Before he was a Kentucky Wildcat, J.J. Weaver was one of the most sought-after recruits in the Commonwealth.
A four-star recruit from Louisville Moore High School, the defensive end/outside linebacker became the second-highest ranked member of UK’s class when he put on a blue hat during a ceremony at his high school. After pledging his allegiance to Kentucky, many fans feared he could potentially flip to UofL when shared his intentions to sign in the spring with his teammates. After talking to Vince Marrow, he put pen to paper in December and left all of the drama in the past.
Before Weaver reported to camp for preseason training, he spent his summer working out regularly. His family resides in Louisville, but his first home was in Broward County, Florida. Weaver gets to receive the best of both worlds at Kentucky. There are more than a dozen Wildcats on the roster from the two recruiting hot beds. He started offseason training in Louisville before returning to Florida to work out alongside Stanley Garner and DayDay Hawkins.
“Everybody said camp’s gonna be hectic,” but Weaver was not too intimidated by the veterans’ advice. “When I first got here, everybody said, ‘You better be ready. Workouts here aren’t like workouts (at home).’ I’ve been tearing the weight room up, been grinding everyday. I just gotta take it day-by-day.”
Since he began hitting the weight room, Weaver has gained ten pounds of muscle. Picking up that part of the game has come easily. Learning the Jack linebacker position, Josh Allen’s former spot, is much easier said than done.
“In high school, it was just a a free for all. Here, you’ve gotta talk to your linemen. You have to tell people what to do. You’ve gotta motivate people. It’s a lot different.”
Developing an understanding of the defense will take time. Weaver is prepared to be patient. When his number is called, the 11-fingered edge rusher is prepared to wreak havoc behind the line of scrimmage.
“It feels great to play for the Big Blue Nation.”