UK Football announces ten mid-year Wildcats

The student-athletes will go through workouts and participate in spring practice

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UK Athletics

LEXINGTON, Ky. (UK Athletics) – The University of Kentucky welcomes 10 mid-year enrollees who have joined the Wildcat football program, Coach Mark Stoops has announced.

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Seven of the mid-year enrollees are high school standouts who graduated in December – offensive lineman Jager Burton, defensive back Maxwell Hairston, defensive back Jordan Lovett, wide receiver Chauncey Magwood, quarterback Kaiya Sheron, offensive lineman David Wohlabaugh and running back La’Vell Wright.

Wide receiver Wan’Dale Robinson, a transfer from Nebraska, and outside linebacker Justice Dingle, a transfer from Georgia Tech, enter as juniors but due to COVID-19, will have three years of eligibility remaining. Punter Wilson Berry continues the pipeline of Australian punters at Kentucky. He comes to the Bluegrass at age 23 after playing three years of Australian rules football for Essendon’s team in the Victorian Football League. He will have four years of eligibility.

All 10 players will go through the off-season workouts and participate in spring practice. Spring practice dates are TBA.

Wilson Berry, Punter, 6-4, 200, Fr-HS, Maribyrnong, Australia (Maribyrnong College) – Continues the pipeline of Australian punters at the University of Kentucky … Comes to UK from the auspices of ProKick Australia … 247sports rates him as the No. 3 player out of Australia and the No. 7 punter in the 2020 recruiting class … Coached by Nathan Chapman and John Smith at ProKick … Following in the footsteps of UK’s two previous Aussie punters – Matt Panton (2017) and Max Duffy (2018-20), who won the 2019 Ray Guy Award as the nation’s best punter … Played three years of Australian rules football for Essendon’s team in the Victorian Football League … Prior to footy, attended Maribyrnong College, previously known as Maribyrnong High School, that specializes in sports … Older brother, Jordan, played football at Eastern Kentucky and is currently the starting punter for the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Jager Burton, Offensive Lineman, 6-4, 290, Fr-HS, Lexington, Ky. (Frederick Douglass) – Four-star offensive lineman was selected to the prestigious All-American Bowl, held annually in San Antonio, Texas … The No. 66 national prospect by 247sports.com and No. 200 nationally by Rivals.com … Rated as one of the nation’s top-10 offensive guard prospects by 247, Rivals and ESPN … The No. 1 prospect in Kentucky by Rivals and 247 … Winner of the 2020 Paul Hornung Award, chosen by the Louisville Quarterback Club, as the top high school player in Kentucky … As a junior, helped lead Frederick Douglass High School to a 14-1 record and state runner-up position in Class AAAAA … Named first-team all-state by The Associated Press and Louisville Courier-Journal … Team went 7-2 as a senior, reaching the state semifinals … First-team all-state by the Courier-Journal and Kentucky Sports Radio … Named to the Lexington Herald-Leader “Class of the Commonwealth” list of the top seniors in Kentucky … Additional all-state teams yet to be selected … Played offensive tackle and defensive end in high school … An all-around talent who is known for his combination of athleticism, footwork, playing intensity and notable strength for a high school player … Coached by Nathan McPeek … Frederick Douglass teammate Dekel Crowdus also signed with Kentucky … Recruiting finalists included Alabama, Clemson, Ohio State and Oregon, in addition to the Wildcats … Named pronounced same as “jagger.”

