By Maurice Patton
SPRING HILL – Once Summit standouts Destin and Keaten Wade determined they’d be playing at the same school collegiately, the driving factor in their recruitment became which program would present the best chance for Destin to play quarterback.
The twins decided Kentucky fit that bill.
During a commitment ceremony Friday at the school, two of the top 2022 football recruits in the state of Tennessee announced that they will sign with the Wildcats during the December recruiting period.
Both members of ESPN’s top 300 recruits nationally in their class, they chose Kentucky from four finalists that also included Louisville, Tennessee and Virginia.
“There’s more pressure on him as a quarterback – limited spots,” Keaten said following the announcement. “He just needed a spot to get in and know he’d have a great opportunity and have confidence in the coaches.”
A Class 5A Mr. Football finalist in 2020, Destin rushed for 1,507 yards and 18 touchdowns while throwing for 1,405 yards and 19 TDs.
“It was just a family feel, and having the opportunity to play quarterback as well,” Destin said of the decision. “It’s always been a dream of ours to play college football together; we’re living out that dream.
“My position coach (offensive coordinator/QB coach Liam Coen) is comfortable to talk to and brings an impressive amount of experience from the NFL which I feel will be really helpful for me and the team in the future. He believes in my potential as a college quarterback.”
Keaten was limited by a foot injury sustained at the onset of the 2020 season, but returned during the postseason. He was a key defensive performer for the Spartans in their semifinal win at Henry County as well as in their 28-7 title game victory over Oak Ridge, as they capped a 14-1 campaign with a win in their second straight championship game appearance.
“Just thinking about it all during this recruiting process, we felt like it was best for us just to stay together and maximize our potential together,” said Keaten, who called Kentucky the best fit “academically, athletically and geographically”.
“Experiencing the visits – Virginia was too far,” he said. “It would be hard for my parents and the community to come watch me play. I think that’s very important. (Kentucky is) close to home which means my family and friends will be able to be involved on a greater level.”
Keaten is listed at No. 189 on the ESPN list, with Destin, as an athlete, at No. 280.
“I’m glad they did it, to get it out of the way,” Summit coach Brian Coleman said regarding the twins’ decisions. “They can refocus now and don’t have to worry about it. I’m happy for them and glad to get it over with.
“I’m very happy with Kentucky. Their quarterback is a lot like Destin. Kentucky’s a good defensive football team. I believe (coach Mark) Stoops is a defensive mind. They’ll be fine.”
The twins are two of eight Tennessee products listed on the ESPN 300. Others include St. Benedict defensive tackle Walter Nolen at No. 2; Martin Westview quarterback Ty Simpson (committed to Alabama) at No. 22; Oakland running back Jordan James (committed to Georgia) at No. 191; Franklin offensive tackle Fisher Anderson at No. 263; Ensworth receiver Isaiah Horton at No. 271; and Memphis Academy of Health Sciences receiver Cameron Miller at No. 285.