Two more Stephenson players heading to the SEC

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.

35 comments Add your comment


October 30th, 2009
1:14 pm


October 30th, 2009
1:33 pm

The DAWGS never offered, better than going to Yech.


October 30th, 2009
1:48 pm

And you mention the reigning state champs why, 78 DAWG?



October 30th, 2009
1:52 pm

Great to hear!
Love those Georgia kids. UK has had many a great one from Lagrange.
Looking forward to seeing the Stephenson pipeline!


October 30th, 2009
2:12 pm

That is awesome to see GA produce such good talent.

No Emotion

October 30th, 2009
2:21 pm

Joker Phillps is “putting in work” in GA hard. Say what you want but if he can continue to land this amount of talent and develop it accordingly, Kentucky just might become a factor.

And guys please let us remember that Georgia and Tech can’t get every one from the state.


October 30th, 2009
2:56 pm

Way to Jags lets get that free education!


October 30th, 2009
2:59 pm

Congratulation Jabari and Ronnie on you two accomplishment. I know your parents are proud too see that their young men are advancing their education and football to another level. Continue to work hard in the classroom and on the field and may the GOOD LORD BLESS THE TWO OF YOU AND YOUR TEAMMATES WITH A STATE CHAMPIONSHIP RING, because JAGUARS are DOME BOUND. SO stay HUMBLE

Vol in Suwanee

October 30th, 2009
3:17 pm

The DAWG fans will see this and comment like above “oh well UGA did not even offer these guys”. I hope they go to UK, work hard and get solid coaching and give UGA a run for their money in a couple years. Congrads to all of them for working hard and hopefully they will take full advantage of these offers and perfoem in the class room and on the field.


October 30th, 2009
3:25 pm

Congrats. Love to see the Georgia players continue their playing days.


October 30th, 2009
3:36 pm

Glad to see it and happy for them..

Glad to see it. Happy for them both. They should see some serious playing time. The Cats they are improving.


October 30th, 2009
4:02 pm

congrats you guys the jaguars really work hard and they are getting what they deserve dome bound.

Gerald Ball

October 30th, 2009
4:03 pm

Vol in Suwanee:

Ummm, I really don’t think that you should be wishing all this great success on Kentucky! When Joker Philips becomes Kentucky’s head coach, which will happen no later than 2011, Philips’ ability to recruit Georgia will greatly increase. Now Georgia and Georgia Tech are going to get their players, because most Georgia kids grow up as fans of one school or another and will want to go someplace where they are driving distance from home. Tennessee will have to compete for kids who want to leave the state, and if Kentucky starts winning 8 or 9 games a year instead of 6 or 7, then they will be just another team that Tennessee is going to have to fight recruiting battles over.


October 30th, 2009
4:35 pm

Ithink georgia and georgia tech arrogance is really costing them some great players,because if Raymond Sanders was 5foot2 nobody in Athens can outplay this back and if we keep chasing these stars behind these players name whats going on in athens we might as well get use to it.


October 30th, 2009
5:23 pm

Showtime – UGA is recruiting a player on this team. Therefore I’m pretty sure they are aware of the other players on his team and their interest in being recruited. There are only 20 scholarships a year so 100’s of good football players a year in the state of Georgia will not get a UGA offer. It’s just reality.


October 30th, 2009
5:40 pm

I don’t think Tech or Georgia are worried about Kentucky coming down here, but I do think Kentucky is only improving their talent levels by coming in here and getting guys from a large football state base. All these kids want to play D-1 ball. That is why Bill Curry sees the opportunity here at GSU.
Kentucky is just getting started putting roots down here. The LaGrange pipeline and now Stephenson and McEachern could be next.
You know the basketball team has a way of getting a top Georgia player every now and then too!

jag count

October 30th, 2009
6:35 pm

if UGA were getting the better players it would show in the records. Five stars is not a guarantee of a quality player. Jags produce good players every year not once every three years. congrats jabari and ronnie. we got more coming this year so lookout.


October 30th, 2009
6:57 pm

Another college trying to make a living off of Georgia players.