Justice Dingle, Outside Linebacker, 6-3, 280, Jr-Tr, Bowling Green, Ky. (Georgia Tech/Bowling Green HS) – Older brother of signee Jordan Dingle … Played two seasons at Georgia Tech, seeing action in 19 games with eight tackles, three forced fumbles and a tackle for loss … Played in four games as a sophomore in 2020, recording one tackle … As a redshirt freshman in 2019, made 11 appearances, including his first college start at defensive end in the home opener against South Florida (Sept. 7) … The Yellow Jackets’ top ball hawk, led the team with three fumble recoveries … Also finished with six tackles (five solo) on the season, including an 8-yard sack … Redshirted as a true freshman but saw action in four games, vs. Alcorn State (Sept. 1), at USF (Sept. 8), at Pitt (Sept. 15) and vs. Clemson (Sept. 22) and recorded one tackle at USF … Was one of 13 true freshmen in 2018 to see game action for the Yellow Jackets … Was rated as a four-star prospect by Rivals coming out of high school … No. 2-ranked player in his class in the state of Kentucky and the No. 18-ranked inside linebacker in the nation, according to Rivals … Listed as the nation’s No. 16-ranked inside linebacker by ESPN … Two-time all-state honoree … Two-time first-team all-district selection … Nominated for Army All-America Game, Dick Butkus Award (national high school Linebacker of the Year) and Kentucky’s Mr. Football award as a senior … Selected to participate in Kentucky/Tennessee Border Bowl, Kentucky Best of Bluegrass all-star game and Army All-American Combine … Helped lead Bowling Green to state championship as a junior in 2016 … Two-time team captain … Honor roll student … Coached by Kevin Wallace … Played first two prep seasons at Oakland H.S. in Murfreesboro, Tenn. (coached by Kevin Creasy and Tommy McDaniel) … Helped lead Oakland to a pair of district championships as a freshman and sophomore (2014 and 2015) … Also lettered in track and field and basketball.

Maxwell Hairston, Defensive Back, 6-1, 170, Fr-HS, West Bloomfield, Mich. (West Bloomfield) – Rated a three-star prospect by 247sports … Ranked the No. 19 prospect in Michigan and No. 65 cornerback nationally by 247sports … A two-way player at defensive back and wide receiver for head coach Ron Bellamy at West Bloomfield … Totaled 23 tackles, 15 pass breakups, two interceptions and three forced fumbles on defense and 500 receiving yards and five scores on offense in 2020 … Named to the All-Oakland Athletic Association Team in 2020 … Helped West Bloomfield to a 10-2 record as a junior in 2019 … Current UK running back Tyler Markray also hails from West Bloomfield … Picked Kentucky over offers from Arkansas, Minnesota, Purdue, Rutgers, Virginia Tech and others due to “the coaching staff and the relationship we built.”

Jordan Lovett, Defensive Back, 6-2, 195, Fr-HS, Radcliff, Ky. (North Hardin) – Three-star prospect by ESPN, Rivals.com and 247sports.com … Rated as high as the No. 38 safety nationally by 247 and No. 4 prospect in the commonwealth of Kentucky … Rangy defensive back with an interesting progression in high school … Did not play safety until his junior season, then made 15 interceptions in his first campaign at the position … Followed that with another impressive season as a senior, totaling 57 tackles and two interceptions for 55 total yards … Helped take North Hardin to a 9-1 record and a berth in the state quarterfinals in 2020 … Named first-team All-State by the Louisville Courier-Journal … As a junior, earned first-team all-state honors from The Associated Press and Louisville Courier-Journal … Helped lead North Hardin HS to a 13-1 record, reaching the state semifinals in Class AAAAAA in 2019 … First-team all-state by Kentucky Sports Radio in 2020, with the other all-state teams yet to be selected as this was written … High school teammates of current UK defensive lineman Octavious Oxendine and fellow signee La’Vell Wright … Coached by Brent Thompson … Recruiting finalists were Kentucky, Boston College, Cincinnati, Georgia Tech, Louisville, Missouri and West Virginia.

Chauncey Magwood, Wide Receiver, 6-0, 180, Fr-HS, Leesburg, Ga. (Lee County) – Started every game of his four years at Lee County High School (58 straight), helping lead the Trojans to a 52-6 record … Two-time state champion, with one state runner-up … First-team all-state as a sophomore and junior by the Georgia Coaches Association, with this year’s glitter squads yet to be selected … Played wide receiver his first three seasons, switched to quarterback as a senior and guided his team to a 12-2 record and berth in the state finals in 2020 … Heading into the final two games of the season, had thrown for 633 yards and seven touchdowns, while rushing for 433 yards and five TDs … Also spent some time at receiver, with 11 catches for 141 yards and two TDs … Caught 53 passes for 700 yards and 10 TDs as a junior … Sophomore season featured 68 catches for 958 yards and seven TDs in helping the Trojans win their second straight state title … Team won state championship as a freshman when he had 33 receptions for 388 yards … Played for head coach Dean Fabrizio … Three-star prospect who is one of the nation’s top-100 receivers by ESPN and Rivals.com … Rated as high as No. 48 in Georgia by Rivals … Narrowed his choices to Arkansas, Florida State, Louisville, Nebraska and South Carolina before picking Kentucky.

