By LARRY VAUGHT
If you want to know how good Louisville Moore defensive end/linebacker J.J. Weaver is, let Western Hills receiver Wandale Robinson explain.
“When you want to talk about freak, that is a freakish athlete right there,” Robinson, a four-star player and winner of this year’s Paul Hornung Award as the state’s top football player, said. “That is somebody who is 6-6 and to be that big and move the way he can with a a first step like he has, he can do a lot of different things. I
“In middle school, he was a quarterback. In sixth grade he was about 6-3, so just imagine my little sixth grade self catching a football from him and how hard that was coming.”
Weaver, also a four-star player, joined Robinson as a University of Kentucky football commit last week. Now they will be teammates again like they were for three years in middle school when they played on an all-star football team together.
“Me and J.J. have always been good friends. He would stay in my house when we played in Frankfort so he did not have to stay in a hotel,” Robinson said. “We would just have fun. He was always one of the guys I stayed close with since we played together. We have been in group (text) messages with each other. We have always been that way and it has been really good with him talking about Kentucky. We have always had a good relationship.”
Mercer County coach David Buchanan got to see plenty of Weaver in the Class AAAA playoffs when Moore beat his team. He came away impressed.
“He is a talented young man. He had a really good motor and played hard,” Buchanan said. “He was also very versatile …. he could play in the interior, the edge, or at linebacker. He was also effective as a tight end and slot receiver both catching the ball and blocking. They will need to put some more weight on him at Kentucky, but he can run and has a nose for the ball.”
Josh Edwards, recruiting writer for The Cats Pause/247 believes Weaver could make an impact at Kentucky in 2019.
“In the SEC, you generally hope that your linemen can redshirt but he is a strong guy already with good size,” Edwards said. “Defensive end is a position that could still use an upgrade in talent and despite some veteran players at those spots, he should have an opportunity to contribute after he has been in the strength and conditioning program.
“He is a really strong player who explodes off the line of scrimmage. He played both ways for his high school as a defensive end and tight end. His background in basketball has created some really good body control. He is just a special athlete. Beyond his athletic abilities, he is just a really good kid.”
Jeri Maas has a son who is a senior at Moore and she has watched Weaver play numerous times. She shares Edwards’ opinion about Weaver’s personality.
“He is a team player, enjoys the game,” she said. “He is very genuine. What you see is what you get. He is very popular with the other kids in his senior class, very involved in school, and loves his teammates.”
Weaver, who lived in Florida before moving to Louisville in 2014, was very emotional during his announcement ceremony last week and stopped several times when he cried, especially thanking his teammates and mother.
“Just being here at Moore and changing the program around has been great. I like being different,” Weaver said. “We made history at 11-2this year. I will never forget that. Being here changed me in so many ways.”