Three Grayshirts Enroll at Kentucky

Jan. 12, 2011

LEXINGTON, Ky. –  Linebacker/defensive end Jabari Johnson, linebacker Tim Patterson and quarterback Maxwell Smith have enrolled at the University of Kentucky for the spring semester, Coach Joker Phillips announced Wednesday.

Commonly known as grayshirts, the players signed with Kentucky last year but deferred enrollment until now.  Patterson and Smith began practicing with the Wildcats during bowl preparations in December.  All three players will participate in spring practice.

Here are their biographies:

Jabari Johnson, Linebacker/Defensive End, 6-2, 220, Fr-HS, Stone Mountain, Ga. (Stephenson) --  Very athletic linebacker prospect … Could grow into a defensive end in college … “May be the best-looking kid on the hoof on a team with over 25 DI (Division I) prospects,” wrote recruiting analyst Barry Every of, who also tabbed Johnson as a “big-time sleeper” … Has been clocked as fast as 4.6 seconds in the 40-yard dash, a terrific time for a linebacker … Also played strong safety, fullback and tight end … Three-year letterman, two-year starter … Helped Stephenson HS to an 11-1 record as a senior (2009) in Class AAAAA, the largest classification in Georgia … Totaled 76 tackles as a senior, with five quarterback sacks, eight tackles for loss, two fumbles caused and one recovery … First-team all-region … Selected for the DeKalb County All-Star Game … Coached by Ron Gartrell … “Jabari’s athletic ability is outstanding,” Gartrell said.  “He has great reaction skills and really understands the game on both sides of the ball.” … Teammate of current Wildcat signees Raymond Sanders and Ronnie Shields … Listed as the nation’s No. 64 outside linebacker prospect by … Also participated on the track and field team, competing in the 400-meter run and hurdles events.

Personal: Born in Atlanta, Ga. … Name is pronounced “jah-BAR-ee” … Son of Melvin Johnson and Veronica Johnson … A cousin, Trey Buice, played football at Ball State … Considering a major in business or sports therapy.

Tim Patterson, Linebacker, 6-4, 220, Fr-HS, Louisville, Ky. (Central) -- The top prospect in the 2010 class in Kentucky as named by and SuperPrep … Rangy linebacker with outstanding height and sub-4.7 speed in the 40-yard dash … First-team all-state as a senior by The Associated Press and Louisville Courier-Journal … Named to the Lexington Herald-Leader “Class of the Commonwealth” listing of the top seniors in the state … Made 92 tackles as a senior but missed the state playoffs because of an injury … Also the top prospect in Kentucky by recruiting analyst Tom Lemming, who wrote, “This guy can really deliver a blow, always seems to be in the right position at the right time, takes great angles to the ball, and once he gets there, look out.” … Helped lead Central HS to consecutive state championships his sophomore and junior seasons … Made 91 tackles his junior year, with 12 for loss and two interceptions … Also saw playing time at tight end … Coached by Ty Scroggins (sophomore through senior year) and Steve Serotte (freshman year) … Not surprising with his skill set, is also an outstanding basketball player who helped Central to the finals of the 2009 state tournament.

Personal: Born in Louisville … Son of Sherry Board … Considering a major in business management.

Maxwell Smith, Quarterback, 6-4, 225, Fr-HS, Granada Hills, Calif. (Birmingham) -- Tall quarterback known for his strong arm and cerebral ways … Played his senior season at Birmingham High School in Van Nuys, Calif. … Threw for approximately 2,500 yards and 24 touchdowns with only two interceptions … Named All-West Valley Conference and to the all-city team … Has a reputation for recognizing defenses and coverages, not surprising for a person who scored 1480 on his SAT … Coached by Jim Rose … Also played basketball … Received the school’s Most Valuable Senior Award, covering all sports.

Personal: Born in North Hollywood, Calif. … Son of Carl and Paige Smith … Considering a major in business management.