The Cats played Yahtzee for the fourth time this weekend and this time there was some historical perspective behind the commitment. Louisville Male High School is apart of the biggest classification in the state of Kentucky and has won seven state championships (1960, 1963, 1964, 1993, 1998, 2015, 2018). Since the 6A classification was started in 2007, Male is one of only four schools to have brought home the hardware. They’re a football powerhouse in the state, but this entire time they have been a Louisville feeder program.
Former Male head coach Bob Redman won two state titles at Male and turned the school into legitimate competition for private school powers St. Xavier and Trinity. During this run, Redman’s son Chris was a blue-chip quarterback who would go onto great success at Louisville under John L. Smith and offensive coordinator Bobby Petrino. Since then, nearly every FBS prospect out of Male would continue their careers at Louisville.
Everyone knows Michael Bush, but there have been a handful of others. Montrell Jones (who ended up at Louisville after a pit stop at Tennessee), Sergio Spencer, Doug Beaumont, Dexter Heyman, Keion Wakefield, and there’s plenty more. Male has kept all of their alums in the city while Kentucky, under numerous head coaches, could never crack through and land a scholarship athlete.
That now all changes with the addition of high three-star wide receiver Izayah Cummings. The 6-foot-3 wideout led Male with 597 receiving yards on 41 grabs with 11 touchdowns despite missing five games with a leg injury. Cummings pledged on his official visit to Kentucky this weekend and had a lot of interest from surrounding schools. Both Louisville and Purdue were heavily involved in his recruitment with Ohio State having him on campus for an unofficial visit while Vanderbilt. Vince Marrow is making some moves in the city of Louisville and this may be his biggest recruiting win for a bunch of different reasons.
Cummings is at his best on vertical routes. He’s an excellent go-route runner and does his best work when he is able stop, locate the football, and make a jump grab. On his tape, you will see many plays where the quarterback short arms the throw, but that just may be by design. Similar to a basketball player, Cummings goes up for a rebound and then shows some solid run after the catch ability. This is where he is at his best.
Due to his size (6-foot-3, 212 pounds) and athletic ability, Cummings does his best work in the red zone. On the road in the quarterfinals of the playoffs, Cummings comes up with a huge touchdown reception on third-and-11 to break a tie in the fourth quarter. The wideout runs your typical fade route and despite the safety bracketing Cummings over the top, Male still decides to toss up the jump ball.
Cummings essentially boxes out the safety while the corner goes running by. He high points the football and makes a clutch catch to help Male march towards a state championship. One of the best attributes Cummings presents is a big target in the red zone and this should translate to the college level.
The biggest issue that Cummings will need to address in college will be his route running and separation ability. At The Opening regional camp, he was clocked at 4.50 in the forty and that should be good enough to create consistent separation on pass routes. However, when you watch the tape, it seems that he struggles to create that consistent separation.
On the sluggo (slant-and-g0) route, Cummings stumbles just a bit and that prevents him from creating space. Thanks to the on target throw it doesn’t matter, but these are things at the next level he will have to work on. Cummings must improve on his technique in running routes. If he is able to become a true weapon on intermediate passes, that will make his ability to go vertical even harder for opposing corners to keep in check.
Cummings will enter Lexington in the class of 2020 as the first Male alum to go to Kentucky on a football scholarship in a very long time. He possesses the attributes that the Kentucky staff has had a hard time attracting on the recruiting. He’s a big, physical receiver who resembles some guys you would see on Sundays. He’s a true weapon in the vertical game and could be very reliable in the red zone.
Cummings has a lot to work on. He has the size and physical ability to be a dominant perimeter blocker, but that is to be determined. He must polish his route running ability because right now he is just a one-trick pony. However, that is a damn strong trick and he has a ton of potential. This is a big time recruiting win for a multitude of reasons and his play on the field should excite you alone.