Wan’Dale Robinson, Wide Receiver, 5-10, 185, Jr-Tr, Frankfort, Ky. (Nebraska/Western Hills)
Transferred to Kentucky after playing two seasons at Nebraska … Will have to sit out the 2021 season due to NCAA transfer rules but could become eligible pending adoption of the NCAA transfer legislation or extension of the blanket waiver … Due to COVID-19, every student-athlete was granted an extra year of eligibility, therefore, he will have three seasons of eligibility remaining … Was a key member of the Husker offense as a freshman in 2019 … Played in 10 games and earned three starting assignments at receiver and one at running back … Caught 40 passes for 443 yards and two touchdowns while rushing for 340 yards and three scores … The 40 catches and 443 receiving yards were the most by any true freshman in Nebraska history … Ranked second on the team in receptions, receiving yards and receiving touchdowns, while ranking third in carries, rushing yards and rushing touchdowns … Totaled 1,029 all-purpose yards as a true freshman, which ranked second on the team and was the third-highest total ever by a Husker true freshman … Named a second-team freshman All-American in 2019, an honorable-mention All-Big Ten selection, and was a two-time Big Ten Freshman of the Week … One of four national finalists for the 2019 Paul Hornung Award, given to the nation’s most versatile player … Ranked fourth nationally among all FBS freshmen in all-purpose yards per game in 2019 with the second-highest total among Power Five freshmen … One of only two FBS players to total 400 receiving yards, 300 rushing yards and 200 kickoff return yards in 2019 … In 2020 as a sophomore, led the Huskers with 51 catches and 461 receiving yards despite playing only eight games and splitting duties at running back … Ranked fourth on the team with 240 rushing yards and led Nebraska with 696 all-purpose yards … Named to the 2020 Paul Hornung Award Watch List … Earned honorable-mention All-Big Ten honors from the conference coaches … Ranked fourth in the Big Ten and 23rd nationally with 6.4 receptions per game, the fourth-highest average in the country for an underclassman … Was Kentucky’s consensus top player as a senior at Western Hills High School in Frankfort, Kentucky for head coach Don Miller … Totaled 8,582 yards from scrimmage with 118 offensive touchdowns … Gained 6,795 yards on the ground, averaging more than 11 yards per carry while scoring 97 rushing touchdowns … Also caught 102 passes in his career for 1,787 yards and 21 touchdowns … Totaled 781 career points, which ranks No. 2 all-time in Kentucky history … Winner of the 2018 Paul Hornung Award as the state’s player of the year, Kentucky’s Mr. Football and the Gatorade Kentucky Player of the Year … Also was one of five finalists for the 2019 All-American Bowl Player-of-the-Year award, which is presented annually to the nation’s most outstanding high school senior … Was a consensus four-star recruit coming out of high school, ranked as the nation’s No. 2 all-purpose back and was the top player in Kentucky by 247Sports … Majoring in sports media and communications with a minor in business.

Kaiya Sheron, Quarterback, 6-3, 200, Fr-HS, Somerset, Ky. (Somerset HS) – The nation’s No. 21 pro-style quarterback as evaluated by 247sports.com … Three-star prospect is one of the top-10 players in the commonwealth as evaluated by 247, Rivals.com and ESPN … Led Somerset (Ky.) High School to a 14-1 record and the 2019 state championship in Class AA … Threw for 3,218 yards and 28 touchdowns while rushing for 959 yards and nine TDs … Second-team all-state by The Associated Press and honorable mention by the Louisville Courier-Journal … Most Valuable Player of the state title game as he guided the Briar Jumpers on a five-play, 86-yard TD drive in the game’s final 28 seconds … Guided team to a 6-3 record as a senior and the second round of the state playoffs … Class AA Player of the Year as chosen by the Kentucky Football Coaches Association … First-team all-state by Kentucky Sports Radio, named to the Lexington Herald-Leader “Class of the Commonwealth” list of the top seniors in Kentucky, second-team all-state by the Courier-Journal … Strong arm paired with good mobility … Coached by Robbie Lucas … Also played basketball … An early commitment to Kentucky, he selected the Wildcats over Marshall and did not entertain other recruiting … Name is pronounced “Ki-yah Sharon.”

