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December 5, 2013

Barker graduating early and heading to Lexington







Four-star Conner quarterback Drew Barker is seeing his days of high school slowly disappear.

The University of Kentucky commit, is graduating early and moving to Lexington to begin his college football career. Barker's last day is Dec. 20, or the last day before Christmas break.

"I'm really excited for college and the opportunities that are ahead of me but it will definitely kind of stink to leave my classmates that I came up with in the middle of the year." Barker says.

Barker decided to take a chance with the new Kentucky coaching staff and committed to the Wildcats over Steve Spurrier and the South Carolina Gamecocks. With that, Barker has somewhat become of the face of this new regime with Coach Mark Stoops at the helm.

Barker is one of the few in the history of Kentucky high school football to score atleast 50 rushing touchdowns and 50 passing touchdowns. To be exact, Barker finished at Conner with 5,805 yards on 437 of 747 passing with 60 touchdowns and only 19 interceptions. On the ground, he had 602 carries for 3,815 yards and 50 touchdowns.

In-state quarterbacks have fared many different ways. Tim Couch went to Leslie County High School then on to Kentucky to play the quarterback position. Couch would end up breaking SEC records in his final year at Kentucky in 1998. After that season he decided to leave Lexington for the NFL Draft where he would become the No. 1 overall pick chosen by the Cleveland Browns.

There are plenty of tales that were quite the opposite for in-state quarterbacks donning the blue and white as well.

Though, his days of going to high school will end in December Barker will play one more game at the prep level. He and three-star defensive tackle Matt Elam will participate in the Army All-American Bowl Jan. 4. The same date and setting Elam is set to announce his college decision.

Another Kentucky prep star made his decision at the game last year. Trinity's James Quick chose the Louisville Cardinals and went on to be the game's MVP.

Barker's decision to stay in the Bluegrass will forever tie him to athletics in Kentucky. Whether he becomes a star at the next level or not, Barker's name will always be around.


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