Two more Stephenson players are heading to Kentucky.
Linebacker Jabari Johnson and tight end Ronnie Shields each committed to the Wildcats on Friday. They join teammate Raymond Sanders, a running back who has been pledged to Kentucky since this summer.
Johnson and Shields are the fourth and fifth seniors to lock down major college scholarship offers this fall. Linebacker Tyrone Cornileus is committed to Miami and defensive back Kenneth Ladler is committed to Vanderbilt. Senior Mike Thornton is considered the top uncommitted defensive lineman in the state. He’s considering Georgia, Auburn and Penn State.
Johnson and Shields may not be the last Jaguars heading to Kentucky. Cornerback Chris Sharpe has long help a scholarship offer from Louisville but is also drawing interest from the Wildcats. Joker Phillips, Kentucky’s designated head-coach-in-waiting, is recruiting the area for the school.
Shields, a 6-foot-5, 215-pounder who also lines up outside at wide receiver, is probably the biggest surprise. Over the summer his main recruiting interest was coming mainly from MAC, Conference USA and Big East schools. Clearly he was thrilled to land an SEC offer.
“They offered me on Thursday and I accepted immediately,” said Shields, who also had offers from New Mexico and Louisville. “I was excited that felt I could help contribute to their program. I’m just glad all the hard work finally paid off.
Shields said the Wildcats see him as a “flex” receiver that can line up as a tight end or wideout.
Johnson has starred as both a linebacker on defense and a halfback on offense. At 6-foot-3, 215 pounds, the Wildcats believe they can play him just about anywhere on the defensive side of the ball.