David Wohlabaugh, Offensive Lineman, 6-5, 290, Fr-HS, Stow, Ohio (Walsh Jesuit) – Sizeable offensive lineman … Rated the nation’s No. 53 offensive guard by ESPN, the No. 67 tackle by 247sports and the No. 69 tackle by Rivals.com … The No. 25 player in Ohio by 247, No. 30 by ESPN and No. 31 by Rivals … First-team all-state as a senior by the Ohio Sportswriters Association … Helped lead Walsh Jesuit High School to a 5-2 record and the second round of the Division II state playoffs … His size is enhanced by the ability he has shown to make blocks in space … Coached by Nick Alexander … Comes from a football family, as his father, Dave, played at Syracuse and went on to a nine-year NFL career with New England (1995-98), Cleveland (1999-2002) and St. Louis (2003) … The elder Wohlabaugh was a member of the 1995 All-Rookie Team, played in the 1997 Super Bowl, and started all 128 games of his NFL career … Dad was a teammate with former Kentucky quarterback Tim Couch with the Cleveland Browns … Another son, Jack, is a center at Duke … David chose Kentucky over Maryland, Pittsburgh, Purdue and West Virginia … Named is pronounced “WUL-uh-bah.”

La’Vell Wright, Running Back, 5-11, 202, Fr-HS, Radcliff, Ky. (North Hardin) – Rated the No. 12 all-purpose back in the country by Rivals.com and the No. 6 player in Kentucky … Rated the No. 7 player in Kentucky and No. 51 running back nationally in the 247Sports Composite … Rated a three-star prospect by the major scouting services … Rushed for 4,396 yards and 56 touchdowns at North Hardin HS … In 2020, rushed for 884 yards and 11 touchdowns in seven games … Named Class 6A Player of the Year by the Kentucky Football Coaches Association … First-team All-State by the Courier-Journal … Chosen for the Lexington Herald-Leader “Class of the Commonwealth” listing of the top seniors in Kentucky … In 2019, rushed for 1,819 yards and 25 touchdowns while averaging 7.0 yards per carry … In 2018, rushed for 1,316 yards and 17 scores … Also proved to be a quality pass catcher with 1,260 receiving yards and six TDs during his career … Named Second-Team All-State in 2019 (Courier-Journal) … Coached at North Hardin by Brent Thompson … North Hardin also produced Andre’ Woodson, one of the best quarterbacks in program history … High school teammates of current UK defensive lineman Octavious Oxendine and fellow signee Jordan Lovett … Opted to stay home and play for the Wildcats over offers from Maryland, Northwestern, Purdue, Virginia, West Virginia and others.

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Bryan Kennedy hails from the Bluegrass State. He was born and raised in Owensboro, KY where he graduated from Apollo High School in 2006. Bryan graduated from the University of Kentucky with a degree in Broadcast Journalism and a minor in Spanish in 2010. He also received his master's degree in Sports Media and Branding from Western Kentucky University. While at UK, Bryan was the general manager of the on-campus TV station. He also did sports reporting, anchoring, producing and even the weather for UK Student News Network. While working for UKSNN, he also had the pleasure of covering Coach John Calipari's first press conference when he was introduced as the new head coach of the Kentucky Wildcats; easily one of his favorite moments as a young sports reporter. Before coming to ABC 36, Bryan was a morning anchor and reporter at WXXV News 25, our sister station in Gulfport, MS. He anchored more than four hours of news every day, including morning shows on NBC and Fox. While down south, Bryan had the opportunity to cover the Sugar Bowl, New Orleans Saints and the New Orleans Pelicans. After spending a little more than two years at WXXV, Bryan is extremely excited to return home. In his spare time, Bryan enjoys playing sports, especially rugby. He also enjoys crossfitting and watching sports (obviously). He's extremely excited to cover Central Kentucky. Feel free to say hello and send story ideas toBKennedy@wtvq.com