October 30th, 2009
7:09 pm

Raymond Sanders is definitely a good running back. I don’t know size or numbers on his speed but he looked awfully good against ML King. Kentucky is getting a good one .


October 30th, 2009
8:35 pm

why can’t the negative people just go away! Why not be happy that these kids have a chance to go and get an education and start making their way in a difficult world. In other words, you all need to get a life!


October 30th, 2009
10:26 pm

Hey Showtime, chill out. There were 150 players that went division 1 from the state last year. There are plenty of great schools for these guys to go. The most a school can offer is 25. The trick is filling the needs based on who is graduating or leaving early. Everytime we read a kid is going out of state we read how UGA lost out on this kid, or UGA fans get defensive and say “we didn’t offer because he wasn’t good enough”. Fans (Fanatics) are myopic. There are so many intangibles that go into offering scholarships that 99% of the fans do not know.

Black Angel

October 31st, 2009
2:45 am

Whenever a football player no matter what level he plays get offered a scholarship, it is one less expense in the parents pockets!! I am Proud of these players. For one when you speak of Athletics, You have to mention Acedemics. These young men have that in order to be offered a scholarship from KENTUCKY. Remember we are talking about KENTUCKY!! A very pretigous school where everyone don’t get accepted. Oo by the way UGA and GT.. Keep slipping on the talent here in Georgia and you continue to loose players to your rival schools.


October 31st, 2009
8:49 am

Way to Go Jags keep up the good work !!!! Congrats to Ronnie and Jabari. You know what to do!


October 31st, 2009
8:58 am

Great Job Coaches – The Coaches of Stephenson High School. People keep your eyes open there is more to come baby!!


October 31st, 2009
9:00 am

GO JAGUARS doing it big.Dome Bound.


October 31st, 2009
9:22 am

Dawgs didn’t want either of them. They can go play on the moon for all I care!


October 31st, 2009
9:53 am

Georgia or Georgia Tech didn’t offer nobody from Stephenson until late in the summer. Tech offered Tyrone and Big Mike and Georgia Big Mike. These 2 schools really don’t recruit in Dekalb unless you are a 4 or 5 star player base on rival, scout , and etc. Look at how GEORGIA is going after NEAL of SANDY Creek. The kid can flat out ball, but I think GEORGIA waited to late to recruit him. Going back to the game on ESPN, If you watch that game you saw BIG JABARI JOHNSON make some plays in the open field on defense. Kentucky is getting a steal on this kid. He is a baller and a big time player that show up for big time games.Mr. SHIELDS is a big time player that once he get to LEXINGTON and get in the weight program with that body frame and hands. Kentucky got another steal. PEOLPLE will see, because these guys are humble.

Not Disappointed

October 31st, 2009
12:40 pm

I’m glad they have good schools. Young men need to study hard, play hard and get that degree!

Ramblin Wreck!


October 31st, 2009
1:54 pm

CUZ, Why are you hating on these kids accomplishment. You should be happy for them, whether you know them are not.I don’t care what race or school these young men come from we are still GOD CHILDRENS. We should send out positive word of inspiration to them and the rest of players in GEORGIA of ALL HIGH SCHOOLS.

Starring Peter Graves as Capt. Over

October 31st, 2009
1:59 pm

Just because UGA did not offer does not mean that these players are not worthy of a scholarship. To be honest, recruiting is a crapshoot anyway. These two young men have an opportunity to go to college & get a degree. I for one applaud these two & any others who have the opportunity to earn a scholarship. Good luck & take advantage of this opportunity.

dekalb fan

November 1st, 2009
9:11 am

UGA currently has 0 players from Dekalb County on their roster.


November 1st, 2009
11:52 am

The last 5 recruiting classes Dekalb County has littered college football with play making stars and UGA currently has no Dekalb players on their roster?


November 1st, 2009
1:12 pm

they all suck


November 1st, 2009
1:46 pm


Regular Joe

November 1st, 2009
4:42 pm

Good Job Jabari and Ronnie now keep those grades up and make it happen.