By LARRY VAUGHT
Lexington Christian Academy junior Cutter Boley is a gifted quarterback, one of the best in the nation according to every recruiting service and the bevy of major college coaches that recruited him.
The 6-5, 205-pound Boley verbally committed to Kentucky last week over Tennessee, Michigan, Penn State and Florida State — the other schools in his final five.
However, what says a lot about Boley is who attended his commitment ceremony. Current Lincoln County coach Josh Jaggers, a former UK offensive lineman, coached Boley during the 2020 and 2021 seasons at LaRue County. He was at LCA for the announcement.
“No way was I going to miss this,” Jaggers said. “He’s a special player and young man.”
Taylor County junior offensive lineman Hayes Johnson, the first UK commitment in the 2024 recruiting class, also made the drive to Lexington. He arrived just a few minutes before Boley made his decision public but stayed to visit with him after the ceremony.
“He’s going to be special for our recruiting class. Everybody likes him,” Johnson said.
Boley’s sister, Erin, a three-time Kentucky Gatorade Player of the Year and 2016 Gatorade National Player of the Year, made the drive from Atlanta where she now lives to be there with her brother.
“It’s important for me to be here,” Erin, who played basketball at Notre Dame and Oregon, said. “No way was I going to miss this. I don’t get to see all his games (in person) but I was not going to miss his big day.”
LCA coach Doug Charles says Boley truly checks all the boxes for a special player on and off the field.
“This will give you an idea of the character of this kid. We had UAB (coaches) come in this morning to watch one of our kids and wanted to see him catch (passes),” Charles said. “Now this is a pretty big day for Cutter and he was out there at 7 o’clock this morning throwing balls for a kid trying to get a scholarship and then took his linemen out to breakfast this morning before this commitment.
“He is the real deal as a player and person. Not just on the field but off. We just tell him not to change and he will be awesome.”
He would be the highest rated quarterback to sign with Kentucky since Tim Couch in 1996. Couch went on to be the No. 1 overall pick in the 1999 NFL draft.
Boley had contemplated using his COVID year to be a 2025 recruit to make sure he was prepared to be a big-time college quarterback. He decided to back into the 2024 class based on feedback he got from college coaches this spring.
“Some of the coaches at Penn State acted like they’d even take me as a 2023. A year ago today, I didn’t know where my body would be physically and if I could play in college. But I feel I’m prepared to play at the collegiate level now,” Boley said. “I just feel like I’m ready to go. I just want to get there as soon as I can (he plans to enroll at UK in January), start learning the offense, start learning the playbook.”
Offensive coordinator Liam Coen obviously believes so. He started recruiting Boley in 2021 when he was named UK’s offensive coordinator, stayed in touch even when he rejoined the Los Angeles Rams for the 2022 season and made Boley a priority when he returned to UK in January.
“It was Coen coming back, building that relationship with him. They’ve got something special going on over there with the offense. I just wanted to be a part of it,” Boley said about why he picked Kentucky. “I feel like I grew up a Kentucky fan. I’ve always bled blue since I was young. It’s definitely just going to be nice to represent everyone out here that’s supported me.”
If Coen had not returned to lead the UK offense, Boley probably would be playing in the Southeastern Conference but not at Kentucky.
“Tennessee was ahead for a while,” Boley admitted. “Michigan, all those top five schools, Florida State, they all really made a push for me and they all recruited me really hard.”
Boley started working months ago to position himself to be an early graduate so he could enroll at UK in January. His father, Scott, said it was not always easy to graduate early at private schools.
“He got some online stuff to do this summer but he’s almost a 4.0 (grade-point average) student. His idea was to find the perfect fight and if it was better to be a 2024 recruit, fine,” Scott Boley said. “For Kentucky, he feels like being a 2024 guy is the right move.”