive coordinator Neal Brown. He said the decision to attend the University of Kentucky was an easy one.
“I mean it’s UK. I feel like every player in the state dreams of continuing their career at the next level, but only a select few are chosen to represent the University of Kentucky,” he said. “When I first received the call, I was shocked. I don’t know how else to describe it. It was just unbelievable.”
Whitehed will join a stellar recruiting class that is currently ranked 20th by ESPN.com. The Wildcats also hold verbal commitments from in-state four-star prospects Drew Barker and Matt Elam. Whitehead is being recruited as a potential H-Back or linebacker by UK. He maintains a 4.0 GPA at Harlan County and is a member of the school’s Beta Club. Whitehead plans to major in engineering (civil) computer science at Kentucky.
Harlan County coach Tom Larkey has had a pair of former players go on to thrive at Kentucky, with former Rockcastle County standouts Brad Durham and Jason Leger both earning starting jobs for the Wildcats. Larkey said he has little doubt Whitehead will also be successful during his time in Lexington.
“It’s good to have a player in the blue again. I think he will be a good student there, and they will love him as football player,” Larkey said. “He just needs to hang around there, and I think he will be on the field. It takes a while for these kids. It’s different than high school. You have to hang around, work hard and accept that you are a freshmen.”
Whitehead recently completed the most decorated career in Harlan County High School’s brief history. He piled up several accolades during his time at HCHS. As a senior, he was named to the Associated Press All-State first team, Class 5A District 8 Player of the Year and the Southeastern Kentucky Conference Player of the Year.
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